ONE NOT-SO-FINE DAY IN HONG KONG

Man­darin Ori­en­tal Hong Kong’s old-world charm is balm for the soul even in the midst of a ty­phoon

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When you hap­pen to be in Hong Kong dur­ing one of the city’s most in­tense storms to date, you stay in­doors no mat­ter what.You can­cel your meet­ings, re-book your ap­point­ments, and brace your­self for a rather un­event­ful day ahead.

Well, not quite if you’re stay­ing in Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Hong Kong. Be­ing cooped up in­side this ho­tel all day long is some­thing you will not mind at all. And you can take our word for it.

Con­sid­ered an icon in the heart of Cen­tral district, Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Hong Kong is just a short walk from the city’s finest shop­ping, en­ter­tain­ment, and ma­jor busi­ness hubs. But with its 434 spa­cious rooms and 67 el­e­gant suites – of­fer­ing ei­ther city or har­bour views – the ho­tel makes you for­get that you’re sup­posed to be out en­joy­ing shop­ping and get­ting lost in the city’s bustling mar­kets. In­stead, you ex­cit­edly won­der what else the four cor­ners of this ho­tel have to of­fer, es­pe­cially on a stormy day.

Dine in style

For starters, a rainy day calls for a nice bowl of your favourite com­fort food (con­gee comes to mind), which you can eas­ily get from the Clip­per Lounge. For lunch, head to Pierre for a gas­tro­nomic ex­pe­ri­ence that’s part Parisian-chic and part Hong Kong-sass. Lo­cated on the 25th floor, of­fer­ing a stun­ning view of Vic­to­ria Har­bour, the two-Miche­lin star

restau­rant re­flects the culi­nary ge­nius of its owner, world-renowned French chef Pierre Gag­naire. A choice of two- or three­course meal from its Ex­press Lunch sets lets din­ers get a taste of why peo­ple rave about this place. Frog Legs Poulette-style, any­one?

Din­ner, of course, de­serves a Krug af­fair. A must-try when in Hong Kong, the Krug Room takes din­ers through a mul­ti­sen­sory culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence by recre­at­ing the sur­round­ings of a train car­riage, com­plete with views of a fast­mov­ing kitchen, while serv­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Robin Zavou’s fares per­fectly paired with the world’s most dis­tin­guished cham­pagne. As with most best-kept din­ing se­crets, reser­va­tions are re­quired.

A sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence

Now that we have sorted out your din­ing op­tions, it’s time to check out a more holis­tic sen­sory jour­ney. The Man­darin Spa draws on the ho­tel’s Chi­nese her­itage, of­fer­ing TCM treat­ments with a mod­ern ap­proach. The Ori­en­tal Qi, for in­stance, goes back to the roots of the spa treat­ment and fo­cuses on the good-old sim­ple, ef­fec­tive, and authen­tic spa ex­pe­ri­ence, us­ing re­lax­ing body mas­sage tech­niques and ther­a­peu­tic es­sen­tial oils.

If mas­sages are not your thing, an hour at the gym or the pool, or a visit to the sa­lon, prom­ise the same re­lax­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Within the three floors that cover the spa, all 2,100sqm of state-of-the-art well­ness fa­cil­ity, are The Man­darin Bar­ber, The Man­darin Sa­lon, a twin-lane swim­ming pool, and a fully equipped fit­ness cen­tre – all avail­able to meet your pam­per­ing and fit­ness needs for the day.

Shop­ping haven

It’s an ab­so­lute given, of course, that when one is in Hong Kong, one sim­ply has to go shop­ping. Within the ho­tel is an ar­ray of de­signer shops for your quick shop­ping fix, par­tic­u­larly of fine jew­ellery and watches, in­clud­ing Harry Win­ston, Pi­aget, and An­noushka. If you re­ally must ven­ture out, how­ever, you can al­ways take ad­van­tage of the foot­bridges con­nect­ing the ho­tel to some of the city’s best shop­ping des­ti­na­tions.

Night­cap, any­one?

Last but not least, wind­ing down at the Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Hong Kong is usu­ally a toss be­tween The Chin­nery and the Cap­tain’s Bar. Home to one of the world’s largest col­lec­tions of sin­gle malt whisky, The Chin­nery of­fers a re­laxed club-like at­mos­phere; while the Cap­tain’s Bar, a fa­mous wa­ter­ing hole for lo­cals and guests alike, is all about draught beer and live jazz.

But re­ally, with ev­ery­thing else that the ho­tel can of­fer, what stands out best is the ser­vice. The peo­ple that open the door for you, per­son­ally check you in, and even an­tic­i­pate your ev­ery need – most of them have been with the ho­tel for over 50 years – are the ones that ul­ti­mately make your ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence one for the books, big ty­phoons notwith­stand­ing.

BE­LOW: Miche­lin­starred Man Wah Restau­rant Im­ages cour­tesy of Man­darin Ori­en­tal Hong Kong

LEFT: Pres­i­den­tial SuiteRIGHT: Take in the har­bour view when you have a bath

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