Travel

Review: Mandarin Oriental Macau

Over the weekend, we were on a Cathay Pacific flight heading to Hong Kong. We already had our reservation plans set, so I was excited to see a Mandarin Oriental commercial full of celebrities endorsing the brand. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know who the half of them were, and I was a little peeved since I just wanted to watch my movie. Regardless, I’m a fan of…paid celebrity endorsement.

Macau has quite a few opulent casino hotels to choose from but, we wanted something a bit more understated, plus we got a good deal with American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program, so we opted for the Mandarin Oriental.

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Check-in

We arrived super late like 12-1 am late. The check-in process was quick and pleasant. The front desk agent greeted us and explained our FH&R benefits along with the hotel’s offerings. We received a one category upgrade to a room with a premium view facing Macau Tower.

Rimi’s side: First, it was 11-12 am late. Second, I agree, the check-in process was delightful. Especially after taking the wrong shuttle bus and getting lost inside the humongous Wynn hotel! For those who are planning to take a shuttle from the ferry terminal, choose the one that goes to the MGM. The MGM is the closest hotel to Mandarin Oriental Macau, and these two properties are connected, so you don’t have to walk outside in the humid weather!

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MGM to M.O. connecting area

The Room

Normally, I’m not a fan of wood anything unless it’s flooring, but I did like the room we received. The guest room had a good layout, enough space for our luggage, immaculately clean (I know this because I bring my own blacklight) and had a great view of Macau Tower. There’s seating near the window with a small plate of bananas, grapes and a few citrus fruits so you can enjoy the view while you fend off scurvy and keep your potassium levels up. There was a coffee maker above the mini bar and two bottles of a grapefruit welcome drink. I enjoyed the drink; however, Rimi did not. On the desk, there were two raspberry financiers as a small welcome gift for being members of their loyalty program, “Fans of M.O.”. The bathroom was a decent size, it has a separate stall for the toilet (which is a must for me), and there’s a tub with the same Macau tower view. I made sure to take a bath and soak everything in (pun intended) at least once. Overall, it was a great room for two people. I wasn’t blown away, but I had zero complaints.

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Night view of Macau tower
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Welcome chocolate and financier

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Room amenities

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Macau Tower view from the tub

The Details

What made the room and the service special were the small details. After a day of sightseeing, heat, and humidity we eagerly returned to a refreshed (and nicely chilled) room. I noticed that housekeeping left a Mandarin Oriental branded eyeglass cleaning cloth next to my glasses. Housekeeping also cable managed my iPhone and computer wires as well with a Mandarin Oriental branded velcro strap. Good job M.O.

Breakfast

Breakfast was served at the hotel’s only restaurant, Vida Rica. It was a buffet spread of Western and Chinese offerings. There’s a small selection; from dim sum to hash browns, a variety of pastries and bread to choose from with a made to order egg station and noodle bar in the back. I enjoyed the breakfast. The décor was nice, and it wasn’t crowded while we were there. There were some slight hiccups in service; wrong coffee order and an overly chatty staff (this is just my preference, let me eat dude). Minor hiccups, but nothing major.

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Breakfast restaurant entrance

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Rimi’s side: I loved that they changed their dim sum menu each day! It’s hard to say it was a wide range of choices, but everything there was delicious. If you are a noodle lover, I highly recommend their noodle bar; the wanton bounces inside your mouth and the soup broth –not too meaty, not too salty, not too bland– perfectly harmonizes with the 4 different types of noodles they offer.

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The Pool

The Mandarin Oriental has an infinity pool overlooking the Nam Van Lake. It was a beautiful view! During the hot days, it was an excellent way to cool off and relax. There’s also a jacuzzi and smaller kid’s pool as well. The pool grounds were clean and well maintained. The pool was great, and it was only made better by the outstanding service. The pool staff was very attentive, being one step ahead of our needs whether it was sunscreen, drinks or offering us little fruit on a stick while we were poolside. Everyone we interacted with was kind and genuine. The experience and service received at the pool made me a Fan of M.O!

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Jacuzzi next to the pool
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Pool cabanas!

The male locker room has a wet and dry sauna, two standard shower rooms and what I believe is a tropical shower room equipped with body jets that eject tropical scented soap, multi-colored lights and a cold mists spray setting. I do not fully know what it was, but I loved it.

Rimi’s side: I wouldn’t call the view beautiful. The closer you get to the edge of the pool wall you will see a barren bus depot which was a very different sight from the rest of Macau. However, the service provided at the poolside was near to perfect and made me feel genuinely comfortable hanging out.

Room Service

Room service is one of my guilty pleasures when traveling. It is basically hotel takeout at “Are they serious?” prices, but I love it regardless. After visiting some local restaurants, we decided to see if anything on the in-room dining menu looked interesting. We settle on a few back-home comforts; pizza and a Wagyu beef cheeseburger (Judge me), and we tried a local hot & sour soup with Portuguese chili oil. Oh, and Caesar salad to make it healthy (with upselling). We were able to place our order easily with the in-room dining staff; they gave us a time our food should arrive, and it did arrive punctually without a minute to spare. Impressive! The pizza was meh (I’m from New York) and you couldn’t pay me to eat that soup, but the salad was good, and the cheeseburger was amazing. So amazing in fact that we ordered another the next night.

Rimi’s side: The only downside of in-room dining was the constant upselling of other menu items! They tried to make our simple dinner into a 6-course meal. If someone asks you about your unordered soup, salad or dessert tell them NO! Anyway, I LOVED THAT BURGER!!

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Room service is here!

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Checkout

Unfortunately, checkout was the only blemish on an otherwise fantastic stay. It was pouring rain when we checked out, so we asked reception for a taxi. She called the concierge and told us there might be a wait due to the rain, which was understandable, and to wait in the lobby lounge and she will come to get us when our taxi arrived. We went to the lobby lounge to have a cup of coffee and waited, and waited, and waited. About an hour and a half later we go to inquire about the taxi since no one came to get or update us. The receptionist who helped us was busy assisting other guests, so we decided to go the concierge ourselves to call a taxi which arrived 5 mins later. I’m not sure if she forgot about us or that the taxi that arrived was the original one that she requested, but I believe someone should have come over to inform us of what was going on, even just telling us they are still waiting for the cab to arrive.

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Latte and iced chocolate from the lobby lounge

With that being said, checkout did not sour our experience, and we would without a doubt stay at this hotel again. We’re fans of great staff, cheeseburgers, infinity pools and tropical showers. We’re fans of Mandarin Oriental Macau.

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