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How was it? Mandarin Oriental, Macau 

Big city ambience? Check. Tastefully luxe rooms? Check. Stylish restaurants? But of course. To paraphrase the slogan, we’re fans.




Less than 1 minute Minutes




Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 25 Apr 2024, 5:52 pm

At a glance

  • 213 guest rooms, ranging from deluxe city rooms to a presidential suite
  • Restaurant, bar, lobby lounge, vegetarian friendly 
  • Gym, spa, outdoor pool
  • Spectacular views of Nam Van Lake
  • Connected to the One Central shopping mall
  • Free wifi
  • Accessible rooms

First impressions?

Excellent. We must have been greeted half a dozen times in the three seconds it took us to stride from the main door to the marble reception desk. Iced tea was proffered with smiles and bows. 

The first thing you notice is the natural light spilling through the enormous, double height windows, and a general air of serenity. No cacophonous tour groups here. Off to the side is a hushed lobby lounge in fashionable taupe, green and gold, and beyond that a discreet entrance to the swanky One Central mall that in turn connects to MGM Macau.

Lovely. No problems at check in presumably?

Good heavens no. Porters were vying to relieve us of our one overnight bag as a genial young butler named Joyce leapt out from behind the reception desk to escort us to our 22nd floor eyrie. She gave us a full tour of the room’s features, all while making charming conversation about the hotel and Macao itself.

Who stays here?

The place screams “affluent independent traveller” and “top level road warrior.” It also attracts a well-heeled staycay crowd every time there are fireworks, because the view is unbeatable.

Let’s cut to the chase. What’s the room like?

We were in a deluxe lake view room. The word for it is thoughtful, with a design that makes it seem bigger than its already generous 43 square metres. Woody and beige tones predominate, fittings are plush, and a roomy vestibule to the side of the entrance makes for a handy place to drop your bags and kick off your shoes. It leads to a spacious bathroom that features a walk-in shower and decently deep bathtub with views of Macau Tower. Amenities are by the trendy Barcelona beauty brand Natura Bissé.

The room itself features a good-sized working desk, more than enough sockets for your devices, as well as a wireless charging pad on the nightstand. Blackout drapes close at the touch of a button. When you rise, make yourself a coffee with the Nespresso machine, switch on the enormous HD television for the latest news, or unroll the Manduka yoga mat provided and start the day right.

Nice. Please tell us the bed doesn’t let the side down.

It was one of the best hotel beds we’ve ever slept in (and we’ve tried many, at all price points, believe me). Just the right degree of firmness, properly king sized, with goose-down bedding. If you don’t get a solid night’s sleep in this sumptuous cocoon, there’s no saving you.

What about the little touches?

Where do we begin? We arrived to find fruit, coconut pastries and an enormous slab of white chocolate waiting for us. When we returned to the room that night, we saw that the attendant had been for turn-down service and evidently noticed our laptop on the desk. Next to it, she or he had left a neatly folded, lint-free screen cleaning cloth. They had also spotted our copy of D.H. Lawrence’s Selected Essays on the nightstand and carefully put an ornate tasselled bookmark on top of it.

Naturally there were more chocolates, and by the bed a small bag of goodies that included an eye mask and a quartz face roller. Additional points for the glass carafes of drinking water in the room. Not a nasty single-use plastic bottle in sight.

You must have checked out the restaurants.

Of course – and as vegetarians, we breathed big sighs of relief to see plenty of plant-based options (and plant milk) on the menu, which is not always a sure thing in Macao. 

The buffet breakfast at the Vida Rica Restaurant has everything you would expect and is big enough to impress but doesn’t overwhelm. On another morning, we tried the very good set breakfasts in the lobby lounge and happened to mention to our server, Rufus, that we were big fans of the cranberry cookies that are served with the coffee. He disappeared into the kitchen and returned with a plateful of them.

The Vida Rica Bar meanwhile serves terrific pizza. Bar manager Stefano is a natural host and remembered our drink order from a brief, single visit three months previously. Room service, too, is hard to fault. When we dialled up to order a Caesar salad, the order taker was already aware that we were vegetarian and offered to remove the anchovies and bacon sprinkles before we could even utter the words.

Hopefully you were able to work off some of those calories?

The gym has everything you need, including a couple of those great stretch machines that look like luxe versions of medieval torture racks. An outdoor infinity pool is the perfect backdrop for all your Instagram snaps and features a giant illuminated hashtag reading “#ImAfan,” which of course we are.

What’s the neighbourhood like?

You’re on the edge of downtown, which is a good place to be. The lake is right next to the hotel if you need to escape the hustle and bustle with a waterfront stroll, but at the same time you’re within walking distance of many of the major office buildings. The Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal is a 5-minute taxi ride away, the airport about 12 minutes and Macao Port – where you can get buses to Hong Kong – about 15 minutes.

This isn’t the first Mandarin Oriental, Macau, right?

Correct. The “old Mandarin” as taxi drivers still call it, opened close to the ferry pier in 1984, and the place holds a lot of memories for many Macao and Hong Kong residents. The property was initially called the Excelsior, then Mandarin Oriental, then the Grand Lapa. The Mandarin Oriental Group managed it until 2014, when the Artyzen Hospitality Group took it over. It’s still a great hotel – but that’s a different review.

Your parting shot. This hotel in a sentence?

“At this elegantly run property, the Mandarin Oriental brand stamps its professionalism (and exceedingly good taste) on downtown Macao with quiet authority.” How’s that?

Address: Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen 945, Macao
Phone number: (853) 8805 8888
Email: [email protected]

UPDATED: 25 Apr 2024, 5:52 pm

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