The Ritz-Carlton once held the title of the highest hotel in the world. It offers a stupendous panorama of Hong Kong island, Kowloon and the loop of the harbour that separates the two. You won’t see as astonishing a vista as this anywhere else in Hong Kong.
The hotel’s reception is on the 103rd floor of the International Commerce Centre, the tallest building in Hong Kong. It’s directly above Kowloon MTR station, which means it’s about 20 minutes to the airport on the Airport Express and five minutes to Hong Kong island on the Tung Chung Line. To get to the station, however, you have to walk through Elements, one of the most confusing of Hong Kong’s many shopping malls. The hotel does run shuttle buses. If you’re taking a taxi, ICC is next to the Western Harbour Tunnel, the quickest but most expensive (HK$55/£5 toll) of the three tunnels linking Kowloon with Hong Kong Island.
Style & character
This is not the sort of place you pop into on a whim so it doesn’t have the same casually buzzing atmosphere as some of Hong Kong’s other luxury hotels. The lobby is for checking-in and out, and there’s not much loitering (gobsmacked tourists, understandably, are not encouraged but the hotel runs tours for guests). The corridors, scented with a bespoke fragrance called Black Orchid, feel quietly plush; all the crystal and glittering opulence are on display in the public areas.
Service & facilities
Service has improved since the hotel opened – partly because of experience and partly because it doesn’t feel quite as busy. (Hong Kong is experiencing a down-turn in high-end guests from the mainland.) The less frenetic pace is rather pleasant. The hotel’s height means all its facilities are mind-boggling: there’s an indoor infinity pool and an outdoor whirlpool on the 118th floor. The spa, on the same level, styles itself as a cocoon in the clouds. During spring fogs, you’ll feel cut off from the universe.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
Gaspworthy. This is probably one of the few hotels in the world where you walk over to your window, then take a stunned step back. There are padded seats along the ledge so you can sit and (try to) take it in. The spacious rooms come in 13 categories, depending on aspect and Club-floor access but even the basic level of luxury – like the view – is exceptionally high. All rooms have Nespresso machines, Asprey amenities, baths and separate showers.
Food & drink
If you’re planning to stay, make restaurant reservations ahead of time as the outlets are popular with locals as well as guests. Tin Lung Heen, the Chinese restaurant, has two Michelin stars and Tosca, the Italian restaurant, has one. Ozone on the 118th floor, the world’s highest bar, is utterly stunning. It has tapas, sushi and live music (also a dress code after 9pm). If you fancy something more cosy – and exclusive – you can try Almas Caviar Bar, which seats seven. Café 103 has lunch and dinner buffets, plus a daily chocolate afternoon tea and The Lounge & Bar, which has a fire in the winter and lovely window seats, offers all-day dining.
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