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Special Report: Hong Kong’s leading hotels

Sky high: The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

HM checks in to four of Hong Kong’s leading hotels and finds the latest in technology and design, alongside great food and exceptional service.

BY JAMES WILKINSON IN HONG KONG

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
When The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong opened on March 29, 2011, a new benchmark was set for what Marriott’s luxury brand could offer in not just Asia, but across the globe.
“The opening of this landmark hotel in Hong Kong was the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to delivering the very best product, facilities and service in this international gateway city,” said The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company President and Chief Operations Officer, Herve Humler. “Partnering with Hong Kong’s premier developer, Sung Hung Kai Properties, we have been able to create something truly spectacular to welcome our guests not just to the highest hotel in the world, but also to one of the very best hotels in the world. We have taken luxury to new heights in every sense.”
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong occupies floors 102 to 118 at the top of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) and inside are 312 guest rooms, a club lounge, range of bars and restaurants, spa, fitness centre and indoor infinity pool.
It’s inside, and a small area out, where the hotel excels. With Hong Kong’s temperamental weather ensuring clouds are constantly rolling in across the Harbour, The Ritz-Carlton simply must excel when it comes to the rooms, F&B outlets and importantly service. And that’s exactly what happens when you can’t see more than a foot outside your window.
The property’s rooms are both luxuriously appointed and technologically advanced. Expect signature Ritz-Carlton bedding, oversized bathrooms, high-speed WiFi, iPod docking stations, LCD televisions and Blu-ray players.
The food and beverage offering is highlighted by Ozone, a bar located on the 118th floor which offers classic and new-world cocktails, Asian tapas and an impressive list of wines by the glass that can be enjoyed inside or out on the world’s highest terrace, where spectacular views (cloud permitting) are the star of the show.

The rooftop pool at W Hong Kong

W Hong Kong
Starwood can be credited for taking the boutique hotel concept global through its hip brand W and what’s on offer in Hong Kong might just be the best that the New York-based chain has produced. From the interior design – a collaboration between Aussie Nic Graham from g+a and Glamorous’ Yasimuchi Morita from Japan – to the service, location and rooftop pool, the W Hong Kong offers everything a guest could want from a W Hotel.
 “W Hong Kong has a very profound and defined brand position as an innovative, contemporary and design-led hotel,” said Australian expatriate General Manager of W Hong Kong, Peter Hildebrand. “The hotel team is passionate about surprising and delighting our guests, so my aim is to further strengthen the hotel’s appeal through stimulating and expanding the team’s creativity and versatility.
“We must also work with the right partners to reach out and integrate the energy and vitality of the W brand into the lives of those in this community that share our passion for design, music and fashion.
“Hong Kong is one of the most exciting cities in the world and it has always been my personal favourite (and) we will continue to seek out new ways to deliver the W brand experience in order to match the pace of this fast changing city,” he said.
Highlighting the W Hong Kong is the Living Room, a bar attached to the lobby that is light-filled and spacious; Kitchen, a restaurant offering contemporary bistro-style cuisine; the rooftop pool that offers views over sprawling West Kowloon; the Sweat fitness centre on level 73; and the guestrooms which offer the latest in technology (including super-fast WiFi) and comfort.

Luxurious: The Langham, Hong Kong

The Langham, Hong Kong
Glamour, elegance and refined service are just three of the many terms you could use to describe one of Hong Kong’s grand dames, The Langham. The charm of the hotel is at the forefront when you first walk into the grand lobby – from the signature Langham scent to the marble floors, large bouquets of flowers and touches of gold – and that flows through when you walk into the hotels rooms and suites, which are highlighted by plush beds, flatscreen televisions, oversized bathrooms and couches.
While the lobby and rooms impress, the hotel’s Michelin-starred T’ang Court restaurant is the star of the show at The Langham, which has hotel a number of visiting chefs and wineries from across the globe. Coming up this month is one of the hotel’s most exciting events of the year – a dinner in association with Alfred Gratien Champagne that will see the winery’s ambassador, Olivia Boutault, match wines with the restaurant’s star chef Siu Hin-Chi over a even course degustation.
Great food isn’t just restricted to T’ang Court, with The Bostonian, Main Street Deli and Palm Court all serving some of the best food in town. At Palm Court, it’s all about afternoon tea, something Langham hotels are synonymous for across the globe. The afternoon tea here – which is available from 3:00pm-5:00pm Monday to Friday, and from 2:15pm-4:15pm and 4:30pm-6:30pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays – features three-tiered platters loaded with sandwiches, cakes, scones served alongside tea, coffee, cocktails and champagne.

Renaissance Harbourview Hong Kong

Renaissance Harbourview Hong Kong
It may not be Marriott’s flagship property in Hong Kong – the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott have had that sewn up for years – but the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel stands out as one of the most underrated hotels in this city.
Most rooms offer uninterrupted views over Victoria Harbour, while the Michelin-starred Dynasty Restaurant is a hidden gem especially throughout Chinese New Year when delicacies are specially prepared for the annual holiday. Sister restaurant at the property, Scala, is known for its Italian fare under the watchful eye of Chef Man.
The hotel’s Harbour View Suites – one of eight room sizes on offer – are well appointed and offer a large range of satellite TV channels, iPhone docking stations, high-speed WiFi, and luxurious beds by Sealy.
There’s live entertainment on offer in the lobby lounge and the bartenders behind the mahogany can shake up a good Martini or Cosmopolitan. The Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View’s location in Wanchai is also a major plus, especially with the corporate market.

A Cathay Pacific A330-300

Getting there
HM flew to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific. The leading Asian airline flies to Hong Kong several times daily from across Australia and New Zealand and the author recommends flying in Business Class, which has just been given a complete revamp, including spacious new flatbed seats with 15.4-inch personal TVs. The food and wine onboard is real highlight, as is the superlative service. For bookings, visit www.cathaypacific.com

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