The cosmopolitan metropolis of Hong Kong is not only a gateway to China, but a remarkable fusion of east meets west with no shortage of upscale properties. Here are the finest places to lay your head, whether visiting for business or pleasure.
The Upper House
Boasting beautiful interiors and cutting edge style from top Asian designer Andre Fu, the mountain and harbour views here are to die for. Found on Pacific Place above a glitzy mall, there are 117 rooms and suites, decorated in a warming, soothing style with bamboo, limestone and woollen textiles. There’s an eco-friendly vibe with hybrid hire cars for hire, paperless checkouts and organic food. The in-house restaurant, Café Gray Deluxe is renowned, as is its chic adjacent bar, popular with well-heeled business people.
Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
Classic luxury is always on tap at the Ritz. This one is located in Kowloon, on floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre. There are Michelin-starred restaurants, two bars and a dedicated caviar bar. Don’t miss the spa and indoor infinity pool – a swim here is an ethereal experience, with a mirrored ceiling and an LED display wall. The Ritz is a great option for parents, with ample facilities – the staff will even create indoor night safari adventures to keep little ones entertained after dark. And for those wishing to party, head to the Ozone rooftop lounge, with Asian tapas, cocktails and a DJ.
Just along from The Ritz is another historic institution – The Peninsula. Opened in 1928 and described as ‘the grand old lady’ of the island, she is a combination of all things modern and classic. Arrive by helicopter (it has its own private landing pad), take tea accompanied by a live orchestra, luxuriate in the spa, enjoy a sundowner on the terrace and dine at seven different eateries. There are 165 sleek and modern rooms in the original section of the hotel, with a further 135 in the new tower. Children are made very welcome too, with their own cheery bedding, bathrobes and cosy slippers.
W Hong Kong
Owned by the Marriot group, this funky upscale hotel chain is beloved by the trendy jet set. Found above the huge Elements Mall, it’s home to many a glitzy rooftop pool party. But it’s perhaps best known for its epic boozy Sunday brunch buffet, so large, diners are furnished with a map on arrival. Here the champagne flows, while endless fine food stations ensure you’re truly spoilt for choice. There are 393 rooms – some with glimpses of the harbour – decorated in notably calmer tones than the public areas, two restaurants, a cocktail bar and the Bliss Spa.
Four Seasons Hong Kong
Perched on Victoria Harbour, is the magnificent Four Seasons, a chain known for its service standards and incredible dining. Graced with enormous large-scale picture windows, contemporary gleaming surfaces and glamorous decor, it’s no wonder this establishment attracts the rich and famous. Choose from a Chinese or Western-style room and upgrade to Executive Club for access to a lounge with a wraparound balcony and unlimited free drinks. Sample the fare in two Michelin starred eateries (the Cantonese Lung King Heen and French restaurant Caprice) or enjoy a lighter meal in Sushi Saito. There’s also a lovely spa for some ‘me time’.
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Relatively intimate with 98 rooms and 13 suites, this Asian chain hotel is found in the heart of the business district, conveniently placed for work travellers. The cutting edge design reimagined by WANG during a 2019 refurb, is subdued but arty. The serene bedrooms contain some of the biggest bathrooms you’ll find – rain showers and huge circular tubs make it feel like your own mini spa. But there’s a thirteen room spa too, with an indoor pool. Healthy food (with a focus on less dairy, additives, sugar and salt) is found at the Five-Star French-Japanese restaurant under the direction of chef Richard Ekkebus. And a 25 seater speakeasy bar has been created in collaboration with popular New York spot PDT (Please Don’t Tell), welcoming guests via a vintage phone booth.
Island Shangri La Hong Kong
Established in the early nineties, this whopping 565 room property is a tour de force in Hong Kong. Like The Upper House, it’s part of the Pacific Mall complex and blends Oriental with European style. There are 779 Austrian and Venetian chandeliers, a 16 storey silk painting, quirky bubble lifts and many hundreds of original artworks adorning the walls. There is an outdoor pool and whirlpool, as well as indoor spa facilities, yoga and a gym. As you may expect from such a large hotel, there are many food and drink options – from fine cuisine to buffets and a delectable patisserie.
St Regis Hong Kong
The next Marriot hotel on our list is found in Wan Chai and caused a stir with its grand unveiling in 2019. With lashings of marble, muted tones, vintage deco lamps and high ceilinged lobbies, there’s a distinct sanctuary vibe about the 129 roomed St Regis. By night, you can swim under the stars, dine to the sound of jazz musicians, feast on French cuisine from chef Olivier Elzer, or try chef Hung Chi-Kwong’s Cantonese plates. An outdoor terrace with calming water feature offers further feelings of tranquillity, contrasting the bustle on its doorstep. And be sure to try its own take on a Bloody Mary, the Canto Mary, crafted with tangerine peel and whisky (or one of the bar’s 800 wines and 100 champagnes).
Rosewood Hong Kong
On Kowloon’s waterfront lies this 65 storey skyscraper, housing 413 rooms and a superb wellness centre, Asaya Spa, with a huge range of holistic, therapeutic and aesthetic treatments. Guests arrive through a charming cobbled driveway, and cosy lobby, before heading to spacious rooms beautifully designed by Tony Chi – most of which have harbour views. The decor nods toward Hong Kong’s heritage, with more than a hint of 1930s Hollywood glamour thrown in. Rosewood’s art collection is impressive, with work from the likes of Damien Hirst on view. Asian, Western, Indian and steakhouse cuisine are available, as well as a delightful afternoon tea in The Butterfly Room.
JW Marriott Hong Kong
Our third Pacific Place Mall Hotel was the first Asian Marriot property, established in 1989. It houses 602 rooms, each with luxurious seven-layer mattresses, pillow menus and capsule coffee machines. Swim year-round in the outdoor heated pool, enjoy a massage at the spa and dine at the award-winning Man Ho Restaurant. Feast on a top-class breakfast buffet or eat at the beach styled Fish Bar with a menu including the fresh catch of the day and seafood. With direct access to the MTR, it’s an ideal base for exploring this fascinating area.
Hotel Icon Hong Kong
Stay just a little way from Hong Kong Island, in the hubbub of colourful Kowloon. Hotel Icon, owned by Hong Kong Polytechnic University, has Asia’s largest vertical indoor garden designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc and a Green Cafe – providing a welcome change in a sea of skyscrapers, walkways and roads. Hotel Icon also has 262 rooms, oodles of Chinese artwork, an outdoor pool, three restaurants and an elite glitzy club lounge with free drinks and snacks (for those choosing to upgrade).
The Langham Hong Kong
Bringing a little slice of London to the east is The Langham. While the first of the chain was established in the 1800s, this one didn’t arrive in Hong Kong until 2003. Sporting plenty of European elegance with chandeliers, rococo features and Wedgewood china, there’s also a wealth of Chinese art and a fondness for pastels and dusky pink throughout its furnishings. The Chuan Body and Soul Spa includes an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, while the Michelin-starred T’ang has some of the best Cantonese food to be found anywhere on earth.
Conrad Hong Kong
Popular with business visitors since its inception in the nineties, this Conrad residence received a full makeover in 2010. Public areas are bright with an abundance of gilt, while rooms are sophisticated yet cosy. Choose your toiletries in advance via the brand’s concierge app and opt for a room with either a harbour or peak view. The outdoor terrace with poolside cabanas offers refreshment during tropical summer months, while indoors there’s a steam room, sauna and two treatment areas. The hotel has six eateries but is especially well-known locally for its weekday curry buffets and Italian Sunday brunch.
Kowloon Shangri La
Located on Tsim Sha Tsui East’s waterfront, guests are greeted in Shangri La’s lobby by an indoor three-tier fountain, oversized glittering crystal chandeliers, stunning art and – in the evening – live music. This Asian brand offers some of the largest rooms in the city, in traditional classical style. There are seven places to eat and drink, with an opulent buffet breakfast served at Cafe Kool. Head to the basement and you’ll discover a modern fitness suite, overlooking a plunge pool.
Cordis Hong Kong
Another super hotel in Kowloon (specifically the vibrant Mongkok district), Cordis has 665 rooms and is directly connected to the Langham Place shopping mall and MTR. The Chuan Spa is a highlight with 60 unique treatments, two fitness studios and an outdoor pool. And the dining options are diverse, ranging from Michelin starred contemporary Cantonese cuisine, to an upmarket hipster food truck destination bar. With renowned meeting facilities, this hotel is often used for conventions and grand business meetings can be hosted in the ballroom (Kowloon’s highest, seating 600, with a built-in LED wall).
The Murray Hong Kong
A Niccolo hotel, The Murray offers a greener outlook than many of Hong Kong’s others – set apart from the ocean of skyscrapers, beside a lush park. Plush mid-century interiors have been created by architects Foster + Partners, reflecting the authentic 1960s exterior. 336 rooms include suites with freestanding tubs and you can even bring a small dog along with you. The decadent spa offers coveted and innovative treatments from Dr Barbara Sturm, who herself treats the international glitterati with age defying facials. Book an appointment with the hotel’s nutritionist, who can tailor a menu for your stay, customise a diet plan and carry out body tests.
The Shangri-La group also offers the Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong. An urban resort in the Hung Ho district, its designer Andre Fu (responsible for the decor of the first hotel of our list) has once again woven his award-winning magic. Motifs reflect the neighbouring sea, while the outdoors is brought in, through the hotel’s signature aroma ‘Walk in the Woods’. 546 rooms all have minibars and Nespresso machines and all three eateries have alfresco areas – there’s even a Starbucks. Work out at Kerry Sports Base Camp, take a swim in the infinity pool, unwind at the spa, or simply watch the world go by on water as you lounge on the harbourside terrace.