Mandarin Oriental: Q&A with Clifford Atkinson

General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Cliff AtkinsonLA DREAMS Magazine: You are one of only fourteen Forbes’ Triple Five-Star hotels worldwide and the only one in Las Vegas. How do you feel this rating has impacted your market share of the most affluent individuals who visit Las Vegas?

Clifford Atkinson: The impact has been positive. Affluent travelers from all over the globe recognize and appreciate our differentiation in the market as a non-gaming, non-smoking destination in the world’s largest hotel market.

DREAMS: The Triple Five-Star rating evaluates nearly 800 objectives – how do you ensure that all three facets (hotel, spa and restaurant) meet the requirements for five stars each and every year?

Atkinson: We work very closely with Forbes and incorporate their standards into Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s legendary training techniques. By collaborating with Forbes, we ensure that we are focused on independently achieving these goals.

DREAMS: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is a marquee amenity not only at your property but in Las Vegas as well; what separates The Spa at Mandarin Oriental from other spas in Las Vegas?

Atkinson: I always say that to fully experience Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas you must experience our Spa. The intimacy and service levels of our spa lend themselves to the authentic experiences one would have in our spas in Asia.

DREAMS: Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is the only Pierre Gagnaire restaurant in the United States. What has been the impact of working exclusively with him to deliver a five-star dining experience?

Atkinson: We receive travelers from all over the world seeking to experience Chef Pierre’s cuisine. He is a wonderful collaborator and partner to work with.  His culinary vision is in line with our standards and we are privileged and honored to be able to house Pierre Gagnaire’s only restaurant in the U.S.

DREAMS: Mandarin Oriental prides itself on impeccable hospitality inspired by your Asian heritage. Because of this, do you feel your property attracts more Asian travelers; domestic and international; than other resorts in Las Vegas?

Atkinson: Service is another point of differentiation for us, and yes, since our brand is historically very well known in Asia, we do find that Asian travelers are attracted to our property. However, we also find that we are appealing to those travelers in search of a true luxury experience.

DREAMS: You are located at the entrance of CityCenter. How has having Las Vegas’ only Triple Five-Star location impacted the success and growth of CityCenter as a whole?

Atkinson: Being located at the entrance of ARIA Resort & Casino, we are a small but complementary part of the campus experience. We are able to provide our guests an intimate luxury hotel experience while also providing access to Las Vegas’ very best gaming, dining and nightlife destination at ARIA. The proximity of our sister property truly provides our guests with the best of both worlds in Las Vegas.

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