I love the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, sumptuous in its early nineteen eighties glory: streaked marble, quasi-Imperial Chinese bas-reliefs on the walls, dripping rectangular chandeliers and bowls of orchids. If that sounds showy or gaudy though, its not. The room is beautiful, and opulent. It is this opulence that I love; it’s what I thought wealth looked like when I was a kid in the Australian suburbs, a world where people went everywhere in leopard skin fur coats in gold-plated Benzs.
And here is my tip: I use the Mandarin Oriental as a post office. They have stamps at the front desk and they can send overseas parcels ( and they don’t ask for your room number). Its no cheaper that the post office, but saves the often horrendous line – and it just makes life that little bit more glamorous.