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
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.