It’s won design awards for its interiors, food awards for its world-class restaurants, and business travel awards for the amenities in its Club InterContinental Executive Lounge. Yet the InterContinentalHong Kong’s strongest card is its location, jutting out over the Kowloon waterfront with a glorious view of the most dramatic cityscape in the eastern hemisphere, and possibly the world. In your room, a touch of a bedside button activates “power curtains” that slowly unveil a scene so filmic you could be watching an IMAX movie. In the lobby bar, where the picture windows extend to three storeys, people gather at dusk for the nightly “Symphony of Lights”, a sound and-light show in which two dozen skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island come alive with neon,while laser beams pierce the darkness and illuminate the restless harbour.
Follow that. Well, the Inter-Continental does so impressively, having just completed a five-year refurbishment that cost £35m. New features include I-Spa, the first feng shui spa inHong Kong, with head-to-toe relaxation session such as “Ancient Rituals of the Orient”, plus holistic treatments in its new outdoor spa pool. The Pool Terrace has a large outdoor swimming pool, plus a three-temperature infinity spa pool which gives swimmers the illusion that they’re bathing in Victoria Harbour itself. There’s a range of stylish restaurants, including two of the city’s finest: NOBU, renowned for its black cod; and Spoon, the creation of much-decorated French chef Alain Ducasse, who gives an exciting international twist to traditional French cuisine, and has installed a wine cellar of 4,500 bottles. At once cool and conservative, business-friendly and fun, the InterContinental’s reincarnation is triumphant.
LOCATION InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong (00 852 2721 1211; www.intercontinental.com). Astone’s throw from the museums, malls and fast transport links of Kowloon’s bustling waterfront, with the ever-changing skyline on the opposite side of the harbour coming ever-closer as Hong Kong island continues to expand on reclaimed land.
COMFORTABLE? The rooms are lavishly draped and furnished, with every conceivable accessory to aid comfort and convenience. A button on the phone summons a personal “butler” to attend to guests’ requirements. The hotel laundry, like the gym, operates 24 hours a day. The bathrooms have deep, sunken tubs and separate spa showers Freebies: The standard rooms are equipped with a range of Elemis toiletries, upgraded to Bulgari in the Club InterContinental rooms and suits. Fresh fruit and Chinese tea are served on arrival, and there are useful boxes of emergency supplies, including a toothbrush and toothpaste, a razor and shaving cream. Keeping in touch: Every room has high-speed broadband and three direct dial phones (with free local calls for Club InterContinental guests). Entertainment is provided by 37-inch TVs and DVD/CD home entertainment systems.
THE BOTTOM LINE Astandard room with a view of the inland plaza rather than the harbour costs HK$4,633 (£293) per night, including taxes and service. Breakfast is an extra HK$275 (£17.50) per person. A room with a view of the harbour is HK$5,763 (£365).
OTHER BUSINESS HOTEL OPTIONS Langham Place Hotel, Mongkok, Hong Kong, Kowloon (555 Shanghai Street; Mongkok, Hong Kong, Kowloon, 00 852 3552 3388; hongkong.langhamplacehotels.com) has double rooms from HK$2,600 (£164) per night, without breakfast. Renaissance Harbour View Hotel,Hong Kong (1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, 00 852 2802 8888; renaissancehotels.com/HKGHV) has offers well-appointed guest rooms from HK$3,200 (£202) a night, excl breakfast.
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