#TravelTuesday: The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
There are several good reasons to stay at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. First there's the location, smack in the centre of the swish Central district with all the designer stores and renowned restaurants you could wish for on your doorstep. That's as well as the hotel's own, two Michelin starred, Amber restaurant. Then there's the gorgeous Oriental Spa that must be one of the world's most enticing city spas. And of course the boutique size that allows for a more personal service.
Now there's yet another reason: As the hotel hits the 10-year mark, The Landmark has become even more desirable with redesigned guest rooms and suites by Hong Kong interior designer Joyce Wang. The award-winning Wang also created the stunning interiors at modern Chinese restaurant, Mott 32 — a dumpling's throw from The Landmark — and a contemporary chandelier for Swarovski shown this year at Hong Kong's Art Central fair.
With its central location, The Landmark has always had to work hard at keeping the focus inside the rooms rather than out. The new look is softer with the feel of those stylish apartments in glamorous 1930s films, all sexy curves and sleek lines. A mod take on Art Deco details are dotted throughout from the cabinets and side tables to the light shades and the glass doors that separate the bathroom from the bedroom.
Above all, it's warm and inviting like your own home, or how you would wish your home to be. There's a distinctly cocooning feel thanks to the calming earthy colours and liberal use of sumptuous fabrics — velvet, silk and buttery soft leather that make the sofas and armchairs cry out to be sunk into. Hand-painted silk wall coverings and hand woven rugs add to the deluxe cosiness — the latter with intriguing prints inspired by the exotic skins of luxury handbags (think crocodile Hermes Birkins).
The suites with their entrance halls, living rooms and dining nooks feel especially apartment-like. Adding to the residential feel is a maxi (rather than mini) bar, containing large size bottles and a range of glassware encouraging you to mix your own cocktails.
More amusing touches include a chic vitrine cooler which Wang describes as a jewellery box. Rather than jewels, delectable treats made by executive chef Richard Ekkebus and his team at Amber are placed in them daily — taking room service to a whole new level. And the curved bed headboards are reminiscent of flatbed dividers in the premium classes on planes — complete with adjustable reading light.
Wisely, the decadently large bathrooms at the heart of the rooms with their showstopping circular tubs have been kept as they were. Thankfully, though the confusing multiple blinds system has been replaced by simpler sheers and drapes, still operated by the touch of a button. Overall, the result is a very stylish sanctuary at the heart of Hong Kong — one that any weary traveller would want to come home to.
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About Gillian Rhys
Gillian is a lifestyle journalist who left London for Hong Kong and now lives in Singapore. She writes for CNN Travel, Robb Report Singapore, Centurion, Departures and the South China Morning Post. She is also the editor of the LUXE City Guides Singapore and chopstixandthecity.com. Prior to moving to Asia, she was an editor at several magazines in London including BBC's Eve and Delicious UK and has written for the London Evening Standard, Financial Times' How to Spend it and The Sunday Times' Style supplement. Follow her on Twitter @Gillian.Rhys.