Published on October 11th, 2011 | by Charu Suri8
Adventures in Macau: The Mandarin Oriental, & Encounter with the Dragon Fruit
After we arrived in Macau, we were greeted by yet another Joao (the name seems to be as common as "John" or "Matt" there), and quickly transported via taxi to our hotel, The Mandarin Oriental Macau.
A beautifully maintained boutique hotel (it's considered boutique only because of the number of rooms, 231), this hotel is located on the older Peninsula, which was were the first casinos were built. The oldest casino in Macau, the Grand Lisboa, is not too far away from the Peninsular strip. The Mandarin Oriental is also right next door to the MGM Grand, and a series of upscale shops that include Dior and Louis Vuitton. I could only imagine if a character like Isla Fisher in "Confessions of A Shopaholic" were to check into the hotel, her credit cards would need to be kept in the largest ice block on the property!
What struck me as I walked into the perfectly maintained lobby was the flawless customer service. It all started to sink in….I really and truly was in China. The attention to detail here is impressive: every leather chair seemed newly minted, the chandeliers sparkled, and my room was outfitted nicely and there was this cute fruit plate that had a nice medley of known and strange fruit.
That beautiful, spindly purple thing in the middle of the plate…do you see that? That's the Dragon Fruit, a local specialty. At first I was uncertain as to what to do with it…as with other strange fruit I've encountered (jackfruit, also known as sour sop; and initially, pomegranate). Dragon Fruit is an almost tasteless clear fruit studded with what looks like poppy seeds. It's very Macanese and I was told they make drinks out of this stuff.
Also in my hotel room, the famed Portuguese Egg Tart, with a custard-like filling in the center.
Each hotel room gives you some kind of view of the Peninsula and Taipa Island: my view from the window was of the Macau Tower, which is famous for its bungee jumping! Apparently people have been going for years to bungee jump from the tower's peak, at 1,109 feet, and is the largest night-time bungee jumping tower in the world.
I wish I had learned Mandarin, but I figured all these characters just mean "Mandarin Oriental Macau"
These were gone in pretty much 60 seconds….with compliments to the chef
One of the softest duvets I've ever slept under…
A room with a Macanese View: almost sunset
Attack of the Dragon Fruit
A local delicacy
The view of the Macau Tower from my hotel room. The Tower is the tallest place in the world to do night time bungee jumping