When I visited Hong Kong in November (2016) last year, I traveled directly from Haneda on ANA's Boeing 787 Dreamliner (787-900) product in Business Class (check out my review of ANA's Business Class here!). While the hard product was very good, I can't help but to feel that the service on-board Singapore Airlines in Business Class was consistently better. In any case, I was pretty excited to check out the World's Highest Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong after paying so much for a club room there.
To get from the Hong Kong International Airport to The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, I decided to book myself onto a luxurious Tesla S Airport Transfer service that is listed on Klook. The airport transfer service is good for 3 adults and it varies between S$64 to S$87 (including gratuities and fees) depending on where your drop-off point is located. If you do not already have a Klook account, feel free to use my referral link for S$4.50 worth of credit upon signing-up! For the sake of comparison, a taxi from the airport to Kowloon (where the hotel is located) will typically cost approximately HKD 320 (SGD 58) assuming you do not get ripped off so I really see no reason for not paying a little more for an ease of mind and an awesome ride in a Tesla S.
I stayed in a Club Deluxe Victoria Harbour Room which is essentially one of the best club rooms you can get before the suites. The Leisure Rate (or Best Available Rate) for these rooms are typically at HKD 6,400 (SGD 1,155) before taxes per night so it is definitely not the most affordable hotel around in Hong Kong but hey, I knew I had to stay here when I found out it was the World's Highest Hotel. The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is located on floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre and it overlooks the famous Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. Club Deluxe Victoria Harbour Rooms are located on levels 113, 115 and 117 of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.
Upon arriving at ground level of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, I was quickly whisked away to the hotel lobby which is located on Level 102. After providing my passport and reservation details to a staff at the lobby, I was immediately shown to exclusive Ritz-Carlton Club which is located on Level 116 of the building - you can expect to be addressed by your family name from here on out. Personalisation of service is something that The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong takes very seriously. In fact, 'guest recognition of all Club guests by name' is listed as a real club benefit. I took my time to enjoy a coffee and that amazing view from the Ritz-Carlton Club but I was even more excited to check out the room that I have paid top dollar for.
I stayed in a Club Deluxe Victoria Harbour Room and the room was located on Level 113 of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. With 51 sqm of space, the room was larger than the last two hotels in Tokyo (Hilton Tokyo and Conrad Tokyo) that I have spent a week in collectively. The Club Deluxe Room looks out to the Victoria Harbour (more on this later!) and since the room was actually located on such a high floor, the views are simply stunning. The room itself was also lavishly furnished and decorated with hues of gold and violet exuberance.
The Club Deluxe Victoria Harbour Room comes with a 42-inch flat-screen LCD TV in the room and an amazingly-comfortable work chair - there is also a smaller chair located directly opposite it in case you intend to use this beautifully-appointed room as a temporary office space. The work desk is massive and I guess they have deliberately positioned the view to be behind you so you do not actually get distracted from the more important things. There is also a Blu-ray DVD Player (I do not know of anyone who actually utilises these) and a 160GB Classic iPod and iPod docking station location in the room for all you Apple fanboys.
In case you were wondering about that view I promised, this is essentially what you may expect to see. It was actually quite gloomy on the day of stay which is truly quite a shame but even so, the view from the room is still spectacular. Honestly, every photo that you take from your room looks like a shot from a drone (except I do not know of too many drone operators that will fly their expensive camera that high). There is also an area where you can sit down (or lie down!) to enjoy the view. With that being said, I did find that area a little cramped and they probably should have made it a little larger so hotel guests can actually lie down there comfortably - there is plenty of space to extend that 'bed' further!
With all that being said, the bedroom of the Club Deluxe Victoria Harbour Room is an absolute dream (do not get me started on that amazing bed!) and from what I understand, the basic room layout is essentially the same across all Deluxe rooms (club and otherwise) - the Grand rooms come with more space (66 sqm) and an ever high price-tag.
A Nespresso Machine can also be found in your room and complimentary teabags are provided - they appear to be in-house branded which is quite surprising since I would have expected something a little more fancy like the Cha Cha Thé (采采食茶文化) ones from the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei.
Obviously, every perfectly-appointed room has to be complemented with an equally impressive bathroom. I love the double sinks, the thoughtfully-placed lightings and that amazing bathtub that comes with an LCD TV that is built into the mirror so you can enjoy a movie (or the news, if you are a super serious type of traveller) even as you are enjoying a deep soak. The remote control for the TV also seems to be waterproof (so three cheers for not being electrocuted if you drop it!) and there is even a headrest for you because a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is all about indulgence.
The bathroom comes with double sinks and beautiful towels that have been embroidered with the Ritz-Carlton logo (so make sure you grab a selfie in a bathrobe with an 'accidental' revelation of the logo). There isn't really a view from the bathtub since you essentially just look out to the bedroom and let's be honest, you can't actually see the Victoria Harbour view from the tub.
Bath amenities here at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong are provided by Asprey London from The Ritz-Carlton bath collection. According to my knowledge, this is the standard bath amenity utilised across most Ritz-Carlton hotels in the world and while they were good I did not find them to be particularly memorable - the bottles also felt pretty cheap and uninspired.
The separate shower in the bathroom comes with a double rainshower and the toilet is partitioned away so both of these areas are be (but probably should not be) used simultaneously. The bath amenities are also placed in the shower area only (none at the bathtub) - I wish they were a little more generous with these considering how much they are actually charging.
After a quick wash-up and a nap (I left the Conrad Tokyo slightly after 5:00AM to catch my flight into Hong Kong!), I decided to finally revisit the Ritz-Carlton Club for some proper indulgence. Club and suite guests here at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong will get to enjoy five different food presentations throughout the day - more importantly, all-day Champagne was served here at the club:
- Breakfast: 6:30AM to 10:30AM
- Light Snacks: 11:30AM to 2:00PM
- Afternoon Tea: 3:00PM to 5:00PM
- Hors d'Oeuvres: 5:30PM to 7:30PM
- Desserts: 8:30PM to 10:30PM
I actually arrived at the Ritz-Carlton Club at approximately 4:45PM and as you can see above, Afternoon Tea ends at 5:00PM each day - I was a little apprehensive in ordering (since I did not want to seem like a last-minute sort of guy) but the friendly club staff offered me anyway. Soon before long, I have got a three-tier sitting right in front of me. The all-day free-flowing Louis Roederer Champagne was also such a pleasant surprise since I did not know about this at all - I decided to stay on to the evening cocktail section (which practically means nothing here since it is served all day) to check out the spread.
The interiors of the Ritz-Carlton Club is luxurious and inviting - it was not at all crowded during my visit and the club staff were really quick (and eager!) to refill my Champagne. Honestly, I think I have had 15 glasses of Champagne during my visit to the club lounge. Assuming an average pour of 120ml per Champagne flute, that is almost 2 and a half bottles of premium Louis Roederer Champagne. Sure it may not be Cristal (if it was, the price tag would be greatly justified), but at least it isn't Moët & Chandon (side note, the Grand Club at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong serves all-day Ruinart Champagne!)
The selection of hot food served during the hours of the Hors d'Oeuvres presentation (5:30PM to 7:30PM) were carefully-curated but sufficient for a light dinner. In fact, I did not leave the Ritz-Carlton Club until a lot (of Champagne) later. When I finally wanted to leave this amazing space at 8:00PM, I realised that desserts were being served at 8:30PM so I ended up staying for it - it was probably the least impressive presentation of all so I would probably recommend for you to get on your feet by 8:00PM (unless you are staying purely for the Champagne).
After finally getting back to my room after plenty to drink, I looked out of the window and was greeted with this amazing night view of the Victoria Harbour and the surrounding area. Okay, it probably was not that close-up (I did use a pretty impressive telezoon lens - AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II - from Nikon to take it anyway) but the view was simply stunning.
In fact, it was probably then that the haze and smog were at its lowest point during my three-night stay in Hong Kong.
The next morning, I decided to have breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton Club once again and surprisingly the club staff actually remembers my coffee of choice (I ordered it the previous stay while I was checking-in) so that is definitely a nice touch. The breakfast selection was rather limited and there was a 'live' omelette station where guests are able to order up eggs that are done to their liking. I did not end up staying for too long since I had already made plans to switch over to Grand Hyatt Hong Kong this very afternoon (staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong for three nights would have been extremely taxing on the wallet).
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong has got to be the most impressive hotel that I have ever been to in Hong Kong - the hard product is extremely solid and the views from the rooms and clubs are unrivalled. I did not manage to check out the swimming pool (which is a huge shame, really) during my visit but I will definitely be making plans to return. If you wish to truly experience the peak of luxury in this hotel, I would recommend getting a club room which will give you access to the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Club. The location of this hotel is not particularly great and therefore, you will notice that most of the guests are C-suite executives who are chauffeured from point to point. A room here at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is extremely costly for most travellers but if you ever looking for a stay with a killer view and amazing product to remember, this would most-definitely be it.