Every Hongkonger knows life in our crazy, fast-paced city wouldn’t be bearable without the occasional getaway. That’s why we’re bringing you ‘Suite Staycation,’ where we review some of the finest hotel suites in Hong Kong and Macau. Rated upon quality of accommodation, F&B and the perks which we experience — not to mention the pure ‘wow’ factor — our column brings you in-depth advice on where to spend your dollars when it comes to taking some well-deserved R&R.
Can you give us the skinny on The Mandarin Club?
In our prior ‘Suite Staycation’ review of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, we mentioned the lack of a formal executive lounge as a minor slight against the institution’s picture-perfect checklist; The Mandarin Club, then, is a genie wish come true.
Occupying the entirety of the 23rd floor, The Mandarin Club is an expansive, 6,200 square feet space; transitioning seamlessly, luxuriously, from lounge to boardroom to dining room. Upon entrance past the concierge service, you’re immediately reminded of exactly where you stand: Victoria Harbour to the left; Statue Square, straight on; the spread of iconic edifices that make up Hong Kong’s towering skyline, a mere gaze away.
Mandarin Oriental’s preferred palette of muted golds and ochres and lush vermillions make a grand return in the interiors of The Mandarin Club, albeit through a lens that’s a touch modernised; exchanging the grandeur of onyx marble and mammoth crystal chandeliers so indicative of a Mandarin Oriental statement for warm golden lighting and chevron wooden floorboards.
The amenities are — as you’d expect from the Mandarin Oriental’s legendary hospitality — superb. Coffee tables against three-seater sofas for the laptop worker; circular accent tables against tufted tub armchairs for the desktop worker; bar chairs against bar tables for the worker who enjoys a bit of height — we reckon it can serve as a standing desk, too. Those in need of a quiet spot for a presentation or meeting will be impressed by the club’s full-length boardroom and side office; both of which can be booked and utilised for two hours per stay.
The plethora of seating options and working configurations aside, the rotating menu of breakfast, afternoon tea and evening canapés is served alongside a buffet presentation of light snacks, available throughout the day.
Tell us more about the room you stayed in.
We reviewed the same Harbour View suite extensively the last time we stayed at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. Our verdict remains similar; the views, incredible. The gargantuan free-standing bathtub facing the Central Harbourfront, spectacular. (On the night of our stay, we were treated to a front-row view of The Grounds’ showing of ‘Indiana Jones’.) The only foreseeable downside is the atypical layout of the suite; the boxed-in bedroom wedged in-between the bathroom and living areas could be a turn-off for those who prefer waking up with the sun. For those of us who enjoy a black-out slumbering experience, no complaints.
Stocked upon the double-sided vanities are Mandarin Oriental’s grounding commitment to phasing out single use plastic; the toiletries are now all proudly paper- or wood-based.
We’re feeling peckish. What’s on the menu?
While the rotating menu at The Mandarin Club and its endless supply of treats and eats offer a truly scrumptious dining experience, you’d be remiss for skipping out on the other recipients of the renovation programme: Man Wah and the all-new The Aubrey. We started our evening at The Aubrey with cocktails — we opted for the Archer’s Rokh and Endgame — before fluttering across the elevator bank to the newly-revamped Man Wah, where an off-menu tasting of fine Cantonese comforts awaited. The braised pork belly, served against slices of taro atop a candle-lit bowl that kept the meaty slivers bubbling was a delicious highlight.
So in a nutshell: Worth a splurge?
Definitely; especially for those who plan on working hard whilst playing hard. Rates for the ‘Club Escape’ package start at HK$5,880. If you want to get nitty-gritty with the numbers, a night in the Statue Square View Room will run approximately HK$3,600. And this is without club access or the other fun perks of the staycation package. This 2.2k difference in price runs a wide berth — with access to The Mandarin Club (which also means access to all-day dining), complimentary cocktails at The Aubrey, an off-menu tasting at Man Wah and a late 6pm check-out. Take heed through; this offer is only valid until 30 June, so plan sooner rather than later.