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Mandarin Oriental's Harbour View Suite bathroom
Mandarin Oriental's Harbour View Suite bathroom I Photograph: Tatum Ancheta

Hotel Diaries: Experience old-world charm luxury at Mandarin Oriental

Accommodations that combine classic oriental opulence with a contemporary touch

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta

The Mandarin Oriental is one of Hong Kong's most historic hotels and has welcomed Hongkongers and tourists to their elegant accommodations since 1963. Now 59 years old, the hotel has been witness to the massive transformation in the area and remains a significant landmark in Central. Today, the hotel keeps old-style grandeur while also offering modern-day amenities. For another instalment of Hotel Diaries, I've booked a weekend stay to experience their current service and offerings. Read below for the full experience.   

RECOMMENDED: Looking for more accommodations? Check out our guide to Hong Kong hotels – all tried and tested by our editors.

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First impressions

Smack dab in the centre of Hong Kong's Central district, the hotel's location overlooks the scenic harbour. It is close to all transportation and footbridges, linking the best shopping and F&B venues in the area, which is good whether you're visiting the city for business or leisure. Shiny Asian decor with modern touches between black walls with gold lining marbles welcomes you into the venue. The hotel channels Hong Kong's fascinating past and present, with remnants of its heritage peppered throughout the entrance, from the reception wall that showcases the hotel's old logo to the iconic Mandarin Oriental fan displayed in the lobby that reflects the individuality of the flagship hotel.   

Services and amenities

As one of the city's first luxury hotels, expect quality standards when it comes to their services, including assistance from long-standing hotel staff that have been with the hotel for decades. Guests need not leave the hotel to find quality drinking and dining experiences. Sip on drams of rare whisky at The Chinnery, or book a spot at any of the three bars within popular Japanese izakaya The Aubrey (number 38 at Asia's 50 Best Bars list for 2022) that serves an omakase-style cocktail experience you can't find elsewhere in the city.

For exquisite dining, guests can book a table at Mandarin Grill + Bar, Man Wah, and The Krug RoomOther amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a small indoor swimming pool with temperature-controlled water (book a slot for pool usage once you check-in to get a spot as social distancing measures only allow usage for a small number of guests). Offering one of the city's best pampering facilities, The Mandarin Spa is a must-visit if you want to get some well-deserved R&R. A deep tissue therapeutic massage is recommended, especially for urbanites with tired or over-exercised muscles. 


The room 

Rooms here are spacious, but if you're willing to pay big bucks, don't hesitate to get accommodation at the Harbour View Suite, which showcases a living room and a study complete with postcard window views of Hong Kong's skyline and the harbour. One unique feature you won't usually find in other hotels is their Valet delivery box hidden beside the door, which allows you to receive deliveries without the hassle of opening the door. Along with a spacious king-size bed, one of the best features of the suite is its grandiose marble bathroom – which is perhaps bigger than most one-bedroom apartments in Hong Kong (it's certainly bigger than mine!) – complete with Diptyque toiletries, a walk-in shower, a separate toilet, two sinks, and a magnificent tub in the centre that overlooks Central Waterfront Promenade and Victoria Harbour. Definitely worth booking for couples looking for a romantic staycay in the city. 

The experience 

A stay in the Harbour View Suite requires soaking in the views and, of course, long baths in the opulent marble bathroom, which you can request to be prepared by the hotel's butler service, complete with bubbles and rose petals. The best time to do this is during turndown service, so you can enjoy the night views of the city and dancing lights from the harbour – don't forget a glass of wine in hand. 

Photograph: Tatum Ancheta I Mandarin Oriental's Harbour View Suite bathroom

While staying in the Harbour View Suite is already a vacation, it would be amiss if you won't enjoy the dining and drinking facilities in the hotel, especially when the booking comes with dining or spa service credits. Afternoon tea and breakfast are available at the long-established Hong Kong fave, Clipper Lounge, located on top of the hotel's lobby. It gets really packed during the day. For afternoon tea, reserve a table, especially if you're dining with a friend or family member. As for breakfast, which is included in your stay, it is best to come early to avoid the queue as the Clipper Lounge only takes walk-ins. If you want an intimate and stress-free breakfast, head to the Mandarin Club lounge, which is accessible for suite bookings or just grab a table at Café Causette – they don't offer a buffet, but you can choose from Continental or Chinese-style breakfast sets. Whatever you choose to have on your plate, make sure to get a taste of the hotel's famous rose petal jam, which is also available in the Cake Shop. 

Aperitivo bar I Photograph: TA I Café Causette's set breakfast

A tasting menu at Michelin-starred Man Wah is the perfect option for dinner. At $1,888 per person, you'll get a seven-course meal that comes with mouth-watering appetisers and petit fours. Follow this with a nightcap at The Aubrey, where rotating cocktails using the season's freshest produce are must-tries.  

Retail section I Photograph: TA I Flower arrangement workshop

During our stay, we also booked a complimentary hotel history tour, which is great for whiling away time, and perfect for history buffs who want to explore and discover the hotel's heritage. The fun flower bouquet class taught by the hotel's florists was a great option for an engaging activity. 


Final thoughts

Booking a room here definitely doesn't come cheap (room rates start at $2,780, and Harbour View Suite starts at $10,400 per night) but with its fantastic location, flawless service, and top-notch F&B services, you're bound to get a hotel experience like no other. We'd recommend these for business travellers who want to get the closest proximity to the CBD, but it's definitely an excellent accommodation for couples looking for a romantic getaway.

Here's what the Staycation by MO includes:

  • $1,000 dining or spa service credit when booking a room, $1,288 when booking a club room or $1,588 when booking a suite per stay
  • Upgrade to next category subject to availability upon check-in (from room to room/suite to suite) 
  • Additional benefits are available when you log into or join Fans of M.O.
  • Pet programme for one dog (up to 10lb / 4.5kg) per room.
  • Children's activities include: Bed Talents: How To Make a Bed Like a Hotel Pro / Towel Art: Create Fun Animals Made From Towels / Table Artistry: How To Properly Set a Table
  • Experiences include a hotel history tour, a flower bouquet class, and a wine appreciation class 
  • Daily breakfast for up to two adults per room at Clipper Lounge or Café Causette.
  • Club Room and Suite bookings allow access to The Mandarin Club for up to two adults. Children under the age of 12 can enjoy access to the Club at $550 per person.

Book your stay here

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