Ex­trav­a­gant Man­darin Oriental

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Travel - By Jill Wein­lein

took a copy of our credit card. Our room of­fered the most spec­tac­u­lar bath­room I ever seen, with a large white soak­ing tub show­cas­ing the cen­ter of the mar­ble room, over­look­ing the Ferry Build­ing, Hong Kong Fer­ris Wheel and Kowloon.

Since this is the year of the goat, our daugh­ters each had an adorable stuffed Chi­nese goat on their pil­low as a wel­come gift.

The el­e­gant liv­ing area had a sit­ting area and desk with ev­ery amenity dis­cern­ing guests might de­sire. Niko brought us two large bas­kets filled with an ex­quis­ite china tea pot and cups. We sat on the sofa and en­joyed a proper af­ter­noon tea with bis­cuits in our suite be­fore ex­plor­ing the sights of the city.

Tak­ing the Star Ferry across the Vic­to­ria har­bour to Kowloon, we gazed out to the im­pres­sive Gen­eral Post Of­fice and no­ticed the stately sig­na­ture fan and brass Man­darin Oriental let­ters dec­o­rat­ing the top of the ho­tel.

Upon our re­turn I met with the Gen­eral Man­ager, Jonas Schuer­mann of the Man­darin Oriental, Hong Kong. He in­formed me that the Man­darin

Oriental ho­tel spent $150 mil­lion to ren­o­vate its 501 guest rooms, 10 restau­rants, and nu­mer­ous pub­lic spa­ces, as well as to con­struct the Man­darin Spa. Now there are 71 in­di­vid­u­ally-de­signed suites and 430 guest rooms with ei­ther ex­cit­ing city or lovely har­bor views.

I also learned that Hong Kong is very green, with ap­prox­i­mately 3/4 of Hong Kong be­ing ru­ral, com­pris­ing 24 coun­try parks, scenic hills, wood­lands, reser­voirs and coast­line eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble from the city. The concierge team is happy to share with guests the best walk­ing and hik­ing trails.

Also, within the last five years the art and wine world have es­tab­lished a ma­jor pres­ence in Hong Kong. “Dur­ing art auc­tions, the air­port runs out of space for all the pri­vate jets,” shared Jonas. “Hong Kong has be­come a city filled with stun­ning art­work in all of the gal­leries.” Jonas told me that peo­ple come from all over to buy rare and pop­u­lar wine, be­cause there in no tax. “It makes buy­ing wine or any­thing in Hong Kong very at­trac­tive,” said Jonas. Be­fore din­ner, man­age­ment sent a staff mem­ber to our room with a tray of fresh bread, small bot­tle of olive oil and bal­samic vine­gar and choco­lates. An ice bucket held a chilled bot­tle of Ruinart French Brut Cham­pagne. It was a treat be­fore our din­ner at the MO Bar.

Early the next day, the sun broke through an ar­ray of clouds to cast a rose-col­ored glow on the hills above Vic­to­ria Har­bor. Sit­u­ated be­tween Hong Kong Is­land and Kowloon, the har­bor at­tracts an in­ter­est­ing ar­ray of in­ter­na­tional ships with its deep, shel­tered wa­ters next to the South China Sea.

Be­fore our car ser­vice took us to the air­port, we bade good­bye to all of the pro­fes­sional and clas­si­cally trained staff mem­bers we met at the Man­darin Oriental. The mem­o­ries of our two-night ex­pe­ri­ence make me long to come back to this ex­cit­ing cos­mopoli­tan city be­fore an­other 23 years slips by.

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