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Las Vegas: Four Seasons vs Mandarin Oriental

Las Vegas: Four Seasons vs Mandarin Oriental

Old Aug 24, 10, 3:18 pm
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Las Vegas: Four Seasons vs Mandarin Oriental

I had the opportunity to stay at both the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental back to back on my recent trip to Las Vegas. I will comment more generally as it is difficult to compare specifically when I was in a Strip View suite at the FS and a Mandarin Executive room at the MO at the same nightly rate.

My observations:

Arrival: Tie -- very welcome greetings offered to myself and all other arriving guests. House car at both properties offered proactively to clients if available.

House car: Four Seasons The Four Seasons House car has a 3 mile radius which stretches to the Rio Hotel, upto Encore, south to Town Center, and to the airport. The Mandarin Oriental house car as a similar radius but will not take you to the airport unless you negotiate with the doormen.

Rooms: Mandarin Oriental-- the hard product is probably the best in Vegas currently. Only Encore comes close in this regard. Great design with a great bathroom -- the consequence is that the living areas can feel a little small in the rooms and entry level suites.

Bathrooms: Mandarin Oriental -- the bathrooms are gorgeous and the bathtub is the highlight. I have rarely felt like I wanted to take a bath at most Four Seasons hotels but I immediately felt like a soak at the MO. Aromatherapy Associates toiletries in the rooms and a choice between Red Flower or Bulgari White Tea in the suites.

Casual Dining: Four Seasons I will only compare casual dining as how can you compare Twist by Pierre Gagnaire to Charlie Palmer Steak? But between MOZen bistro and Verandah, Verandah hands down. MOZen food is average but considerably overpriced for what you get. I ordered an American breakfast and was charged $8 for a second glass of juice. The ability to dine outside at Verandah is a huge plus rather than an overly air-conditioned room with a view of Crystals.

Concierge: Four Seasons -- I quizzed both Concierge teams with various requests and the FS team wins hands down. The MO staff tended to sell, er, recommend, heavily restaurants in City Center or the MO more than beyond that scope. I asked for good dim sum restaurants and while the FS gave me 2-3 recommendations off the strip, the MO gave me Wazuzu, Jasmine, and MOZen.

Views: Four Seasons-- the Strip views at the Four Seasons are much nicer than that of the MO. Unfortunately, City Center and Crystals is not a very nice site at all!!

Value: Four Seasons -- I do not feel that the premium the MO charges over other hotels in Vegas is worth that premium at this point. This may, of course change, as time moves along.

The two hotels are very different products. The MO is a very sophisticated and chic city hotel and doesn't pretend to be anything else. Being the new kid on the block they have had time to watch and learn from the others to get it right and largely they have succeeded. I felt the service to be a little cold and formulaic -- they haven't quite developed the warmth of a Four Seasons yet. The staff at the MO also did what was necessary but I did not feel as if anyone went above and beyond what was necessary. The rooms are outstanding and particularly the bathrooms. The In room technology is superb in certain ways but totally irritating in others.

The two hotels most certainly have respect for eachother and I think are the two best in Las Vegas. Can one be considered better than the other -- very difficult to say. But despite some of my experiences at the MO, I still would not hesitate to recommend, to the right people, any of these two properties.
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Old Aug 24, 10, 7:08 pm
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Your take is a good one - the bathrooms at the MO are outstanding and the 4S really feels like an oasis in the Vegas-ness of Vegas.

One thing you didn't really cover (in this post) is how good the MO bar is. The atmosphere, views and leggy staff are really great. Not sure the 4S has really anything to match it -- much like MO doesn't really have anything to match the outdoor dining at Verandah.
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Old Aug 24, 10, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Yahtzee View Post
Your take is a good one - the bathrooms at the MO are outstanding and the 4S really feels like an oasis in the Vegas-ness of Vegas.

One thing you didn't really cover (in this post) is how good the MO bar is. The atmosphere, views and leggy staff are really great. Not sure the 4S has really anything to match it -- much like MO doesn't really have anything to match the outdoor dining at Verandah.
Yes, good point!! The MO Bar is stunning and the Private Room is very nice as well. It is one of the nicest hotel bars I have seen in North America. Next time I will stop in for a drink - after being wined and dined all week, I could not drink anymore!!
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Old Aug 24, 10, 7:59 pm
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Thanks for the comparison - we will be in the area for a conference this fall and are trying to make the "where to stay" decision. Do you know what the rate is at MO for the airport transfer that has to be negotiated?
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Old Aug 24, 10, 8:54 pm
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You didn't mention the casino 'attached' to the Four Seasons but I find the Mandalay Bay casino downscale, ugly, depressing and just plain yucky. If gaming is part of my plans I would not stay in the FS; you are simply too far from an attractive casino.

Last edited by Fontaine; Aug 24, 10 at 9:07 pm
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Old Aug 25, 10, 1:29 pm
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Normally FS and MO are no-brainers but in LV, its a little different. They market themselves as an 'escape' from the glitz and glammor of the Strip but at the same time being 'on' the Strip. I disliked having to take 2 elevators to get to my room at MO and felt overwhelmed by the doorman, 3 bellmen and others waiting at the front door as I got out of the car.

Hopefully this model will be sustainable for MO and FS. Hard for them to compete when all the new strip hotels promote their 'all suites' rooms for much less.
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Old Aug 25, 10, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by luxury View Post
I
The two hotels most certainly have respect for eachother and I think are the two best in Las Vegas.
There two 200-300 USD pr. night properties is better than the 5.000 USD pr. night The Mansion at MGM Grand?
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Old Aug 26, 10, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by hoteleksperten View Post
There two 200-300 USD pr. night properties is better than the 5.000 USD pr. night The Mansion at MGM Grand?
I do not think this is a fair nor valid comparison. The Mansion is a very different product than the MO or FS even though, very generally, the 3 are all hotels. However, how do you compare the entry level room at the FS and MO, at $200-$300 dollars, 500 sq ft, to the entry level 2 BR Villa at $5000 a night? You really can't.

The Mansion is very heavily influenced, if not controlled by, the MGM Grand Casino for its whales and a good number of its villas are occupied by casino guests.

A better comparison for the Mansion would be to compare the Wynncore Apartments/Villas, Mirage Villas, Bellagio Villas, Aria SkyVillas, the top suites/villas at Caesars, and just even perhaps the Specialty suites/villas at the Palms and the Classic Suites at the Las Vegas Hilton.
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Old Aug 26, 10, 3:37 pm
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I haven't even arrived yet at the MO, but it is clear to me that luxury's comparison of concierge services is spot on. Dreadful experience trying to get the concierge on the phone and then, after I did, instead of booking my three nights' dinners, he double-booked me for one night (the night I was going to Twist, no less!) and skipped one night altogether. No problems at all with the FS concierges on any prior stay there.
The telephone issue, BTW, extends to the spa as well. Impossible to get a live person on the phone.
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Old Aug 27, 10, 9:55 am
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One thing I don't understand about MOLV's spa is 7 of 8 of their massage treatments are 2 hours. The standard is usually 50 or 60 minutes with some going out to 75-90 minutes. Its pricing is on par per hour but when you book 2 treatments its going to run $500+.
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Old Aug 27, 10, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by silver-tls View Post
One thing I don't understand about MOLV's spa is 7 of 8 of their massage treatments are 2 hours. The standard is usually 50 or 60 minutes with some going out to 75-90 minutes. Its pricing is on par per hour but when you book 2 treatments its going to run $500+.
its not unusual to have minimum of 80 as opposed to 50. i believe this is (often/usually) a standard practice at MO, but have also seen it at small high end spas.

as you said, pricing per hour is not necessarily different. regarding your reference to 2 treatments, many MO have bespoke offerings where time and treatments are customized, so you dont have to book "2" - or there are journeys/packages where you get an overall discount on multiple.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Aug 27, 10 at 7:44 pm
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Old Aug 27, 10, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by rfrost View Post
I haven't even arrived yet at the MO, but it is clear to me that luxury's comparison of concierge services is spot on. Dreadful experience trying to get the concierge on the phone and then, after I did, instead of booking my three nights' dinners, he double-booked me for one night (the night I was going to Twist, no less!) and skipped one night altogether. .
It's not much better in person (atleast for french restaurants)..

While waiting for someone in the (sky)lobby I watched them attempting to handle a couple's dinner reservation - They had a distinct inability differentiate between robuchon at the mansion and l'atelier..

Then they proceeded to mis-pronounce Guy Savoy when calling reservations at caesars
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Old Sep 1, 10, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by silver-tls View Post
One thing I don't understand about MOLV's spa is 7 of 8 of their massage treatments are 2 hours. The standard is usually 50 or 60 minutes with some going out to 75-90 minutes. Its pricing is on par per hour but when you book 2 treatments its going to run $500+.
Generally, MO spas sell 'time' (i.e. the therapist diagnoses what you need) rather than being menu driven, which explains why they don't just offer a standard 60 min massage, but if you ask, you can still get this, as long as you don't mind the awful products they use (IMHO).
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Old Sep 1, 10, 1:43 pm
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How is the FHR breakfast at the Four Seasons compared to the MO?
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Old Sep 1, 10, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by TraveltheWorld View Post
How is the FHR breakfast at the Four Seasons compared to the MO?
I preferred the 4S breakfast. I actually had an incident with the MO breakfast benefit when I just ordered via room service toast, bacon and tea for a very early morning breakfast on my way out of town for a 7:30 am flight. Because it wasn't the "American Breakfast", they said it didn't qualify for the benefit and wanted me to pay for it. Eventually took it off. Quality seemed similar, but money goes further at 4S -- and I liked being able to eat outside.
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