There are hotels and then there are hotels, the sort of places where you do more than just rest your head, you savor every detail of your stay—from the food to the turndown service to the plush sheets that envelop you at night. Such is my stay at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, an award-winning hotel occupying the 102-118 floors of the International Commerce Centre in the Tsim Sha Tsui area.
Getting to the Ritz Carlton from the airport is easy enough —a 20-minute train ride via the Airport Express sweeps you and your luggage to the Kowloon station, just steps away from a warm bed. It’s a welcome commute, particularly when you had been traveling for 17+ hours (like yours truly).
Admittedly, arriving at the Ritz Carlton as a weary, worn down traveler is somewhat intimidating. I had arrived with a backpack rivaling my own bodyweight, sweatpants (a necessity for trans-Pacific flights), glasses and messy hair from hours spent tossing and turning in contortionist-like attempts to get comfortable in my plane seat. My first impression of the hotel was seen in the Porsche, Rolls Royce and Aston Martin cars parked in the circle drive of the International Commerce Centre.
A quick elevator ride to the lobby on the 102nd floor and I find myself standing on what seems like the top of the world. It didn’t matter if I look like I arrived for sleep away camp rather than check-in, the staff is warm, welcoming and endlessly attentive. I am swept up to my suite overlooking Victoria Harbor below. It’s cloudy and my room—on the 113th floor—hovers above the pillowy white expanse as though I’m on a plane, rather than in a building.
The effect is magical. I am literally sleeping with my head in the clouds. With my stay, I’m granted 24-hour Club Access to the lounge, which shares a floor with the pool, gym and outdoor, heated jacuzzi. The lounge quickly becomes my favorite part of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong as delectable bites are served round the clock. In the morning, a breakfast spread of the freshest fruit, fluffiest eggs, and warmest pastries kicks off the day.
At lunch, a mix of familiar Western favorites is served alongside local specialties. For tea time, pastries and an array of teas are rolled out. For dinner, wine and champagne are served alongside savory meals. If there is such thing as a ‘foodie heaven,’ I’m half convinced that it’s right here—high above the clouds— slurping the most perfect wonton soup I’ve had in my life.
When the time comes to check out of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, I am a transformed person. Glowing from relaxation, good meals, morning swims and days spent exploring the city. It’s the perfect start to a trip that will take me far from the comfort and luxury of the Ritz Carlton to the hostels of South East Asia.
The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is pure decadence, a splurge—like ordering fancy champagne with dessert—that is simply too fabulous to resist. While not exactly budget-friendly compared to other accommodation options in Hong Kong, the Ritz Carlton cannot be rivaled in terms of quality, service, and location.