FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Hong Kong is Abuzz with Business

by Marlene Goldman

Jul 1, 2016

Tian Tan Buddha statue on Lantau Island © PINDIYATH100 | DREAMSTIME.COM

Destinations / Asia

Hong Kong stands at the epicenter of Asia’s leisure travel industry as well as its business world. From the buzzing nightlife of Kowloon to the dramatic skyline of Hong Kong Island, from Lantau Island’s towering stone Buddha to Lamma Island’s coastal trails, Hong Kong appeals on many levels.

Business in Hong Kong is brisk, partly because of its visa-free status and low tax rate system. Hong Kong is also home to the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre and AsiaWorld Expo. For the U.S. market, business travel arrivals between January and December 2015 reached 250,541. Hotel occupancy was at 89 percent for 2015, and projections expect the number of hotels to balloon from 256 in 2015 to 306 by 2019.

Hong Kong offers a vast list of attractions, with its dramatic Victoria Harbour setting and an affinity for the arts just part of the mix. Begin with a Chinese junk boat tour on the harbor aboard Aqua Luna, replete with Champagne and hors d’oeuvres.

Business travelers can start the day with a power breakfast at The Lounge at the Four Seasons Hong Kong, known for the Allium sculpture by English artist Ruth Moilliet, one of many art pieces in the hotel’s collection. Adjacent to the glass-walled atrium in the hotel lobby, The Lounge offers an intimate space for a small gathering.

For another hotel-based option, Michelin-starred Mandarin Grill + Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, overseen by Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky, focuses on organic ingredients and seasonally inspired produce in its updated take on grill classics.

In Hong Kong you can’t go wrong with a lunch of traditional dim sum. On popular Stanley Street in Central Hong Kong try the 1933-era, colonial-style Luk Yu Tea House & Restaurant. Also on the dim sum circuit, Maxim’s Chinese Cuisine offers an old-school venue with food options served on carts beneath crystal chandeliers. Tin Lung Heen at The Ritz-Carlton serves up traditional dim sum with views from the 102nd floor.

For a private business lunch, private dining is on order at the Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons, a Forbes 5-star and Michelin 3-star Chinese restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Chan Yan Tak. Serving an executive lunch, the Michelin 2-star Duddell’s doubles as an art gallery, with lectures, talks, screenings and exhibitions of regional artwork.

Rōnin, a Japanese-inspired dining bar with a focus on fish and seafood, serves a curated selection of Japanese whiskey, saké, shochu, beer, wine and crafted cocktails. Also offering signature cocktails, Lily & Bloom lures locals as well as business travelers. A separate room within the bar, Blind Pig, touts some of the finest cigars in the world. It takes some sleuthing to find 001 Speakeasy, a hidden bar in the middle of Graham Street Wet Market.

Find modern dining options at Mott 32, named after 32 Mott Street in New York, the site of that city’s first Chinese convenience store, which opened in 1851. The Cantonese restaurant bases its menu on farm-to-table ingredients. Carbone, meanwhile, echoes New York with its mid-20th-century Italian setting and classic Italian fare.

For a truly local experience, Tung Po emulates a dai pai dong, or Cantonese food hall, with small tables, stools, shared plates and beer served in small bowls. The space morphs into a club when owner Robby Cheung gets patrons dancing to Cantonese pop songs.

As prolific as its allures may be, Hong Kong also draws for its wealth of top amenities and infrastructure, including major hotel chains dispersed around Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

The hotel scene constantly changes with the expansion of top brands. The Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong (formerly Shangri-La Hung Hom Bay) is scheduled to open in late 2016 with 546 rooms.

Rosewood Hotel Group is developing two new hotels on the site of the demolished New World Centre on the harbor side in Tsim Sha Tsui. The 600-room, 63-story Rosewood Hong Kong and neighboring 334-room hotel are expected to open in early 2017.

Disney Explorers Lodge broke ground at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in January. The new, exploration-themed hotel will feature 750 rooms, four themed gardens, new restaurants and an outdoor pool. Also in the pipeline, the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel will provide up to 495 rooms with completion in early 2017.

Star Ferry crossing the waters between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island

Star Ferry crossing the waters between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island © VALENTIN ARMIANU | DREAMSTIME.COM

Hong Kong boasts easy access among its attributes. The Mass Transit Railway system consists of 10 rail lines, including lines to Disneyland Resort and the Airport Express. It also operates a light rail system between Yuen Long and Tuen Mun in the New Territories, plus intercity train service to mainland China.

Consider traversing Hong Kong’s waterways with the Star Ferry, running from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, a service that dates to 1888. Aside from efficiency and convenience, the ferry system proves one of the best means for exploring the harbor. The expansive fleet also runs between Hong Kong, Macau and other neighboring Chinese cities.

For more traditional access, taxi service runs throughout Hong Kong; hail a cab on the street or in most places by phone.

Slated for completion later this year, the 31-mile Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will link Hong Kong to neighboring cities Macau and Zhuhai to the west and shorten the journey time to Macau to approximately 45 minutes.

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FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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