Updated: Apr 29
I’ve been invited to experience the luxury of The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong and boy…it didn’t disappoint. As my car arrived at the world’s highest hotel, standing at a staggering 118 floors, the porte cochere (sort of a covered driveway to you and me) opened up to an expansive view of Hong Kong Island.
As the smartly dressed valet opened my car door I was led into the hotel entrance, a large elegantly designed space featuring Palissandro blue marble, giant crystal waterfall like chandeliers and rich vivid orange onyx walls. A lady awaited to escort me to the elevator to which she informed would take me to the lobby situated on the 103 floor…what? This huge area is just a welcome room?
As the elevator whisked me, in just 52 seconds to the 103rd floor, awaiting was the grand hotel lobby. A vast space with a mixture of blue/grey and earthy brown/yellow tones complete with a vaulted ceiling. Abstract artwork adorned the walls, depicting of a classic Chinese watercolour of running horses. The carpets I was informed are mare from hand tufted wool and silk, so that they feel plush and thick underfoot.
After introducing myself at the black marble reception desk I was escorted to the Ritz Carlton Club, a spacious lounge area situated 425 metres above sea level. As I walked into the lounge the huge floor to ceiling windows that surrounded the entire lounge gave a breath-taking view of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon below.
For such a huge grand hotel, the Ritz Carlton Club was a little private oasis, a sort of home-from-home feel to it. The lounge boasts its own 24 hour concierge service, a library and a buffet area which provides six complimentary daily food presentations. As I sat down in my high-backed armchair, looking out on the amazing view of the city, a handsome friendly young chap arrived to ask what I would like to drink? A Mimosa will do nicely, cheers!
As I sat with my Mimosa, a Latte and some breakfast (well it would be rude not too) I couldn’t help but admire the interior. The entire Ritz Carlton Hong Kong design theme is East meets West, with modern interpretations of traditional Chinese fittings and art.
The Ritz Carlton Club area mixed dark Brazilian marble flooring with gleaming bright white marble counter tops streaked with orange and grey to create a warm tone. The supporting roof columns are mirrored and etched with a Chinese style metallic fretwork pattern, which when mixed with the soft lighting really create a homely feel.
After I had suitably stuffed my face and spent the morning ear-wigging the two glamorous women opposite organising a Rolls Royce tour of Hong Kong with the concierge (as you do) it was time to visit the accommodation.
The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong offers 312 guest rooms and suites all with magnificent views of the harbour and the city. All rooms and suites provide state of the art technology with flat screen TV’s, Bang & Olufsen iPod docking stations complete with an iPod, blue-ray DVD player and Nespresso coffee-making machine.
At 50 sq m, the Deluxe Room is Ritz Carlton’s standard room, with nightly rates starting at HK$7,600 (£670). Rooms feature a silk paneled wall behind the generously sized bed that is finished with a leather headboard and metallic accents. Oriental accents fill the room with floral motifs in the carpet and a silk-lined closet, reminiscent of a ‘Chinese jewel box' Even the bathrooms feature travertine marble floors and walls, complemented by onyx countertops and double basins.
However, if you really want to push the boat out, it’s the suites that are majorly eye-watering. The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong offers six Premier Executive Suites offering 115 sq m at HK$39,000 (£3,438) a night rising to The Ritz Carlton Suite boasting 415 sq m and commanding a nightly rate of HK$139,000 (£12,260)
I was led to The Carlton Suite which was stunningly beautiful. Covering 180 sq m, it boasts a 180 degree panoramic view of Hong Kong, a spacious living room with giant flat screen TV, a dining room with seating for six under a crystal chandelier and its own office.
At HK$69,000 (£6,080) a night, it’s certainly not cheap, but it is magnificent. Luxury oozes from every corner of the suite, with plush wool and silk floral carpets, metallic mirrored ceilings with modern Chinese patterns and classic modern furniture in steel blues and warm gold tones.
The Carlton Suite features panoramic views of Hong Kong from both the living areas and the bedroom thanks to floor to ceiling windows. Complete in each suite is a telescope to enable the guest to get up close views on the metropolis below.
400 thread bed linen adorns the huge super-king bed along with down-feather pillows and throws. The bathroom is huge, featuring a rain forest shower, double sink, a free-standing bath complete with flat screen TV and the walls and floor are covered in beautiful marble.
As if you don’t feel posh enough already, all suites come with walk-in closets covered in silk padding and enough storage space for me to move in permanently. The Carlton Suite also houses a huge window within the closet with a view of the skyline below…maybe that’s to give you inspiration for which designer outfit to wear?
Unlike me, if you’re travelling with little ones, The Ritz Carlton can turn your suite into a Night Safari with their Ritz Kids program. The hotel will provide a special camping tent within the suite complete with Ritz Carlton linen, kids slippers and special LED lanterns to create a unique night-time sleeping area. The hotel will also transform the bathroom for guests with an artist being instructed to draw your little tykes favourite cartoon character on the bath for when you arrive...cute!
The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong not only features beautiful rooms and suites, but has an array of world-class restaurants and lounges too, open to the public as well as hotel guests.
Tosca, the hotel’s Michelin star Italian restaurant is a vast, stunningly beautiful space with high vaulted ceilings, dramatic lighting and an elegant aubergine colour palette with geometric flooring.
Chef Pino Lavarra originally from Italy has been voted “One of the Best Chefs in the World” and has created an amazing menu all served from an open air kitchen within the restaurant to add a bit of theatre to the dining experience.
However if the thought of dining with everyone makes you come out in hives, then don’t worry, Tosca at The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong offers private dining in spectacular style. Two private dining rooms are available both offering views of the Hong Kong skyline with wonderful interiors and dramatic lighting to boot.
At the opposite end of the hotel, connected by a dramatic glass and mirrored corridor housing the hotel’s wine collection, is the two Michelin star Chinese restaurant, Tin Lung Heen. The design of the restaurant takes inspiration from traditional Chinese design. Strong use of scarlet red throughout, large hanging lantern style lighting and the use of rosewood create an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere.
Along with the two signature restaurants The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong also offers Café 103, a casual buffet style restaurant offering lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The Lounge & Bar also adds an organic salad bar, seafood platters and cocktails with live entertainment in the evenings to the mix. The RItz Carlton Hong Kong also offer guests their own Champagne and Caviar bar; Almas…very swish.
No five-star hotel would be complete without a Spa and The Ritz Carlton Spa by ESPA is sat on the 116th floor. At 465 metres high, the spa features nine treatment rooms and two couples’ suites complete with relaxation lounges and again, those floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views.
That brings me nicely onto the swimming pool, I have to admit, one of the coolest I have ever seen. On the 118th floor sits an indoor infinity pool with a 28m x 7m LED screen on the ceiling. Surrounded by glass, it’s an amazing feeling seeing the hustle of the city below whilst doing your morning lengths or simply relaxing in the jacuzzi.
As the sun starts to set on a beautiful Hong Kong day, it’s time to get suited and booted for an evening at The Ritz Carlton’s OZONE bar. The highest bar in the world I’ll have you know! A sumptuous private elevator covered in black mirrors, takes you up 15 floors from the lobby to the roof top bar.
As the elevator door opened I was greeted by a hostess, “Hello Mr Anderton, we have your table waiting” Outside on the terrace was a VIP area, complete with sofas, unobstructed views of the city and the hotel’s signature telescope. “Is this OK for you Mr Anderton?” I think that'll do.
OZONE offers signature cocktails, Spanish Tapas and Japanese specialities nightly accompanied by vibrant DJs. My VIP booth had prime viewing for the nightly laser show over Hong Kong Harbour and as I settled down I thought I’d try one of these speciality cocktails, a Dragontini to be exact.
OZONE hosts a sushi night with their 'Wacky Maki Wednesday' and on Sunday’s OZONE hosts the 'Dom Perignon Sunday Brunch' with free-flowing champagne and fancy dishes such as foie gras terrine. If you want something a little more exclusive and private, then how about hiring your own private room. The O3 Room comes with a breathtaking 270 degree view of Victoria Harbour.
OZONE at The Ritz Carlton was designed by Tokyo based Interior Designer Masamichi Katayama and features a cool, urban vibe with sharp geometric shapes and vibrant mood lighting.
As I sit and watch the laser show across the Hong Kong skyline, I cant help but fall in love with The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. Not only is it a stunning piece of architectural design, the interiors are beautifully executed whilst keeping a Chinese influence. Not to mention those views which are priceless.
However, it’s the personal touch that has left a real impression on me, as I left OZONE and heading to the elevator door, a soft calm voice announced, “Good night Mr Anderton”
That’s luxury guest service…now all I have to do is find £12,000 a night!!!