The Mandarin Oriental is the grand dame of luxury hotels on Hong Kong Island, a claim few would contest. While its surroundings have changed in no small measure, the five-star facility has continued to foster a comforting, luxurious space to retreat in the middle of the city since opening in 1963. Radiating an old-world charm, the Mandarin Oriental is synonymous with elegance and luxury, offering a truly decadent experience to those in search of it. For the wellness-oriented, decadence takes the form of an exclusive experience at the Mandarin Spa or a pampering session at the salon awaits, while its world-class cuisine can be tailored to the health-conscious without compromising on flavour. Compare Retreats Founder Dervla Louli steps inside the realm of world-class luxury to experience the urban oasis.
The Mandarin group’s flagship hotel is located in the heart of Central, Hong Kong’s finance hub and commercial centre. The property is surrounded by skyscrapers and has a plethora of historic sites, entertainment complexes and shopping opportunities on its doorstep. Despite its location amid the frenetic energy of the city centre, the hotel itself—and its rooms, in particular—boast an unparalleled tranquillity and quietness. Several rooms boast city views, looking out onto their own private slice of the iconic Hong Kong skyline, while a number of the hotel’s suites boast uninterrupted, panoramic views of Victoria Harbour.
The hotel’s 499 rooms and suites feature a minimalist, Asian-inspired design that has still retained an air of timeless heritage and old-world charm, 56-years on from its opening. Beds are finished with goose down duvets and feathered pillows, sending guests into a deep slumber after an immersive day spent in the urban sanctuary. There are 67 suites, each boasting unique features, but the most luxurious of the in-room features are the bathtubs.
If you count yourself among the many that appreciate a long soak, a stay at the Mandarin Oriental is incomplete without booking a room with a bath. The Mandarin Suite boasts one of the most iconic. Stepping into the room, you’re surrounded by prized artworks, floor to ceiling windows, and a spacious balcony that wraps around the suite, and its vast, ensuite bathroom features a large tub overlooking the Bank of China. The hotel’s other iconic suite—The Tamar Suite—stretches across over 1,000 square foot of prime real estate. It features a standalone bathtub, vintage furnishings, and subtle, nautical-inspired interiors, paying homage to the naval headquarters it once overlooked.
The hotel boasts 10 food and dining outlets in the hotel, and its nutritional offerings are available morning through night. Café Causette is the property’s casual dining venue and has the largest range of healthy dishes available throughout the hotel. The Mandarin Bar and Grill prepares a range of premium proteins and vegetables, while for special occasions, there are few better places in the city than the Chinnery.
To start the day, its breakfast buffet offers a wide range of Asian and western classics and is widely accepted as one of the best on the island, particularly for its Sunday brunch. The hotel caters to everyone, with decadent delights and health-conscious cuisine on offer. Its dishes can be customised, too: the Hai Nan Chicken served without rice proving the perfect example of a lighter spin on a classic dish.
The Mandarin Salon and its trusted stylists have been turning tresses for years, earning a loyal following of Hongkongers and travelling tourists. Stylist Fatima’s haircuts are easily identifiable across the city. The salon has a specialist in every sector, among them the notable trichologist, Andrea Clark, and the Mandarin Barber’s Samuel, renowned for his Shanghai pedicures.
The state of the art fitness centre offers unique experiences, including an underwater speaker system in its indoor swimming pool. For those who have tried and tested the experiences on offer at the spa fitness centre and are eager to see more, the hotel offers monthly membership programmes. Treatments and therapies can be reserved using the online booking portal.
Tired travellers and overworked executives should opt for the Oriental Essence Massage, one of the spa’s signature therapies. What sets the spa apart is its wealth of traditional Chinese medicine treatments on offer: doctor consultations, foot reflexology, acupuncture, cupping therapy and meridian massages are among the many therapies offered.
The Mandarin Oriental offers one wellness retreat package, as well as the option to create an exclusive custom wellness package for couples, families, or solo travellers. Its two-night Digital Wellness Escape packages are inclusive of accommodation, daily breakfast, and a 90-minute digital detox programme (including a targeted massage and foot steam). To lure you away from the temptation of technology, therapeutic colouring books, Jenga and other activities are on hand.
The Mandarin Oriental may be one of Hong Kong’s old hands, but there is nothing worn down about it. Its timeless elegance radiates from the outward in, and its state-of-the-art wellness facility blends traditional knowledge with world-class, luxurious surroundings.
With its ability to bring luxe to any experience, this makes for the perfect place for honeymooners, couples and tourists in the know, looking for a quintessential Hong Kong experience that places quality and comfort at its core. With its prime location and tranquil interiors, guests looking for an intimate experience benefit from the best of both worlds, and can expect to have their every whim catered to.
When booking a room, bathtub aficionados should seriously consider upgrading to one of the premium suites: the panoramic views and standalone tubs will have you searching for an excuse to venture beyond the room itself.