I took a taxi from Hong Kong International Airport on a warm Sunday afternoon. Traffic was light, taking only about 30 minutes to reach the welcoming drive of the International Commerce Centre. The hotel, located on the top floors of the towering building in Kowloon, presents a feel of class, business and expectation upon arrival. Valets greet you at the drive and escort you to the elevator, where you’re directed to the 103rd floor. The vast lobby presents an ambience of dark marble, wood and soft lighting and bustles with guests. As I was staying in a club suite room, I was directed to the Club Lounge on the 116th floor, where I sat next to the large windows and sipped tea during check-in. It was only 10 a.m., but the hotel accommodated my early check-in.
My Grand Victoria Harbour room was simply perfect. Walking through my hallway of warm woods and into the room, I immediately noticed the panoramic views of Hong Kong and natural light spilling in through the windows. The light playing off the combination of dark wood furniture accents and cream carpets provided a cozy feeling of coming home. The king-sized bed dominated the right side of the room with its 400-thread-count linens, down pillows and dreamy mattress that offered an excellent night’s sleep. Both large side tables offered electrical outlets for charging smartphones and tablets. A 42-inch, flat-screen TV faced the bed, and a marble console built into the wall under the TV ran along the entire side of the room, offering a place to hold all my loose items. The large desk sat in front of the windows, with numerous electrical outlets and a comfy chair; however, I spent most of my working time sitting in the window seats to look at the view while catching up on email.
The full marble bathroom featured an open concept with bright lighting. The cream-accented double sink offered plenty of space for personal items, and extra lighting surrounded the oversized mirror. The vanity included multiple outlets, but be careful — the socket blew out my hair tool. The Ritz-Carlton’s specialized Aspry amenities have a rich citrus scent, delicate and not overwhelming for female guests. The large, stand-alone shower included a rainfall showerhead, always a favorite of mine. Frosted glass separated the shower and toilet room.
The Ritz-Carlton in-room dining menu is extensive and quick; however, if you are staying on the club level, the Club Lounge is the place to dine. It truly is the heart of the property with its floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable couches and lots of extra seating. I spent most of my time here while in house. Breakfast is served until 10:30 a.m., and I enjoyed a daily tasting of dim sum and a pot of English breakfast tea. The concierge was helpful with directions, arranging reservations or printing items. Before dinner, if you crave a small bite or glass of wine, the evening service offers fresh hot plates of Cantonese favorites and a choice of Champagne — great to bring a business partner to as well.
The property boasts more premium dining experiences including Tosca, a unique take on Italian cuisine, and exclusive Michelin-starred Tin Lung Heen for authentic Cantonese cuisine. Be sure to make a reservation before your trip. The OZONE lounge/bar — promoted as the highest bar in the world and accessed via an elevator off the lobby — includes an outdoor bar and seating area for views of the city and serves premium cocktails like the Dragon’s Back and Tropical Cyclone. It’s pricey but a must experience.
After all the food, head to the 24-hour fitness center on the top floor, unmatched at any other Hong Kong property. Guests can run on the many treadmills or swim in the lap pool with full views of the city — quite an incentive to stay awhile.
International Commerce Centre
1 Austin Road
W. Kowloon, Hong Kong
tel 852 2263 2263
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