Hotel Reviews

Portofino Hotel & Marina, LA – Nov 2010

Phil and I stayed at the Portofino Hotel and Marina for one night after we flew into LAX from Heathrow at the start of a short break to the West Coast. The hotel is located about 20 minutes drive – or 40 with LA traffic – away from the airport in Rendondo Beach, just south of Hermosa and Manhattan beaches. In terms of convenience for getting into the centre of Los Angeles, this doesn’t place the hotel in the ideal location; however if you were after a hotel that put you right at the centre of the action, then I expect the Beverly Wiltshire or one on Rodeo Drive would be more up your street. The hotel itself had just undergone a multi-million dollar remodel, which appeared to be part of a larger scheme to regenerate the surrounding area. The entrance to the property was well sign posted, and pleasantly landscaped with palms and other native species. There was an attractive porte cochère at the hotel entrance where we were met by two helpful door staff who took our bags and directed us to the hotel lobby. Our first impressions of the hotel were that it has a distinctly nautical feel, which marries up well with the properties on site Marina; large ceiling height windows give a sense of space and provide plenty of natural light, which combined with the double height lobby, act to provide an airy, calming atmosphere. The colour palette of blues and yellows added to the impression of being on board a cruise liner, an effect enhanced by the uninterrupted ocean views from the lobby...

Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco – Jul 2013

We have had the pleasure of staying at this Mandarin Oriental property numerous times over the past four years, with our first visit being in November 2010. We have been consistently impressed with every aspect of this hotel, from the doormen who recognise you by name, to the sublime and awe inspiring views. Our last vacation took us back to the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco in July 2013, where we stayed for five nights at the end of an all too brief two week trip that took us from the Big Sur to San Francisco. It is such a pleasure arriving at a hotel where the first words that you are greeted with are ‘Welcome back Mr Murray’ from Eduardo, one of the hotels exceptional doormen. It is these first impressions that leave a lasting mark, and exemplify the professionalism of all the staff employed in this property. The hotel is situated in the financial district of the city, on the corner of Sansome and Pine, where it forms part of 345 California Centre. This is arguably the hotels biggest selling point, as all the accommodations are located on the top ten floors of the building, allowing guests to experience views that other hotels in the city can only dream of. Depending on which side of the building you are on and the grade of accommodation you select, you will either be presented with sweeping views of the city, or a panoramic bay view that takes in the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and everything in between. It is important to note that not all the rooms provide views of...

Mandarin Oriental, Boston – May 2013

Philip and I have stayed at the Mandarin Oriental Boston on previous occasions, the first being in January 2013 as part of a short break that took in Washington, Boston and New York. Our first visit left us deeply impressed, with both the Hard product offered (the building, location, furnishings etc.) and the Soft product (the ubiquitous Mandarin Oriental service, style and staff helpfulness), easily bringing into line with other five star properties we have stayed at. This review is based on our experiences whilst staying at the property in May 2013, when we returned for a short break with my parents, who had not been to Boston since their first holiday together some 25 years ago. The hotel is located on Boylston Street, and forms part of the building complex that makes up the Mandarin Oriental Residences and The Prudential Centre, to which it is connected via a passkey locked hallway which leads directly into the shopping centres main thoroughfare. The properties central location – steps from Trinity Church and Boylston T stop – makes it ideal for both the business and leisure traveller, with every amenity and attraction being little more than a walk or T ride away. In terms of the building itself, the hotel is one of the newer properties to the groups portfolio, having only opened in 2008, something that is clear from the exterior that shows little signs of urban wear. The outside of the hotel is clad in an attractive cream stone, with details picked out in an off white travertine marble. Selective use of stainless steel and jet black framing add...

Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC – Jan 2013

Philip and I stayed at this property at the start of our trip to the East coast in January 2013, and found the Mandarin Oriental Washington to be luxurious, welcoming and perfect in terms of location. It is very much a business oriented hotel, and in that regard shares a similarity with the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco in terms of its clientele, however, that being said the hotel would suit leisure travellers just as well due to its proximity to the vast majority of Washington DCs tourist attractions. We arrived at the hotel after flying in from JFK following our transatlantic flight on British Airways, First Class, from London. We had elected to fly into Reagan via a domestic connection rather than flying direct to Dulles from the UK as the flight time was better, and the routing pretty much guaranteed us the New First product with British Airways. The domestic connection on American Eagle was functional rather than enjoyable, but given that the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC is only a five minute journey from Reagan then it seemed a worthwhile compromise. The property is located at 1330 Maryland Ave, equidistant from the Smithsonian metro to the north and the Jefferson memorial to the west, which are both a five minute walk away. This is one of the hotels key selling points, it’s close proximity to all the major museums, the National Mall, monuments and government centres; however, despite being close to all of the above, the property remains a welcome retreat from the capital should you wish it to be. Upon entering the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC, you...