Mandarin Oriental’s signature hotel is still basking in the glory of its £75m refurb, which saw the 1963 building closed for nine months last year. Whenit reopened in late September 2006 there were sighs of relief from locals and regulars who had been almost proprietarily anxious about thisHong Kong icon: the beloved Clipper Lounge and tea room had been only subtly altered (bigger windows, marginally bolder colours); the old-time barber shop was still very much there – and in fact nearly double the size.

Elsewhere, though, the refit has brought spectacular change. The Cake Shop, something of a Hong Kong institution, has been given a dramatic new home on the first floor, the better to show off its breathtaking creations (cake is very much sculptureand art here).

The 502 rooms have been completely overhauled. Entirely new features include a stunning modern French restaurant, Pierre, on the top floor, the cuisineunderthe direction of three-star Parisian chef Pierre Gagnaire. Meanwhile The Mandarin Grill, a local favourite, has been brightly revamped by guest designer Sir Terence Conran.

LOCATION Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is right in the centre of Central, at 5 Connaught Road, Hong Kong Island (00 852 2522 0111; The Central MTR subway is just steps away, as is the Landmark shopping mall, while down the road the colonnaded Legislative Council Building looks almost surreal set beneath today’s high-rise battery.

COMFORTABLE? Exceptionally. By Hong Kong standards bedrooms are generously sized, offering views over Central or across to skyline ofKowloon. The design plays on textures (silk, suede, damask) and follows two styles. Tai Pan rooms have wood panels, leather chairs and bronze fabrics, while the more feminine Veranda style incorporates previously external balconies, which are now transformed into indoor sunrooms. Andthere is a wealth of state-of-the-art hi-tech features, with SMART lighting, temperature controls that record guests’ preferences, plasma screens and more. Freebies: Suites are stocked with Aqua di Parma bathroom goodies; standard rooms with Hermes soaps and lotions Keepingin touch:Wi-Fi, costing HK$180 (£11.50) per day, is available throughout the hotel, including the lifts.

THE BOTTOM LINE Doubles cost from HK$3,900 (£246) excluding breakfast.

OTHER LUXURY HOTEL OPTIONS ThePeninsula at Salisbury Road, Kowloon (00 852 2920 2888; has doubles from HK$3,700 (£233) excluding breakfast. TheGrandHyatt Hong Kongat 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island (00 852 2588 1234; has doubles from HK$5,200 (£330) excluding breakfast.

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