Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is a top pick of mine for where to stay in Hong Kong with kids (or without). It is actually difficult to put into words how special this luxury hotel is not only to me but to many people who live and work in Hong Kong.
When we lived in Hong Kong, “The Mandarin” was woven into the fabric of our daily lives as a place to shop, dine, grab a drink after work, get a haircut, have a custom suit made, and more. It’s a relationship that isn’t really common where I live in California. People here like hotels, but they aren’t lifestyle spaces as they can be in Hong Kong, where people, due to space constraints and culture, socialize so much outside the home. My husband lived in the hotel for a month before we officially moved there and we stay there for at least part of every return trip.
The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is very much a beloved institution. This is why people traveling to Hong Kong who want to feel a sense of place should absolutely stay here. Let me finish telling you why it is still one of the best hotels in Hong Kong and one of my favorite in the world.
WHAT I LOVE
- Buffet breakfast at The Clipper Lounge
- Harbour view rooms with the enclosed verandah for extra space
- The dishes, office accessories and extra touches in every room that seem to cover what you may have forgotten to pack
- The spa — an excellent place to recover from jet lag
- The Hananese chicken rice and nasi goreng on the room service menu
- Multiple shower heads that wake you up after a long flight
- The Cake Shop
- The five-star service
- FAN Club amenities
GOOD TO KNOW
- Kids 12 years and older pay the adult room price
- Some restaurants have age restrictions and dress codes (no exceptions)
- The indoor pool is small but nice
- Twin beds are quite close together and almost feel like one large king bed
- There are two very different Mandarin Oriental hotels in HK. The other one, which I also love is The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
The Long History: Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is the flagship and first property of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. It was believed that Central Hong Kong needed a luxury hotel with a deeply-rooted Asian influence, and these visionaries could not have been more correct. Dignitaries, royal families, and celebrities have passed through the grand marble lobby over the last 60 years, and it’s still the place to see and be seen.
When we visited during the 50th-anniversary celebrations, I was given these historical photos to use courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.
No expense was spared back then, nor is it now. We were living in Hong Kong when the hotel closed for its massive renovation in 2006. In any other city, something like this wouldn’t be so life-altering. However, this hotel is critical to those who live, work, and play in Central Hong Kong, so the closure was a BIG DEAL. My heart sank when I first heard, but even the Hong Kong Stock Exchange held a two-minute moment of silence on the day that the hotel closed to mourn the temporary loss of their favorite watering hole.
Thankfully, the hotel reopened, having maintained the aspects locals loved while upgrading technology and decor. It was like any good facelift—subtle, modern, and fresh. And it’s recently completed another more minor refresh that includes the addition of a club lounge and
A Central Location that I LOVE
I strongly prefer Central as a base of operation for a Hong Kong vacation for convenience to shopping, the city’s best restaurants, easy public transportation, and more. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, and there are merits to staying over there, too. The pace (albeit still a rapid one) is more my speed in Central.
There is a lot to do within walking distance of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong that I’ve outlined toward the end of this post. The harbour views are spectacular, and I always suggest that people spring for a room with a water view.
As the harbourfront has redeveloped, it’s possible to see the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, traditional red junks sailing, and the daily Symphony of Lights display over Victoria Harbour, where buildings participate in a choreographed light show (kids love this).
Get There Via Airport Meet and Greet Service
When traveling to Hong Kong with kids, it is especially handy to book Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s airport transportation with meet and greet service.
Meet and greet service is available through Hong Kong Airport to anyone who would like extra attention (extra fees apply), but it means will meet you at the gate either on foot if it’s a close gate to customs or with a cart if it’s a gate further away. The walk from the gate to customs is usually quite long, so the ability to ride in a cart is priceless after a long haul flight with kids.
They will drop you off at the customs line, meet you on the other side at baggage claim, assist with baggage collection, and guide you to the hotel car, complete with bottled water and refreshingly cold towels for the 30-40 minute ride to the hotel. When my daughter was younger, the hotel would even have a booster seat in the car at the ready (though ask for this if you need one).
Otherwise, hop on to the Airport Express train for the 21-minute journey to Central. Upon exiting the train, you will see taxi lines. The taxi ride to the hotel is about 5 minutes. You can walk from the Airport Express, but it’s a little tricky, so I would not advise a first-timer to do this, especially with luggage.
State-Of-The-Art, Luxurious Rooms and Suites
We’ve stayed in many room types over the years, but my favorite is the Harbour View room as it has views like this.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong has two styles of rooms: Taipan and Veranda. Both are quite spacious with plenty of storage space and sizable bathrooms.
The Veranda style has an office space that can be closed off (the desk is opposite the small sofa near the window) with curtains and also features neutral colors with hints of blue. The bathroom is sleek black marble (love the double shower heads in all bathrooms) with a television in the swivel mirror. You’ll see this style in Harbour View and Statue Square rooms.
Taipan has more of an Asian feel to it with cherry wood and similar Jim Thompson silk accents.
They’re both fabulous so, in my opinion, don’t fuss about which you get. Both styles of rooms have the same fantastic amenities and are probably the most well-stocked guest rooms and suites I’ve ever stayed in.
The hotel seems to think ahead about anything you might need, from dishware and utensils to my luxe bath amenities. You’ll find a full stash of office supplies, including erasers, staplers, highlighters, rulers, and scissors. And if you forgot to pack any bath amenities, don’t worry. There are loofahs, toothbrushes, razors, and so much more for your use.
Here’s a list of all the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong room and suite types. I recommend booking Harbour View whenever possible though any room is great in this hotel.
- Superior Room (40 sq m/430 sq ft): These entry-level rooms overlook the streets of Central Hong Kong. Available with either a king-size bed or two twin beds.
- Club Superior Room (35 sq m/377 sq ft): This room is a bit smaller than its view counterpart, but guests will have exclusive access to The Mandarin Club.
City View Rooms:
- City View Room (35-40 sq m/375-430 sq ft): These rooms offer a more robust view of the vibrant cityscape, showcasing the bustling streets and towering skyscrapers. Available with either a king-size bed or two twin beds.
- Club City View Room (40 sq m/430 sq ft): It’s the same city view as the above room but guests will have exclusive access to The Mandarin Club.
- Mandarin Club Room (44 sq m/474 sq ft): This larger room has city views, and I would say that the main difference is the larger bathroom, which has its own seating area. And it comes with club access.
Statue Square Rooms:
- Statue Square Room (40 sq m/430 sq ft): These rooms offer picturesque views of Statue Square and the Old Supreme Court Building but you get some cool skyscraper views too. Available with either a king-size bed or two twin beds.
- Club Statue Square Room (40 sq m/430 sq ft): Guests will have the view listed above plus access to The Mandarin Club.
Harbour View Rooms:
- Harbour View Room (40 sq m/430 sq ft): These rooms offer pretty vistas of Victoria Harbour, the iconic symbol of Hong Kong. Available with either a king-size bed or two twin beds.
- Club Harbour View Room (40 sq m/430 sq ft): Get the view access to The Mandarin Club.
All suites have king beds and receive access to The Mandarin Club. You can also create a two-bedroom suite by connecting a Harbour View Suite to either a Club Statue Square View Room or Statue Square View Room. The connecting room in this set can be a king or two twin beds.
- Junior Suite (65 sq m/700 sq ft): There is actually a door between the living room and king bedroom in these small suites, which have some skyscraper views.
- City View Suite (72 sq m/775 sq ft): These corner suites enjoy city views through two floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
- Statue Square View Suite (72 sq m/775 sq ft): These corner suites overlook Statue Square but you do get a slight harbour view as well through two floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
- Harbour View Suite (72 sq m/775 sq ft): This suite boasts panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, the iconic symbol of Hong Kong.
- Lichfield Suite (72 sq m/775 sq ft): This suite’s decor is inspired by a photography studio and pays tribute to Lord Lichfield, who shot the hotel’s famous advertising campaign featuring celebrity Fans and was a regular guest across many decades. It’s designed by his friend, British interior designer, Nicky Haslam.
- Howarth Suite (80 sq m/861 sq ft): I like the layout of this suite, which has 1.5 baths and more privacy between the living room and bedroom due to the placement of small halls and doors.
- Meiji Suite (80 sq m/861 sq ft): If you prefer Japanese design and artwork, this suite is for you. Its layout is similar to the Howarth Suite.
- Macau Suite (115 sq m/1238 sq ft): A personal butler, dining room with table for six, living room, large wardrobe, 1.5 baths, and more await you in this specialty suite.
- Tamar Suite (93 sq m/1001 sq ft): Named after the British Naval headquarters that was once in front of the hotel, this suite’s design is inspired by a private yacht. It’s one of the only accommodations with a balcony that runs across the dining, bedroom, and living rooms.
- Mandarin Suite (357 sq m/3843 sq ft): This two-bedroom suite is the largest and most luxurious accommodation at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. It features a separate living room, dining area for 12 guests, kitchen, and master bath with spa suite.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong Restaurants Include Nine Choices
While it doesn’t feel like an overtly large hotel, there are actually nine bars and restaurants. And, they’re all good. I’ve eaten multiple times in all of them except the newer Aubrey restaurant.
It’s possible to only eat in the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, because the food is excellent. In fact, if my daughter had her daughters, she’d totally do it.
The Clipper Lounge
This is one of my favorite Hong Kong breakfast and afternoon tea places and my daughter agrees with me. It’s an institution for afternoon tea (famous also for rose petal jelly) and one of my daughter’s favorite buffet breakfasts in the entire world for having all of her favorite foods represented, including Chinese. I might have to agree with her. The vibe is relaxed.
Keep an eye out for their special occasion teas and events. We’ve been to their Easter tea multiple times and love it.
Offers all-day international dining, including local favorites, salads, and sandwiches. It’s light and bright with kids’ menus and activity kits that include a full set of markers. You can get most of the hotel favorites here like The Mandarin Burger, various curries, Singapore noodles, fish and chips and more.
The Mandarin Cake Shop
Cuisine: Pastries and chocolates
Grab sandwiches, fruit salad, muffins, and sweets to go or eat at the counter between marveling at the amazing cakes. My daughter’s 1st birthday cake was the American cheesecake from here. And, the vast majority of my photos while at the hotel over the years are of the amazing cakes and chocolate sculptures on display.
Tip: If you’re looking for a unique souvenir to bring home you can buy jars of their famous rose petal jelly in the cake shop. Their XO Sauce is also excellent.
Cuisine: Cantonese fine dining
Man Wah has had a Michelin star for something like 10 years in a row. Go for delicacies like birds’ nest, abalone, turnip cake with XO sauce, roasted meats, and outstanding dim dum. The restaurant features private dining rooms and a wine cellar with an extensive selection of fine wines.
Cuisine: Bar bites and drinks
Child policy: Age 6-17 years for food & non-alcoholic drinks are welcome before 7 p.m. and age 18 years or above are welcome after 7 p.m.
The Captain’s Bar was one of my husband’s office’s after-work hangouts. And, we just love it. Going strong for 60 years, this is another local institution that offers perfectly mixed martinis and crazy-good bar nuts. I also like the chicken tikka (lunch only) and have lounged here until closing more times than I can count. There is nothing, nothing that pairs better with late-night drinks than a samosa with chutney.
The Krug Room
Cuisine: Modern seasonal
Child policy: Ages 12 and older are permitted
Dress code: Elegant
As the name implies, prestigious Krug champagne is paired with a multi-course meal in this intimate dining room that seats just 12. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Mandarin Grill + Bar
Child Policy: Ages 6 and older are welcome
Dress code: Smart Casual (no wearing shorts of any length, torn jeans, singlets, flip flops and gentlemen sandals, wearing shorts of any length, torn jeans, singlets, flip flops and gentlemen sandals)
Steak (Beef Wellington is a favorite), oysters and caviar plus fine wine equals heaven. You can opt for a set menu or order a la carte.
Child Policy: Age 6-17 years for food & non-alcoholic drinks are welcome before 7 p.m., and age 18 years or above are welcome after 7 p.m.
Dress code: Smart Casual after 5 p.m. (no wearing shorts of any length, torn jeans, singlets, flip flops, and gentlemen sandals, wearing shorts of any length, torn jeans, singlets, flip flops, and gentlemen sandals)
This is comfort food at its finest. Hong Kong has quite a large British expat community, and we have come here for classic dishes like fish pie, curries, fish and chips, and sticky pudding. You can also order up a whiskey flight.
Cuisine: Japanese Izakaya
Dress code: Smart Casual
Child Policy: Age 6-17 years for food & non-alcoholic drinks are welcome before 7 p.m. and age 18 years or above are welcome after 7 p.m.
Located on the 25th floor, this relatively new addition to the hotel’s already fantastic line-up has been very well-received, already making it on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. People really like the weekday lunch bento boxes and you’ll find everything from nigiri sushi to tempura on the a la carte menu.
When you’re recovering from jet lag or a fun day of sightseeing, room service is a serious treat. This is because you’re ordering from a selection of popular menu items appearing on its restaurant menus.
We tend to order the nasi goreng or Hainanese chicken rice. When my daughter was younger, her favorite order was sweet and sour chicken or kid’s Caesar salad with a side of mango.
The Award-Winning Mandarin Spa
If you need a reason to book a sitter, The Mandarin Spa should be it. The three stories incorporate the holistic spa, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, Mandarin Barber (my husband used to get his hair cut here), and Mandarin Salon. The decor is Shanghainese-inspired zen with gorgeous woods, sleek lines, and Asian flourishes.
I can also attest that a few hours at the spa is a perfect remedy for jet lag. The treatment menu has evolved over the years (moment of silence for the Shanghainese pedicure), but I recommend the two-hour Imperial Jade treatment to right the ship because it’s a massage and facial combination that uses the healing powers of jade throughout.
Sammy at The Mandarin Barber used to cut my husband’s hair. Located on the 2nd floor with masculine Shanghai Art Deco decor, it’s not your average barber shop. It’s where Hong Kong’s movers and shakers go for a shave, cut, and even a facial. My husband loved the in-mirror televisions, and his hair really hasn’t looked as good since moving back to the States.
The Indoor Pool
The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong pool is small and usually quiet but a nice place to unwind at the end of the day. It plays a video on the wall from what must be an outdoor camera to give you a nice sense of space. We are often so busy in Hong Kong that we rarely have time to use it. But there are benefits to an indoor pool when it’s rainy in summer or a bit chilly in winter.
My Daughter’s Favorite Things, Babysitting Services, and Kids’ Amenities
We were in the hotel so much socially when my daughter was a baby/toddler that she associated a fan with Mandarin Oriental before she knew it was something to cool you down on a hot day.
My daughter has stayed many times at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong with us. She’d tell you that her favorite things are:
- The fun amenities we find in the room. One year, it was her birthday and they filled it with balloons.
- The stuffed animals themed by zodiac year (she collects them).
- Buffet breakfast at the Clipper Lounge with loads of dim sum and Chinese noodles. We’ve also been to Easter afternoon tea a few times.
- The mango lassi smoothie at Cafe Causette (by request).
- Honeydew and/or watermelon juice at all dining outlets.
- Croissant donuts from The Mandarin Cake Shop. They come in plain and chocolate flavors. We can vouch for both.
- Watching the Symphony of Lights, searching the harbour for red-sailed junks, and watching the Hong Kong Observation Wheel spin from Harbour View rooms.
- Room service.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong uses a highly-regarded nursing service for babysitting that I have taken advantage many times over the years. It’s the same service that Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong has used since before my daughter was born.
The babysitters are either registered nurses or nursing students who know CPR and how to handle other emergencies. My daughter especially loved Millie, who arrived armed with origami paper and fun activities. But we’ve had good experiences with any sitter the hotel has arranged.
Things to Do Within Walking Distance
Grab a map from the concierge desk and head out on foot to explore the best of Hong Kong.
Central MTR Station: The Island, Tsuen Wan (to Kowloon), and Tung Chung line that leads to Hong Kong Disneyland all stop here. You can also now take the MTR to Admiralty and shift to the South Island line to get to Ocean Park within minutes. Walking time: 3 minutes
Prince’s Building: It’s adjacent to the hotel with a gourmet grocery store called Oliver’s that carries tons of snacks and baby food. The third floor has a toy store, bookstore, drugstore, and designer kids’ clothing stores galore. This is where to go if you forgot to pack something for the kids. Walking time: 1 minute
The Landmark: Walk through the Prince’s Building to this designer mall haven where Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Ladurée, and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon are located. Walking time: 3 minutes
Mid-Levels Escalator: The longest escalator in the world leads to festive dining and shops in the Mid-Levels neighborhood as well as the Chinese antiques on Hollywood Road. Walking time: 10 minutes
The Lanes/Pottinger Street: The best local market-style shopping in Central is The Lanes, which are Li Yuen Street East and Li Yuen Street West. If walking along the Queen’s road toward the Mid-Levels escalator, the entrances to both streets are on the harbour side (look for a McDonald’s and GAP). Here, you’ll find stalls of trinkets, Chinese-style clothing, fabric, toys, and more. This is where I buy inexpensive extra suitcases if I shop too much. Do not buy from the first person you see, and you can bargain a little. Across Queen’s Road from The Lanes is a set of stairs leading you to Pottinger Street, a year-round costume mecca. You’ll also find hair accessories, Chinese New Year trinkets, yarn, and a random assortment of other things. Walking time: 10 minutes
Hollywood Road/Man Mo Temple: Shop for art and antiques here while stopping for a coffee or juice. You’ll eventually hit the stunning Man Mo Temple as well as the Ladder Street and Cat Street markets for trinkets. Walking time: 10–20 minutes, depending on where you go.
IFC Mall: Another designer mall haven with many to-go food options and a movie theater. Walking time 10 minutes
Lan Kwai Fong: Book a sitter and experience some of Hong Kong’s nightlife or dine here during the day with the kids. Walking time: 10 minutes
Star Ferry/Ferries to Outer Islands/Maritime Museum: Keep walking past the IFC Mall. You’ll arrive at all of the Central ferry terminals to Kowloon, Discovery Bay, and the outer islands. The Star Ferry to Kowloon is here in addition to the Maritime Museum. Walking time: 10 minutes
Hong Kong Observation Wheel: Take a spin on the Hong Kong Observation Wheel for a fun view of the city. Walking time: 12 minutes
China Club: One thing I truly miss about Hong Kong is our China Club membership. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is one of the only concierges in town who can secure a reservation at this exclusive club that is decorated with the private art collection of David Tang. Order the Peking Duck. Walking time: 5 minutes
Peak Tram: Take this historic funicular to The Peak for spectacular views of Hong Kong, walking trails, shopping, Madame Tussauds, and more. Walking time: 12 minutes
Hong Kong Park: Kids will particularly love this green space in the middle of the urban jungle. Here, they can enjoy turtles in ponds, fountains and the aviary. There is also a restaurant and a small teaware museum. Walking time: 10 minutes
You can also absolutely walk further afield. My daughter and I have walked all the way to Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong from The Peak through the Mid Levels. Graham Street market in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and the cool places to eat in Sheung Wan are also walkable for those up for the challenge. Hail a taxi or hop on the ding ding trolley when all else fails.
See also: Over 50 Things I Love to Do in Hong Kong
Good To Know
I’ll say it again—when traveling to Hong Kong with the whole family, there’s no need to worry about packing diapers, jarred food, and other baby essentials. Though I agree it’s always nice to have your own, these things are easily purchased within steps of the hotel.
The concierge at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong can make arrangements for you but these days most tickets to places like the Big Buddha and Ocean Park can be purchased online. After booking in, I highly recommend corresponding with them to arrange your itinerary so you don’t have to worry about it after landing. This is what I do.
If you are on foot pushing a stroller and headed to the adjacent Prince’s Building (where shopping and walkways to The Landmark are), you may need someone to help you get up a small flight of steps near Cafe Causette. I had a Bugaboo Chameleon stroller and have always been able to do it on my own, but if you’re worried about it just ask a hotel staff member to come help you. The same applies when exiting the lobby to the street level.
Do not expect to see a ton of kids running around this hotel. Because it’s so centrally located, quite a few local firms put their guests up at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. My husband’s firm did. Perhaps that’s why I always considered it more of a business hotel. It is, but it’s also a great family hotel.
Do not hesitate to ask the hotel for whatever it is that you need. The staff is very accommodating and kind.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong Reservations
As a member of Mandarin Oriental FAN Club, I can book you into this Hong Kong luxury hotel with VIP amenities that currently include:
- Daily Breakfast for up to 2 pax at Café Causette or Clipper Lounge or Room Service
- USD100 Food & Beverage or Spa credit exclude retails per room per stay
- Credits can be applied for the food and beverage consumption at restaurant and bars across both The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. Consumptions at Sushi Shikon, Kappo Rin, PDT, The Krug Room and In room dining are excluded
- For guests staying with Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, the entitled credit is not applicable at The Oriental Spa at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
- One category room upgrade upon check in subject to availability, room to room, suite to suite
- Internet access
- Welcome amenity and welcome note from Hotel’s senior management
- Priority waitlist clearance
- No walk policy
Send me your dates, and I’ll be happy to see what the best rates and inclusions are for your stay. FAN Club is usually best but we can book you in using Virtuoso amenities too.
Tips for families of four or more: Maximum occupancy at most Hong Kong hotels in rooms and suites is three people due to fire laws. This means you will likely need connecting rooms which are certainly available in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. There are some circumstances where a family of four may fit into one of the smaller suites if the kids’ total age combined does not exceed 12. I can help you figure out what is best to do.
See also: 21 Best Family Hotels in Hong Kong (Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is on this list)