MANDARIN ORIENTAL Hotels nearing perfection in luxury hospitality worldwide
BARCELONA and LAS VEGAS, the latest openings of the Hong Kong based MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL Group have not only set new standards in luxury but have also brought a wealth of innovations, leaving behind competitors such as Four Seasons and Park Hyatt.
The already unsurpassed customer service level of Mandarin Oriental Hotels is brought to a new level by the two new properties. Throughout the hotels, one could not help but notice the genuine warmth of the staff who will go the extra mile to please customers. Of all nationalities and from sometimes very different cultures, the Mandarin Oriental staff could not be more proud of working for Mandarin and this shows ! The reputation built by Mandarin worldwide has had an impact not only on its guests and customers but also hospitality industry professionals. Staff who had worked for more than a decade at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas and are now with Mandarin Oriental could not help but show their enthusiasm in having the privilige to work at the Mandarin Oriental. They have no attitude ! I have encountered in Las Vegas the same warmth as at the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, where I have discovered that Spanish hospitality professionals can be different than all those in other five star Spanish hotels I have previously stayed at.
Being under the same ownership as the neighbouring 4.000 room ARIA HOTEL RESORT & CASINO, the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas will rely even more on its incredible staff to attract luxury hotel staying guests. The reason ? – the owners, MGM Mirage had the uninspiring idea to use the same suppliers for the rooms in both hotels, therefore, except for design features and the valet closet, most of the rooms and suites at ARIA are very similar to the ones at the Mandarin Oriental, thefore placing the differenciation even more on service and quality. Probably the most challenging sales and marketing will be conventions and conferences, as in today’s economic environment most corporations will likely choose a cheaper hotel which offers the same standard of rooms and conference rooms.
The view from the Sky Lobby on the 23rd floor at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas is unique, daytime and night time. The Mandarin is right on Las Vegas Boulevard within a five minute taxi ride from the Bellagion and 10 minutes walk from all major attractions. Another unique feature of the location is the proximity (few steps) toARIA, the latest Hotel Resort and Casino in Vegas and the CRYSTALS luxury mall which houses the new Las Vegas flagship stores of LOUIS VUITTON, GUCCI, PRADA, BVLGARI, FENDI, VERSACE, ROBERTO CAVALLI, TOM FORD, HERMES etc. The Mandarin is 10 minutes from Las Vegas Intl Airport. Take the hotel airport transfer service and you will be swept off your feet by the latest custom made S Klasse Mercedes Benz and the relaxing Mandarin Oriental relaxation music played during your ride.
The main entrance of the hotel is on a lower level, within a courtyard which leads to the main hotel parking and flasghip stores of fashion brands KITON and CAROLINA HERRERA. The original heated black stone umbrellas at the entrance provide such a comfortable pass from your car to the entrance. There are never less than four people at the door, even during the night, not to mention they all greet you by name. I wish the New York Mandarin Oriental, where I had stayed prior to my trip to Vegas, would be able to maintain a similar standard of welcome and greeting. Unfortunately, on my late evening arrival from JFK after a 12 hour flight, there was no-one at the door of the hotel. The one very important factor missing in both Vegas and New York is the original Mandarin scent which is usually flowed through the AC system of the hotels. That is why, you might often smell food (New York) or other newness of construction in Las Vegas, unlike Barcelona or The Landmark where the ”Mandarin scent” can be felt from the street, not to mention throughout the hotel.
The Mandarin Oriental boasts the largest deluxe rooms in Las Vegas and feature the latest in room technology. The all in one environment control (curtains, lights, air conditioning, tv) is impressive and flawless. I have experienced the same service at Mandarin’s Hong Kong flagship property THE LANDMARK. Unfortunately, due to the location within a historical building, it was difficult to implement the same technology in the Barcelona Mandarin. And it is so easy to get use to it and wake up with a pre set environment…. I hope other properties such as Mandarin Oriental New York realize how important it is to implement this latest technology in the rooms, as guests staying at both properties will immediately notice the difference.
The beds at the Las Vegas Mandarin are as comfortable as at THE LANDMARK, MANDARIN ORIENTAL PRAGUE or MANDARIN ORIENTAL MUNICH and more comfortable than the ones at MANDARIN ORIENTAL NEW YORK and MANDARIN ORIENTAL BARCELONA. Beds are not only large but also have a unique feather down layer which makes you feel so warm, cosy and comfortable. I was even thinking to ask the management whether I could buy the pillows and mattress with the down layer… The New York Mandarin does not have the pillow selection of the Las Vegas property, housekeeping needing to make big efforts to accommodate more discerning guests.
Bathrooms are huge and flooded with day light – views are floor to ceiling and a subtle airconditioning system keeps the bathroom warmer than the bedroom. Regular room amenities are by Aromateraphy Associates and BVLGARI in the suites. The bathtubs are very comfortable at both properties and Gilcrest & Soames bath salts are provided daily (very relaxing). The built in mirror TV in Las vegas MO is such a treat, with a full selection of TV stations – make sute you zapp for the 2 heavenly Mandarin Oriental channels which feature the 2 spectacular videos. As it was buily more than 5 years ago, the Mandarin in New York only has an LCD with a limited number of channels and rather poor sound quality. I sure hope, they will improve this during the next renovation and refurbishment. One big plus for the New York MO bathrooms is the Japanese toilets which are available in all suites, while Las Vegas only features them in the signature suites.
The carpets are soft and firm at the same time and most of the floor is made of mohogany wood, adding to the lavishness of the room. Design is spectacular, a blend of modern contemporary with Asian influences – all furnishings are extremely comfortable. This is one of the great similarities with other properties such as the New York Mandarin.
Unfortunately, probably due to the fact they are located within larger office and residential buildings, none of the two properties (New York and Las Vegas) are fully soundproof. In New York I have been woken up by fire sirens while in Las Vegas, during the day, you may hear the loud music played in the open air market in front of the Polo Towers nearby.
Technology wise, both properties are well equipped, Las Vegas having an advantage as its newly built. A business kit is available with adaptors, cables etc. Until they upgrade their internet system, you will most likely experience wi-fi connection problems at the MO in New York, especially due to the poor signal in many rooms and public spaces.
I have been quite disappointed with the SPA at New York, noticing a big difference compared to my previous visit i 2006, when it was all brand new. Besides charging guests for the use of the relaxation pool and saunas, which I find unacceptable, reception service is rushed and impersonal. When I had my treatment, the relaxation area was a mess, with pillows on the floor and unmade beds. I did not know which one I could use. The Swedish massage I had was also average, especially considering the massage beds, which I am sure have not been changed or improved since the opening of the hotel.
As for the SPA at MANDARIN ORIENTAL LAS VEGAS, I could just sum it up as PERFECT ! – spectacular (free of charge use) relaxation pool, impecable treatment rooms, not to mention the service…PERFECT. Be sure to book a Time Ritual treatment which will allow you to have a combination of techniques while paying by duration. My only suggestions for improvement – use the complete line of AROMATERAPHY ASSOCIATES, including candles, instead of the many outdated products of E’SPA. It would be ideal if both New York and Las Vegas could have the same mix of products in the SPA Boutique, not to mention the weird opening hours of the SPA Boutique in New York which needs to be updated.
The New York Mandarin is my favorite for all dining options, from breakfast to lunch and dinner both in venues as well as room service. Quality of food, most of it organic, and service are top notch. I am sure, in time, the Las Vegas Mandarin will reach the same standard. I do understand the reason for implementing a purely a la carte menu for the breakfast, yet the breakfast buffet at the Barcelona Mandarin is heavenly. It is a treat for the eyes as well as taste buds !
Of all the three properties (Barcelona, New York and Las Vegas), the one which stands out is BARCELONA MANDARIN ORIENTAL. Being a smaller property, they are able to offer a more attentive service and whenever you approach the desk whether Luis is on duty or any of his colleagues, you will never see them stressing out while holding for tens of minutes on the phone to book theatre tickets of flights.
”THE BEST CHOICE factor”
Mandarin Oriental BARCELONA is the best luxury hotel in the Spanish city. The property appeals to both those preferring a more classic property and those which go for modern, contemporary.
Mandarin Oriental LAS VEGAS is the best luxury non gaming hotel in the gaming capital of the world.
Mandarin Oriental NEW YORK is the best luxury modern and contemporary hotel in Manhattan.