Travel & Living

Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Among the many skyscrapers found throughout the former British colony, China's premier, bustling metropolis also plays host to some of the best hotels in the world.
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TUVE

If Rick Owens designed a boutique hotel with his definition of serenity as the design inspiration, this would be it. Located on an ordinary street in Tin Hau, a non-touristy albeit chaotic area of Wan Chai where mazes of markets and Hong Kong’s famous bamboo scaffolding are aplenty, the TUVE acts as an eyeballs/soul destresser. Enter the blink-and-you’ll-definitely-miss-it gothic gates and into the shadowy and surreal TUVE, described aptly on its website as “timeless, placeless and genderless.”

From the dim-lit lobby, where whispery tunes involving hymns over industrial beats play, to the airy, zenned-out 66 rooms, the aesthetic throughout is moody and minimal, replete with a heavy emphasis on marble everything.

Opened in 2015, the TUVE is nothing like the Hong Kong hotel norm (which offers about two options—grandiose gilded lobbies with spas and rooftop bars or closet-sized boring business hotel rooms). The only “Oh, I’m in Hong Kong” reminder would come from the skyscraper views via the rooms’ floor-to-ceiling windows. Let the sunshine in, or dive back into the heavenly bed. All dreams come true at the TUVE.  

The Upper House

In late March, the annual amfAR Gala Hong Kong, in its fourth year, coincided with Art Basel Hong Kong. This means many a bold-faced name certainly checked into the hippest of them all AKA the five-star The Upper House, which opened in 2009.

The contemporary and serene (bamboo paneling, nature-inspired art and marble sculptures in floating ponds) luxury hotel, designed by the Hong Kong-based Andre Fu, has already attracted A-Lister sartorial-slaying stars, like Victoria Beckham, Phillip Lim, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The latter shouted out The Upper House on Goop, which makes sense, considering very Paltrow yoga sessions are held on “The Lawn,” a secluded green space on the 6th floor.

Besides the studios and suites “that make you feel like you belong” (that’s a quote from their website) and the book-filled (thanks to the hotel’s partnership with Assouline) living room, it’s the MICHELIN award-winning Café Gray Deluxe and its bar with cinematic views of the city that are the hotel’s most fashionable of attractions.

Mini Hotel Central

Hong Kong might be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean opening up a new credit card is a must. Save your HKDs and consider the aptly-named Mini Hotel Central—rooms barely fit a stiff bed, so, tip, store your luggage in the bathroom. It’s squeaky clean, the lobby is decorated in a very Brooklyn-based art student fashion, with a piano and zany “art,” and the front-desk employees are kind and helpful.

The Mini is all about location, location, location! Situated on a seriously steep hill in Central, stroll carefully to the lovely Hong Kong Park, and/or take a short walk to the hippest part of town, SoHo, where the attractions are endless.

Tips: Visit the lavish Man Ho Temple, built in the 1800s; shop at PMQ for local design talent; eat for cheap at the slew of markets and bakeries. It’s all about those fluffy pineapple buns.

Island Shangri-La Hong Kong

It doesn’t get much more classic Hong Kong than the iconic 5-star Island Shangri-La Hong Kong. Why its mesmerizing lobby has yet to make it onto the wonders of the world list remains unclear. On entrance, expect a gigantic flower arrangement(s) to greet you along with the staff whose mission must be to make guests feel like royalty. (Mission accomplished.)

Look up and prepare for your jaw to crash onto the marble floors via large chandeliers, the grandest of a staircase, a 16-story silk painting deemed the largest on earth, a 140-year-old Banyan tree, and so psychotically luxurious on. It’s all happening. Expect cocktail-sipping guests who will lounge on the plush couches as a suit-clad man will play on a grand piano and whisper croon ballads in Cantonese.

As for the rooms that occupy 56-floors? Also very grand replete with Asian-inspired European furnishings and, of course, a chandelier. Take in the view of Victoria Harbour and The Peak. Don’t forget to breathe.

The Mira Hong Kong

Slick and simple with a side of futuristic. That’s The Mira Hong Kong. Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Mira overlooks the tranquility that is Kowloon Park. There are 492 ultra modern rooms and suites, six restaurants and bars and an award-winning spa, but the Mira still gives stylish boutique vibes over tacky excess.

The enchanting lobby feels like a The Matrix-themed Terence Koh art installation with its sea of silver orbs dangling from the ceiling and lavender-lit fountains. According to the hotel’s site, the Mira is meant to be “a sanctuary for inner-city reflection.”

Speaking of reflection, bedroom walls are mirrored and bathroom walls are made of glass. All rooms, besides studios, come with a bathtub, a stand-alone shower and many gadgets, including a portable, on-the-go WiFi device that can be shared by 10 devices. Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the most Sci-Fi cinematic hotel of them all? You know the answer.

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Sanctuary. That word again. The Landmark Mandarin Oriental considers itself an “urban sanctuary,” and that is a spot-on description.

Unlike its grandiose older sister, The Mandarin Oriental, the Landmark is boutique-sized with 113 spacious-for-Hong-Kong guest rooms oozing sexy yet sophisticated modern design vibes. It attracts quite the fashionable, champagne-loving crowd, which makes sense since it’s located in the epicenter of the perma-bustling fashion and business district.

Other highlights include an enormous spa that takes up two floors, a heated pool, and live music at the painfully hip MO Bar. Keep an eye out for the MO Bar Unplugged series—Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox, and John Legend were past headliners.

SLEEEP

Cat naps are imperative, especially when in Hong Kong. One of the two founders of Hong Kong’s first capsule hotel, SLEEEP, Jun Rivers, agrees: “We hope to offer a sanctuary for people to relax and recharge. A breathing space within a suffocating environment.” And so SLEEEP, the eco-friendly, tech-inspired capsule hotel, was thankfully born in 2017.

Guests can check in on an hourly or nightly basis, where they’ll enter their patent-pending capsule, or, as SLEEEP calls them, their SLPer. The outside of the SLPers are wrapped in metal skin, and wood lines the inside. Circadian lighting, an active air supply, and climate control are all provided to help get one’s sleep on. Move over Big Buddha, this is the latest Instagram attraction. A good night’s sleep never looked so gorgeous. No filter needed.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

So what makes The Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong so different from the hundreds of others, you ask? Well, for one, it’s the highest hotel in the world. Its majesticness is located on floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Center (ICC), which means it boasts unrivaled views of Victoria Harbour.

The 312 guest rooms are spacious, with highlights including floor-to-ceiling windows, Asprey bath essentials, LCD TVs, 400-thread count bed linens and more. In other words, you won’t want to leave the hotel.

You will want to check out OZONE, the hotel’s magical sky bar, which of course happens to be the highest bar in the world. If there’s a celebrity in town, this is where you’ll find them at some point. That’s a promise.

The Peninsula Hong Kong

You’d be hard-pressed to not find The Peninsula Hong Kong within the top five of any and all Best Luxury Hotels In Hong Kong lists.

The also superb Four Seasons Hong Kong and the original Mandarin Oriental will be right up there as well, and rightfully so, but The Peninsula holds the legendary throne for a number of reasons. A big one: as the oldest hotel in Hong Kong, it’s been perched since 1928 on the psychotically picturesque harbor in Kowloon. It’s known as “The Grande Dame of The Far East” for an apt reason, but it’s gotten many an upgrade with modern design and techy elements, like touch-screen in-room lighting systems.

Of course, the rooms are made of immaculate dreams, and if you can afford it, it’s all about the harbor suites and their views of Hong Kong Island. But it’s the Peninsula’s attractions that’ll make you really lose your damn mind. Feel free to book your airport transfer through the hotel and arrive in style in a restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. There’s also 14 Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase vehicles and two MINI Cooper S Clubmans, and they’re all painted in the signature Peninsula Brewster Green. Oh, and they come customized with refrigerators and sooner or later probably like, baristas and estheticians.

Other totally chill transportation options include arriving at the hotel by boat or by helicopter. Whoever said money can’t buy you happiness hasn’t stayed at The Peninsula Hong Kong.  

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