Posts Tagged: Mandarin Oriental

Oct 11

Passport to the Stars: One Year On

It’s now been a year since I joined the Hello! blogging team with the Passport to the Stars blog and, oh my, what an exciting year it’s been. I kicked things off with a trip to the romantic Ritz-Carlton in Cancun and have closed my first twelve months with a trip to the stunning, star-filled La Residencia in Mallorca – look out for a super-glamorous post on this one soon! In between, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy celebrity-style stopovers everywhere from London to Hong Kong, to the Caribbean and the Cotswolds so, with so much to cover, I thought it would be fun to create a word cloud from Passport to the Stars’ entries to reflect the spirit of the blog one year on.

My word cloud was made using Wordle. It’s fab, isn’t it? I love the way it takes the text and turns the prominent words into a floaty, colourful visualisation of your work. I’ve picked some of the stand-outs to break down the best bits from the last year:



Hotel: Over the last year, Passport to the Stars has evolved to include a collection of luxe hotel reviews amongst the celebrity travel gossip. I’m regularly asked now which of these amazing hotels is my favourite and for me that’s as difficult as trying to pick your favourite child! I will always have a soft spot for The Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong though. I was brought up on the island and one of my favourite childhood days out involved popping on a pretty dress and  taking afternoon tea (and a milkshake) at the Clipper Lounge with my Mum. And many years on (I’m not telling you how many) it’s still one of my favourite things in the world to do.


Celebrity: Of course! It’s a celebrity travel blog, and this word was bound to have a prominent cloud position. All the lovely hotels I visited had plenty of celebrity callers, but it has to be The Dorchester with its eighty years of A-listers that wins for the highest and most prestigious star count.

Suites: My (made-up) award for best suite also goes to The Dorchester. During my visit I was upgraded to the beautiful Belgravia Suite and its elegant colonial decor and balcony overlooking Hyde Park had me positively swooning. This was also one of Elizabeth Taylor’s favourite hotels – and that lady knew how to travel in style, love it!











Spa: A visit to a luxury spa was once an occasional treat but has now become an integral part of my job – well, someone’s got to do it. I’ve become a real spa bunny and have to say that Britain has come up trumps with the most amazing new spa complexes. The light and lovely Spa at the Coworth Park (left) and the dark and decadent Blythswood Square Hotel Spa in Glasgow (right) both receive big shiny gold stars from me.








Romantic: The saying goes that “you’ve never lived until you’ve loved in Rome” and, having honeymooned at the Cavalieri, I can confirm that this is true. For its full-on romantic vibe and achingly beautiful view of the Eternal City, the Rome Cavalieri is my hotel of choice for starry-eyed lovers.



Beautiful: This is a tough one; Prague, Rome, Paris are all amazingly gorgeous destinations, and Barbados meets all the paradise island requirements but having just returned from the simply stunning La Residencia in Deia, Mallorca, I’m going to give them the prize for most scenic and serenely beautiful destination to this hillside haven of loveliness – just look at this view from my room!



So, I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog so far. These lucky celebrities love to travel so there’s plenty more to come! Look out for the lowdown on Vancouver, otherwise known as Hollywood North, and the filming location for the Twilight films, as well as a visit to the Mandarin Oriental Prague to see where the Hollywood movie moguls have been staying during the shoot of the new Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol movie. There’ll also be some winter sun from favourite celeb destinations Thailand, Dubai and the Maldives. Also, if you spot any A-list lovelies on your travels don’t forget to leave your comments or send me a wee Tweet on @passporttostars. Thanks for following along!





Feb 11

A Model Hotel: The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

This week, I really wanted to blog about my old hometown, Hong Kong, not only because it’s Chinese New Year - may you all hop to new heights in the Year of the Rabbit – but also because my brother, who still lives in HK, called me to tell me Kate Moss was floating around town a couple of weeks ago. Apparently the luscious Miss Moss regularly swoops into the Asian metropolis and the word is that she usually stays at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental Hotel – which happens to be a hotel that I know and love from my childhood years in Hong Kong. So here’s the lowdown…


Star Destination

Like catching a glimpse of your favourite celebrity, seeing the Hong Kong skyline for the first time is a breathtaking heart-racing experience. This little island is unbelievably glamorous: a vertical playground full of colour, aroma, and taste, with more light, spectacle, and sparkle than the Bulgari Christmas window display. Celebrities have been streaming in to the city since it exploded onto the celebrity scene in the Sixties and Seventies when iconic couples like Mick and Bianca Jagger, and Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson rubbed shoulders with sporting legend Muhammad Ali and political heavyweights Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. The rich, the beautiful, and the powerful still love to swing by Hong Kong; recent sightings include Nicole Kidman, Bill Clinton, and, of course, Kate Moss.


Star Sanctuary

Any first time visitor to Hong Kong should definitely traverse the Victoria Peak, float across the harbour on the Star Ferry, and the visit the legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Affectionately known to the locals as the Mandarin, this hotel is part of the island’s social fabric. It’s out of town guest list includes at least six former US presidents, two princess – Diana and Grace, as well as Sultans, Shahs, Sheiks, moviemakers and models but it’s also much loved by the local ladies who lunch, trendy Taipans, international tycoons, British expats and well-to-do Chinese.



The Mandarin Oriental is considered by many to be the best hotel in the world. Centrally located in the ever-beating heart of Hong Kong, just a few minutes through an air-conditioned walkway will take you to some of the planet’s best shopping, top dining in SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong’s rockin’ nightlife. The hotel itself has nine incredible bars and restaurants – my favourites are the Clipper Lounge for afternoon tea and people watching, and M Bar for SATC style cocktails with the girls. The hotel also features luxurious state-of-the-art rooms and suites, and a spa so good you will feel reborn. The decor throughout is opulent, shades of honey and cognac mingle with richly carved wood furniture, Asian antiques and enchanting orchids and beautiful bitty Bonsai plants. The bathrooms are striking, swathed in dark marble and deluxe details; some with spectacular views of the city. It’s no surprise that Kate Moss is rumoured to return to the MO on every trip.










Star Treatment

It’s difficult to choose just one star treatment from this amazing hotel. The food is truly orgastronomic! Hong Kong legend Jackie Chan has been spotted enjoying mouth-watering specialities like salt and pepper squid in the superb Man Wah restaurant and the great and the good are also regularly seen hiding in the shadows of the theatrical, and multi-award winning, Pierre restaurant on the 25th floor.




Celebrity guests who are more concerned with slimming than sinning though are certain to be found in the Mandarin Oriental Spa. Treatments here are divine; Chinese steam baths, Kneipp pools and Vichy showers feature, massage rituals are tailor made to suit each individual customer and the world famous Shanghai pedicure by Samuel So will have your feet ready to grace any red carpet – highly recommended.




Star Style

Just a few steps away from the Mandarin Oriental is Hong Kong’s hautest designer store, Shanghai Tang. Decorating its walls is a collection of cheongsam wearing celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jodie Foster and Kate Moss. The Shanghai Tang sleepwear range is apparently a big hit with celebrity clients and Kate Moss is said to adore their pyjamas.



Shanghai Tang Short Kimono


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