“You can’t choose where you come from,” my grandmother, born in Kansas, used to say. And like my granny, origin, or location, in the case of the Landmark, is the property’s only drawback. Not a downfall, but more of a blemish on otherwise porcelain skin.
Primarily a leisure, lifestyle, all-out chic city hotel, you’re in for a treat if you’re booked in here for a few days. The staff are switched on and cool, the guests are relaxed and hip, the facilities are state of the art, and there’s a nice mix of in-house guests and locals coming and going. It ain’t Kansas, for sure.
For the property is situated within the most beautiful shopping mall in Central, directly in town, but has no views over what is the city’s main visual attraction – Victoria Harbour. Yet connected by skywalks and walkways to some great restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and stores; you never need to leave. And you might not want to, depending on the weather or the day of the week.
Rooms come XL here, a luxury in Hong Kong. It’s easy to choose the one you want: there are L 450s (450 ft²/ 42 m²), L600s (600 ft²/ 56 m²), and then suites which are L900s (ditto the equation), a Presidential and, soon, the crowning glory, the Entertainment Suite. All are geared to the art of enjoying life in salubrious style. The maxi bars in each and every category are cutting edge; the rooms all have suite-like spaces with sofas to unwind and host friends or colleagues; and the necessary things: like blinds, a/c, lighting, technology and bedding. All are top notch. Enjoy the decadence, including the enormous bathrooms.
A word of praise goes out to the staff here who made an impression. I left wanting more of them, to chat more, to learn about their lives. Some went to schools where my kids and their friends do, or did (Switzerland); some had such a sense of humour they just made you laugh or smile over coffee and croissants; and some were just happy to engage and chat about their day, their role, and the property in general. Professional and smart to the nth degree, when I left, I felt I was leaving friends behind. Hats off to Mandarin.
- Daily breakfast for two
- To be taken in the restaurant
- Room upgrade at time of booking
- Subject to availability and maximum upgrade level of accommodation applies
- Hotel credit
- US$100 or equivalent to be used in the restaurant, bar or Spa (not valid for Bastien Gonzalez treatments) one credit per stay
- Early check-in / Late check-out
- Subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Exclusive benefits may vary by hotel or hotel group. Exclusive benefits apply when booking the Best Available Rate and are not combinable with any hotel offers or special packages unless stated.
- Detailed Review +
- Facts & Amenities +
A Blacklane driver met me at the airport, where my bags took two hours to be delivered off the aircraft. I expected him to have fled when I finally reached the exit, but he hadn’t, for which I was grateful. The hotel’s about a forty-five minute drive from the airport, so upon arrival, I was tired. When I saw my room, however, I perked up. The huge, round marble bathtub beckoned, so I turned on the taps and padded over to the refreshment station (so large it cannot be called a mini bar) and helped myself to a small bottle of champagne. The bar had glasses of all sizes and shapes for four; how civilized.
Rooms and suites
The rooms are the hotel’s strongest suit, in so many ways. Designed by Joyce Wang and starting at 42 m², they are big. Recently redone (March 2017), they are fresh and modern, cosy and truly sumptuous. Views are of an atrium or nearby city buildings, but you don’t stay here for the vistas.
Stars of the show, the beds are made to resemble first class airline cabins in that the headboard is curved, so it’s roundish in design: cosseting and cosy. At your fingertips, on either side, are all the appropriate controls, with one softly lit button to turn on a night light in case you need to get up (or search for your phone). There’s also a complete blackout switch, which I didn’t use as I was scared of never waking up again; the beds are heavenly to sleep in, and since it was so serene and quiet in the room I could have slept on and on.
Actually what I would consider a junior suite, the L600 Premier was very, very comfortable. A sofa, coffee table and the bar set-up meant I could have entertained here easily and gracefully. There was also a desk near the door, which I used to dump all my shopping bags after trawling the mall downstairs. There were, after all, brands from all over the world I never get a chance to dip into outside of Asia and the Middle East.
Everything electronic in the room was the latest in speed and connectivity, and the TV and sound system, what they call the “customer-centric in-room entertainment”, was the very latest out there today.
Bathrooms are glass enclosed, from every which way. The views over the city and shopping mall are great, but can be blocked out with electronic shades in an instant. Two, in fact. One to block the sights and a second to block out any light at all. The glass between the bedroom and the bathroom can also be covered.
Dual vanities, and oodles of space make this a lovely room, but the spa-like marble bathtub in the center is really something fabulous. There are decadent bath treatments you can order and enjoy when the mood arises, great for those who don’t feel like going down to the spa. You just need to give the staff an hour’s notice to prepare it all – it’s that special – morning, noon or night. There is, of course, a separate shower and WC.
Amenities are from Sodashi; Jo Malone in the suites.
I dined, on a whim, at Amber. I was lucky to get a table in this beautiful and elegant venue; I was soon to discover just why. Without a doubt, this was hands down the best meal I had in Hong Kong, and the price for a two-star Michelin restaurant with wonderful service that’s timed and orchestrated like a symphony at the Barbican, was, dare I say, a bargain.
I went for the weekend wine lunch, where each course was paired with a different vintage, selected to accompany your chosen dish. Every plate was a work of art, a discovery. With two sommeliers on hand, they had a bit of time to spare and I enjoyed chatting with them about the wines they selected (old world, all) and the industry as a whole in China. After several dishes and a few bites here and there of the fabulous desserts and petit fours, I didn’t leave feeling overfed. That’s a good thing, and not something you expect to happen, which is why I often shy away from Michelin starred restaurants.
Breakfast is also served here, as well as in the MO Bar on the street level. The bar is a convivial place, which is open morning to night for something to eat and a drink or two. It’s quite loud in the evenings with the after-work crowd piling in, so if you’re looking to have a quiet tête-à-tête, come later when it’s just a pleasure to be here and enjoy the ambiance.
Other restaurant options
Other than Amber and its very fine, French contemporary cuisine, the MO Bar serves breakfast lunch, tea and dinner. Menus include tapas and standard favourites like burgers, as well as some more creative choices. But these two venues are your only choices as far as wining and dining at the hotel goes. Luckily, in the near vicinity within the mall and all around you are many restaurants, including some of the city’s finest.
Spa and wellness
Head to the gym, where you’ll be intrigued by some of the new-wave equipment that’s here, including a super-duper spinning bike which looked like fun, as well as the latest in Life Fitness machines and assorted weights and pulleys. You may spend more time here than you planned.
According to the trainer I spoke with, “Weightlifting can get boring and repetitive; Intelligent Movement, sort of like dancing with weights, is where’s it’s at right now.” And it’s so popular that here at the gym, you have to book your session in advance.
There’s other functional exercise moves taught here too, including ones geared specifically to strengthen your core, targeted to your sport of choice. So, if you’re an avid golfer, there’s specific moves for you. The same goes for a hiker, swimmer, and even a couch potato.
The spa, like all MO spas, is impressive and renowned as one of the best in Asia. Natura Bissé and Aromatherapy Associates products are used. Depending on how much time you have (fifteen minutes to the whole day), you’ll no doubt enjoy spending time here. There are even Moroccan hammams, separate for men and women, lovely places to unwind after a hard day on the town.
Pool and beach
The pool reminded me of the one in the Mandarin Oriental in New York City, long and thin, in a great space. At 18 metres, it’s perfect for laps. Wheelchair accessible, it’s kept clean with bromide, so there’s no smell of chlorine in the vicinity. Guests can come anytime and even enjoy a snack and a juice poolside.
Amber has a kids’ menu which looked good, but this is not a children’s hotel or venue. But if you are here with the family, babysitting and other baby related needs can be easily organised.
Staff and service
In keeping with the hotel’s style, the staff here appear more laid back and ‘with it’ than those at other hotels in the city. It’s visibly noticeable. But make no mistake, they’re right on the ball, alert and efficient at all times. I spent some time chatting with a front desk staff member who was interested to hear where I was from and how I came to be staying here. He later came up to Amber where I was dining to give me his card, in case I needed anything while I was in town, he said. It’s that kind of service that makes a place stand out. Kudos to them.
The Landmark attracts a younger crowd than sister property the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. There’s a mixture of business and leisure guests, both local and international. Designers, celebs and the best in class are all found milling about here.
As I was headed to the sister property, the much larger and much more stated Mandarin Oriental, the clerk at the desk suggested I walk over through the mall. “But there’s no need to go outside,” he quickly clarified, when I looked a little daunted at the suggestion of a stroll in the midday sun. “We’re interconnected through the mall so just follow the signs,” he added. How my bags got there, I never knew. I wasn’t really worried.
How to get there
45 minutes by road transfer from Hong Kong International Airport
113 Rooms & Suites