Almost more exciting than staying at the Mandarin Oriental, is telling people you’re going. The image of such decadence evokes a ripple of gasps and more than a few envious glances. Call me spoilt, but a part of me worried it wouldn’t be quite as fabulous as I’d built it up to be and actually the Miami offering might be like Euro Disney – the proverbial poor relative.
No matter how often I visit the States, I can never prepare myself for the welcome. A barrage of greeters outside, seemingly exultant that you’ve arrived, (I suspect no one in the US has ever managed to slip into a hotel unnoticed.) It is nice though, all the fuss and gallantry, especially after a long flight. The lobby is vast and the floor to ceiling windows over the water make you feel as though you’re floating. The best thing though, is the smell. The incense can’t fail to relax you.
Opening my bedroom door, I’m wowed by what’s inside. The attention to detail is impressive. A personal note, flowers, chocolates… it’s virtually the scene of an affair. The bed is so large I can choose which way to sleep in it and the vast marble shower is a godsend after travelling.
The next morning, after eggs benedict for breakfast, I station myself at the hotel’s private beach where the staff attend to my every whim (I have a few) and I feel that I’ve truly tapped into luxury.
For the pampering aficionados, the spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami doesn’t disappoint. The only five star spa in Florida, it boasts 17 treatment rooms and global offerings including ancient Chinese, European and Thai treats.
Set away from central Miami, the Mandarin Oriental means you can dip into the mayhem but end the day in an altogether more resplendent setting. My verdict? Believe the hype!