Rosewood: The English Garden served as the setting for "movie night" on a large screen, mostly for kids. Small bands played in their lounge.
Mandarin: Live entertainment will include bands—more of a southern, jazzy nature—including a live pianist on Thursdays and Fridays. The garden will transform into a "Enchanted Holiday Garden" during holidays.
Winner:It's a toss up, but Mandarin Oriental is offering more options.
Rosewood: Contemporary elegance
Mandarin: Oriental-themed decor with modern Southern twist
Winner: Mandarin Oriental
The bones of the resort never changed, so if you were to return to the new hotel, you'd still find the architectural love by Robert A.M. Stern, including neoclassical touches like the chandeliers and marble floor. In fact, Mandarin quite liked his work but they embellished with tons of floral design, contemporary art and, soon to come, their signature scent in all public and private spaces. They win.
Rosewood: Butler service, Lydia Mondavi's "29" bathroom amenities.
Mandarin: Aromatherapy bathroom amenities.
None of the 127 spacious guestrooms changed (yes, all corner suites still have those awesome balconies). Rosewood wins this round for the butler service and the fact Mondavi uses grapeseed extract, which is notoriously great for skincare!
Rosewood: Rosewood's services was based on 29 Spa where Mondavi products (vinotherapy) were used for treatments. Decor included vineyard prints.
Mandarin: Aromatherapy-based products and services are used (produces include ESPA)and signature foot ritual precedes all treatments.
Winner: Mandarin Oriental
The spa spans two levels and 15,000-square-feet (the largest spa in Georgia) with a huge fitness center, yoga studio, 60-foot indoor pool, 14 treatment rooms and separate mens/womens hot/cold areas with Jacuzzi, steam and sauna, so ultimately everyone wins. We love vinotherapies, but with a foot scrub and cleanse included in all services, tea and slippers brought to you before you begin your spa journey and more exciting art, Mandarin edges forward.
Rosewood: The Cafe & Bar served fine-dining and comfort foods three times a day.
Mandarin: The Cafe & Bar serves fine-dining three times a day. The restaurant is soon to launch a program with Daron Joffe, a local biodynamic farmer known as "Farmer D."
Winner: TBD. There was no executive chef when Mandarin took over, though the hotel is in the process of looking for one (any takers?). But, the program with Daron Joffe, who graced the NYT Travel Section three months ago, sounds promising.
[Photos: Mandarin Oriental Group]