BACKGROUND Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s flagship property opened in Hong Kong in 1963. It was the tallest hotel on the Island and soon became a sought after destination for locals and luxury seekers.
WHAT’S IT LIKE The glass building of Mandarin Oriental is one of the most striking on Connaught Road. A golden fan, the Mandarin Oriental fan logo welcomes you outside. Inside, while some parts of the hotel have been refurbished, it has still retained some original Oriental elements such as gold wood carvings depicting elements from antiquated Chinese folklore on the left wall of the lobby. There is also a 17th century Ming gilt-bronze figure of Guandi — a Chinese deity — on horseback beside this. While the feel of the lobby is quite contemporary, the frequent Asian artworks balance the modernity of the hotel with tradition. Contemporary upholstery in subtle shades alongside dramatic light installations and granite pillars make this space very elegant. The hotel was moderately busy with executives when I checked-in, implying its solid positioning as a luxury business hotel. The Clipper Lounge on the first level of the hotel is visible from the lobby, while the rest of the rooms, banquets, restaurants and bars can be accessed by elevators straight ahead.
WHERE IS IT The hotel is in one of the prime commercial and entertainment areas of Hong Kong — Connaught Road. It faces Victoria Harbour and is a short walk from Hong Kong Airport Express MTR Station and Star Ferry Terminal.
ROOM FACILITIES Room interiors and facilities vary as per categories — some of them include City View room (35 sqm), Statue Square View room (40 sqm), Mandarin room (44 sqm) and Harbour View room (40 sqm) where I stayed. The hotel has a large variety of suites that cater to its discerning travellers too. My Harbour View room, as promised, overlooked an expansive panorama of the Victoria Harbour — an exceptional sight to wake up to each morning. I enjoyed spending time in the room’s verandah where I relaxed on an oversized Chinoise day lounger that faced a work desk with sufficient charging points. Enjoyable alongside was an espresso prepared from the nespresso machine in my room. The welcome amenities placed in my room included desserts from Mandarin Oriental’s Cake Shop with its delicious rose petal jam that wasn’t artificially sweet. A large curtain separates this section of the room from the bedroom and bathroom, ensuring privacy. The subtle golden bedlinen, opulent Jim Thompson silk textiles balance the notes of Asian heritage quite elegantly. It’s an open plan room featuring a luxurious bathroom with travertine stone and Black Forest Chinese marble that is fitted with Hermès toiletries. Its turn-down service differed each day, from calming oils to chocolates that ensured I was comforted after a hectic day.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS My lunch at two-Michelin starrer Man Wah was as exquisite as its glamorous interiors. Read more on this restaurant in the Inside Hong Kong section. A four-course dinner at Pierre Gagnaire’s French restaurant Pierre began with red tuna carpaccio. For the main course, I opted for roasted grouse with Italian lardo, eggplant caviar and spinach. An evening at Captain’s Bar was interesting with Indian inspired snacks and craft cocktails. Breakfast at Clipper Lounge was impressive with an extravagant range of cuisines. The Krug Room (private dining with Krug champagne), Cafe Causette (contemporary all-day dining), M Bar, The Chinnery (traditional English pub) and The Mandarin Cake Shop complete its extensive list of F&B outlets.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Meeting rooms are spread across the 1st, 2nd and 23rd floors. The smallest one is Bamboo Room (54 sqm) and the largest one is The Connaught Room (570 sqm). There are 13 other spaces that can hold corporate events of different
sizes. There is also a 24-hour business centre.
LEISURE FACILITIES Indoor swimming pool, The Mandarin Spa, The Mandarin Salon and The Mandarin Barber and a 24-hour fitness centre are its diverse leisure facilities..
VERDICT Modern luxury amidst Oriental heritage in the centre of Hong Kong’s bustling business district.
PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in April started from HK$3,738 (`32,221) for a City View room
Contact 5 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong; tel +852 2522 0111; mandarinoriental.com