Over two years ago during a visit to Las Vegas to attend a wedding, I discovered the Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, right on the Strip. At the time, a half dozen or so of us piled into a taxi and headed over to the Mandarin Oriental from the Trump. It was a bit rushed because there were wedding activities planned for that evening and we had chosen a mid-afternoon tea time, ordering pots of tea and only a snack to accompany them. However, the visit left a positive impression and the desire to return.
Earlier this month, I had that opportunity. My friend and I were attending a conference in Las Vegas for several days. Since my friend also enjoys tea, I arranged a trip there on Thursday, the day after our presentation and during our mid-day break from conference sessions. The weather was chilly and overcast – perfect for a nice pot of tea and a tranquil setting. Thanks to the many enclosed passageways and trams that snake between the hotels on the Strip, we managed to avoid the cold, but the journey took a bit longer than we expected. We called ahead to apologize for our tardiness, but were reassured that there was no rush. Sure enough, when we arrived, our table by the window was ready for us and we sank down into the comfortable seats with a sigh.
Before long, our attentive server delivered the menus. Selecting the Classic English Afternoon Tea service was the easy part. Choosing the tea to accompany it was a bit more challenging. The Mandarin Oriental Tea Lounge knows its teas and offers a meticulous selection. I decided on the Monkey-Picked Oolong and was not disappointed. It was subtle, flavorful, clean, and exquisite. I had no trouble emptying the very large pot. My friend chose the Organic Lychee Green that was sweetly floral. It is always a pleasure to enjoy tea prepared by someone who appreciates fine tea and knows how best to serve it. No bags or filters to fiddle with, just perfectly steeped tea.
The sandwiches, scones, and desserts we enjoyed were equally impressive and imaginatively presented – innovative twists on some of the old standards as well as items entirely new.
The Mandarin Oriental Tea Lounge is the antidote to the hustle and bustle of the Strip. Next time you are in Vegas, slip away for some heavenly tea.