At first impression, Mandarin Oriental, Macau, looks somewhat dwarfish in proportion to the other never-ending stretch of hotels that dot the Macau skyline. However, what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in style. Blending chic modernity with subtle inspirations from the city’s Portuguese legacy, every nook and corner evokes a unique style, that is no doubt soothing to the thousands of globetrotters who enter its premises.
It is this sense of serenity that pervades to the rooms as well. Thanks to its advantageous waterfront locations, most of the rooms at Mandarin Oriental, Macau, afford views of the bay or the lake. The interiors too are suitably plush with state-of-the-art amenities being enhanced by subtle Oriental design elements. However, it was the personal touches such as a handwritten welcome note, a souvenir bookmark, the refreshing drinks, that really stayed with us.
Personalisation seems to be a key element not just in the rooms, but also in their rightfully acclaimed spa. Awarded by Forbes Travel Guide with a five-star rating for eight consecutive years since 2012, what sets them apart is their plethora of services and bespoke counselling. Upon entering, we were guided to a consultation about what services we would require for alleviating any particular kind of stress. We chose Oriental Essence massage with rose and ylang-ylang oil for a de-stressing experience. As expected, the masseur was skillful enough, but what we appreciated even more was her open communication throughout the process. Guests looking for something steeped in Chinese culture may also choose the Macanese Dragon Experience, a two-hour treatment that combines a stimulating body scrub with lymphatic body massage using “Bao-Ding” meditation balls. For a more Western style of spa experience, choose the two-hour Spices of Portugal treatment that highlights a relaxing head massage using exotic Portuguese spice infusion followed by a gentle cleansing body exfoliation and a soothing hot-stone full body massage with essential oils of ginger, black pepper and rosemary. The spa’s extensive menu has a range of other holistic treatments from deep detox to beauty repairs.
In fact, for guests checking in on 11 December, Mandarin Oriental has a very special spa experience planned, called the Silent Night. As the name suggests, on this one night only, after 5pm there will be no talking and no music within the Group’s spas to instill a sense of peace in the spa users. This initiative aims to promote mental and physical wellness, establishing a healthy and digitally balanced lifestyle for guests.
Suitably pampered, it’s natural for thoughts to turn towards matters more gastronomical. And here too the Mandarin Oriental team far from disappoints. The Painter’s Afternoon Tea at Vida Rica Restaurant and Bar is especially noteworthy for its surprise elements. We won’t spill the beans but expect to have your expectations subverted as your afternoon tea becomes akin to a painter’s canvas, taking you along for an artistic gourmet journey.
For cocktail connoisseurs, meanwhile, the Vida Rica team presents the Movies and Cocktails nights. Inspired by famous local cinematheque movies directed by local talents, the bartenders prepare such filmy concoctions as Tricycle Thief, Gin, Sake, Margarita and Illegalist. Through the artists’ visions, each cocktail becomes more than a drink, as a cinematic story unfolds on scanning the QR code of the bar menu. And as the evening unfolded, with the delicious degustation menu succeeding the carefully crafted cocktails, we fell more in love with the serene ambience that pervades all experiences at the hotel, despite the high number of weekend guests all around. To borrow the hotel group’s tagline then, we’re now fans.
Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay