24 Hours at The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
Everybody is so excited about the highest hotel in the world. How about staying at a height of 467 meters? As a lover of luxury hotels and frequent traveler, I was extremely excited to stay at this property. Not just because I feel that the service at The Ritz-Carlton is reaching the peak in the industry, also because of the name recognition the hotel is enjoying. So once we landed in Hong Kong with a two hours’ delay from Beijing (so usual in Hong Kong when coming from Beijing and Shanghai), we were picked up by a Tesla limousine and immediately brought to the International Commerce Centre, home to an upscale shopping centre, plenty of offices and the Ritz Carlton Hotel, which occupies the levels 104-117 of this 118 floor building. Once we arrived, we were welcomed by an array of bellmen all rushing around the taxis and helping all guests with their luggage. I was so surprised to see such a lively hotel entrance, there were at least 20 other guests there – and this was all day. Still impressed and shocked by the actual height of the building itself, I entered the huge glass doors right into the high ceiling lobby where a lady in white was waiting to press the button for the elevator.
The doors closed smoothly and the journey to the 103rd floor began. It took roughly 70-80 seconds until we were standing in the impressive (seriously!) lobby, where we were welcomed by lots of marble and amazing art pieces. Although we booked a room with access to the Club Lounge, I went to the front desk first and the young lady at the check-in seemed that she does not care whether we would like to do the check-in in-room or at the club lounge. I know from our stay in Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Barcelona that once you arrive at the main front desk and they see you stay in a Club Room, you are immediately accompanied to the Club Lounge to do a relaxed welcome. During the time I was checking in, my colleague Lukas went down to floor 9 to pay the taxi driver and get back up. Until we were finally done with the check-in, she accompanied us to the elevator, pressed the button for the Club Lounge and wished us a nice stay. Honestly, it would have been nice to have an introduction to the room, however, this is not a common thing in Asia so that was absolutely fine. Unfortunately, she forgot to hand us over the keys, which indicates that she has been a trainee and therefore we just asked for them at the Club Lounge.
In all honesty, arriving at the Club Lounge was the complete opposite of the experience we had the 10 minutes before. Everything began to become relaxed, laid-back and it felt like arriving at a familiar place. Ms. Anna Lopez, the Club Lounge Manager, welcomed us personally and informed us that we have received an upgrade to a Victoria Harbour View Room on the 117th floor which is the highest floor they have. That was such a wonderful gesture and then she really made us feel extremely welcome. Another staff member, Maggie, arrived and got us 2 glasses of Veuve Cliquot – we were overwhelmed and happy to be staying at The Ritz Carlton. While enjoying the amazing views of below Kowloon, we could not resist having a look onto the outstanding buffet of the lounge. With five different food presentations over the day, the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge in Hong Kong is definitely forming the peak of the world's best hotel club lounges.
It was so exciting when we finally went up to our room and opened the door: a perfectly designed room with luxurious furniture was the perfect addition to the simply out-of-this-world view. I am one of those guys who are totally in love with Victoria Harbour view and for me, there is no better place than to stay in Kowloon and overlook Hong Kong island. While I was an InterContinental regular, I am so happy I changed this time since the before mentioned experiences haven't remained the highlights, there are some more to follow. When we had a closer look around the room, we found an amazing welcome amenity with chocolates and our company logo next to it - I was speechless and that's exactly what makes Ritz Carlton the most amazing hotel brand for me. Wherever I go, I simply have to stay with this brand and that's not for no reason. The beds are heavenly as they should be, the rooms are extremely spacious, there is plenty of work space and the complimentary amenities are always very generous. While the entire room was just perfect and elegant, my favorite spot by far were the day beds on the windows. While it might not be for everyone (you should definitely not be afraid of heights), the idea to have a book next to the most amazing view in Asia is just breathtaking.
After exploring the main parts of the room my colleague Lukas opened the heavenly sliding doors and the exploration continued: one of the most luxurious hotel bathrooms was hidden behind these doors. With lots of marble, heavy vanity desk with double sinks, separated toilet (interestingly no electronic toilet), walk-in shower with a rain shower head as big as the entire shower area as well as a bath tub with a set of Asprey toiletries - a Ritz-Carlton classic and I cannot think of a better matching bath product. The entire amenities are so nice, such as the extremely fluffy towels and cool toothbrushes - it's all about attention to details and that's where Ritz Carlton is doing an amazing job. As a kind of usual thing nowadays they also had a Nespresso coffee machine and a great minibar. Even tough we stayed on the Club level, the minibar is at an additional charge such as in all other Ritz Carlton properties. The only issue we had was that there was light music playing from somewhere near our room which seemed to be going through the air conditioning.
Focussing on the amazing property, everybody knows what The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is most famous for (well, beside Ozone bar ;) ): the highest indoor pool in the world! No need to talk about the views anymore. Gorgeous are the only words to describe the really big pool area with a hot jacuzzi next to it and extremely chic loungers at the end of the pool. Two of the highlights are the lounge chairs placed in the pool to best enjoy the view and make the coolest (and probably highest) Instagram shot in Hongkong, as well as the highest terrace in a building where they placed another stunning hot pool with a sundeck to get tanned during your next business trip to this exciting city. Just next to the pool area there is the vast gym with state-of-the-art equipment and plenty of work-out possibilities. The only thing I missed at the pool was the monitor presentation which seemed to be turned off as well as the fact that the pool area was too cold so there was a lack of warm ambiance.
After an hour at the pool, we had dinner outside the hotel and explored the area of Kowloon a bit. It was so nice that we could use one of the chauffeured Tesla limousines within 3 km radius as guests staying on the Club Floors. We, therefore, saved our nerves and did not have to hassle with Chinese directions. When we came back we have to have a look onto Ozone bar which was nothing else than a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You just have to live it for an hour or two to actually believe that such a thing exists. While the best you can go for is champagne and beer, make sure to reserve a table on the terrace with a view of Hongkong island. You can only imagine how well I was sleeping after such an exciting day, so I was more than ready to explore the breakfast at the Club Lounge. Again, everything was simply top and of the highest quality with the best service, you can get in Asia. Everybody knows your name and staff has actually the time to talk to you in depth while giving you recommendations on your day planning or exchanging travel experiences. We loved the recommendations by Maggie, who was so welcoming during our entire stay. She and Anna were always talking to us by our first names (they asked at check-in how they should address us and we preferred to be called by first names) which always reminded us of being at a very good friend's home.
I can only recommend this place, it is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at in Asia and there would not be one second I would hesitate going there again. Actually, I am so happy I found a new spot to stay in Kowloon which offers amazing service, stunning facilities, gorgeous rooms and my favorite view in the world. Welcome to heaven - literally!
We were guests of The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong and stayed there for editorial purposes, however our opinions have not been influenced by that.