(Full disclosure: I am an employee of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and visited Las Vegas for leisure. Our employee discount is not applicable towards Afternoon Tea. I paid full price for Afternoon Tea for two guests.)
Afternoon Tea at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is offered daily from 1-5pm in their Mandarin Lobby Lounge, which overlooks the Strip. A Classic Afternoon Tea starts at $38 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. An 18% gratuity is automatically added to your final invoice for convenience, with an option to add additional gratuity at your discretion. If you are staying at a MGM property (to include Aria and Vdara), you are able to post charges to your room. A Gluten Free option is offered, which I’ll highlight in my review. Another interesting thing to note is for an additional $15 per person (3 person minimum) a gong-fu style tea is offered using their signature Dragonwell tea. Reservations are highly recommended.
There are only a handful of places on The Strip to enjoy a leisurely Afternoon Tea. The places I also considered were Veranda at the Four Seasons and Petrossian Bar at the Bellagio. The Four Seasons offers Afternoon Tea Monday through Friday from 3-4pm, while the Bellagio offers daily tea from 1-4pm. All require reservations. While the Four Seasons did not list the price on their website, Afternoon Tea at the Bellagio starts at $35 per person. I have had lunch at Veranda on a past visit and enjoyed the view and quiet surroundings. If the weather was warmer, I would definitely consider having tea there on my next visit to Vegas.
I was able to make my reservations via email through the food and beverage coordinator, who was very friendly and helpful. I decided on a 2pm reservation on Friday, and we were able to check in early to our room and settle in for a bit before heading up to the Sky Lounge level for tea. There are only a few tables in the lounge, and window views are highly coveted. The seats in the lounge were on the low side. We were seated at a two-top in the middle of the lounge. The tables themselves were ornate glass side tables, which are small, but the sweets and savories are served on a floor-level tiered stand right beside you, so the table was cozy but never overcrowded.
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas uses Tealeaves as their purveyor of tea and offers a variety of teas. I decided on a Green Lychee and my boyfriend selected their signature blend, which Tealeaves blended especially for this location. While we consider ourselves well-versed in tea, I overheard the lounge staff explaining different teas and their benefits to other guests.
The savory selections for my tea included smoke salmon and cucumber sandwich with watercress spread, a mini sesame cone filled with curry chicken and topped with a mound of Asian pear (to resemble an ice cream cone!), goat cheese tartlet, Black Forest ham sandwich. There were two scones served with Devonshire cream and a duo of marmalade and jam.
For sweets there was a pistachio and passion fruit cake, a mini tart filled with jam and lemon curd, topped with a toasted marshmallow that looked like a Hershey’s kiss, a salted caramel creme puff, and house made truffle.
For my boyfriend, he had a gluten free version of the tea, which included the salmon and cucumber sandwich and Black Forest ham sandwiches on gluten free bread. He received 2 of each. There were no gluten free scones so a fruit platter was substituted. For sweets, it included a strawberry macaron, a chocolate covered strawberry, and the aforementioned the pistachio and passionfruit cake and the truffle. The gluten free bread used in the sandwich was of high quality and was quite fluffy. Store bought gluten free bread tends to be dry and dense. This was a white bread, while mine was a wheat or rye bread.
The savories and sweets were more imaginative than what’s featured on the Afternoon Tea menu at the property where I work back home. Everything was delectable, save for the fruit platter, which are never really good because the fruit is almost always under ripe—this has been my experience regardless of the caliber of the hotel. The service was impeccable and unobtrusive. We really enjoyed ourselves and it was a lovely respite from the hustle and bustle of the Strip. I would highly recommend this experience to my fellow Steepster-ites if they are planning a visit to Sin City!
Additional Note: The signature Mandarin Oriental Orange blend is available for purchase for $25 for a 100g tin (similar pricing to Mariage Freres) or $100 for 400g. Unfortunately, they are out of stock of 100g until the summer. This blend is not available through Tealeaves’ website, but you are able to purchase other teas featured on the menu.