Forget sitting in the airport in the middle of the night during your next long haul trip. Hong Kong is the perfect place to sip, sup and stay for a few nights so grab your Visa card and break up your trip to Europe with a mini break.
Hong Kong is only a nine-hour flight from Sydney – that’s short enough to splurge on business class without breaking the bank. When you land, hop straight on the Airport Express train and hop off at Kowloon station. The twenty minute ride is the quickest way into the city and drops you directly under one of the hottest hotels.
The Ritz Carlton hides up high from the crowds of Kowloon in the International Finance Centre. Wheel your luggage straight from the station terminal to check in, passing through Elements shopping centre. It’s a great chance for window shopping – you’ll walk pass Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes and Bulgari, just to name a few.
It’s probably a good idea to unpack your bag before you start filling it again. A night at the Ritz will certainly leave you ready to hit the shops. Use your Visa card to splurge on a club suite – the breakfasts, cocktails and canapés are great value but the best feature is the telescope in your room. Look down on the whole of Hong Kong from the hotel’s soaring heights.
The hotel’s uber-cool Ozone Bar claims the title of the world’s highest bar and has a great glassed-in terrace, tapas restaurant and sushi station. On the same storey is the swimming pool, where LED screens line the ceiling and wall. You can watch blue sky and tropical beaches even when the Hong Kong smog sets in. The outdoor hot tub is worth a try too – you’ll literally be soaking in the clouds.
The Ritz Carlton isn’t the only hotel connected to a shopping centre. Once you’ve checked out and made your way through the shops at Elements, head over to Langham Place Hotel. It’s even closer to the shops – with a walkway connecting straight to the sky-high escalators of Langham Place mall. The hotel’s standard rooms are designed for business travelers, complete with complimentary iPhones already loaded with sim cards and free local calls.
If you’re after something different, use your Visa card to book one of the Chuan Spa’s Infinity Suites. Designed based on Feng Shui principles, these rooms have large sections of the bathrooms’ wall cut out so you can take a bath and look straight into the bedroom, where you’ll find the bed low to the ground and on an unusual angle.
Hong Kong is the ultimate East meets West city and you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Catch the Star Ferry across to Hong Kong Island and head to Times Square shopping centre for all the high-end brands, before ducking into the ground floor of the Regal Hotel at Causeway Bay for dumplings at Din Tai Fung. You might have to queue but the pork buns are worth the wait.
Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
1 Austin Road West Hong Kong
+852 2263 2263
Elements Shopping Mall
555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, Kowloon +852 3552 3388
8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon +852 3520 2800
Shop 3-9, G/F 68 Yee Wo Street Hong Kong
+852 3160 8998
So what are you waiting for? - grab your card and go - discover Hong Kong]