Harry Connick Jr. performs at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental // (c) 2009 Mandarin Oriental
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental knows how to stand out from its Hong Kong competitors. The 113-room hotel offers some of the largest guestrooms in the region — with an average size of more than 540 square feet — at a rate that is sometimes the highest in all of Hong Kong. And with occupancy rates in the 80 percent range, the hotel is indeed building a strong business model for success.
The Landmark’s most distinguishing feature, however, might just be its partnership with Sony Music, which formed the ever-popular MO Bar Unplugged Series in 2007. At The Landmark’s MO Bar (the winner of Virtuoso’s Best Bar award in the 2009 Best of the Best Awards), popular recording artists, such as John Legend, Harry Connick Jr., Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and Wyclef Jean, have launched their new albums and entertained up to 300 guests.
“With our partners, Sony Music, we have held a series of mini-concerts that gives the artist the opportunity to perform in an intimate venue and, obviously, this creates a great story for the hotel, the artist and Sony Music,” said Tony Costa, general manager of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental. “MO Bar is perfect for the artist, and the [Unplugged Series] brings something unique to the hotel that no other international luxury hotel is offering.”
Musicians typically perform for about 40 minutes, singing songs off their forthcoming albums as well as crowd-pleasing favorites from previous albums. The evening concludes with a Q&A session led by the evening’s emcee.
“In the case of Annie Lennox, we did the Unplugged Series event for Sing, her charity [that supports women and children affected by HIV/AIDS], and raised $65,000,” said Costa.
Lennox’s MO Bar show was her first-ever solo performance in Asia, and guests in attendance watched on as she belted songs off her greatest hits album, “The Annie Lennox Collection,” as well as classics, “Here Comes the Rain Again” and “Sweet Dreams,” from her earlier work in British electro duo, the Eurythmics.
The Landmark and Sony Music are currently finalizing the fall schedule of events, considering both established artists who want to further enhance their image and reputation in Asia and artists that are breaking through, such as finalists from “American Idol” or the British version of “The X Factor.”
“If you have not been to Hong Kong, then come,” said Costa. “It’s a truly amazing city and, at The Landmark, you can relax in the spa, experience Amber restaurant, get late night drinks at MO Bar and you might even end up sitting where John Legend, Alicia Keys or Annie Lennox once sat.”