Review: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Room Type
Harbour View Room
February 2023

Situated in the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is among the most sought-after luxury hotels in the city.

This would be my first-ever stay at a Mandarin Oriental hotel, and it was only fitting for it to take place at the brand’s first and flagship hotel. What’s more, I was delighted to share the experience with my parents, who joined me for the night on a trip coming down from Beijing.

In This Post

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Booking

On average, the room rates for the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong fall around 4,000–5,000 HKD ($680–850 CAD) for a standard room. However, I was fortunate to secure a favourable travel agent rate for my stay.

If you’re considering a stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, you should know about Mandarin Oriental Fan Club, a preferred partner program that provides a suite of extra benefits for your stay at no additional cost.

Some of the benefits include $100 (USD) food & beverage or spa credit per room per stay, daily full breakfast for two, complimentary high-speed internet access, personalized welcome amenities and note, and a one-category room upgrade, subject to availability at the time of check-in.

All in all, you’ll pay the same as the public flexible rate, but you get more benefits by booking through Mandarin Oriental Fan Club.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Location

The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is smack dab in the middle of the bustling Central district, right at the heart of Hong Kong’s financial centre. However, it shouldn’t be confused with The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, which lies just a few minutes to the south and is a newer “boutique designer” hotel.

When the hotel opened in 1963, it used to be right up against the harbour of Hong Kong Island, and it was the tallest building in the area at the time. However, over the years, the island has expanded with reclaimed land, and new skyscrapers have popped up all around the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.

Despite this, the hotel still holds a special place in Hong Kong’s history, despite its more relatively subdued presence today compared to 60 years ago.

If you’re keen to explore some of the city’s top attractions, the Mandarin Oriental is ideal for meandering around. City Hall and the Hong Kong Observation Wheel are just a quick 10-minute walk away, while the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is within a leisurely 25-minute stroll.

Moreover, you can hop on over to the Star Ferry, which is just a 10-minute journey north. From here, it’s a quick ride to the Hong Kong Museum of Art across the harbour.

Getting around the rest of Hong Kong is also a breeze, thanks to the hotel’s prime location right outside the exit of the Central MTR station.

If you’re coming from Hong Kong International Airport, taking the Airport Express train to Hong Kong Station is your best bet, and then it’s a quick journey of less than 10 minutes to get to the hotel.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Check-in

Upon arriving at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, the hotel has a rather modest glass and cement façade, which blends in among the other buildings in the area.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Exterior

The hotel’s main entrance faces Connaught Road on the north side of the building, although there’s another pedestrian entrance on the south side on Chater Road as well. 

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Entrance

As I entered the hotel, the staff warmly greeted me and promptly escorted me to the spacious and grandiose lobby.

With soaring ceilings, dazzling chandeliers, and a harmonious blend of deep reds and golds, the lobby pays homage to Mandarin Oriental’s Chinese roots. However, a clever interplay of bold floor patterns, rich colours, and textures imbues the space with a contemporary, eclectic feel.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Lobby lounge

I took note of the elaborate fan display here, which is a staple of every Mandarin Oriental property around the world. 

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Fan display

Vibrant plush couches and armchairs were dotted around, and a luxurious piano was being actively played, unlike many high-end hotel pianos that only serve as ornamental centrepieces.

To the right of the lobby, the check-in desks were located in a separate room. Here, an associate confirmed my stay in the Harbour View Room, one of the hotel’s entry-level rooms with a favourable view.

After providing additional information about the hotel’s dining venues and facilities, the associate handed me my keys, and I proceeded to make my way over to the elevators and up to my room.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room

Upon entering the room, I was greeted with a well-defined foyer that leads to the bedroom.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room foyer

The aesthetic has subtle modern touches but was largely understated, with subdued beige walls, carpeting, and wooden accents.

Continuing further into the bedroom, I came upon a set of twin beds positioned directly side by side. The beds are dressed up with two stuffed bunnies, which added a playful touch.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room bedroom
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room beds

On the opposite wall of the bed is a large armoire with a flat-screen TV. Set atop was a generous and thoughtful welcome amenity that included pastries, chocolate, and fresh juice.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room welcome gifts

Towards the far end of the room, our Harbour View Room had a nice little nook, where the daybed could be turned into a sofa bed. Since we were staying as a family of three, the sofa bed had been prepared beforehand in time for our arrival.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room daybed area

Additionally, the curtains here could be drawn, separating the two spaces. This was particularly useful on this stay, as I could get some work done in the night while my parents rested.

The desk served well as a workspace, with ample natural light filtering through the windows.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room desk & armchair

To the left of the foyer, there’s a closet that provides ample storage space; meanwhile, to the right is the bathroom, a standout feature of the room.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room bathroom

The bathroom had a unique layout, with the sink and vanity placed in the centre of the room, with the bathtub to one side and the shower and toilet to the other. The vanity mirror could then be rotated to be used from either side.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room vanity

There’s an opulent white marble bathtub, where a blind can be opened or closed for privacy, contrasting nicely against the dark marble that decorated the rest of the bathroom.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room bathtub
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room shower & toilet

The black and white contrast of the bathroom creates a striking visual effect. What’s more, the bath amenities at the hotel are supplied by Diptyque, adding to the high-end experience.

It’s worth noting that the standard rooms at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong are available with either twin beds or a king bed, and is otherwise identical in layout. 

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room with king bed

The hotel is a square-shaped building that boasts four views for its entry-level room type: south, west (City View), east (Statue Square view), and north (Harbour View), in rising order.

Here in the Harbour View Room, we enjoyed sweeping northerly views across Victoria Harbour and a direct view of the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, though not quite from as high of a vantage point as some of the newer hotels on Hong Kong Island.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room view
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Room view

This particular room was one of the newer ones in the hotel, while other rooms may feature a more traditional design.

However, it’s evident that even the relatively newer rooms are now appearing slightly dated and could benefit from a refresh, which I hear is likely to take place in the near future. 

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Superior Room

The Superior Room is the hotel’s south-facing base-level room category. Here, you’ll notice a traditional style, such as floral carpets and the use of rich, dark red woods.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Superior Room bedroom
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Superior Room beds

There’s a cozy armchair nestled in the corner, while the spacious desk area features both an ergonomic and regular chair.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Superior Room desk & armchair

Opposite the beds, an armoire houses a wall-mounted television.

The bathroom complements the bedroom, incorporating classic elements such as dark red wood and black granite countertops. Here, a spacious marble bathtub and shower are positioned within a single wet room.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Superior Room bathroom

As for views, the Superior Room doesn’t have too much to offer as the lowest room type, overlooking the bustling streets of Central and the Prince’s Building across the street.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Suite

The Harbour View Suite, spanning an impressive 775 square feet, retains the hotel’s old-school charm with a traditional jade-green finish and red lacquer and copper touches.

The suite offers a spacious separate living area, furnished with a large couch, armchair, and a flat-screen TV. Positioned by the window, a desk with a regular chair and an ergonomic desk provide a comfortable workspace.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Suite living room
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Suite desk & armchair

The bedroom is sophisticated, with a traditional deep red accent wall and dark wood highlights. Additionally, the king bed is set with numerous decorative pillows.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Suite bedroom

The bathroom is also quite impressive, boasting a large freestanding bathtub situated in the middle of the space, which offers breathtaking views of the city as you unwind.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Harbour View Suite bathroom

Of course, you’ll also be able to take in the Victoria Harbour and city skyline from the Harbour View Suite.

Lastly, the suites at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong come with Club Lounge access, providing complimentary refreshments and snacks throughout the day.

While the hotel’s history and iconic status are certainly impressive, I’d say that the rooms’ interior décor isn’t currently at the forefront of the hotel’s appeal, and could definitely benefit from any upcoming refurbishments that may be planned.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Club

As part of my stay, I enjoyed access to The Mandarin Club, the hotel’s executive lounge on the 23rd floor.

The newly renovated space boasts an exquisite sleek design, complete with a stunning shattered floor effect.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Club entrance

Upon entry is a reception area, where an associate will confirm access to the lounge. Guests who book a club room or suite have access to The Mandarin Club; otherwise, access may also be purchased as a supplement to a regular room rate, based on availability. 

The dining area is impressive, and features plush furnishings in shades of pink, purple, and magenta. The separate seating areas are thoughtfully arranged by the windows, offering panoramic views.

Hopefully, this newly renovated style is a tasteful preview of what we might expect to see from the hotel’s rooms during the next round of renovations. 

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Club seating
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Club seating
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Club seating

The Mandarin Club offers a variety of dining options, including a breakfast buffet, afternoon tea, and evening hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. During our visit, the breakfast buffet was laid out nicely on a middle island.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Club breakfast buffet

If you have a sweet tooth, there are ample sweets and pastries to indulge in.

For those who prefer something savoury, there are potato cakes, grilled tomatoes, bacon, and sausage.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, yogurt and cereal are also available.

Lastly, for something a little more filling, you can head to the made-to-order noodle bar. Otherwise, hot items include stir fry green beans and stir-fry noodles.

We also stopped by later on to check out the evening spread. Macarons, sweets, and pastries were on offer, along with the usual suspects of cold cuts and cheese and smoked salmon.

Then there was a selection of Asian hot items, as well as some healthy tidbits consisting of dried fruits, dips, and a salad bar.

In terms of beverage offerings, the bar cart boasted a well-stocked assortment of libations, and a refrigerator featured premium options such as Moët & Chandon Champagne.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Club liquor selection
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Club wine selection

We entertained a guest for breakfast at The Mandarin Club, and although the additional access was chargeable at 338 HKD ($58 CAD) + 10% service charge per person, it was well worth the cost given the varied spread on offer.

The same price applies for afternoon tea, while an evening seating costs 698 HKD ($120 CAD) +10% service charge per person.

Beyond The Mandarin Club Lounge, breakfast is served in two venues. The Café Causette serves an à la carte menu, while Clipper Lounge has a breakfast buffet.

Regrettably, I didn’t have a chance to partake in these breakfast offerings during this stay, but I do look forward to the possibility of returning in the future to sample them.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Dining

Despite the hotel’s rather modest external appearance, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong boasts a very comprehensive range of dining venues inside.

Of note is the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Man Wah, situated on the 25th floor. Here, guests can enjoy a refined Cantonese dining experience complete with panoramic views of Victoria Harbour.

The restaurant’s classy Art Deco vibe, featuring deep blue walls and a gold and blue accent carpet, creates a modern and chic luxury look.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Man Wah seating
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Man Wah seating
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Man Wah seating

We had dinner at Man Wah on the evening of our stay, and found the food to be quite tasty. It was perhaps not quite as dazzling as the two-Michelin-starred rating might suggest, though it was definitely priced accordingly. 

On the same floor, The Aubrey is a super-trendy Japanese izakaya with a lively bar that has been recognized as one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. The venue exudes trendy glamour, with a super stylish dining room, plush furnishings, large chandeliers, and lots of greenery.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Aubrey entrance
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Aubrey seating

I didn’t have a chance to spend much time in The Aubrey, but the vibes were veritably buzzing when I poked my head in for a look, and I absolutely intend to come here for a drink in the future even if I’m not staying on the property.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Aubrey bar

If you venture down to the ground floor, you’ll find the Mandarin Grill + Bar, a swanky eatery with a menu full of modern European dishes. Its stunning interior design features sleek and modern décor and creates the perfect setting for a romantic dinner or business lunch.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Mandarin Grill & Bar entrance
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Mandarin Grill & Bar seating
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Mandarin Grill & Bar seating

Also located on the ground level is The Chinnery, a cozy British-style pub that offers a relaxed atmosphere and classic pub fare.

The colonial-inspired décor features dark wood panelling and vintage memorabilia, providing the perfect backdrop for a casual meal or evening drink.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Chinnery seating
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Chinnery

Situated on the ground level is Café Causette, an all-day dining restaurant with a relaxed and contemporary atmosphere.

The large open kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows provide views of the bustling city, while the outdoor terrace offers alfresco dining during warmer months.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Café Causette entrance

The iconic Captain’s Bar, located on the ground floor, is a famous after-work watering hole that has been popular among Hong Kong residents and visitors for over 50 years.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Captain’s Bar entrance

Moreover, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is home to the Krug Room, a fine dining restaurant created in partnership with the famous House of Krug. The space offers the largest collection of Krug Champagne outside of France.

Lastly, the elegant colonial-style Clipper Lounge provides traditional afternoon tea with a Hong Kong twist, light meals, cocktails, and a variety of premium teas and coffees.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Other Facilities

The hotel’s fitness centre is top-notch, with an extensive array of equipment.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Fitness centre

In addition to ample cardio machines, the gym has a comprehensive selection of weight training equipment, including free weights, a Smith machine, a punching bag, and cable machines.

Additionally, there’s a refreshment station and towels provided.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Fitness centre
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Fitness centre

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong offers a wide range of treatments and services in a stylish contemporary setting. The Spa has received numerous awards and accolades and is highly rated as one of the top choices in Asia.

Among the treatments, the facilities at the spa include a sauna, steam room, relaxation room, and water air beds.

Meanwhile, there’s also a swimming pool on the uppermost floor, which is housed in a very small space and isn’t really befitting of the hotel’s overall stature.

An LED screen mimics the harbour view in the absence of any real view, which I found rather comical – although the hotel is ultimately limited by its building in terms of what it can offer here.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Indoor pool

Finally, the hotel offers no shortage of grooming facilities, with both The Mandarin Salon and The Mandarin Barber available for guests to clean up their appearance without having to leave the property.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Salon
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Barber
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – The Mandarin Barber

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Service

Going into my first-ever Mandarin Oriental stay, I had heard great things about the outstanding service I could expect when staying with the brand. How did the service compare against my expectations?

I’m pleased to say that service at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong was indeed very much above and beyond, and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.

Remarkably, there were a few service elements that I would never have thought of myself. For instance, when my parents had arrived at the property before me, the staff welcomed them upstairs to The Mandarin Club and ensured their comfort in the back area of the lounge.

As soon as I arrived to the check-in desk downstairs, the lounge staff offered to move my parents to a prime spot near the entrance so that they could more easily greet me upon my arrival. Furthermore, the staff offered to relocate us to a table with a better view as soon as one became available, and even offered to fetch items from the afternoon tea buffet so that we could fully relax and enjoy our time together.

For me, this type of anticipatory service style – successfully meeting our needs before we’ve even identified them – is a shining example of top-tier hospitality. The attention to detail and thoughtfulness displayed by the staff at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong truly left a lasting impression, and I’ll be looking out to see if it’s a continued pattern at other Mandarin Orientals.


I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to check out the Mandarin Oriental’s original location from its founding in 1963 as my very first stay with the brand.

Despite being far from the flashiest hotel these days and somewhat limited in terms of its physical features, the Mandarin Oriental continues to serve as a very inspired choice as a luxury property in the heart of Hong Kong Island, largely down to the hotel’s historic stature, resulting in a palpable “see and be seen” factor of taking up residence within its halls.

The hotel’s very impressive lineup of food and drink outlets is another factor, including two-Michelin-starred Cantonese fare at Man Wah and an amazing vibe at The Aubrey. The staff’s anticipatory and thoughtful approach to their service was another standout. 

Still, I definitely hope to see the rooms brought up to higher standards with future refurbishments, aligning with the beautiful visuals of the impressive Mandarin Club on the 23rd floor. In a highly competitive market like Hong Kong where it seems like all the top-tier properties are constantly refurbishing, it’s essential for the Mandarin Oriental to surpass expectations on this front in order to remain a top contender.

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