Four Seasons Vs. Mandarin Oriental. Which Hotel Is Best?


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Which hotel brand is best, Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental? The choice between these two hotel brands varies between individual hotels within each brand.

Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental hotels are both highly luxurious. Four Seasons tends to embrace the character of their respective destination and usually have excellent facilities, extensive grounds, spas, and pools.

Our experience with Mandarin Oriental hotels is that they often offer a more modern, generic, and Oriental finish, more in tune with the brand than the local area. City Mandarin Oriental hotels are stunning but can lack the facilities of a Four Seasons hotel, such as a pool and an extensive spa.

Mandarin Oriental in Geneva, for example, has limited communal space and a small gym but no pool. There’s a salon offering treatments rather than a full-on spa. Four Seasons Geneva offers a pool and comprehensive spa.

That said, you can’t argue with the level of luxury in the rooms at Mandarin Oriental hotels. Both Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons hotels are excellent choices.

We have outlined the best Four Seasons hotels and best Mandarin Oriental hotels in case you want to delve further into each hotel brand.

We have broken the comparison down into the different features of various hotels within each brand.

1. Loyalty

There’s no Four Seasons loyalty program although you can get free benefits from your very first Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental stay by booking with our luxury travel concierge.

Unlike Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, Hilton Honours, and most other loyalty programs around the world, the Mandarin Oriental loyalty program does not offer guests the ability to collect points or credits towards free nights. By joining, you get selected free benefits, which are nowhere near as good as the benefits you get by booking via luxury travel concierge team.

Our travel agency partnership with Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental Hotels means that you will also get brilliant free benefits, usually including breakfast for two, prioritized room upgrades (subject to availability), hotel credit, and more if you book with one of our team. Our deals are almost always better than booking directly on the hotel website for both brands.

2. Style

Four Seasons offers a variety of styles across their hotels according to the destination and the property itself. Their hotels are stunning, welcoming but also formal and palatial. Four Seasons Grand Hotel Du Cap Ferrat is a historic property, so it takes its style accents from its classic and historic French architecture. If there’s a more beautiful hotel than this, I’ve yet to find it.

Another example of a beautiful Four Seasons hotel that embraces traditional architecture and mixes this with classic modern furnishings is The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort in the Bahamas, which has a colonial feel. Others, such as the best Four Seasons resorts in Hawaii offer a more modern architecture.

Mandarin Oriental hotels do not tend to embrace the local area quite so religiously. In Geneva, Four Seasons is located in a deeply historic and ornate building on the lakefront. Mandarin Oriental is a short walk away and feels modern, with a hint of Oriental and very little Swiss charm. That said, the Mandarin Oriental Geneva offers some wonderful rooftop rooms with large terraces where you can hear the Swiss church bells ringing, so each hotel has its merits.

3. Location

Four Seasons hotels are expanding rapidly with destinations across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. They are situated in tourist destinations and major cities.

Mandarin Oriental hotels are most prolific in cities. Currently, there are around 40 Mandarin Oriental hotels worldwide. A new opening is Mandarin Oriental Zurich, which is a beautiful boutique property right in the heart of Zurich with impressive suites, some of the largest in the city and also single rooms for business travelers.

4. Size

Although this is not always the case, Mandarin Oriental hotels generally tend to be smaller in size than Four Seasons hotels.

5. Rooms

Individual hotel rooms at Mandarin Oriental Hotels are very predictable in decor and design. They are spacious with an Oriental flavor rather than embracing the local area. The rooms in Four Seasons hotels are also very large and consistent, with generous bathrooms. Four Seasons rooms do embrace the local area with Parisien, Swiss, Canadian etc. ambiance within each room. For example, Four Seasons Whistler feels like a log cabin, and all its rooms have fireplaces in them.

Both Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons tend to invest a huge amount in refurbishment when launching a hotel and insist on minimum room and bathroom dimensions and a minimum level of decor, which means both brands offer impressive rooms.

6. Pool and Gym

Mandarin Oriental city hotels don’t tend to have pools. Their facilities can be limited at certain properties. Their Geneva and Zurich properties are a good example of this.

The Four Seasons facilities are beautifully designed and usually have more leisure facilities, particularly when it comes to the pool and spa, but this is very property-dependent.

8. Ski

Some of the best ski hotels in the world are Four Seasons. Mandarin Oriental currently has no ski hotels, but the brand is set to launch a ski hotel in 2025.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will introduce its first alpine resort in the summer of 2025 in the Italian ski resort of Cortina. The ultra-luxury hospitality company has inked a management deal to rebrand and manage the historic Hotel Cristallo d’Ampezzo, which will undergo substantial renovation. The property is earmarked to reopen as Mandarin Oriental Cristallo, Cortina, ahead of the Milano-Cortina Winter Olympics.

The property sits above the most recognized mountain village in the Dolomites, a short walk away from Cortina d’Ampezzo, known as the ‘Queen of the Dolomites,’ which features award-winning restaurants, high-end boutiques, and local arts and crafts.

9. Club Lounge

Most Mandarin Oriental hotels don’t offer club lounges. However, Mandarin Oriental hotels do have one of the best club lounges in Singapore and one of the best club lounges in Kuala Lumpur.

Most Four Seasons hotels don’t have club lounges, but we have reviewed the best Four Seasons with Club Lounges so you can take a look and the four Seasons hotels that do offer a club lounge.

10. Family Facilities

Both brands are family-friendly, but Four Seasons has a particularly amazing kids program with gifts and special touches in the rooms. I would say Four Seasons is the best child-friendly hotel brand in the world.

10. Conclusion

Both of these hotel brands offer magnificent hotels. Mandarin Oriental hotels tend to be a similar level of luxury to Four Seasons, although they can offer fewer facilities, particularly when it comes to a pool. Four Seasons hotels tend to be more immaculately finished with more local interior design.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.