Lauren Ho takes a step back in time to Hong Kong’s heyday with a stay at the Mandarin Oriental, one of the city’s oldest hotels, which hosted a kaleidoscope of VIPs and celebrities in the 1960s.
Hotel Review: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Standing proud in the heart of Central, overlooking Victoria Harbour, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong joins some of the city’s most recognisable skyscrapers, such as Sir Norman Foster’s HSBC tower and I.M. Pei’s soaring Bank of China, shaping the iconic skyline. Opened in the 1960s, this might be one of Hong Kong’s oldest hotels – and the original in the Mandarin Oriental portfolio – but, over the years, it has evolved to remain at the top of its game with its exceptional service, and collection of award-winning restaurants and bars. The 447 rooms are sumptuous retreats, dressed in rich gold and lacquer, with marble bathrooms, some with standalone bathtubs looking out onto views of Victoria Harbour. While facilities – from a spa with a salon and a barber to a sweep of restaurants – will make you never want to leave, the location on Connaught Road will draw you out to experience the best that Hong Kong has to offer.
It’s difficult to know where to begin here. With nine restaurants and bars, including two with Michelin stars, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong was a hub during Hong Kong’s golden dining era in the 1960s and 70s, and has continued to remain so. The Michelin-starred Man Wah still serves transitional cantonese cuisine from the 25th floor, and The Mandarin Grill, which has retained its Michelin star for the 10th year running, also still serves a menu of grill classics from house-smoked salmon to beef wellington. Alongside The Krug Room, where a creative modern European menu is served with the world’s most prestigious champagne, there is also the recently launched Aubrey, a Japanese Izakaya restaurant where an omakase cocktail experience is served alongside a modern menu of Japanese-inspired bites like the charcoal chicken karaage with yuzu mayonnaise.
With its nine restaurants and bars, a sprawling wellness floor complete with a salon and a barber and a state-of-the-art fitness centre, alongside in-hotel activities like wine-tasting masterclasses, the chances are you might never leave the Mandarin Oriental. But there is also a wide variety of excursions to show you the best of Hong Kong, including a hike and a picnic in Victoria Peak Garden, a private tour of the Liang Yi Museum (known for its design, craftsmanship and heritage), as well as a Chinese martial arts class, which is held at the Central Harbourfront.
For those wishing to explore solo, the hotel’s location on Connaught Road, means easy access to Hong Kong’s vibrant shopping, drinking and dining scene as well as trams and the Star Ferry, which will take you over to Kowloon.
Double rooms from £512, including breakfast. mandarinoriental.com