Sporting all of the five-star services of a large luxury hotel, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental manages to feel both intimate and well equipped, thanks to high-end dining, a seductive bar and a massive day spa spread over two levels.
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Welcome tea and late check-out until 4pm. BlackSmiths also get breakfast; SilverSmiths and GoldSmiths get breakfast and WiFi
Midday; check-in, 2pm. Late check-out up to 6pm is charged at a half-day rate; it's the full nightly rate beyond that.
Double rooms from $631.84 (HK$4,900), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (HKD5,390.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Breakfast is not included.
Spread over two levels, the spa sports a well-stocked gym, Pilates and yoga rooms, hammam, sauna, vitality pools and a Bastien Gonzalez mani/pedi bar. Massages, facials and pampering treatments are doled out in the day spa.
At the hotel
Spa, sauna, steam room, gym, WiFi throughout (HK$160 for 24 hours), free valet parking. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock, minibar, Apivita toiletries (Jo Malone products for top-tier rooms).
Our favourite rooms
The L600 Deluxe rooms are the most popular option, featuring a sitting room, king-size bedroom and a central bathroom with sumptuous circular spa bath.
The indoor heated swimming pool in the spa is more for lapping than lounging.
Tod's for shopping trips, Louboutins for after-dark. Save room in your luggage for stocking up on designer booty in the Landmark mall.
Go suited and booted in Amber, and smart casual in the MO Bar.
Toting two Michelin stars, Amber restaurant is a chic, gold-hued space with modern French cuisine from chef Richard Ekkebus. Express lunches are popular with the office crowd, and evening degustations are designed to wow. Signature tastes include foie gras and raspberry lollipops, pork belly with girolles, and chocolate soufflé with cacao sorbet.
A favourite haunt for expats and ladies who lunch, the marble-lined MO Bar offers all-day drinking and dining. Sip on a single-malt, tuck into the top-rated beef burger, or indulge in afternoon tea with a twist. Live music acts have included one-off sessions with Annie Lennox, and DJs spin tunes from Wednesday to Saturday night.
Amber calls last orders at 10.30pm, and MO Bar wraps things up at 11pm.
Order salads, pastas, sandwiches and burgers around the clock.
Hong Kong is one of Asia’s busiest hubs. Most of the world’s major airlines fly to Hong Kong International Airport (www.hongkongairport.com) weekly, if not daily, and it regularly tops the charts in the ‘world’s best airport’ awards. Once you have landed, zoom into the city on the Airport Express (www.mtr.com.hk) train service – it takes about half an hour.
Arrive by train from the mainland and capture some of the romance of bygone travel. The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC; www.kcrc.com) runs regular trains into and out of Hong Kong, as well as around the New Territories. Excellent in both value and efficiency, the MTR (www.mtr.com.hk) subway system is a great way to zip back and forth between Kowloon, Central and Causeway Bay.
Renting a car is largely unnecessary thanks to efficient public transport and a glut of affordable taxis. Moreover, roads are frequently clogged with traffic and the one-way systems can be intimidatingly labyrinthine to the uninititated. If you do decide to drive, free valet parking is available at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Measuring a mammoth 25,000 square feet, the huge spa houses a Pilates studio, streamlined yoga room, high-tech gym, luxury nail bar and a petite indoor pool on one level. On the floor above, there's relaxation lounges, vitality pools, an amethyst steam room, Roman laconium, Turkish hammam, Moroccan rasul and sleek treatment rooms.
Fashionistas in search of luxury brands should head to Landmark, the elite mall downstairs. If you only have time for one shop, go to the militantly on-trend Lane Crawford outlet in the IFC mall.
For the best views of the city, get thee to the top of the Peak. Sporty types can hike to the summit, but if you'd rather save your energy, board the Peak Tram for the mind-bendingly steep ascent.
Italian cravings are best sated at Lupa, Mario Batali's dashing outpost in Central, in the LHT Tower. Dine on steaks in the masculine dining room, or order woodfired pizzas and Campari out on the terrace.
French fancies are the order of the day at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, nearby in the Landmark's ultra-luxe shopping centre. Cantonese delicacies, including to-die-for roast goose, are dished up at Yung Kee on Wellington Street, a short stroll away.
Get your dumpling fix at Tim Ho Wan – the setting in Hong Kong train station ain't great, but the baked pork buns are worth the dodgy locale. For the same Michelin-starred fare in more authentic surrounds, visit the original store in Mong Kok, but be prepared to queue up to four hours.
See and be seen at Sevva, a ravishing rooftop bar in the Princes Building on Chater Road. Book one of the cushioned couches in advance, or sip cool cocktails at one of the stand-up tables. The skyline view is almost as distracting as that of the beautiful people.
Who knew Hong Kong had a surf scene? Chilling out for a few days at a friend’s house in Big Wave Bay, a forest-fringed village on Hong Kong Island’s south-east coast, I’m in danger of becoming too laid-back to tackle Asia’s manic-paced metropolis. Birdsong wakes me at dawn, breakfast beckons by the beach, and local dudes hang out at surf shacks waxing their boards. The only thing spoiling this Bondi-esque idyll is the lack of, well, big waves. Apparently, they only really get surf-worthy in a typhoon…
For serious water action, though, it’s hard to beat my bath at the glassily-glam Landmark Mandarin Oriental. After relocating from my rustic outpost to this super-chic scenestealer in Central, I’m upgraded to a spacious L600 Deluxe room. The fragrant orchid, seductive mood lighting and gold-leaf embellished chocolate and raspberry welcome treat gets my vote, but it’s the huge circular tub that drops my jaw. It’s tempting to skateboard around its voluptuous curves, but instead I flick the blinds shut (skyscraper neighbours be gone!) and sink into my scented power tub, channelling Al Pacino in Scarface.
Floating in my indulgent urban lagoon, anointed with Sodashi balms, I feel fleetingly guilty; Mr Smith, the bath fetishist in our household, can’t join me on this trip. He’d be frolicking here for hours like a merry porpoise, emerging from the bubbles just long enough to gaze out at the bathroom’s wall-mounted flatscreen TV. Perhaps it’s a good thing; I’d need to call security to evict him at check-out, as there’s no way he’d leave this blissful watering-hole of his own accord.
With its racy mix of high-rise architecture, jungle flora and ocean panoramas, Hong Kong is the tropical love child of New York and Rio de Janeiro. Capturing the NY side perfectly is the hotel’s ground-floor MO Bar, a sultry spot lit by a glowing red letter O. Sporting illuminated glass, grainy marble and leather banquettes, it’s a clubby space at night, when a gal pal joins me for drinks. My Rose Petal concoction – Belvedere vodka with lychee liqueur, rose syrup and fresh lychees – is pretty, perfumed and potent.
Ravishing rooftop bar Sevva, perched on the 25th floor of the nearby Prince’s Building, is our next port of call, boasting a heady cocktail of heavenly harbour views set off by the nightly colour-morphing light show playing across the city skyline. The Pink Grapefruit and Ginseng Cosmopolitan is no slouch either. We wrap up at speakeasy the 001 bar, secreted behind a black door on Graham Street (officially 97 Wellington Street), where I savour the finest Earl Grey Martini known to humanity, served by the coolest female bartender in town.
Good morning dragonfruit, ciao congee! After an impressive east-west breakfast buffet at the MO Bar the next day, a dreamy date with the Landmark’s Oriental Spa awaits. Swooned over by sybarites, it’s famous for its Bastien Gonzalez mani-pedis, but I opt for the signature Oriental Essence massage. A rose tea gets things off to a soothing start, before I’m led into a serene sanctuary of lapping water, low lights and luxe limestone.
Amazingly, I have the main spa zone to myself, so I alternate aquatic pampering with relaxation sessions on the hot, Roman-inspired mosaic Tepidarium Chairs. My routine goes like this (then press repeat): dry out in the Laconium, a silvery-tiled sauna with twinkling stars above; warm up in the Amethyst Crystal Steam Room; then soak in the Experience Showers. One is a heated red-lit tropical rain shower with fragrant body jets; the other a gushing cold shower illuminated in blue, where a minty-fresh mist shocks me out of my comfort-coma. There’s even an Ice Fountain if you really want to mix pleasure and pain. Next up is the refreshing Vitality Pool, where I cling to my semi-submerged recliner as it’s blasted with bubbles (cue flashbacks to the sinking scene in epic movie Titanic, when Rose hangs onto the piano while Jack is sluiced below the waves).
Squeezing into tiny, disposable pants, I’m ready for my Oriental Essence massage, a sinuous one-hour session of Chinese pressure point work, Thai manipulation and deep-tissue delving. The room is dark; the scent of mandarin, ginger and frankincense oil intoxicating. Lulled by tranquil music, I could easily nod off, were it not for the bizarre gurgling of my errant stomach. I blame chi energy release, but the breakfast bonanza can’t get off Scott-free. I’m woken with reviving eucalyptus, a chiming bell and cool foot towel, before being ushered into a recovery zone with loungers, chill-out tunes and ginger tea (this spa totally nails the multi-sensory mood). A few laps of the crisp indoor pool later, scoping skyscrapers as I swim, and I’m up for lunch.
Ah, Hong Kong, I’ll always have Amber. To stay at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental and not hit the spa would be careless; to miss out on a meal at its two-Michelin-starred modern French fine diner would be madness. A sophisticated space helmed by chef Richard Ekkebus, it’s renowned for its evening degustation menus, dotted with adventurous dishes such as Hokkaido sea urchin. A little local bird has told me about its express lunches, though, popular with execs and well-heeled families, so I book a table for one. The service is impeccable and the staff goes the extra mile to make me feel comfortable.
Sipping on an amber bellini, I kick off my three-course set menu with a starter of Amberjack, raw tuna marinated in gooseberry, green vegetable gazpacho and jalapeno chilli. For my main I can’t choose between line-caught John Dory and purple artichokes, so the waiter plies me with taster plates of both. Lychee sorbet with white chocolate ganache, berries, macaroon fragments and violets follows. If only Mr Smith were here to help polish off the house-made chocolates which appear as a final surprise.
Shopping is massive in Hong Kong, and the hotel is ideally located for label-lovers on Queen’s Road Central, slap on top of the prestigious Landmark mall. Working off my feast by exercising my credit card, I ogle contemporary homewares at department store Lane Crawford. For more alternative thrills, I take the alfresco Central-Mid-Levels Escalator to Hollywood Road fleamarket, which touts Mao figurines and retro Shanghai film posters. PMQ, the recently revamped former Police Married Quarters building at 35 Aberdeen Street, is a stroll away, now filled with quirky fashion, design and vintage stores. I meet mates for juices at Jason Atherton’s buzzy restaurant the Aberdeen Street Social, before walking to elegant watering-hole Duddell’s, above Shanghai Tang’s flagship fashion boutique, for a Herbalist Mojito on the foliage-filled terrace. There’s just time to cruise the Pedder Building’s art hotspots, including Chinese powerhouse Pearl Lam Galleries, before check-out.
Poised between ultra-luxe and cutting-edge, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental is perfect for discovering Hong Kong’s inner-city charms. If you can bear to leave the bath...
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s Guestbook below.
The circular bath, plenty of fluffy towels, complimentary Birthday Cake, gorgeous spa area, location, excellent staff who remembered our names. Recommend Sky 100 on a clear day, strolling around the great shops in the Hollywood Rd area.
Free internet or breakfast (unless you have a package deal) which is disappointing for an expensive 6 star boutique hotel in a country where the internet is not expensive.
Stayed on 1 May 2016
The fantastic Mandarin Oriental service and super convenient location; oh, and the enormous bath!
A sleep-in past 10am on the 15th floor while renovations are underway on level 16 (Not for much longer though!)
Stayed on 31 Dec 2015
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