Hong Kong Island’s classic hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, was the city’s tallest building (with 26 stories) when it opened in 1963. It’s now dwarfed by the vertical tangle of skyscrapers that surround the hotel, but it’s still the island’s grand dame hotel. We appreciate everything about the storied Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, but here are the things we love most:
1. The rooms. Every room in the modernist tower that houses the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel has an incredible view and plenty of space to spread out. The in-room technology and sound systems are supported by the hotel’s IT butlers, which means you’ll be able to watch, listen or connect just about anything without a glitch.
2. The history. Even though the hotel feels new — it was most recently renovated in 2006 — it has maintained a sense of its early-'60s history, from the classic Mandarin Barber shop to the well-maintained, rich and luxurious original design. But in fact, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2013, making it the longest-established hotel in Hong Kong.
3. The spa. The Mandarin Spa is an alluring, '30s-era Shanghai-inspired space where the doting staff is devoted to wellness and relaxation. Do yourself a favor and book an evening massage — the spa stays open late, until 11 p.m. most nights.
4. The Mandarin Cake Shop. Hong Kong is a city devoted to its afternoon teacakes and pastries — you’ll find cake shops all over the city — but The Mandarin Cake Shop is the most special. Here, the tiny cakes are individual works of art and come in an array of flavors, from blueberry cheesecake to the classic opera cake. You can also order fresh roasted coffee or rich hot chocolate to enjoy at one of the counter spaces in this jewel box of a shop.
5. The bars. All three bars at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong are hubs of conversation and liveliness. Join the after-work crowds for a cold beer served in a chilled silver mug at Captain’s Bar, or put on your most stylish attire and head to the roof-level M bar, with its list of creative cocktails. The Chinnery, the hotel’s pub, is an intimate spot that serves more than 120 kinds of whiskeys.