Where do I even start? Well, first things first. You should know by now I’ve just returned from my first trip out of the States in my 24 years on this planet. What did I think of life beyond borders? It was mind blowing.
Upon arrival to Boston Logan International Airport I was feelin’ all the feels. I was about to jetset with Cathay Pacific across the globe with a complete stranger for my first time out of the country EVER. What else was I going to do? Share a hotel room for the next 15 days… also with a complete stranger. Thank god we became instant besties or it could have been a nightmare.
Upon landing in Hong Kong you could say my eyes were wide and my heart was full. We breezed through customs and set off for the hotel. Warning: Hong Kong International Airport is beyond confusing. Also the cabs are very small, so small the driver had to strap our (overweight) luggage in the trunk because it would not close!
The Ritz Carlton is located in Kowloon in Tsim Sha Tsui, just across Victoria Harbor from Hong Kong Central. Rising 490 metres above sea level (about 1,600 feet for you Westerners), the Ritz Carlton is the tallest hotel in Kowloon. The sun shines off of it creating the most beautiful reflections, and if you’re smart you’ll take an Aqua Luna harbour cruise to see the Symphony of Lights from Victoria Harbor. I’ve never seen a building light up quite like that before. I guess you could say I’m nerdy for architecture.
Shop // Popping Prints Dress
In about ten minutes time you can make your way over to the “busy” side as I like to call it AKA Hong Kong Central. Your best bet is to use the MTR (Mass Transit Railway). It’s the fastest and cheapest way to get around the city. It’s also relatively easy to navigate when you have a final destination. Cabs were used sparingly; we found that not many cab drivers knew or chose not to know where ICC/Elements was so we took the MTR pretty much everywhere!
What’s this ICC/Elements? The hotel is atop Elements Shopping Mall in the International Commerce Centre and you’ll actually walk through this mall to get to the MTR. Not your average mall though, strictly luxury. Think Louis Vuitton and Cartier. The Mall Culture is alive and well in Hong Kong and the people only like the best of the best. Ahhh, an international city at its finest.
With 312 luxurious guestrooms, 5 different suites and 10 different rooms on floors 102 to 118, there is a little something for everyone. I stayed in the Deluxe Harbour Room. There are 42 of these rooms each with their very own panoramic view of Victoria Harbour, Nespresso machine, and rainforest shower. I can’t forget to mention the deep bathtub and double sinks. Oh, did I mention the view?
If you’re feeling like you need a little something extra, upgrade to Club Level. It won’t disappoint. More on that later. But looking out at Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour from the 107th floor really gives you a unique perspective of this bustling city.
With six restaurants and the Club Lounge you don’t even have to leave the hotel! And let me tell you, from firsthand experience, it is hard to even want to leave this gorgeous property and the two Michelin Star restaurants didn’t make it any easier. Wherever you dine at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong you’ll find tasteful artistry and a one of a kind dining experience.
My personal favorite was the Club Lounge for breakfast every morning. My tastebuds were on overload, from the traditional Cantonese cuisine to the Western omelets and pastries to the homemade yogurt and carrot/orange juice. Does that not fancy you? They can pretty much whip up anything you want, even egg whites and a soy milk latte. Fact: breakfast tastes better 465 metres above sea-level.
Another favorite was Ozone, the highest bar in the world. Think chic, cosmopolitan and foreign beauty. On any given night you can experience live music, a DJ, creative cocktails and sushi. Even if you’re not staying at the Ritz Carlton, add this to your list of things to do when visiting Hong Kong. You’ll find that Ozone nights are unforgettable. So once you’re there, order the Tandoori chicken “Lollipops”, a glass of Malbec and enjoy the panoramic views of Hong Kong from the comfort of the clouds.
An easier question to answer is what doesn’t the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong have? Because I think they’ve pretty much covered everything. Spa, gym, outdoor terrace, Jacuzzi, ice bath, infinity pool, sweeping city and harbor views, 6 restaurants, access to car service, the list goes on and on.
The Ritz Carlton Experience
I’m not sure anything can top this luxury hotel. From check-in to check-out guests are provided exceptional service at any hour of the day. Need an iron and ironing board? You’ll have one in two minutes. Need some advice on where to grab dinner? They’ll gladly provide options. Bad taxi experience? Don’t worry, they write down the license plate for reference. Wondering if there will be any visibility when hiking Dragon’s Back? They know that too. I can’t imagine staying at a different hotel on my first stop of my first international adventure. It’s just on of those places that you can tell that the staff take pride in their day-to-day duties of providing luxurious service to every guest. People come to Ritz Carlton Hong Kong from all over the world, both as guests and employees, and I can totally see why. I’m actually thinking about taking up residence.
A big thanks to Camille, Fiachra, Fiona and the rest of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong staff for making our stay as worldly as the city that surrounded us.