This International Hotel Brand Is Considered One Of The Most Luxurious In The World

Mandarin Oriental is the world's best luxury hotel brand, according to a recent independent study by the elite, invitation-only membership service, Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI). The study analyzed 130 factors to determine in detail the quality and consistency of each hotel brand across different countries. LTI's co-founder, Michael Crompton, told CNBC that these factors ranged from in-room dining at the hotels to their social media engagement. In late 2023, Mandarin Oriental came out on top for the first time after finishing second in the 2022 study.

While a hotel's social media presence might not seem like anything worth counting, just imagine the quick dopamine rush you could get from a ritzy 5-star brand (with name recognition) liking the honeymoon pics you've posted. Throw in a nice personal reply, and it might register, in the moment, as an even deeper token of appreciation — not to mention a little status symbol to inspire FOMO in your friends. Things like that and every other part of your experience, including the whole pre-arrival process, would all go toward guest satisfaction with the Mandarin Oriental or any hotel. In the algorithmic, points-based study, they add up to a number, which, in turn, leads to an annual ranking.

Some travelers may prefer the unique personality of a boutique hotel to one that could be considered part of a widespread chain. However, if you're affluent enough, or just looking to splurge, the nearest Mandarin Oriental might also provide a standard of excellence that's consistent around the globe.

Mapping the Mandarin Oriental

Currently, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group operates 38 hotels worldwide. This includes properties it owns and some that it co-owns. As you might expect from its elegant folding-fan logo and name, the group has roots in Asian hospitality. The first part of the name comes from the Mandarin, a hotel that was originally Hong Kong's tallest building when it opened back in 1963. The second part comes from the Oriental, which was the first luxury hotel in Thailand (then known as Siam) when it was constructed in 1876. After the Mandarin acquired a partial stake in the Oriental, they adopted their combined name, with the latter now operating as the Mandarian Oriental, Bangkok.

Suffice it to stay, both the Bangkok location and Hong Kong, with its multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, will put you in a hotel with flagship prestige. In the U.S., the Mandarin Oriental is limited to three East Coast cities: New York, Boston, and Miami. Its footprint is more spread out across the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, where it has 14 and 15 locations, respectively.

In the spring of 2024, the hotel is set to open a second London property in the Mayfair district, as a sister site to its existing location in the Hyde Park area. Get ready to be waited on hand and foot, because the Mayfair will offer butler service, as the Mandarin Oriental has been known to do in suites at some of its other properties, such as Paris and Madrid.

A taste of luxury

Sometimes, just stepping inside a Mandarin Oriental hotel can be enough to make you feel like you're in the lap of luxury. The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is noted for having one of the world's most beautiful hotel lobbies. In the Middle East and Africa, there are six Mandarin Oriental locations, including one in Dubai that's known for its world-class spa. Winter 2024 will bring the hotel group its 40th location along the Arabian Coast in Muscat, Oman.

The Mandarin Oriental also made our list of the best hotels in Tokyo, where it provides an interesting case study in what it's actually like to visit one of these luxurious hotels. On the ground floor of a 38-story building in the Nihonbashi business district, the Mandarin Oriental Gourmet Shop sells decadent, cloud-shaped cakes that are limited to 25 or 35 per day. Take the elevator up to the top floor and you might feel like you're really in the clouds as you look down on Central Tokyo from the restroom's floor-to-ceiling windows.

The air of exclusivity continues when you pull up one of eight stools at the intimate, chef-attended counter for The Pizza Bar on 38th. The Italy-based 50 Top Pizza World list named it one of the five best pizza restaurants across the globe. Of course, all this luxury does come at a price. Plug in a date for the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo and you're likely to see a one-night rate that exceeds $675.