Tuesday, 9 September 2014


In a few hours Mandarin Oriental will close it's doors after 38 years of operation.

As I write this post, they are currently serving their last buffet. The next breakfast will be served in the year 2020 in a different location and by a different group of chefs and wait staff. 

This post is hard to write. This hotel served as my home when I couldn't make it back to Iloilo during Chinese New Years and Mid-Autumn Festivals. It was always fun to listen to Master Chau share his fearless forecast for the year ahead. The place was filled with people. It helped made me forget that I was alone in the big city.

Later on my brother trained here for a couple of weeks before he left for The Ritz Carlton Naples.  In those few weeks, he managed to meet lots of friends. He told me that the  chefs and commis of Mandarin Oriental are very down to earth and approachable...always happy to teach.

It was also in Paseo Uno where S and I celebrated our First Valentines' Day.


This hotel  holds so much memories that I feel so sad that it will be closing in a few hours. 

Originally, I planned to attend today's breakfast but given my history of crying in public, I was advised not to go there alone. So I went with S for dinner last Saturday. The chocolate fondue that made them famous many years ago was not as abundant as it used to. They were just depleting what they have left. No more time to re-order. 

Sure, Mandarin will open it's doors again in 2020 but I will miss the people. I don't know them by name but some of them have been with the hotel ever since it opened 38 years ago. I loved seeing their familiar faces every time I visit.

Because my brother believes that people and ambiance are part of a hotel's spirit, he couldn't resist to take pictures. He got teary eyed that they all seemed very happy. Perhaps, they are looking forward to their package (which I was told is very generous) or maybe they are just being professional. As they always say in this industry: SERVE WITH A SMILE AND WORK WITH PASSION NO MATTER HOW TIRED YOU ARE.

And as we walked out of Paseo Uno, I remembered  all the happy memories and I felt very grateful to this hotel that helped made those happen.

To the team of Mandarin Oriental, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Still On Pause,


Photos by: Chef Louie Chua

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