The world’s best urban resorts
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Nothing quite says ‘escape’ like leaving the mainland behind. Across a bridge from Downtown Miami, Mandarin Oriental, Miami is an opulent island retreat, with front-row views over Biscayne Bay. Its tri-level, award-winning spa gives you 15,000 square feet to swan around in, wrapped in the hotel’s famously soft robes. At dusk, make for the MO Bar + Lounge, for the city’s finest dirty martini.
The ultimate hideaway: Once you’ve seen its infinity-edge tub, you’ll understand why the Presidential Suite tops our list. Guests also have access to an in-suite spa therapist, available 24 hours a day.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Piccadilly Circus dazzles in HD technicolour. The business districts are 50 shades of skyscraper blue. But London is, above all else, gorgeously green, with its garden squares and magnificent royal parks.
Set on the most splendid of them all, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London has the most impressive back garden in hotel history. Keep an eye out for the Royal Household Cavalry, who trot past every day, or book your own riding session in Hyde Park, with the nearby stables. If the bright lights of the West End call, the hottest tables are right on your doorstep, while Knightsbridge’s boutiques are a fashionista’s dream. Recover back at the hotel, whose tranquil basement spa feels like another world.
The ultimate hideaway: A quiet nook at The Rosebery, for an afternoon tea spanning plum-jam slathered scones and Scottish smoked salmon sandwiches.
Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech
You can’t talk about frenetic cities and leave out Marrakech. And, similarly, you can’t talk about urban oases and skip Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech.
Just ten minutes’ drive from the clamorous, crowded Jemaa el-Fna, it’s a bubble of serenity, from its birdsong-filled grounds to its steamy, marble-tiled hammams. Sip a morning mint tea on your suite’s terrace, looking over the Atlas Mountains, or lunch on mezze and grilled fish at the canopied Pool Garden.
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona
If you absolutely can’t choose between the city and beach, Barcelona has both, with days spent shoreside and nights hopping between high-end cava bars. And, at the heart of it all, is Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona. It’s set on Passeig de Gràcia, the city’s prettiest boulevard, crafted by the Catalan bourgeoisie and their architectural patron saint, Gaudí.
These days, the famous street hums with shoppers, but only the savviest head for a break at Mandarin Oriental’s lavender-fringed Mimosa Garden. Come summer, it’s all about the rooftop Terrat, with its 360° city views and Peruvian nibbles.
The ultimate hideaway: A basement spa that doubles up as the city’s most serene spot. Swim a few lengths in its sleek indoor pool, then head to a low-lit treatment room, for a nurturing Inner Strength massage or customised retreat for two.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai
Much like the glossy supercars that tear down its 16-lane highway, life in Dubai moves at pace. Architects race to build the highest skyscrapers and ice creams are devoured before they melt. Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, meanwhile, is an oasis from both heat and hustle, from its calm, crystalline lobby to its palm-edged pool.
Once you’ve recharged, the buzzy La Mer district and Mercato Shopping Mall are within walking distance, while a ten-minute ride in the hotel’s Lexus will take you to the heart of it all: glittering Downtown.
The ultimate hideaway: Either the hotel’s beachside cabanas or its rooftop restaurant Tasca, serving up Michelin-starred tapas and Arabian-Gulf views.