Ex­trav­a­gant Man­darin Oriental

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Contents -

The first time I flew into Hong Kong was in 1992, onto the runway of the Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Air­port. It was ranked one of the most dan­ger­ous air­ports in the world, which I in­stantly re­al­ized as our Cathay Pa­cific air­plane flew very close to sky­scrapers and landed on a runway jut­ting out into Vic­to­ria Har­bor.

This air­port closed in 1998 and has been re­placed by the new Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Air­port at Chek Lap Kok. I flew into this safer air­port re­cently in June, 2015, af­ter 10 days in China. I was sur­prised to see so many more sky­scrapers 23 years af­ter my first flight. I learned that Hong Kong has the most sky­scrapers in the world: 8,000 build­ings that have more than 14 floors. That is al­most twice as much as New York City.

Since I was stay­ing overnight at two of the The Man­darin Oriental prop­er­ties in Hong Kong, I was pro­vided with car ser­vice from the air­port to the first ho­tel. An air­port staff mem­ber greeted my fam­ily and me as we de­parted from our flight and helped us ob­tain our bag­gage. Upon ex­it­ing the air­port, a MO (Man­darin Oriental) driver wel­comed us and guided us to our black van. In­side we re­ceived cold wash­cloths, bottled wa­ter and com­pli­men­tary Wi-fi con­nec­tion.

The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment col­o­nized Hong Kong in 1841 dur­ing the first Opium War (1839-43). It was handed back to China on July 1, 1997. Hong Kong now has a pop­u­la­tion of over 1.2 mil­lion peo­ple. It’s a for­mal city with men and women in busi­ness at­tire walk­ing to work next to street ven­dors and butch­ers cut­ting raw meat along the side­walk in the open air mar­kets. Fish are piled up on ice for lo­cals to pur­chase and live eels swim in small plas­tic white and blue bowls.

It’s a so­phis­ti­cated city with Bri­tish pubs, Marks and Spencer Stores and ev­ery high end jew­elry, cloth­ing and shoe store lined up in a tidy row along the nar­row streets. Tes­las, Mercedes and Audis purr along the streets next to Buicks and Nis­sans. Our first night we stayed at the more sleek and mod­ern The Land­mark Man­darin Oriental. Lo­cated next to a large and el­e­gant shop­ping mall, the ho­tel ap­peals to all of your senses. The smells are pleas­ing the mo­ment you walk into the lobby, el­e­va­tor and guest rooms.

Our feet en­joyed the plush slip­pers with the sig­na­ture M on the top lo­cated next to our king size bed adorned with Frette li­nen and goose down bed­ding. There is a walk-in wardrobe with black silk robes hang­ing in­side. A stun­ning cir­cu­lar glass-walled bath­room of­fers a dra­matic spher­i­cal spa tub, and plush cot­ton robes hang­ing next to the sooth­ing rain-for­est shower. The Man­darin Oriental caters to an elite clien­tele and of­fers ex­tra ameni­ties that other ho­tels don’t, such as a tube of Happy Feet, a refreshing blend of pep­per­mint to perk up hot and tired feet af­ter climb­ing and ex­plor­ing the hills of Hong Kong Is­land. There is also a bot­tle of tea tree oil to pro­vide an­tibac­te­rial pro­tec­tion and a de­odor­iz­ing ef­fect.

We dined at the MO Bar for a op­u­lent break­fast buf­fet and later in the evening for a lively din­ner and cock­tails. Staff mem­bers Joyce, Ni­cole, Ryan and Ni­cholas of­fered ex­em­plary ser­vice dur­ing both our culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences.

In the evening , the MO Bar changes into a so­phis­ti­cated nightspot with cock­tails and din­ing. To add to the vibe, a DJ spins each night. The hip, club-like des­ti­na­tion has de­buted Kelly Clark­son, John Leg­end, An­nie Len­nox on its small stage.

The sec­ond day, we checked out of The Land­mark and into the ho­tel chain’s flag­ship, the Man­darin Oriental. Cel­e­brat­ing 53 years, it’s old world el­e­gance with tra­di­tion and pomp, and about two blocks away from The Land­mark.

We were pro­fes­sion­ally greeted by Niko Pent­ti­nen, the duty man­ager, who es­corted us up to our suite on the 12th floor (rooms 1226 and 1227), checked our pass­ports and

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.