One night in Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by nime01, Jan 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. nime01
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    nime01 Gold Member

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    One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster, it's been said.

    We recently stayed at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong - and perhaps the same can be said about one night in Hong Kong?

    Since we were passing through Hong Kong again on our way home, we decided to try Ritz Carlton. The hotel's location is not optimal if you're going to do touristy things, but for views of Hong Kong, it is unbeatable, sitting at the top floors of the 484m ICC tower. Since we were only staying one night, we felt no need to leave the hotel.

    We contacted Classictravel.com, a Virtuoso agent, and they quickly answered all questions we had before and after we booked a Club Harbour Island Room (51sqm/549sqft), with spectacular views of Victoria Harbour. The Virtuoso rate included a room category upgrade (subject to availability), USD $100 dining and beverage credit, WiFi and club access. We also received a courtesy late check-out at 5PM.

    We had arranged for transfer by the hotel limousine, and and after clearing immigration and customs we easily found the representative from Ritz Carlton waiting, who quickly took us to the gleaming black, spotlessly clean Mercedes S-class. Shortly thereafter we were on our way to the hotel. The transfer took about 35 minutes, and water bottles were provided.

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    Upon arrival at the hotel's main entrance on the 9th floor we were addressed by our names and received a very warm welcome by the hotel staff. Somehow, Asians usually never manage to spell my surname, so I'm always called Mr 'first name' - but they did it quite well at Ritz Carlton! Our very attentive receptionist escorted us to the 103rd floor - it takes less than a minute, and you never notice the very high speed of the express elevators except when you need to equalise the pressure in your ears. A very interesting experience!

    The express elevators only go to the lobby on the 103rd floor, and unless you have a key card you cannot go to the other floors in the hotel except for the Ozone bar on the 118th floor. We changed elevators and were taken directly to our room on the 117th floor. However, there was an activation issue with our key cards, so we were taken down to the lounge on the 116th floor to check in while the activation was sorted out.

    Spectacular view of Kowloon from the lounge.

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    After few minutes later, the problem was solved, and we were escorted up to our room again. We were really happy to discover that we had received an upgrade to a Club Junior Suite (65sqm/700sqft), located at the corner of the building, facing the Victoria harbour! The view was breathtaking!!

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    There was a nice cheese tray on the table, with a card from classictravel.com wishing us a pleasant stay. A great surprise.

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    Our spacious Junior Suite, with the by far best hotel bed we have ever slept in. Sealy bed with 600-thread count bed linen, down pillows and throw - pure bliss! If we could have, we would have taken this bed home with us.

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    Wonderful bathroom with very nice Asprey Purple Water amenities.

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    Shower area, with a huge square shower head in the ceiling, delivering the best shower experience ever!

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    Minibar, with a Nespresso coffee machine.

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  2. nime01
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    The large lounge with a wonderful Kowloon view is open 24 hours, offering various food and beverages throughout the day and night, including Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV champagne, white wines and various red wines from the Enomatic wine dispenser (Colpetrone Montefalco Rosso, Terrazas Reserva Malbec, Twinwood Margaret River Shiraz, Equus Tempranillo)

    We went to the lounge around 10PM, and had the place to ourselves. Because of the lighting inside and lack of tripod, it was almost impossible to get a good photo of the view outside - but rest assured it was magnificent!

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    Freshly made late night sandwiches etc.

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    After spending some time tasting the champagne in the lounge, we went up to the futuristic Ozone bar on the 118th floor for some drinks. After all, we had $100 credit :D

    To go there, we had to take the elevator down to the lobby, and then the separate elevator up to Ozone. Not very easy to get good pictures, as the LED lighting is not very bright, and the color changes all the time. The Ozone bar was pretty crowded when we were there, and it was fun to have a drink in the world's highest bar!

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  3. nime01
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    After a perfect night's sleep in the extremely comfortable bed, it was time to get some breakfast in the lounge. Someone didn't want to get out of bed though!

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    Hong Kong Island view from our Junior Suite on the 117th floor.

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    The Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter

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    Breakfast selection was good, more than is usually offered in a lounge.

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    More to come
     
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  4. ohianjo
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    I would also probably base myself in HKisland, but the views from Kowloon are amazing, and from the Ritz, even better.
     
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  5. cennas
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    I did one night in HK myself back in June :)

    Great start, looking forward to the complete report!
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
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    part of the convenience of the RC is it's proximity to the Kowloon airport express train station, so that using the hotel car service seems like a waste to me. Going to the airport, you can check in and drop bags at the station and then board with only hand luggage, going directly to passportcontrol and security upon arrival at the airport
     
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  7. nime01
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    You are right that taking the train is very convenient and easy. However, we opted to use the hotel transfer on arrival as we had a lot of luggage that we just didn't want to handle at that time - we used the Aiport Express train when going back to the airport :)

    It was only a short 3 minute walk from the hotel's main entrance through the Elements mall to get to Kowloon station, even though the bell boy suggested we take a taxi since you also have to negotiate a few escalators to get there. However, taking a taxi is really not necessary, unless you have more luggage than you can handle.

    It's also worth noting that if you are two travelling together, you'll save HKD $40 if buy your tickets at the ticket counter instead of the ticket machine.

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  8. NYBanker
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    Great report. Thanks very much for sharing!
     
  9. nime01
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    Not finished yet :)
     
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  10. And miss all the fun checking in on the First class check-in counter? ;-)
     
  11. nime01
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    After breakfast, we relaxed in the lounge for a while, before taking the express elevator from the lobby down to the 9th floor entrance for some pictures!

    Hotel lobby

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    Ceiling decoration in lobby

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    Main entrance on 9th floor

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    The Pastry Gem by the entrance

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    One tall building! Picture does not show this at all.

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    Main entrance from the outside

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  12. sonoma

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    Very nice and timely report for my upcoming trip...looking forward to the next installment.
     
  13. nime01
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    As we had $100 dining & beverage credit to use, why not spend it for Afternoon Tea in the Lounge & Bar on the 102nd floor?

    After having relaxed in our suite, we headed down to the Lounge & Bar. We had booked our table in advance, and we got a window table with a breathtaking view of Hong Kong Island. These window tables are very popular, because as soon as someone finished and left their table, other guests were seated there.

    Afternoon Tea, with Louis Roederer Cristal 2004. Fantastic champagne and a fantastic experience sitting there on top of the world.

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    After we finished our Afternoon Tea, it was time to check out. Everything was handled to perfection, and we were even guided half way through the Elements mall on our 2 minute walk to the Airport Express train.

    Hope you enjoyed reading our small report on Ritz Carlton Hong Kong :D
     
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