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

A Sweet Ending at Gordon Ramsay’s – The London

The London in Los Angeles is home to     Michelin-rated Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant.  After a satisfying three course meal, we gazed at the dessert menu and opted for the pink lady apple tarte tartin. It’s one of their “serves two” sweet treats. Two plates arrived in a luscious brown butter caramel sauce, bathed softly in cooked apples on top of a chewy pastry crust. The vanilla bean ice cream accompanied this heavenly goody.

A great dessert to keep the memory of The London with you when you return home is the French Macaroons “To Go” package. These colorful sweet confectionary treats arrive in a tidy package. Since these meringue cookies are so light and airy, the luscious chocolate, almond and pistachio filling gives it a burst of sensuous flavors.

1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood (310)358-7788.