Craig and I are traveling in Hong Kong where we just finished up the last of our amazing meetings at the Virtuoso International Symposium. We are excited to continue our journey by heading to Japan to embark upon a cruise with Tauck World Discovery (More on all of this soon, stay tuned!) Hong Kong is the bustling metropolis everyone thinks it is. It is an amazing juxtaposition of Chinese history and culture combined with every modern amenity. Exhilarating, exciting, beautiful, and wondrous all come to mind when I think of this city. All that aside, Hong Kong can sometimes be intimidating to American travelers due to the “New York” pace and the culture shock of China…that is unless you know the right people. In comes Ritz-Carlton, an exquisite, modern, sophisticated property towering in the clouds over the harbor and city. This oasis provides a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere that gives us the little bit of reassurance and confidence we need to enjoy this city to its full potential.
Now I know what you’re saying…“I know Ritz-Carlton, they are the same cookie cutter hotels, same Americanized rooms and that’s why you feel so comfortable.” WRONG! For more than the last 15 years Ritz-Carlton has worked hard to shake this image and persona of its hotels. The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is a prime example. Dominating as the highest hotel in the world the Ritz-Carlton provides sweeping views of Victoria Harbor and the Hong Kong skyline. Located in Kowloon, this modern architectural marvel is completely stunning inside and out. Sleek and sophisticated, the energy through this building and the common areas doesn’t let you forget where you are.
The rooms are serene and relaxing, interpreting Chinese motifs in a contemporary manner with soothing colors and textures. As we were escorted into our room, soft jazz played from the Bang & Olufsen. Our Corner Suite, with the floor to ceiling glass, provided a comfortable chaise from which to stretch out and enjoy the view of the bustling harbor (Mind you, a bird’s eye view from almost 1,700 feet up). For a closer view, a complimentary telescope allowed us to observe the boat traffic up close. Constant care has been taken by our friend Gloria Ip, the Senior Sales Manager, to ensure everything during our stay was just perfect. So much so, that we were greeted with some extraordinary and personalized amenities that made us feel welcome and at home. This is NO cookie cutter hotel. I cannot say enough about the dining options on property. If you are a foodie and an oenophile, there are two Michelin Starred restaurants on site. Tin Lung Heen, a Two Michelin Star restaurant, offering authentic Cantonese, is perfect for traditional Dim Sum or more adventurous offerings. When visiting be sure not to miss the remarkable hallways lined with beautiful vintages from around the world.
The second restaurant, a One Michelin Star (but with a Two Michelin starred chef!), is Tosca. Chef Pino Lavarra took us on an amazing culinary journey and wine pairing beginning with the incredible Sea Tiramisu of red prawn carpaccio, seared scallops and parsley cream and ending with the not so traditional dessert Tiramisu – this time reimagined with limoncello. The stunning room pairs views of the city and a demonstration kitchen. This was a culinary adventure that is not to be missed.
After such a marvelous meal it was time for quick night cap at Ozone, the world’s highest bar. With a funky vibe and unique colorful lighting, we knew we had arrived at the top of Hong Kong. This place was the epitome of cool. With fabulous Martinis and a solid house DJ, this was the perfect place to take it all in and end a truly impeccable evening. So what’s not to love? Yes, traveling to an exotic land can be daunting, but when accompanied by the service, the staff, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Ritz Carlton, there is no reason to not only feel comfortable, but at home. We are thankful for our very special relationship with Ritz-Carlton that allows us and our clients to always be treated like VIP’s with genuine warmth by the outstanding staff. Pierre Perusset, the General Manager, and his team have made this hotel one of the top in Hong Kong, if not the world. If you are traveling to Hong Kong, the Ritz-Carlton is the place to be! If you are interested we have a fabulous Ritz-Carlton STARS offer exclusive to Avenue Two Travel clients…Click Here for more details. -Debbie Bush