When the 2013 Forbes Travel Guide Star Ratings were unveiled earlier this week, it was hard not to make note of a shining destination in the East — Hong Kong. It boasts the largest number of Five-Star hotels of any city, with seven honors. Between the lengthy list of Five-Star awards and hotels celebrating milestone anniversaries and renovations, now is the time to take advantage of Hong Kong’s stellar hospitality scene.
This year’s Star Awards showed that Hong Kong knows luxury and exemplary service. Aside from Five-Star veterans such as Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Island Shangri-La and The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, the elite club now includes InterContinental Hong Kong, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong and The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA.
While the new additions are great for the city’s hospitality scene, the stalwarts continue to be top spots as well. Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong turns 50 this year and is marking the achievement with a slew of special offerings and promotions to lure in travelers. The hotel’s elegant restaurant Mandarin Grill + Bar will host three major chefs between March 13 and 17, including Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park fame. Mandarin Oriental’s The Krug Room will celebrate 50 years by reinventing iconic 1960s dishes such as Julia Child’s beef bourguignon and baked Alaska. You also can relax at Five-Star The Mandarin Spa by booking the special Golden Utopia Facial, which combats aging skin with molecular polypeptide, protein technology and a 24-karat gold natural collagen infusion mask.
Another historic property, The Peninsula Hong Kong, has a lot to celebrate as well. Aside from its Five-Star rating, the city’s oldest hotel is undergoing a massive renovation of more than $58 million to commemorate its 85th anniversary. Revamped Tower rooms were revealed back in September 2012, showcasing a focus on cutting-edge technology. Now you can enjoy bedside and desk tablets — which can be pre-set to five languages — to access restaurant menus, a city guide and hotel services. Bathrooms in the Tower rooms can transform into a serene spa setting with the touch of a button, making lights dim and music turn on and activating the “Do not disturb” sign. The regular guest room renovation is on tap to be completed in April.
The rooms at The Peninsula Hong Kong aren’t the only ones that are receiving a new look; the Five-Star hotel’s Bar re-opened in December 2012 with a cool, speakeasy vibe that includes live jazz and piano, velvet and leather furniture and a cocktail menu that pays homage to James Bond. Be sure to order a Phantom Royale, made with crème de cassis, black grape purée, vintage Dom Pérignon and an 18-karat gold leaf, and properly toast Asia’s golden city.
Photos Courtesy of The Peninsula Hong Kong, VFM Leonardo Inc, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Gorup and iStock-Samxmeg