I first stayed at Mandarin Oriental, New York when I was living in Bermuda, shortly after it first opened in December 2003.
On my most recent stay Manager Israel made sure I was treated as a 'Celebrity Fan' with a beautiful suite overlooking Central Park, hotel cars and a reserved table in The Aviary, NYC. A 7 'teddies' stay without any doubt and such a contrast with The Ludlow Hotel, New York and Mr & Mrs Smith travel.
A MO Celebrity Fan Welcome
I arrived very late from Eleven Madison Park but Yulia (from Guest Relations) was still waiting for me with colleagues.
There is a Dale Chihuly 'glass garden' in the lobby but I did not have time to take this in on this arrival after chatting and being whisked up to my 42nd Floor suite. However, I did notice how busy the 35th Floor lobby was.
Our Premier Central Park View Suite
The views of Central Park from my 42nd Floor suite, even on a damp/misty New York evening, took my breath away.
There was a teddy bear specially made for our visit with MONY 2018 embroidered on one of his paws. I have decided to call him Grant, after Grant Achatz. Mandarin Oriental, New York recently opened The Aviary, NYC & The Office, NYC. Mandarin Oriental had invited me to try the former.
There was also a teddy bear tea set left in my suite. My 7-year-old niece in Shropshire instantly became an MO Fan when I gave this to her two days after my stay.
Automated Japanese Toilet
The sleek bathroom contained an automated Japanese toilet, TV set in the mirror, huge shower and Fresh bath products.
I have not seen one of these Japanese toilets since my Dorchester suite at The Dorchester in London.
Grant Achatz's The Aviary NYC
I then. went down to The Aviary NYC in the 35th Floor lobby to meet a friend. He never showed but another friend, who I last met at Four Seasons The Surf Club in Miami agreed to take his place.
While I was waiting for him I was brought a mobile charger and got a 'Bring Another Surf' cocktail. Nicolas, the F&B Director, came over to entertain me, while I waited.
Bring Another Surf
With the 'Bring Another Surf' cocktail it comes in a pretty tea pot looking glass. There is layer of white coconut cordial sitting underneath a purple frozen disc of pea flower infused mezcal (made from blue agave).
You blow into a glass pipe to activate the colour changing butterfly pea flower 'tea'. It all reminded me of the apple flavoured balloons at Grant Achatz's 'Alinea' in Chicago. The 'Bring Another Surf' cocktail had layered tropical tastes with a flavour of tequila and lime.
An interesting and whacky drink but one was enough.
In the Rocks
When my friend arrived he ordered an 'In the Rocks' cocktail. This was an Old Fashioned encapsulated in a sphere of ice. You are given a modified 'slingshot' to smash this. Overly complex cocktails for bored rich people?
Very Dry Grey Goose Martinis
I then moved on to very dry Grey Goose martinis and The Aviary, NYC made these perfectly.
Service in The Aviary, NYC was 'Oriental Bangkok perfection'. An interesting, and memorable, evening there.
Sad to Say Goodbye
After a blissful night's sleep, Israel was waiting to say goodbye, as I checked out. It was so good to, finally, meet him and he arranged for a hotel Mercedes to take me to Tiffany & Co for breakfast.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻(7 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - Israel & Yulia, the 'Oriental Bangkok style' service, suite with stunning views of Central Park, use of hotel cars and thoughtful teddy bear gifts, really broke the 'teddy score' again. My tips:- visit The Aviary, NYC and talk to Mandarin Oriental staff.