Glam in the heart of Guangzhou
233 Rooms / 30 Suites
One of just three Mandarin Oriental properties in mainland China (the others are in Shanghai and Sanya), Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou stands out for its sleek and minimalist look (courtesy of Tony Chi), from the gleaming avant-garde lobby to the guest rooms filled with contemporary Chinese design and clean lines. (One touch that isn’t understated is the hotel’s signature fan, a unique, bright addition from Guangzhou native and world-renowned fashion designer Vivienne Tam that melds a Chinese opera mask with floral patterns.)
Guangzhou is an enormous, sprawling city, but the hotel is smack-dab downtown, within walking distance of two subway lines, and a quick drive from Guangzhou East Rail Station, from which trains to Hong Kong depart. Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou is part of a larger retail and office complex called TaiKoo Hui, whose gilded luxury mall can be accessed from within the hotel — if you can bring yourself to leave your room’s plush confines.
With entry-level accommodations clocking in at about 646 square feet, Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou sets the standard for the city’s largest rooms. The luxe marble-filled bathrooms and rich, dark herringbone-patterned hardwood floors contrast nicely with the simple but chic dark neutral seating and carpeting, and crisp, white bedding. All rooms feature double sinks, walk-in showers with rainforest fixtures and deep, round tubs. Slip into the ultra-plush white robes or request a silk kimono and sink into the room’s comfy bench or leather wingback chair.
Upgrade to the Oriental Club floor to take advantage of the exclusive club lounge. The club-level rooms and suites start from approximately 753 square feet and, like the rest of the rooms at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou, offer sweeping views of the surrounding cityscape. The exclusive 24th-floor Oriental Club provides a quiet place to work or relax, with an ample spread of canapés set out daily from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The library carries plenty of books in English, with a focus on East Asian authors such as Haruki Murakami; the collection is rotated out every six months.
The spacious, spa-inspired bathrooms at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou are stocked with top-of-the-line bath products. In the guest rooms, you’ll find London-based brand Ormonde Jayne and, in the suites, Italian brand Acqua di Parma. The overall design of this Guangzhou hotel is far too sleek for a standard desk; instead, each room has a split-level glass-topped table with a tidy box of office supplies, including a magnifying glass.
Once known as Canton and the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine, Guangzhou is the place to visit for the regional fare. Some of the city’s best Cantonese food is served at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou’s Jiang by Chef Fei. The name refers to the Yangtze River (Chinese also call the waterway the Jiang, or “the river”), which cuts across China. At Jiang by Chef Fei, as sunlight streams in through the three full-length windows, eager diners’ chopsticks deftly dart across tabletops, grabbing fluffy steamed char siu bao (barbecued pork buns), buttery housemade egg tarts (a Southern Chinese treat), and juicy ha gow (shrimp dumplings). All-day dining venue Ebony puts out a breakfast buffet that includes plenty of dishes like the colorful feta, grape tomato and Kalamata olive salad. At lunch and dinner, Ebony converts into a grill that cooks up everything from Wagyu beef strip loin to Boston lobster. Similarly, during the day, the Taikoo Lounge serves high tea in a stylish white-filled space, but at night, it transforms into the Dom Pérignon Lounge and pours champagne while a pianist performs live. If you prefer whiskeys and cocktails, opt for The Loft, which shakes up libations in an intimate dark wood lounge. Though, no one should leave any Mandarin Oriental without a visit to The Mandarin Cake Shop. Make a beeline straight for the case of macarons, a rainbow of mouthwatering flavors, such as Thai chai tea milk chocolate, that changes with the holidays and seasons.
The Spa and Fitness Center
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou, which uses Natura Bissé products from Barcelona, Mandarin Oriental’s own signature Quintessence oils and ESPA products from the United Kingdom, is accessed from the main hotel building by a shaded wooden walkway that runs outside past the 82-foot-long heated outdoor pool. The spa’s six individual treatment rooms, two couples’ suites and VIP suite, complete with hidden sliding door and private yoga space, have a flower theme, with contemporary dark floral watercolors adorning the walls. Inside the fitness center, be sure to try the InBody 520 — it’s like a scale combined with a personal trainer. You’ll find it in every Mandarin Oriental gym, so you can monitor your fitness progress as you travel throughout the year.