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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group's Denise Bruzzone

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award winning owner and operator of some of the most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences located in prime destinations around the world. 

We’re really big FAN’s of the Mandarin Oriental brand which originally opened as two separate hotels, The Mandarin, in 1963 in Hong Kong and The Oriental, in 1974 in Bangkok which eventually merged to create the brand Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG).  Mandarin Oriental Bangkok recently celebrated 140 Years of History, highlighting a series of bespoke literary, music, fashion, art and culinary events in 2016 all in celebration for the major restorations that were done to the 140-year-old Authors’ Wing and Garden Wing of Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.  It’s not really a surprise that as a cultural staple to the city, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong was chosen as an official hotel partner of Art Basel’s Hong Kong show for the fourth year in a row; the newly opened Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech also took part in helping guests participate in the Marrakech Biennale.  We chatted with Denise Bruzzone, Director of Travel Industry Sales, to discuss staying true to brand heritage within an ever-changing luxury industry.

Known for being one of the first hotel brands to establish luxury and elegance in Asia, how does MOHG keep its regality now that the luxury market as exponentially expanded in Asia?

We provide our guests with 21st century luxury steeped in the values of our Oriental heritage. This is the DNA of our brand. Mandarin Oriental’s philosophy is to create a collection of unique hotels, which have their own distinct individuality and sense of place.  Our innovative restaurants and bars are unique to each hotel and embraced by the local community, making them a destination in their own right. We’ve also successfully partnered with famous chefs, such as Daniel Boulud and Heston Blumenthal, as well as Thierry Marx and Pierre Gagnaire.  Equally, we’ve launched up-and-coming new chefs, who have put their own stamp on our restaurants. Another strength of the Group is our holistic approach to Spas. Mandarin Oriental has a genuine grasp of wellness, which can be seen in our exclusive spa designs, offering some of the top facilities in the world’s most exquisite settings.

At the crux of all that we do is the quality of our service.  This is the personalized service that’s given to each guest and the sincerity of the people who deliver it.  Passion, enthusiasm and attention to detail is essential in order for our guests to feel that they are being looked after by people who genuinely care for them. And that’s our mission – to delight and satisfy each and every guest.

MOHG recently revealed the Royal Suite at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, the city’s grandest presidential suite with six bedrooms! What can you tell us about these happenings, and are you planning on doing any other major “unveilings” in the near future?

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is at the heart of our beloved brand with 140 years of heritage, passion and service excellence! In celebration, the hotel has launched a series of bespoke music, fashion, art and culinary events throughout 2016.

Famed for introducing Michelin starred chefs to Thailand in the mid-1970s, Bangkok’s premier gourmet destination is continuing the tradition with commemorative collaborations at the highly acclaimed Le Normandie French fine dining restaurant by two-star Michelin Chef Alain Solivérès and three-star Michelin Chef Sébastian Bras. At Lord Jim’s, two-star Michelin Chef José Avillez will present his exceptional cuisine followed by three-star Michelin Chef Diego Oka. Art aficionados will delight in an exhibition of selected works from renowned and emerging Thai contemporary artists who are featured in the recently launched Thailand Eye: Contemporary Thai Art book. The exhibition is currently on display until the end of May and includes the works of an emerging Thai artist who is supported by Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.

We have also just redone all the rooms and suites at the stylish Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, making them the newest room product in the city.

This September, we are delighted to launch the restyling of all guestrooms at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC! The rooms will be designed in an elegant, residential style and will perfectly complement the hotel’s picturesque views of the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument and of course the city’s famed cherry blossom trees.

How do the MOHG properties prepare for events like the Art Basel in Hong Kong being an official partner of the event or the Marrakech Biennale, what can guests expect to experience during these special events?

We love these kind of events because they speak to core elements of the Mandarin Oriental brand. We ensure these cultural events and the vibrant energy they bring to each destination becomes part of the guest experience both inside and outside of the hotel.

2016 is the Year of the Monkey –Mandarin properties around the world are offering Year of the Fire Money Spa Experience. Have you tried it yet?! You must tell us all about this treatment that will banish our negative energy.

Smarties don’t have negative energy! I have not yet tried it but plan on doing so and soon. The Fire Monkey year is said to be one of change, requiring strength and agility in order to succeed. To celebrate Chinese New Year, the treatment provides guests with a sense of balance and harmony for both body and mind.

The Spas at Mandarin Oriental are proud of their strong oriental heritage, and the Year of the Fire Monkey Spa Experience incorporates a number of traditional elements to stimulate the senses, relax the mind and rejuvenate the body. From the start of the experience, guests are welcomed with hot or cold towels infused with mandarin orange or tangerine oil, both of which symbolize good tidings. They are then invited to enjoy a welcome drink of Chinese red dates, honey and goji berries, which help to destress and encourage sleep.

The Year of the Fire Monkey Experience features a relaxing foot ritual with rose oil, followed by a full body exfoliation incorporating chrysanthemum flowers which are good for relieving stress. Following a warm shower with the addition of ‘pomelo water’, guests can experience the power and deep relaxation that comes with a short, guided singing bowl session. The bowl is gently placed on the abdomen, and the ‘singing’ sound provides stimulation for the body’s energy channels. The hands-on body massage that follows combines the powerful effects of oriental meridian massage with a blend of ylang ylang, rose and calming chamomile oils.

MOHG has an impressive list of celebrity Fans. Tell us about the Fan concept, where did it come from?

Mandarin Oriental’s global print advertising campaign, which launched in 2000, continues to gather ‘fans’ from around the world. The campaign simply and elegantly connects the Group’s well-recognized symbol – the fan – with international celebrities who regularly stay at the hotels and are true fans of the Group. Each fan is photographed in a location of their choice which, for them, best represents the feeling of well-being. In appreciation of their support, the Group makes a donation to each celebrity’s individual choice of charity. The Group recently welcomed two new personality as our fans – celebrated Chinese actor, singer and model, Chen Kun and the award-winning French actress, Isabelle Huppert – a total of 29 celebrities endorsing our brand.

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