We have a longstanding love affair with the Ritz-Carlton here at TDO, and the latest property we ventured to, Hong Kong, is no exception. Opened in 2011, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is not only one of the newest properties in the portfolio, but it’s also the highest — and not just among other Ritz-Carltons, but of all the hotels in the world. Soaring 118 stories above the ground, the property provides a view –and guest experience –unlike any other. Needless to say, prepare to be wowed.
Located on the Kowloon side of the city, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong sits atop the International Commerce Centre (ICC), a notable office, commercial, and residential building that came up in 2010. Not only do hotel guests have fine dining and the best shopping right at their fingertips, (more importantly) the ICC is also one of the stops made by Hong Kong’s Airport Express Service. Now, if you live in the States like me, you’ll think that an airport shuttle is nothing to be impressed with, but in Hong Kong, it’s quite a different story. Finding transportation after arriving in a foreign land is one of the most annoying parts of traveling — but guests at the Ritz Carlton won’t have to worry: a twenty minute high speed train service will take travelers from airport straight to the hotel. Departing the property is even easier (though much sadder!) — simply board the Airport Express again, but this time, don’t even worry about carrying your luggage. You can simply check in and send your bags ahead of time directly onto the flight and enjoy a leisurely trip to the airport hands free. Mind blown? So was mine.
Now that we’ve arrived at the hotel stress-free, the experience is about to get even more impressive. The hotel is designed to wow guests, and wow it does! The lobby is completely decked out in chandelier and shine, giving the overall space a very grandeous feel. Situated on the 102 to 118th floors of the ICC, the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, doesn’t have a single bad view in the house. Whether you’re booked in one of their standard 540 sq ft Deluxe Rooms or the top-of-the-line Ritz Carlton Suite (once occupied by Lady Gaga), you’ll enjoy sweeping city, harbour or mountain views. Now, being a New Yorker and years of living on the 30-something floor, I’m no stranger to a nice skyline but this was quite next level (4 times higher!), boasting a view that I would consider something you would see from an airplane.
After peeling myself away from the floor-to-ceiling windows, I turned to inspect the room. As I’ve come to love about all the Ritz Carlton properties, the attention to detail in the guest-room is extremely high with many personal touches ranging from “In Residence” stationery to Welcome messages on the TV. The furniture is cushy and comfortable, the bathroom sleek and glittery, the bed is incredibly plush, and amenities like a top of the line Nespresso machine with all the brews greet caffeine-deprived travelers. Despite the siren call of the gigantic bed (and pillows), I downed an espresso and got ready to do what I always do on vacation: eat my way through the city. First stop in Hong Kong? Dim Sum of course!
Turns out, I didn’t have to venture far to experience some of the best dim sum in the world (not exaggerating here). Of all my travels, Tin Lung Heen, located on the 102nd fl of the building, is perhaps one of the best and most impressive meals I’ve ever had. The restaurant serves signature Cantonese dishes, but sources for the finest ingredients from around the world, creating familiar dishes you never thought could taste so good. Perhaps the most famous item on their menu is the barbecued Iberian Pork, their interpretation of char-siu, a popular dish you could get at even the simplest Chinese take out place. Here, however, the dish was elevated to a true fine-dining experience. The meat is imported from Spain, home of the best ham, and then marinated and charred to perfection (seriously, it couldn’t have been better). The rest of the menu–from the shrimp toast to the soup dumplings–are all executed in the same fashion. The dumplings, for example, come topped with gold flakes. You’ll never look at dim sum in the same away again! It’s no wonder the restaurant has already been awarded 2 Michelin stars!
After such an amazing meal, I obviously had to go for a little obligatory work out. Located on the 118th fl, the Fitness center includes an expansive pool overlooking the city and a large gym filled with treadmills, ellipticals, weights, mats, and machines. Since I was on vacation after all, I decided to go for a light jog on the treadmill. Turns out, the machines are all equipped with Internet connection and being the social media junkie I am, that actually inspired me to stay on and keep working out for a few extra minutes!
By the time I finally left the hotel, it was already evening. The hotel porter kindly hailed a cab for me and told the driver where I wished to go. The last touch was handing me a Ritz-Carlton card card where he had also written down my cab number–just in case I had a little too much fun that night and forgot something in the car. Now that’s what I call impeccable service!
For more info, check out the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong website.