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Mandarin Oriental coming to Lake Como as it takes over CastaDiva

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In what could be a very promising luxury hotel option for Italy, Mandarin Oriental is taking over management of the CastaDiva Resort & Spa on Lake Como.

The property will be rebranded as Mandarin Oriental, Lake Como in spring 2019 following a refurbishment.

This will be Mandarin Oriental’s first resort in western Europe and will complement the existing Milan hotel.  According to the press release:

“Located on the shores of Lake Como, and surrounded by lush botanic parkland, the resort is a landmark of historic importance, comprising 76 spacious rooms and suites housed in nine villas, dating from the 19th Century. Two of the villas will be bookable in their entirety giving guests their own private retreat. Almost all accommodation has lake views that can be enjoyed from either a balcony or terrace. The resort features four restaurants and bars, including a lakeside terrace for al fresco dining, a large spa with an indoor swimming pool and an outdoor floating pool on the lake. There is also a variety of social and meeting facilities in the resort’s grounds.

Lake Como has been a popular travel destination for centuries, and is regarded as one of the most beautiful resort areas in northern Italy. The lake is surrounded by villas, gardens and villages and offers visitors a wealth of scenic views, hiking trails, boating and other water activities. It is easily accessed from Milan Malpensa airport.”

If you are looking to book this or any other Mandarin Oriental hotel, you can get exclusive special benefits – better than you will get by booking direct – via our hotel partner Emyr Thomas.  You can find full details here.

Hotel offers update – July 2021:

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Comments (62)

  • the real harry1 says:

    Looks to be true – logged in & my wife’s Plat can only refer to Plat, Gold & Green. Same family referrals only from now on.

    Good job she referred me for Nectar a couple of weeks ago – can’t do that (or BA/ SPG) any more.

    • Simon says:

      Dark days. Surprised no comment from Rob on this though. Quite a significant change for Platinums. Has there been an official announcement ?

      • Genghis says:

        There wasn’t exactly an official announcement when it started last year…

        • Simon says:

          Oh. I thought I got an email from them, or a big banner when I logged in to my account.

        • RussellH says:

          ‘Reverting’ to same family referrals seems completely logical to me. I always suspected that the (now clearly temporary) ability to refer from anything to anuthing might have been an IT error.

          An did not the surely silly (from Amex’s point of view) ability to refer oneself start around the same time, so possibly part of the same IT glitch?

      • Benilyn says:

        Ahhh 🙁 that is really bad news!

        • Hingeless says:

          It is strange that the rules are different in each country, i need to do a referral to Mrs hingeless in oz, was surprised and excited to find this:

          “You can receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you refer a friend by 15 August 2018 and your friend applies by 29 August 2018 using your link and is approved. Your friend can apply for the Card you have or choose from a range of other Cards that are part of your referral program.

          Your friend can earn up to 120,000 Membership Rewards points if they apply for an American Express® Platinum Card by 29 August 2018, are approved and spend $1,500 on the Card each month for the first 3 months of Card Membership. (T&Cs apply).”

    • Richard says:

      SPG to SPG referrals now showing as 9,000 new scheme points too. Wasn’t it 6,000 old scheme points before??

    • Big Mac says:

      Yes, same for my Platinum account. It looks like the days for self referral are over. What’s next, extending the 6 months to 12 months to reapply for a card and get bonus points?

      • Pangolin says:

        Next is switching to the US system where you can only get the signup bonus once, rather than churning constantly like in the UK.

        The difference is that they have massive signup bonuses for various cards, as well as better benefits (elite night credits, Diamond status in HH, etc.)

        • Alan says:

          Yeah I can see us getting the first bit but sadly not the second bit!

    • S says:

      Was fun while it lasted. I kind of saw it coming, since they lose money every time you pay with a co branded card.

    • Big Mac says:

      Just checked the T’s and C’s on a renewal and it says in order to get the sign up bonus “This offer is not available if you currently hold or have held any other Avios enrolled American Express Cards in the past 6 months.” Looks like you have to be without any kind of Amex card for 6 months to get the sign up points.

      • Simon says:

        “Avios enrolled” card is the key here. Plat is Membership Rewards, SPG is Marriot pts, Nectar is god know what…. Different currency cards so all good (at the moment)….

    • AndyGWP says:

      Working again for me 🙂

      phew! 🙂

    • Simon says:

      My Plat referral link working as normal now. Pick your card….

      • Roger says:

        33,000 points for SPG card, Seems too generous to me!

        • Roger says:

          Offer only available to new Cardmembers. The 33,000 points will be awarded onto your Account once you have been approved and have spent a minimum of £1,000 on goods and services purchased and charged to your Account within your first three months of Cardmembership. You must apply via the button on the previous page to ensure you both receive your bonus. Applicants must be UK residents aged 18 years old or over. If you have already applied for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card without using this referral, you will not be eligible for the bonus points. All introductory offers are subject to change, can be withdrawn at any time and are not available if you currently hold or have held a Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card in the past six months. Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 3,000 and 30,000 and can take up to 4 weeks to be awarded to your Account.

        • the real harry1 says:

          it’s not 33K points under the old measurement, it’s exactly the same as before

        • Alan says:

          Just 3x old 11k Starpoints?

  • Nick says:

    Definition of Champagne: “An overrated sparkling wine drunk by people with no taste but with a propensity to discuss gold bath taps”. Can’t remember who said that but it is has a definite ring of truth. Imagine being stuck for 12 hours in a club world seat next to champagne bore – have to get that divider up very quickly.

    • the real harry1 says:

      Harsh 🙂 – one of the very best university evenings I went to was when a couple of Champagne house business people came round to explain all about Champagne & taste us through various vintages. Knowing students, they also brought along about 100 bottles of fizz for about 50 of us lol

      It was a fantastic evening and they stayed to entertain us way beyond the allotted time.

      If you don’t buy into the hype, buy into value

      • Mike says:

        Harry – my house champagne…..

        • the real harry1 says:

          This is what those nice people at Maison Taittinger laid on for us back in 1986 or so 🙂 We had a female Taittinger lead the tasting, they keep it in the family:

          A vertical tasting of seven vintages of Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs will form the centrepiece for the Institute’s annual Champagne master class in early December.
          The Institute’s final event of the year will see Champagne Taittinger present vintages from 2002- a preview of the yet to be released vintage of their prestige cuvée – back to 1990. Nine wines will be shown in total.
          The master class will be presented by Taittinger’s President, Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger, Damien Le Sueur, Deputy General Manager, and the Chef de Caves, Loic Dupont. Moderation will be provided by Nancy Gilchrist MW, of the Institute’s Events Committee.
          The master class will run from 10am to 1pm on 2 December 2011 at Vintners’ Hall, Upper Thames Street, London. Tickets are priced at £75 each (MW and Institute student discounts apply).

        • the real harry1 says:

          Not sure Damien Le Sueur would be a great table companion! 🙂

        • the real harry1 says:

          = Damien Le Sweaty Pig lol 🙂

      • RussellH says:

        We buy little champagne – quite happy with Crémant d’Alsace / de Jura / de Bourgogne / Vouvray / Saumur / Blanquette de Limoux (who claim to have been using the méthode traditionelle long before Champagne) – but when we do we have been more than happy with Aldi’s and Lidl’s offers, but always bought in France, where we have seen the same stuff as in the UK, but two numbers lower in price eg £11.99 => €9,99.

    • Anna says:

      I’ve no interest in bath taps of any hue but I do love champagne with my bacon roll in the lounge! If you’re ever sitting next to me in CW I’ll be the one buried in books and films for 12 hours of rare peace and quiet!

      • BJ says:

        Makes my passion for a Scotch and a bar of chocolate together seem quite conventional 🙂

        • Nick says:

          Well in that case I”ll leave the divider down and enjoy a wee dram if I find myself sitting next to you! You clearly have impeccable taste and probably eschew gold taps too.

        • CV3V says:

          Mines is a whisky, chocolate, followed by some gaviscon.

        • Lady London says:

          How could you ruin good Scotch with chocolate?

      • BJ says:

        When all the mini Green&Blacks have disappeared from the Club Kitchen you will know I am on board.

    • Charlotte says:

      I bet you wouldn’t say that if it was a pretty girl….

  • Dev says:

    Champagne = Posh mans Lager!

    (Only kidding, I love the stuff and other types of wine).

  • Andrew says:

    Back in April, Galleries First T5 had Tattinger which was a rare treat – I think they were between suppliers and popped down to World Duty Free!

  • TimM says:

    “Castelnau champagne will continue to be served in Galleries Club and onboard in Club Europe, whilst Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle will also still be served in First. This is actually the most premium offering, retailing at £120 per bottle at Majestic”

    …but £23.33 per bottle on the Wine Society site (6 for £140 with free delivery).

    • Roberto says:

      LPGS @£23.33 a bottle?
      I doubt it……..

    • Stuart_f says:

      Not sure what you are looking at. The Wine Society don’t stock Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle.

    • DavidK says:

      I wish! I am a member and I don’t think I ever even seen it for sale let alone priced cheaper than NV M&C.

    • AndyGWP says:

      I think the OP has misinterpreted their quoted text (i.e. Castelnau appears to be £140 for 6 on the Wine Society website)

    • Qfx says:

      can you buy me a case? I’ll pass you the cash and even a small handling fee!

  • Chris Cannon says:

    Canard Duchene is a particularly good, albeit relatively unknown Champagne, looking forward to my next flight (unfortunately is nearly 5 months away)

  • chris says:


    I booking a flight to MEX with a stopover in the US. a few connecting flights from Delta/Air France/KLM all on the same ticket. not taken such a flight before, i only really have any stake in the the VS flying club, i know i can credit the delta flights to this. can i credit separate flights on the same ticket to different reward schemes?


  • Greg says:

    Rob. You have quoted retail prices for the Champagnes in your article, but do you have any indication what the cost is to BA (or BAA or whoever supplies it) “duty and tax free” ? It must be peanuts.

    • Rob says:

      I assume buying 2 million bottles per year gets you certain discounts, yes, but on the other hand you are not in Tesco territory. Duty and VAT on a £30 bottle is only about £7. I guess they would pay around £10 on that basis.

      Because you can’t make more vintage champagne, you don’t need to discount massively. You only have the stock you laid down 5 years ago and if you know you can sell it anyway over time there is no need to do a deal.

      This is different to, say, The White Company bedding. Even if they charged £20 for a blanket instore the BA contract is all marginal profit on a fresh manufacturing order so as long as they make a tiny bit on each one they’d be happy, which means BA could be paying peanuts.

      • Crafty says:

        They don’t buy it direct. First Class wines are bought through a wine importer in London. BA is not their largest customer (or even close), so benefits from the scale of other customers, such as food distributors, which are much bigger buyers. You’re right, the cost for the champagne isn’t peanuts because the houses hold some “brand” value, rare in the wine world. You’ll find a lot of the (still) wine is very cheap to produce.

      • the real harry1 says:

        I’m sure that’s in principle right for Champagne – but Diageo/ Pernod Ricard would cut off their own noses to secure the BA spirits contract (they want the exposure) – you wouldn’t therefore know if they bundled up a Champagne in the overall deal but might start to guess in the right direction if you worked out who owns which Champagne brands we’re talking about here…

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