Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The New Mandarin Club

We were excited to check out the new Mandarin Club facility in its first month of operation during our weekend staycation at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. With almost all the luxury hotels in town offering executive lounge facilities as one of the options for their guests, it’s about time they followed suit, converting what used to be the conference rooms on the high floors into an exclusive space where guests could rest, had a drinks and some simple food, or work in a more relaxed environment.

First thing that impressed me was how spacious the place looked as I walked out of the elevator and was greeted by one of their staff at the entrance, who also helped me with the early check-in. Got our keys straight away but we stayed around for a glass of champagne before heading down to our room – good to start our staycation on a high note with great view on the high floor facing the Statue Square. 

Later in the afternoon we headed back up to the lounge when afternoon tea was served at the dining area round the corner – despite the weekends being popular with staycation goers, it’s not as crowded as I expected and I love the ambiance. Food was served at the buffet station towards the back of the floor – no fancy silver tray as one would expect at their café downstairs, but nonetheless they got a nice selection of hot and cold, savory and sweet food items, all nicely laid out. My favorites were the scones, warm and fluffy with the hotel’s famous rose petal jam and clotted cream – perfect with my cup of tea (at least it's still served in the hotel's signature Bernardaud chinaware)

In the evening, canapes were served along with a nice selection of wines and liquors. They have just extended their opening hours from 6 to 10pm a few days ago because of the relaxation of government regulations so we were lucky to be able to stick around longer. I was tempted to go through every whisky bottles that they showcased in the cart they put next to the bar area, but at the end I think I stopped at having sip from half of the bottles they have. It would be even nicer if they could offer more selection of condiments and mixers for a wider cocktail options than the likes of highballs and G&Ts, but then maybe I was asking too much. 

We were offered 4 different options in terms of breakfast venue but we decided to eat at The Mandarin Club rather than the restaurants downstairs or went for in-room dining. Again, food was served buffet style but this time, they did have a noodle and egg station on the side which offers dishes cooked to order. The selection was not as wide as those at the Clippers Lounge downstairs (which was one of my favorite breakfast venue in town, by the way), but then it’s much more enjoyable with the cozy and more exclusive space. Well, my only pet peeve was apparently no alcohol drinks were available at breakfast – I asked for a mimosa without a blink as I was seated and was told that wouldn't be available in the morning. Oh well, I guess it’s just orange juice for me then, for a change. 

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