Return of a Classic

The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has wrapped up $140 million in renovations designed to provide travelers with refreshed and expanded rooms, as well as upscale spa and dining choices. The spa's "Oriental Harmony" treatment

The hotel, which opened in 1963, had been closed for nine months this year for extensive renovations, and reopened on September 28—a date selected as auspicious, based on the advice of the hotel's feng shui master.

Each of the hotel's 502 rooms and suites was furnished and decorated individually. In addition, rooms gained space with the enclosure of the balconies; this change also enabled the designer to completely rework the space.

Rooms have been furnished with an interactive entertainment system, DVD player, wireless Internet access, two telephone lines and an iPod docking station, as well as fruit and flowers. Bedding includes linen sheets and goose down pillows, as well as designer products in the bath. Additionally, multilingual butlers serve every floor.

"When the hotel first opened its doors in 1963, it was sleek, modern and dramatic for its day, with a marvelous sense of luxury," explains Jeffrey Wilkes of Lim Teo & Wilkes Design Works, the projects interior designer. "Over its lifetime, the hotel has established itself at the forefront of legendary service." The makeover, he continues, celebrates the hotel's past, while taking it into the future.

A doorman at the newly reopened Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Each of the hotel's 68 suites is different, and most have views over VictoriaHarbour. The Presidential suite, for example, has had its master bedroom and main bath increased in size to incorporate a bath tub with views on one side of the cityscape. The suite also includes spa amenities for couples.

In addition, a new suite will open later this year that will be dedicated to the memory of Patrick Lichfield, a noted photographer who also was a regular hotel guest and the person behind the lens for the group's award-winning advertising campaign. The design of the suite, reflective of Lichfield's eclectic style, is being created by Nicky Haslam.

A key element of the hotel's upgrades is the new Mandarin Spa and Wellness Centre. Scheduled to reopen officially on October 23, the 22,500-square-foot spa spans three floors and incorporates the hotel's existing swimming pool and fitness center. It was designed to evoke the style of 1930s Shanghai, and will blend traditional Chinese therapies into treatments. It will offer eight private treatment areas, including two couples' suites, each with a private steam shower and tub. The spa also will include a beauty salon. The hotel's traditional barber shop remains on the second floor, but its space has been doubled and it is increasing its lifestyle treatments for men.

The hotel will have nine restaurants and bars, representing a mix of new and returning venues. New to the hotel is Pierre, a restaurant on the hotel's 25th floor with views of VictoriaHarbour, serving the three-star Michelin creations of Pierre Gagnaire. The Mandarin Grill and Bar returns, combining contemporary design with its club-like traditions. Also returning are Man Wah, the hotel's namesake restaurant, the Chinnery, the Captain's Bar and the Clipper Lounge.

An insider's tip for clients is to book the hotel's "Harbour Room" category, because of the increase in room size and the views of VictoriaHarbour. These rooms even come with a set of binoculars for an up-close view of the bustling harbor. Rack rate starts at $530.

The hotel is marking its reopening with a "Celebration" package that includes fresh flowers on arrival, a bottle of pink champagne, chocolates made at the hotel's Mandarin Cake Shop, a three-course dinner at the Mandarin Grill and breakfast at the Café Causette or Clipper Lounge. Through October 1, 2007 it starts at HKD 6,000 per night (about $772).

Call 800-526-6566, e-mail mohkg-reservations@mohg.com or visit www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong. The agent liaison for the hotel is Vanessa Williams, director of sales and marketing, at vwilliams@mohg.com.