Creating a sense of home away from home should be the goal of any hotel in the world, yet only a small percentage of them actually manage to achieve it.
And of the select few, the Mandarin Oriental Macau definitely outshines the rest.
Alec and I have stayed at this property several times in the last 4 years and the Mandarin in Macau definitely holds a piece of our hearts. Not only is it a stunning estate with impeccable decor and an intricacy of decadent details, it’s the people that work there that make it what it is.
Here’s a little anecdote from my last trip: while we are running errands through the hustle and bustle of Central Hong Kong, we call the Mandarin concierge to let them know we’ll be in Macau early in the afternoon.
A couple hours and ferry ride through the South China Sea later, we are in our beloved little country.
Francis is just behind the exit of the customs line, waiting for us at the Macau ferry terminal. We didn’t ask him to come. He just thought it would be a nice gesture and came over with a driver and a private car to escort us to the Mandarin.
After a quick ride along the Outer Harbor, passing by the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf and the beautiful Science Center, our car stops in front of the sleek, modern facade of the Mandarin Oriental. The elegance and abundance one can find inside are well represented by the flawless exterior.
The staff is lined up in front of the majestic entrance. A big, collective smile greets us: “Welcome back Mr. and Mrs.Torelli”! And just before I even get through the doorstep, Sofia, the restaurant manager, melts my heart: “Mrs.Torelli, our chef baked some fresh gluten free bread for you. Do you want us to send it to your room?”
I am speechless. How can they remember!?
I know we stayed there many times before, but recalling the names, preferences and special food requests of all of your customers is pretty impressive. Only later do I learn they keep all of our history on file for future use.
We get settled in our beautiful room. Magnificent and minimalist and the same time. The glass walls fill the space with light and our eyes with wonder. I can never get tired of staring at the beautiful bay and the gigantic bridge that connects Macau and Taipa. Over the years I have probably gazed at that view for a few hundred hours.
But now it’s time to go downstairs. Our table at “Vida Rica” is ready and I don’t want to let my gluten free bread wait.
The menu is sophisticated but real. Vida Rica, besides being a very refined restaurant that bets everything on quality and service, is not one of those places where they give you tiny bits of molecular food of which you can’t even catch the taste.
Every dish here has a rich body and well distinct personality.And one can’t help but fall in love with their opulent dishes styled to perfection, just like their signature salad “My Garden in Your Plate”.
The chefs are well versed in any style of food: from Western to traditional Sichuan. And because of the care they put into everything they do, they manage to succeed at it all, from delivering what my husband has determined to be “the best burger in the world” to making incredible vegetable curry (with coconut milk on request) just like this one I ordered, whose creamy deliciousness is simply unforgettable.
While our teapots keep on getting refilled with our favorite “Monkey Pick Oolong Tea” and we chat with the lovely staff, we lose sense of time. The sun sets over the bay and draws back the curtain over a new stage: it’s time for the night light show.
We head out on the One Central boardwalk, where the casino skyline fringes on the shores of Lago Van Nam Lake and reflects in its waters.From the technicolor performance of the Grand Lisboa to the immaculate show of the Encore and the Wynn, the sky is fired up with colors. Ending piece of this glimmering prospect is the Mandarin skyscraper, that stands there tall like a sail scattered with luminous beams.
I look at it and I still can’t believe I can call this place home for a while. I walk back inside. Soon it’s time for the epic Mandarin breakfast buffet. And someone will have to spread some homemade passion fruit jam over that gluten free toast.