I have a soft spot for Mandarin Oriental properties. Staying true to its Asian aesthetic and oriental sensibilities, Mandarin Oriental always manages to enchant, intrigue, and satisfy my senses. For my birthday week, I chose to stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta and as soon as I walked into the room, I knew it was a good decision. No, it was a GREAT one.
Tucked away in Atlanta’s upscale neighborhood of Buckhead, Mandarin Oriental is one of the newer luxury hotels to hit the Big Peach. Mandarin Oriental Atlanta was a former Rosewood hotel and seamlessly transitioned into a MO property a few years ago. Combining southern hospitality with oriental opulence, it confidently understands customer service and aims to delight with its glamorous decor and comprehensive amenity list. From the sprawling 15,000-square-feet grand spa to the always hospitable staff, it was a sheer pleasure to stay at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta and made for the perfect birthday indulgence.
-An early birthday cake (a decadent chocolate one, I might add) was sitting on the table as I walked into the room. On the actual day of my birthday, I got another one sent up from the front staff (thanks, Thu! :)). And to top it off, I received a gorgeous collection of elegant luggage tags as a special gift (thanks, Vildana!). Thank you, MO Atlanta! A little tip: be sure to tell the hotel if you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, etc.; they’ll usually go out of their way to make your stay extra special.
-Both check-in and check-out were a breeze.
-Water is complimentary — can’t believe some hotels don’t get something as simple as this.
-The location is perfect — nestled in the swanky part of the city in Buckhead and within walking distance of the region’s top restaurants, chic designer boutiques, and cultural attractions.
-The room was gorgeous with Oriental touches dotted throughout, especially the striking Asian-inspired music that echoed throughout as soon as I walked in. The spacious rooms are furnished with exotic Macassar Ebony wood imported from the southeast Asian city of Makassar on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi — how’s that for an exotic touch?
-I was craving guacamole so badly one night and even though it was not on the menu, they brought it up in no time with gluten-free chips, as requested. Though not cheap, it was the best $19.50 I’ve ever spent. Cost vs. worth and impeccable customer service, my friends.
-The sweeping skyline views of Atlanta were spectacular and even better while taking a bath. Mandarin Oriental Atlanta is the 12th tallest building in Atlanta and the 2nd tallest building in the Buckhead neighborhood, so the views are expected to be nothing short of amazing.
-There’s live jazz music on Friday nights at the in-house Taipan Lounge.
-The lovely curtains weren’t solely for show and managed to perfectly block out the morning sunlight, making it easier for me to sleep in — a MUST on vacation.
-The signature peaches ‘n’ cream in the spa was as delightful as it sounds. The peach oil used for the whole treatment was so delicious that it had me smelling myself all day…no joke. It was the perfect start to my birthday! As a side note, the spa is a gorgeous facility and is believed to be the largest spa in the entire state of Georgia!
-The beautiful fresh flowers offered a delicate scent that pervaded the entire room — a lovely smell to walk into.
-Appreciate that they took my suggestion about being more active on social media and engaging more with their followers and guests.
-The hotel has an enchanting English Garden, a rare find amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. The landscaping was exquisite, and had the weather agreed, I would have spent more time outside, soaking up the picturesque views while sipping on a cup of tea.
-Watched the World Cup while sipping on a cocktail in the glamorous bar area — nothing better than that.
-The service was phenomenal — so attentive, hospitable, and warm. From the front desk to the housekeeping staff to the concierge, the service was simply fantastic.
-While I love grand, opulent lobbies, I can also appreciate charming, boutique-style lobbies. The MO Atlanta lobby is an elegantly intimate space that makes you feel right at home the moment you walk in.
-A beautiful, state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center was available.
-There was a NORMAL hair dryer that was actually functional.
-I was excited to see Shanghai Tang stocked in the bathroom. These designer toiletries are amazing finds.
-Bathtub with a view? Oh yes, there was. And how utterly beautiful it was. Hands down, one of my favorite parts of the room.
-More people should be aware of the availability of the house car for short distances (within 5 miles). Our driver, John was incredibly courteous, knowledgable, and charming. Loved hearing about Atlanta from his perspective as not only a native Atlantan, but also as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for many many years.
-I hate it when I can’t charge my phone next to the bed. There were practically no outlets that were near or accessible from the bed. Hotels really need to pay attention to these details, especially for digital travelers.
-WiFi is not complimentary — another turn-off for digital travelers. It’s approximately $9.95/day.
-Breakfast was not included.
-Turn-down service was disappointingly ordinary — slippers, water, and a flower. For a hotel of this caliber, a little extra something out of the ordinary would have been a great touch.
Duration: 4 nights, June 17-21, 2014
Bottom line: Never stale and always impressive, the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta is a haven of extravagant hospitality, replete with a sophisticated vibe, a fine understanding of customer service, and a carefully-selected collection of stunning details. But no property is without its flaws and while the cons are not necessarily deal-breakers, they certainly would help elevate the hotel experience to a whole new level, crushing competitors to the ground and indelibly etching a loyal place in the minds of regular luxury hotel patrons.
I would HIGHLY recommend MO Atlanta to anyone looking for a luxurious escape in the heart of Atlanta.
*Disclaimer: my room was partially hosted by the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, but views are my own and accurately reflect my stay.
**My policy: there will always be full disclosure about whether my stay was hosted by the hotel or paid for with my own money. And even if the hotel decides to offer complimentary services, my review will never be swayed one way or the other. After all, if my experience was sub-par, and I continue to falsely rave about their services, no one will benefit–not me, not you, not the hotel (they’ll never improve!). So, trust that you’ll receive 100% truth in every review.