Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong Turns 50

IMG_3252In 1963 a new type of hotel was built in Hong Kong. It was 26 stories tall and offered 650 guest rooms. Best of all, it offered stunning views of one of the world’s most exotic harbors.

Fifty years later, the General Manager, Jonas Schuermann and Director of Communications of the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and the lovely Nina Colls, invited a group of people to attend a luncheon at Spago’s Beverly Hills to learn how the hotel will be celebrating its 50th Birthday.

While nibbling on slices of Spago’s signature house-cured salmon pizza with dill creme fraiche and slices of chicken, caramelized sweet corn and roasted peppers pizza, we learned that the hotel is still 26 stories tall, yet they now have 3 Mandarin properties in Hong Kong. The flagship hotel, overlooks Victoria Harbour and is a forty minute drive from the airport.

In 2005, the hotel spent $150 million to renovate its 501 guestrooms, 10 restaurants, and numerous public spaces, as well as to construct the Mandarin Spa. Now there are 71 individually-designed suites and 430 guest rooms with either exciting city or lovely harbor views.

When our second course at Spago’s arrived, Jonas told us about the ten restaurants and bars at the Mandarin Oriental. Jonas has been working at the property for 24 years. He loves the property so much, that he resides there with his two poodle.

Culinary Options

There are two Michelin starred restaurants from legendary French chef Pierre Gagnaire at Pierre and Mandarin Grill +Bar serving classic grill dishes and seafood.

Alaskan Halibut at Spagos

Alaskan Halibut at Spagos 

At Man Wah they serve Cantonese dishes. Krug champagne is served with tasting menus at The Krug Room. During 2013, Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky will offer exciting adaptations of 1960s’ dishes with a 21st century twist in the exclusive Krug Room. He has created the “Fruit Loops 2013,” Julia Childs-inspired “Beef Bourguignon”, “Baked Alaska” and “Ich bin ein Berliner”.

When the spectacular Alaskan Halibut arrived at my table setting at Spago’s, it was served on a bed of sweet corn, braised pancetta, maitake mushrooms and mushroom nag. Nina Colls sitting nearby shared with the table the Mandarin Oriental’s Spa and Wellness facilities.

Ahhh, the Spa

The multi-level retreat offers 8 treatment rooms. There are two couples suites with private steam showers and a jucuzzi. Treatments at the Spa range from around the world to traditional Chinese Medicine. For those who enjoy a gym, there is a 24-hour fitness center with Hong Kong’s first Kinesis studio. Guests who enjoy swimming laps, can in the indoor pool. There is a salon for hair styling, manicures and pedicures. Men may go to the Mandarin barber for traditional male grooming.

IMG_3253As we were finishing our lunch with a refreshing sorbet and berry plate, Jonas said, “80% of Hong Kong is green.” That surprised many of us. We all picture the harbor with a multitude of high-rise buildings dotting the landscape. “There are hiking, biking and walking trails throughout the International Cosmopolitan City,” he said.

Fantastic and 50

Guests staying at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong during the 50th Anniversary will be met on arrival at the airplane and escorted to one of the luxurious Oriental Suites. This special package includes

This special package will include many of the 1963 highlights, offering guests the ultimate 50th celebratory stay. Included in the package are:

–       Two nights in the Oriental Suite

–       Airport transfers

–       “Meet & Greet” service

–       A welcome bottle of chilled champagne

–       One Champagne Breakfast for two, served in the privacy of your own suite

–       Special 1963 dinner menu, with a 21st century twist for two at the Mandarin Grill + Bar

–       Golden Sparkling body spa treatment for two

–       1963 Port Flight for two in The Chinnery

–       Two keepsake silver tankards engraved with your initials

–       Breakfast for two at Clipper Lounge the following day

This special two nights’ package will be available between 1 September and 29 December 2013, with rates starting from HKD19,888 for the first night and HKD9,888 for the second night, for a minimum of two nights. This offer is subject to availability. For further information click here.

For further information or bookings, please call +852 2522 0111, email: mohkg-reservations@mohg.com or visit our website: http://www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong

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The Mandarin Oriental visits SoHo WH

I was invited to a luncheon yesterday to learn about the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. To my surprise the venue was at the member-only SoHo House in West Hollywood on Sunset Blvd.

Originally founded in London in 1995, SoHo House opened on Sunset Blvd. in 2010, occupying the top two floors of a 14 story high-rise at Doheny Drive.  As a guest, I was directed to the elevator by the hostess in the valet parking garage. Once I arrived on the club floor, another hostess led me to The Club Room. Views of the Sunset Tower building and multi-million dollar estates greeted me.

The guest of honor was Mr. Jonas Schuermann, GM of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. He enlightened all of us about the history of the second oldest hotel in Hong Kong and peaked my interest about the upcoming 50th year anniversary celebration.

The award-winning luxury Mandarin Oriental opened its doors in 1963. Overlooking the breathtaking Victoria Harbor, the 5-star hotel offers 430 guest rooms and world class restaurants. Three of the restaurants are Michelin star, with the French chef Pierre Gagnaire at Pierre earning two Michelin stars. “These ten restaurants and bars see 1900 people a day,” shared Schuermann.

The hotel will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary throughout 2013, with a big celebration during the Chinese New Year starting on Feb. 10th , 2013. “During our anniversary we will have Dining Safaris where guests can enjoy a progressive dinner at our Michelin star restaurants,” enthused Schuermann.

Schuermann has lived in an apartment in the hotel with his two toy poodles for over 10 years. When the hotel closed in 2006 for its $160,000,000 renovation, Schuermann kept every staff member on the payroll. “I wanted to have the consist superior customer service that our clients appreciate at Mandarin Oriental,” shared Schuermann over Market Vegetable salads with grilled shrimp, flavorful pasta plates and savory grilled chicken.

“The United States is our number one market,” stated Schuermann. The staff and amenities  at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong creates a traveling experience that leaves guests wanting to come back again.

Even though it is one of the finest hotels in Hong Kong, the Mandarin Oriental appeals to families. Each child under 12-years receives a welcome gift. Guests with a baby will receive a crib and baby amenity kit. Strollers, high chairs, baby bathtubs and milk bottle warmers are provided. Babysitting is available for parents to enjoy one of the fine dining restaurants.  Special children’s menus for smaller appetites are available with coloring books and pens. For children missing their X-Box or favorite DVD, the staff is happy to supply those and a multitude of board games.

If you have plans to visit Asia soon, look into the Mandarin Oriental. It appeals to all ages and invigorates all your senses.  To learn more go to http://www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong/hotel/hotel-information/