Is there any other city in Asia that so seamlessly blends East and West? We think not. There’s so much to see and do in Hong Kong, where just roaming the streets is an activity in itself. With style and beauty at nearly every turn, gathering only four of the region’s most chic properties onto a list proved quite the task. But there’s something about these hotels that’s not only pleasing to the eye, but satisfying to the veteran traveler’s needs.
Near the Kowloon waterfront is this 262-room Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel that’s so serious about good design that it made it a part of its name; style icons such as Sir Terence Conran (of the Conran Shop) were consulted on the interiors. Fashion heavyweight Barney Cheng designed the staff’s industrial-chic uniforms. Innovator Tommy Li created the property’s logo. Almost as impressive as Hotel Icon’s list of influencers might be the roster of artists (Cheung Yee, Kim SungHo, Tsang Chui Mei) with works exhibited onsite. The hotel partners with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management, so that great service you’re getting to complement all of the stunning views may be from eager students. Water-facing rooms have fantastic vistas over Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong island-side skyline. Gratis mini-bars in every room and the heated rooftop pool are delightful, but the most helpful amenity at the forward-thinking hotel is the free smartphones available to all guests during their stay. The phone has 3G Internet and the ability to make unlimited local and international calls. For Hong Kong first-timers, the map apps alone are very helpful.
Though it’s off the beaten tourist path, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended L’hotel élan, which is in Kowloon, lets you stay in luxury while experiencing the Kwun Tong district, a more local area of Hong Kong. When you get to your room, you’ll be immediately greeted with a streamlined Japanese aesthetic that speaks to the L’hotel brand’s melding of modernism and minimalism. Stretch out on the big plush beds with your in-room iPad, enjoy a drink from the complimentary mini-bar or take a dip in the small rooftop pool. Just a five-minute walk from an MTR station, this sleek 254-room hotel also is a convenient place to make your base.
The Peninsula Hong Kong
The grande dame of Hong Kong hotels, Five-Star The Peninsula opened in 1928 in Tsim Sha Tsui, on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, it was overtaken and renamed the Toa Hotel but returned to being The Peninsula after British control was regained. In 1994, the hotel’s helipad-topped, 30-story tower went up. In 2013, to celebrate its 85th anniversary, the hotel underwent a massive renovation that modernized it even further (flat-screen TVs, interactive tablets), while preserving its colonial charm (a fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms). Slather clotted cream on buttery scones in the palm-filled lobby during afternoon tea or book dinner with a view at Philippe Starck-designed Felix, a restaurant that perfectly matches the hotel’s drama with stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, iPad menus and statement-making bathrooms you’ll talk about long after you’ve washed your hands.
L’hotel Island South
On the south side of Hong Kong island at the edge of Aberdeen, this 432-room property may be a bit removed from Central. Thankfully, the hotel runs a free shuttle that’ll have you to Hong Kong Station in 15 minutes. Though, once you’ve taken a good look around at all the clean lines and wood accents, you may not want to leave. Rooms are done up in calming shades of gray, blue and ivory, and the outdoor pool and two-story gym overlook rolling green hills. Right next door to Ocean Park water attraction, L’hotel Island South is a good option for families, even for those enjoying a staycation. Additionally, the hotel’s location just out of the center means units are much larger than typical Hong Kong accommodations.