As a businesswoman and a tri-resident of Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong, one can often wonder where exactly home is. However, while abroad and consumed by a somewhat unhealthy schedule, I like to feel at home to some degree when I return to yet another hotel room after a hectic day.
I often find that while I regularly frequent the leading hotels of the world, something is missing. And not just a little something, but that something that makes the gypsy lifestyle a lot easier to adopt. Despite their beauty, glamour and contemporary feel, I just never quite get that feeling where I feel as though I would potentially not mind spending a lot of time there, which in my case, is inevitable.
On my most recent business trip to Hong Kong, I decided to stay at the true and original Mandarin Oriental. Nestled amidst the most prominent and notable commercial buildings, major shopping districts and the most stylish restaurants and bars in the city, the Mandarin Oriental’s location alone was enough to entice me.
After an undesirable flight and day to say the least, I was greeted ever so promptly from the moment I pulled up to the front door. Nothing seemed to be an issue for the staff at the Oriental, and I must say that the efficiency mixed with old school charm and glamour, sold me on this great hotel in Hong Kong right away.
After the most expeditious check- in of my life, I was ushered to my Harbour View room. The room was incredibly beautiful in the old Hollywood, Beverly Hills Hotel kind of way. I immediately felt a sense of warmth upon my settling.
This is a place where I will be spending a lot of time with my laptop over the coming weeks, and all of a sudden, home didn’t feel so far away. I have often heard from other travelers that the Mandarin Oriental has a signature scent which is so evocative of who it is.
A spicy warmth of cedar, cinnamon and other flavours of the orient, immerses your senses as you walk the hallways. There is definitely something special about it.
The in-room dining menu at this hotel not only has something for everyone, but does everything well, from the incredibly healthy and fit conscious gym junkie to the “I am on holiday” traveler, you can find it all here.
I found nothing more pleasant than starting my day at the quintessential Cafe Causette for breakfast on the Mezzanine level of the hotel. There is nothing more motivating and thrilling at the start of your day than the sounds of major international deals being done at the tables beside you with travelers and locals from all over the world.
But for those of you who are looking for something that’s more indicative of a relaxing holiday (if that’s actually possible in such a buzzing city), the buffet breakfast around the corner of Cafe Causette will suit you well.
Attached directly to the Prince building, leading you to the Landmark and other major commercial building in this great city, I found that some days, despite the pouring rain, and sweltering heat, I never got wet and I never felt the heat. The Mandarin Oriental connects you to all the major attractions and buildings within the city, to the point where you really don’t actually have to brave the heat or rain and step a foot outside.
For those who are there to conduct business but do not have access to an office, the Mandarin Oriental Business Centre is second to none, so much so that I’m considering forfeiting my office in Hong Kong which I use for about 10 days per month! The hotel provides outstanding service and products that beat my office hands down.
If fitness is your thing, and you are an atypical gym junkie such as myself, with 24 hr access to the gym and a personal trainer on hand for most of the day and night, you have no excuses to return home unfit (despite the fact that you are in one of the most playful, lively cities in the world).
However the most memorable if not eye opening characteristic of this hotel is the SERVICE. During my entire stay and my dealings with multiple staff of all levels, I do not believe that I once ever had communications with someone who did not address me by my title and surname, nor was anything ever an issue, whether I made a request at 2 a.m. or any other time.
The Mandarin Oriental oozes charm, sophistication and real world chivalry which, up until now, I thought quite possibly had disappeared into its contemporary counterparts.
For the ultimate sophisticate looking for true glamour, class, refinement and stellar service with a genuine smile, yet positioned amongst the contemporary socials of modern day society, The Original Mandarin Oriental is easy to call a second home.