Tuesday, July 22, 2008
All Access: Mandarin Oriental
When big name stars like britney spears and Jennifer Aniston come to South Florida the Mandarin Oriental is the hotel of choice. But what does it take to keep them happy? The nightteam's Dave Kartunen gives us an all access pass to find out.
WSVN -- Megan McDonald, Entertainment Sales Mgr. Mandarin Oriental: "Welcome to Mandarin Oriental Miami"
From the moment a celeb walks into the Mandarin Oriental, they expect special treatment. It's up to the foliks on staff at this exclusive getaway nestled on Brickell Key to make A-listers happy.
Megan McDonald: "Regardless of 2 a.m. or 2 in the afternoon they know that they can reach me on my Blackberry at any time."
Entertainment sales manager Megan McDonald is on call 24-7 making sure the stars get exactly what they want.
Megan McDonald: "Our first step is to receive their preferences and understand what they're anticipating."
It's Megan's job to make sure whatever a star may want is in stock.
From a fridge filled with specific sodas to their favorite vodka and most importantly which water they drink.
Megan McDonald: "Each celebrity has their own preference, it could be evian it could be Pellegrino, whether it's flat whether it's bubbly."
Most big celebs stay here the Mandarin suite. It's been a home away from home for stars like John Travolta, Penelope Cruz and Jennifer Lopez, the 2600 square foot suite is equipped with its own spa serenity room, where tired celebs can get a private massage.
And if they're so inclined one for their dog as well.
Megan McDonald: "When the celebrity is receiving their spa treatment their little pooch can receive one right next to them."
The suite even has its own private kitchen.
Chef Concierge Guilherme Demelo admits he has gotten some pretty strange requests including one vVIP guest who wanted palm trees sent to his home overseas.
Guilherme Demelo: "We had to find him Coconut trees, and we had to find the containers and ship it to Kuwait."
For a celeb he actually had to take a road trip to find a very rare bottle of wine.
Guilherme Demelo: "We drove to Palm Beach two hours, two hours back, with the wine so he could have it."
And it may surprise you to know some actors don't just live here while they are in town, they work here.
Megan McDonald: The Mandarin Oriental has also been the backdrop to big screen blockbusters like "Bad Boys 2" shot right here in this lobby, and also a new movie with Rene Zellwegger called "Chilled in Miami" was just shot here, that should hit theaters next year."
Even though the job can be a challenge, the staff here says it's worth it.
Megan McDonald: "Make sure everyone is satisfied and happy, that's the big thing."
Of course anyone can get the star treatment if you can afford it! The Mandarin suite will run you $6,500 a night.