I met up with Edwina and Denise, who explained how much many customers value the history of this grand hotel and so the lobby was one of the things that had not been significantly altered when the hotel had a major refurbished in 2005 (eg the ‘ridiculous chandeliers’ Dame Edna Everage made jokes about are still there).
They took me up to view some suites. We viewed an Oriental suite and the Tamar suite. The Oriental suite was luxurious for their bottom level suite and the Tamar one panelled and intend to resemble the inside of a private yacht.
Both suites had beautiful bedrooms and stunning bathrooms. The Tamar bathroom was art deco and reminded me of my stays at Claridge’s in London. The only disappointment was that you get Acqua di Parma bath products in suites, my tip would be to ask for the Hermès products from the regular rooms.
Then we went to see the pool. I was surprised to find this was indoor and it looks a bit like a Mayfair nightclub, or maybe more one in a posh ski resort with its large video screen. It was impressive but I would find it too small to swim in enjoyably.
We then went to the Mandarin Cake Shop, which was already decorated for Christmas and had some impressive chocolate sculptures that Edwina thought I would enjoy (eg teddy bears). I was then presented with their soft toy for the year of the sheep/ram/goat and a Mandarin fan.
I have decided to call my latest member of the soft toy 'gang' William (after William Jardine, the founder of the Bermuda based major shareholder of Mandarin Oriental), also my older brother’s name.
Before leaving I took a look at the Captain’s Bar, which friends say is a bar to visit.
5 out of 5 ‘teddies’ - the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong is clearly one of the world’s great hotels and a place people who value history, and refined luxury, should pick in Hong Kong.
Having stayed at the Oriental in Bangkok, I could not come to Hong Kong without a quick visit to the Mandarin. I was surprised to find the 1960s style lobby unchanged since my last visit more than 10 years before, when I came to Hong Kong on a business trip from Bermuda.
Si Frew has lived in the UK, Bermuda, Qatar, Cyprus & the Cayman Islands. During this time he met Whoopi Goldberg (in Claridge's), Mike Tyson (in the Concorde Lounge at JFK) , Gordon Ramsay (in the Doha Four Seasons), Chris Eubanks (in The Dorchester), Cherie Blair (in Bermuda & again in the Doha Four Seasons) etc. There are funny stories attached to all these interactions, feel free to ask Si about them when you meet him.