The history of the world-class Mandarin Oriental hotel dates back to 1958 when the Honourable Hugh Barton, Chairman of the Hong Kong Land Company, dreamt that Hong Kong’s Central district needed a luxury hotel. On 1 September 1963 his dream turned reality when ‘The Mandarin’ (as it was first known) launched with a soft opening. When it launched, the iconic hotel, which comprised 650-rooms and 27-storeys, was the tallest building on Hong Kong Island. It instantly became a historic landmark – a position it continues to hold today.
In 1974 The Oriental Bangkok, already known as one of the world’s most legendary hotels, was partially acquired by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel group. These first two hotels became the luxury chain’s “flagship” hotels. Over next thirty years the Group opened further hotels in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Now known as one of the most elegant and luxurious hotels in the world, the hotel’s Asian heritage and impeccable service can be felt at each Mandarin Oriental worldwide. And far away from Asia in Europe and the Americas, two Mandarin Orientals – one in Milan and the other in New York – continue the brand’s know-how amidst the character of each host city.
Located in Milan’s fashionable Montenapoleone district, the Mandarin Oriental is just a quick walk from La Scala Opera House and the Duomo. It has a discreet entrance just off a charming side street in the stylish Quadrilatero district. You can easily hop out for a quick stroll to some of the most exclusive boutiques and fashion labels.
An exterior view of the Mandarin Oriental Milan
Newly opened in 2015, the hotel occupies four 18-century buildings and boasts interiors that recreate a typical Milanese residence dating to the early 20th century. Soft, pastel coloured walls coupled with simple, Oriental-inspired details reflect back on the hotel’s Far Eastern origins. Italian designs merge with Oriental highlights, with contemporary interiors that echo 1940s Milanese décor – replete with warm, oak wood fittings.
Rooms are situated over five floors, with each furnished in bespoke Italian finishings coupled with natural materials. Colours of plush purple and beige dominate the scene with an abundance of rich velvet and sleek linen curtains. Some rooms even look down onto the hotel’s green inner courtyard – a breathtaking scene in the middle of the city. Other rooms have views of Milan’s historic street and charming rooftops. The spacious Italian marble bathrooms come with glass-fronted rain showers and large bathtubs situated next to the window with a scenic view.
As with any Mandarin Oriental, top-notch offerings include a spa incorporating the five key elements of Feng Shui philosophy and several enticing dining spots such as Seta Restaurant run by award-winning chef Antonio Guida.
Double rooms start from Dhs3,100
With its location at Columbus Circle, Mandarin Oriental New York occupies a central location boasting spectacular views over Central Park. When you check-in on the 35th floor Sky Lobby the bustling world is already far below you. Giant floor-to-ceiling windows take in the scene and look out onto the city and Central Park. You feel almost as if you are in a plane – a luxurious one at that. Design-wise, in line with the Mandarin Oriental name, Asian accents – found through exotic purple and rich gold tones couple with Art Deco chairs and contemporary New York-style finishings – marry the Far East with East Coast America.
Make sure you try a meal at the sleek Asiate restaurant offering cityscape views and a succulent menu filled with delicious treats. A breakfast date here is particularly nice as is dinner where you can watch the city below illuminate with thousands of lights. Don’t miss a treatment at the 14,500-square-foot spa set over two floors overlooking the Hudson River. Be sure to visit the VIP spa suite while you’re there, complete with a fireplace, crystal steam rooms and the Oriental Tea Lounge.
The hotel is composed of 202 guest rooms and 46 suites that come in 11 different styles and sizes. Each one encompasses Oriental accents found through Asian cherry wood furnishings, marble bathrooms and stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll feel as if you are sleeping amidst the clouds. In the Central Park View rooms, Asian art decorates the walls and the windows afford expansive views of the park and the glittering New York skyline – all visible from the comfort and extravagance of your king-sized bed. It doesn’t get much better.
A Plush premier room overlooking Central Park at Mandarin Oriental New York
Double rooms from Dhs2,553 mandarinoriental.com