Hong Kong is the New York of Asia: dynamic, exotic, and a barrage of noises, colours and unique experiences. Most of all, it’s fun. On a quest for somewhere exciting for our 13th wedding anniversary, this vibrant city ticked all our boxes.
To make sure the celebration was truly special, we took things to dizzying heights and checked into the “highest hotel in the world” – The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. Occupying the top floors of the International Commerce Centre, directly above Kowloon station, this 312-room luxury hotel reaches 490 metres above sea level, and is an iconic part of the Kowloon skyline. An elevator that’s apparently the fastest in Asia gets you to the top in less than a minute.
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Room for two
As guests of the Club Level rooms, we were also guests of the Club Lounge. Chic, modern and very welcoming, this 24-hour lounge on the 116th floor offers all sorts of perks. There’s a seemingly endless array of tempting treats, including healthy breakfasts, afternoon tea, evening hors d’oeuvres, desserts, late-night snacks – oh, and cocktails. We were loathe to ever leave the Club Lounge, but our hotel room was so special that it helped to ease the pain.
Rooms here are some of the most luxurious you will find in Asia, with state-of-the-art technology, 400-600 thread-count linen; and luxurious marble bathrooms stocked with luxe Asprey products. There’s also a dedicated attendant on hand to undertake any request – they even delivered us a special anniversary gift, created by the hotel’s chefs.
The hotel combines total luxury with superlative service, but it’s the breathtaking panoramic views of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Victoria Harbour that will stay with you forever. A head for heights is probably an advantage, as you’ll basically have a bird’s-eye view of the city from the ceiling-to-floor windows, but the resulting panoramas have to be the most extraordinary in all of Hong Kong. Talk about a room with a view!
There are six dining options, but they’re all so good, choosing just one can be difficult. Tosca, the hotel’s signature Italian restaurant, is one stylish dining destination, with high ceilings, an enormous chandelier, fountains and a wood-burning oven. We decided that a Champagne Sunday Brunch here would be the perfect way to start an indulgent couple’s celebration.
Both Tosca and its head chef, Pino Lavarra, have been awarded a Michelin star (indeed, Lavarra has two of the coveted stars to his name), and the food was as faultless as the service and ambience. Handmade pasta, fresh lobster and other seafood, succulent meats, cheeses (Italian, naturally) and mouth-watering desserts were washed down with free-flowing bubbly.
At sunset, we moved to Ozone, a glamorous, modern cocktail bar. Located on the 118th floor, it holds the title of the world’s highest bar. The views, as you’d expect, are breathtaking. We spent hours on the outdoor terrace enjoying bespoke cocktails as we gazed out over the sea of neon below. It was the perfect end to our day of romantic celebrations.
The backstreets, alleys and street markets of Hong Kong are the heartbeat of this city, and warrant some serious exploration. On the Kowloon side, don’t miss the famous Ladies’ Markets and Temple Street Night Markets. Then jump on a famous Star Ferry and head over to Hong Kong Island to roam the bustling streets of SoHo, one of Hong Kong’s best eating and drinking areas. Visit The Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island where the views might even rival those from your hotel. Back near the hotel, culture lovers will love the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Museum of History. And wherever you go, you’ll encounter shopping and culinary adventures around every corner.
Couples will love
Honestly? Everything. This hotel takes luxury to new heights – literally. It is truly one of the world’s best hotels, with luxurious rooms, world-class dining options and staff that go the extra mile. There’s also a top-notch spa – The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA – located on the 116th floor. If I had to highlight something it would be the very cool facilities on the top floor. There’s a stylish indoor infinity pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi (yes, an outdoor Jacuzzi on the 118th floor), a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness centre and, of course, extraordinary views.
For more on this super-stylish escape visit the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong’s website.