Hong Kong is well regarded for its opulent hotels that pamper business travelers and international vacationers with equal intensity. After all, the city boasts the most Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotels in the world. For a hospitality brand to enter this fierce market for the first time is a bold maneuver. But two such properties, Pentahotel and Auberge, appear more than up for the challenge. At the same time, another more established name, Mandarin Oriental, has extensively renovated one of its restaurants, thus maintaining its beauty. Here’s a rundown of all of the new hotel happenings.
The Pentahotel brand is banking on the continued growth of remote Kowloon East, following the opening of the Kai Tak cruise ship terminal. Opened August 5, the 32-story, 695-room property near the old airport grounds is anchored by the trademark Pentalounge, an all-in-one space with a lobby lounge, Eat Street restaurant, a pizza bar and a game area. It’s eclectically decorated with a funky mid-century vibe and industrial loft elements. To up the cool factor even more, Goods of Desire, a local company known for irreverent designs based on Hong Kong icons, was enlisted to create the in-room coffee cups. Pentahotel hopes to attract business travelers with five thoroughly equipped meeting areas and two Timeout Zones, places where you can unwind between conference calls with some popcorn and a game of foosball. The new property also hopes to lure digital nomads with features such as hotel-wide Wi-Fi, digital check-in and device docking.
Mostly residential, Discovery Bay is not a place where visitors usually venture. But this corner of lush Lantau Island is the home of the new 325-room hotel boasting superb views of the sea and hills. Playing on a waterfront resort concept, the hotel, which opened this past spring, has a crisp white-and-blue color scheme adorned with coral and seashell motifs. An 82-foot outdoor pool and on-site Spa Botanica offer rest and relaxation. Though if you are there for work, ample meeting facilities are available. All-day dining is provided at Café Bord de Mer, which has an extensive terrace and an impressive array of seafood dishes, such as Scottish smoked salmon and pan-fried cod. All of this, plus the fact that Auberge isn’t terribly far from Central (25-minute ferry ride) and some of Hong Kong’s biggest attractions (the Ngong Ping 360 Gondola, Big Buddha and Hong Kong Disneyland are right there on Lantau), makes it such an attractive address.
To commemorate Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s 50th anniversary, this sophisticated eatery has undergone a full makeover. Hidden off of the kitchens of the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star, this exclusive room offers an intimate way to experience chef Uwe Opocensky’s hypermodern cuisine, accompanied by selections from the storied champagne house Krug. The new design evokes a luxury train compartment. The massive, 12-seat marble table remains, but gone are the delicate suspended bud vases. In their place, bold gold fixtures resembling the stacks of a steamship radiate from the ceiling. The regal hue is echoed in a series of curved rails, sconces and window frames, through which diners have a full view of the energetic kitchen. There’s no menu here. Instead, you are served a series of 10 to 14 artful dishes, their contents dictated by Opocensky’s whim and imagination. Despite the changes, one thing remains the same: You can pair your meal with a bottle from the largest collection of Krug champagnes outside of France.
Photo Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group