Opulent, elegant and gracious are all words you could use when describing the Island Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong, writes Rhonda Bannister.
One of the city's finest luxury hotels, its sumptuous decor, a blend oriental and western influences, includes nearly 800 Austrian and Venetian crystal chandeliers and almost 1,000 paintings. An amazing landscape mural titled Great Motherland of China hangs in the Atrium for an eye- catching 16 storeys, a truly beautiful and unusual piece of art. Using a diverse palette of Chinese mineral colours to paint on the paper-backed silk, 40 artists created a sweeping landscape of China which is one of the most-dramatic pieces of art in Hong Kong. It's these artistic flourishes that add so much charm to the hotel.
My one rule when booking a hotel in any city, is to look for the best location. After that everything falls into place because you're not spending precious time getting from A to B on crowded public transport, or money on expensive taxis.The Island Shangri-La's location right in the busy Central District means it is handy to everything, including being next door to Pacific Place, the city's most-prestigious shopping centre.
My second recommendation is to book a Club Room or Suite because of the added value and sense of exclusivity it gives. Yes, it's more expensive but when you add up the benefits, you will find it can save you money.
The Horizon Club Lounge on Level 56 is the highest executive lounge on Hong Kong Island, with stunning floor-to-ceiling views of Victoria Harbour and a landscaped roof garden which adjoins the business meeting room.The decor is OTT divine with opulent oriental and western touches that meld and complement the expansive space and mesmerising views. Start your day here with breakfast and finish it with canapés and evening drinks, all part of the many benefits of the Club Room stay.
Rooms and suites are just as elegant as the public areas, again with that east meets west decor and ambience and every creature comfort you could desire including a television in the bathroom and premium toiletries. And if there's something you want, use your butler call button – too easy.
A leading travel magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, cited the Island Shangri-La as one of the world's best hotels for dining so if you don't want to venture out to eat, you don't have to; whatever your palate desires, there's a restaurant here to accommodate it.
Starting at the top is Restaurant Petrus on Level 56, where Chef de Cuisine Frederic Chabbert oversees the kitchen for their renowned French cuisine. Nadaman is a Japanese restaurant with separate Teppanyaki and Sushi areas and the Lobster Bar and Grill showcases cocktails and innovative lunch and dinner menus (with live jazz performances in the evening).The Summer Palace is one of Hong Kong's best Asian restaurants, having received two Michelin stars and then there are several options for more casual dining, so it's not hard to see why the hotel's dining scene is so appreciated.
The hotel also houses a fleet of limousines with a Rolls- Royce Phantom, Stretch Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes- Benz S-Class and luxury seven-seater van so airport transfers can be very stylish.
Find out more about this outstanding hotel at their website.
Ensure a stylish flight to Hong Kong by booking a business class ticket with Cathay Pacific, recently voted the "World's Best Business Class" in the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards.Their new flatbed seating is long and comfortable and the food and wine menu superb.