Finding Something?

A Look Inside Hong Kong Island’s Grand Dame – Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Can service excellence be maintained in the midst of global expansion?

It was a Monday, right after Mid-Autumn Festival when I arrived back in Hong Kong. The whole city seemed busier than usual, traffic was horrid, and everyone seemed to have a stressed look painted on their faces – almost as if lamenting their imminent return to real life after the holiday festivities.

Meanwhile, people at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s flagship property at 5 Connaught Road, Central seemed to be whistling to a different tune, as the doorman chirpily chimed in, “Welcome home to the Mandarin Oriental, Sir.” As I stepped foot onto the unassuming driveway of the 1960s landmark, all feelings of tension started to dissipate. The doorman’s greeting started to make sense. That sense of tranquility that enveloped the property made me feel as though I was indeed coming home.

That sense of tranquility that enveloped the property made me feel as though I was indeed coming home.

Everyone in Hong Kong knows “The Mandarin”. After all, it has been setting the standard for five-star hotels in the country for the past five decades. Everything – from its opulent marble receiving hall, Michelin-starred restaurants, well-equipped hotel amenities, and 24-hour butler service all the way down to its little details in-room – are nothing short of splendid. When you think of Cantonese food par excellence, Man Wah is one of the institutions that come top of mind. When you need to sleep like a baby, all of their rooms would do, since rooms and suites alike boast of Egyptian cotton duvets. The Mandarin reinvented the traditional, and, in the process, created classics.

But one cannot help but think, “Can service excellence be maintained in the midst of global expansion?” Finding the answer lies in looking back at how the brand started.

The Mandarin reinvented the traditional, and, in the process, created classics.

The Mandarin has always been about being that home away from home for locals and international visitors alike. Every moment matters in creating that experience. Upon entering the property’s double-door entrance, the guest relations officer standing by the lobby immediately attends to your needs. Nothing you ask for is too much. You never feel as though there are at most 500 other guests being served alongside you. Upon taking a glimpse at its amenities, you will see how every nook and cranny is tailor-fitted to serve every demanding guest’s demands. You will feel as though you never left the comfort of your own home. Upon exploring its food and beverage options, you will notice that every dish is made with the best available ingredients, but, more than anything else, reminds you of Ah Ma’s cooking.

Whilst lounging at the Clipper Lounge with a cup of Taste of the Legend, I came to realize one thing about The Mandarin: its steady growth cannot be attributed to one factor. It is a careful balance of a lot of factors, really. But, it may all be because it has stayed true to its vision through the years – and that is to treat everyone like family.


Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Some suites at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong features a stand-alone oval vintage bathtub overlooking the city or the harbor.
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
A sweet welcome at the Taipan Room at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The beautifully-designed keycard at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Mandarin Orietal Hong Kong
The Taipan Room at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong evokes an old-world glamor. A reminder of the city’s colonial past.
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The beautiful birdcage-inspired lanterns at Man Wah – Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s One-Michelin Star Cantonese Restaurant
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The bedroom of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s Macau Suite – The suite pays homage to a colonial Portuguese home.
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The Macau Suite fuses Eastern and Western design aesthetics – typical of a colonial home.

Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

William @ Passport Out

William is the Editor-in-Chief of The Passport Out.

29 Comments
  1. David Matheson

    February 14, 2018 2:06 am

    I don’t really comment out here much but damn this article is beautiful!
    I often just eat at MO HK but those photos make me want to try checking-in too. Awesome looking rooms.

  2. CK Leung

    February 14, 2018 2:08 am

    mandarin oriental hk is like wine – gets more beautiful as it ages

  3. James

    February 14, 2018 2:11 am

    I miss man wah’s crispy peking duck and sweet sour pork…

  4. Carine

    February 14, 2018 2:13 am

    seriously the most beautiful post about mandarin oriental hong kong that ive seen ever 😍

  5. Ryan Cheung

    February 14, 2018 2:15 am

    PLEASE DO A REVIEW NEXT TIME

  6. Sarah

    February 14, 2018 2:17 am

    That bathroom…oh god 😍😍😍

  7. MaxThunderer

    February 14, 2018 2:20 am

    i am a hong kong newbie and have always been intimidated to enter mandarin oriental. now this post makes me want to visit more. especially that restaurant that resembles old shanghai. thanks for this passport out

  8. Hikaru

    February 14, 2018 2:22 am

    私はそのホテルに今月末の一週間滞在する。

  9. Dane

    February 14, 2018 2:25 am

    Looks like a room for a vip very nice. Very fit for you

  10. Emma

    February 14, 2018 2:27 am

    thats a really beautiful suite

  11. J Marie

    February 14, 2018 7:56 am

    Hands down, my choice all the time. Your article strengthens my belief, Bravo MO HK! Bravo Passportout!

  12. Mik Matthews

    February 14, 2018 12:49 pm

    I stay here everytime i’m in hong kong. Never disappoints.
    – a drink at captains bar every after work
    – dinner at pierre
    – immaculate views of the city
    doesnt compare to the new ones sprouting

  13. Lei KM

    February 14, 2018 12:53 pm

    I’m a hong kong local but its a family favorite. We come here for birthdays, events, and my mother goes here for afternoon tea. It’s like old hong kong.

  14. Norman

    February 14, 2018 12:54 pm

    superbe write up and great eye for photos

  15. Kier

    February 14, 2018 5:29 pm

    I’m no expert but I think that’s the best in the island.

  16. Andrew Hill

    February 15, 2018 1:45 pm

    What camera do you use?

  17. Davina Tsui

    February 16, 2018 1:43 pm

    Like the design of the bathroom, chic yet classy! Did you try the afternoon tea at Clipper Lounge as well? xx

  18. Charles

    February 16, 2018 1:47 pm

    I stayed there in 1975 as a kid. The area by the window used to be a balcony.

  19. Tony Louis

    February 16, 2018 1:56 pm

    1st… Hi Passport Out.. This is pure class we love it….Thanks for sharing, We love your Instagram style, you greatly inspire us.. Sending you all our love and happiness from London Enfield UK xxx

  20. Silvio

    February 16, 2018 6:14 pm

    This article is very luxurious . Something I will try next time. i also love the landmark mandarin. great article. greetings from italy!

  21. Sabine Chung

    February 18, 2018 6:39 pm

    your photos are always on point

  22. Michael

    February 18, 2018 6:40 pm

    This must have been an expensive post he he he

  23. wendy

    February 18, 2018 6:43 pm

    i love the new feel of your website! congratulations friends! :*

  24. Kenneth Wong

    February 18, 2018 8:10 pm

    Beautiful images as always

  25. David

    February 18, 2018 8:21 pm

    i really like the write up and that hotel…wow. i need to try it when im in hong kong next time

  26. A. Fong

    February 18, 2018 8:29 pm

    I remember spending afternoons here as a child. Id go with my grandmother on the second floor overlooking everything. This article reminds me of childhood.

  27. @jennaclaire1

    February 20, 2018 11:17 am

    stayed with family back in november! my favorite in hong kong so far

  28. Milan

    February 26, 2018 6:01 am

    Thanks so much for the post. Awesome.

  29. Kenneth Koh

    March 7, 2018 2:57 pm

    that macau suite is something…somewhere id totally stay in. like a dignitary’s home. beautiful article.

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