Urban Lifestyle – Staycation at Mandarin Oriental

New ventures, start ups, cottage businesses, are popping up on a daily basis in the entrepreneurial and business driven town that is Shanghai. Both expats and locals seem to be craving to make the best for their career early and fast, and this leads to people having enough money but not enough time to go on a proper holiday.

It’s therefore not surprising that the “staycation” trend is picking up. A staycation is defined as a mini-holiday in the same place of residence, or in its vicinities. It’s the perfect format for busy staycatioers who have no time to fly somewhere and stay a few days. After reading an ad on Shanghaiist about Mandarin Oriental staycation offer, I decided to hop on the trend and book me and my boyfriend a one-night package for our 5th anniversary.

THE ROOM

The Mandarin River View is tastefully decorated with pastel and wooden tones that create a hybrid environment between classical and contemporary.

Floor-to-ceiling windows let plentiful of natural light flood in and allow a stunning view of the Huangpu river and Lujiazui towers. Here’s the three stages of our room’s view, from morning, to sunset, to night!

Furnishings include a king bed, a desk area and a choice of seating.

The bathroom is luscious with a convenient walk-in rainforest shower and a circular bathtub that is perfect for sharing with your loved one 😉

We enjoyed the illy coffee machine with coffee capsules and some complimentary treats. To be fair, we did spend most of our time in the room because it was so comfortable and nice!

LUNCH AT FIFTY 8 DEGREES GRILL

The Shanghai-style Art-Deco floor tiles, a striking steel bar and natural coarse surfaces create a spacious and eclectic modern French Bistro atmosphere full of contrasts and interesting elements. I loved the bread slicing station, where beautiful loaves are sliced right before serving to preserve all the fragrance of home-made bread.

With the staycation package,  you can enjoy a three course meal, including a choice of three entrées, three mains and two desserts. Beverages are excluded.

The beetroot and goat cheese salad was a great start to the meal, with a light vinaigrette dressing and toasted whole nuts.

The Mulwarra grass-fed angus beef sirloin steak was tender and juicy. It came with some absolutely stunning and flavorful butter sautéed veggies. Red-wine sauce and mustards on the side.

For dessert, I chose the chocolate soufflé with cacao sorbet. The delicate flavor of the fluffy soufflé went perfectly with the bitter punchiness of the cacao sorbet.

All accompanied by a pleasantly mineral Kamptal Grüner Veltliner by Domaine Gobelsburg (if I’m correct the price by the glass was around RMB 110). Their wine list is indeed quite interesting and well curated. Take a look and splurge on a good bottle.

THE FITNESS CENTER & SPA

On the level ground of Mandarin Oriental there’s their Fitness Center and Spa. The Fitness center features a huge swimming pool, hydromassage and a gym furnished with state-of-the art training equipment.

The changing rooms host a relax area and both a steam room and a sauna, which you can freely use during your stay.

Same as any 5 star hotel SPAs, it’s pricy to have a massage or treatment at their facilities. By pricy I mean their 1.5 hour Chinese Meridian Massage is listed for RMB 1480 plus 16,6% service charge. We didn’t need a massage so desperately as to spend that type of money, so we didn’t try it.

THE BREAKFAST

The staycation package also includes breakfast at their restaurant Zest. Breakfast would be a large buffet with plenty of options. Unfortunately we loved our room too much and lounged there a bit too long so we missed the buffet. Nevertheless they had plenty of breakfast sets and dishes to be ordered à la carte which were still included in our deal.

I opted for their Mandarin Breakfast set, which was WAY too much food for a single person to eat. I also couldn’t resist picking from their Lunch Buffet which was being set up while we were there, so I grabbed me some sashimi, salmon, pastrami and more.

THE SERVICE

Service is attentive and seamless at Mandarin Oriental. At the time of my booking, I had let them know about our anniversary, so the staff surprised us with cake and several happy anniversary greetings during our stay. It’s great that they take special occasions at heart and contribute to their success.

At their restaurants, the staff is also very professional and keen. Glory (or Corey?) from Zest was very worried about our egg order being late at breakfast and therefore insisted we check out the lunch buffet while waiting. Thanks Glory (or Corey)!

THE DAMAGE

The Mandarin Oriental website promises to offer the best fares compared to all other booking platforms, therefore I suggest you book directly there. They accept several cards as confirmation of your booking, including UnionPay debit card. They won’t charge you initially, it’s just to secure your booking – you’ll settle your bill at check-out.

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The cheapest one-night stay for the 13-14 January was RMB 2000 + 16,6% service fee for the Deluxe River View room. The Mandarin River View room was RMB 2200 + 16,6% service fee. I recommend the latter so you can have a huge circular bathtub in your room and enjoy a bubbly bath.

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What sold me for this package compared to all other hotel deals I’d been looking into, is that Mandarin Oriental includes lunch at Fifty 8 Degrees Grill, a Michelin Guide recommended French Bistro.

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I just wish they’d add a massage into it for a reasonable price!

So whether you need some alone time to wind down, or you have a special occasion to celebrate with your partner, or you want to spend some quality time with your girlfriends/bros, treat yourself to a wonderful stay at Mandarin Oriental.

Find all the information at: https://www.mandarinoriental.com/shanghai/pudong/luxury-hotel

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