One of the world’s most extraordinary cities, where rippling mountains, a kaleidoscopic waterfront and futuristic architecture merge with fabulous food, sizzling nightlife and top shopping.
Recommended place to stay:
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China|www.ritzcarlton.com|
Official star rating:
At 484m, this is one of the tallest hotels in the world and many guests check in for that reason alone. The views are astonishing; cargo ships the size of bathtub toys, Hong Kong island in miniature, the densely-packed skyscrapers a circuit board of rooftops. Sit in the window box of your room and you’ll see helicopters flying past at eye level.
But a lofty location is not all the hotel has to offer. The six restaurants and bars offer everything from afternoon tea to caviar tasting, all in predictably opulent surroundings.
Service is flawless, the interiors are strikingly modern, and the spa – located 116 floors up – is home to the world’s highest swimming pool, perched on the 118th floor.
The hotel is located on the West Kowloon peninsula, on the top floors of the International Commerce Centre, which is, in turn, connected to the glitzy Elements Mall, Kowloon MTR station and the Airport Express train. One stop on the subway will take you to Hong Kong Station in Central.
Until recently, West Kowloon was a bit of ghost town, but having recently emerged from over a decade of land reclamation and development, it is now home to some of Hong Kong’s biggest cultural hits, including the Xiqu Centre Cantonese opera house, the Herzog + de Muron-designed M+ Museum (celebrating visual culture).
What you don’t get is much in the way of local culture – there are no street markets or family-run restaurants in the immediate area – but there is a splendid waterfront park with exhibitions spaces, sunny lawns and a beautiful harbourfront promenade.
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