Ask someone what their favorite Hong Kong hotel is, and they’ll often answer with Island Shangri-La. The overwhelming reason is that people feel good about booking in. It’s comfortable and glamorous. It’s a local icon and a pillar of stability in an ever-changing city.
Locals love the eight restaurants and bars, from Michelin-starred Summer Palace and Petrus to the grab-and-go cakes from Island Gourmet. Business travelers meet for cocktails in the Horizon Club while families appreciate the guaranteed connecting rooms (the hotel has over two hundred sets).
All will likely tell you about the stellar service, but I like to point out the convenient location adjacent to Pacific Place mall, Hong Kong Park, and Admiralty MTR station. I’ll also tell you the best way to book in — it’s with Virtuoso or Shangri-La Luxury Circle benefits that I can secure for you through my role as a travel advisor. First, I’ll share everything you need to know about Island Shangri-La Hong kong in my details review.
Two Ways to Book in VIP: Virtuoso & Luxury Circle
Staycation or vacation, you’ll want my perks. At no additional cost, you can have an upgrade at a time of booking (subject to availability), daily breakfast for two, and much more.
Which program you choose depends on the amenities you need. The full details of both are below. Kids 12 and older are priced as adults.
*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates on Virtuoso, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.
WHAT I LOVE
- The sense of place — you feel like you’re in Hong Kong
- Horizon Club level rooms
- The 16-story Great Motherland of China tapestry and other artwork
- The over 770 Austrian crystal chandeliers
- Easy access to Pacific Place mall for conveniences and Hong Kong Park for families and outdoor exercise.
- Outdoor pool deck with an adjacent Thai restaurant
- Island Gourmet grab-and-go or dine-in cake shop
- Loyal clientele — many readers are return guests
- Health and safety measures are well in place, given the current environment
- Virtuoso/Luxury Circle amenities
GOOD TO KNOW
- Harbour views from rooms can be a side harbour view (translation: not seen until you walk to the window and look to the right or left)
- Restaurants are popular so make reservations
- Kids are permitted in the Horizon Club until 7 p.m.
- Rooms are well insulated and quiet
- Not for travelers who prefer sleek, W-style accommodations
- Rooms, though lovely, show some age (some Club rooms have been refreshed)
- Locals can join the health club which means it and the pool can be busy
Island Shangri-La Rooms and Suites
The 56-story building houses 531 rooms and 34 suites which are a lovely mix of European and Asian décor.
The rooms are among the largest in Hong Kong. Every guestroom has an Austrian crystal chandelier, LCD television in the large marble bathroom (with separate shower and soaking tub), a desk with international voltage sockets, bedside light, and curtain controls, minibar with Nespresso coffee and various teas, and a 24-hour butler service button. Complimentary Wi-Fi runs throughout the entire hotel, including the rooms and suites.
The building is shaped like an American football with one of the pointed ends perpendicular to Victoria Harbour. This means that some harbour views will be from an angle. My most recent room was like this, and the view is still lovely and very worthwhile.
Island Shangri-La offers a large selection of connecting room options. A king room can connect to a twin room in the same view category. An Executive View Suite can connect to a Horizon Club Harbour View room as well. Speaking of the Horizon Club, please consider it.
Horizon Club guests receive an elevated level of service. The 56th level club also boasts an outdoor landscaped area, the Roof Garden. Guests may take advantage of club offerings throughout their stay. These include:
- Check-in and check-out in the club lounge
- A dedicated Club Concierge who takes care of itinerary and transportation needs
- Tea, coffee or another hot beverage of your choice delivered to your room with a wake-up call
- A variety of magazines, newspapers and board games
- Fresh fruit and newspaper delivered daily to your room or suite
- One complimentary suit pressing per day
- A portable Wi-Fi device for staying connected outside the hotel
In the Horizon Club Lounge guests will enjoy:
- Continental buffet breakfast (with some hot options) in the Club Lounge (can take away) or breakfast at Petrus
- Evening cocktails with free flow Champagne and canapés
- All-day beverages including sparkling water, soda, juice, gourmet coffee drinks, and tea
- Wi-Fi and broadband internet access
- Wide selection of newspapers and magazines and board games
- Use of meeting room facilities for two hours per day
- Adjoining, outdoor landscaped roof garden with Victoria Peak views
(At the time of my stay, wine and beer were on offer throughout the day in addition to delicious pastries and cookies in the afternoon.)
Deluxe Peak View Room
Enjoy a view of Victoria Peak, Mid Levels and Hong Kong Park with some tranquil greenery in a Deluxe Peak View room. These rooms come with either king or two twin beds and are approximately 446 square feet.
Deluxe Harbour View Room
Deluxe Harbour View rooms offer approximately 479 square feet of space with views of the city and Victoria Harbour.
Horizon Club Peak View Room
Located on floors 52-56, Horizon Club Peak View rooms come with Horizon Club benefits and approximately 446 square feet of space.
Horizon Club Harbour View Room
This is the room category that I stayed in last time, and I recommend it.
Horizon Club Harbour View rooms are also located on floors 52-56 and come with approximately 479 square feet of space.
Club Premier Peak View and Club Premier Harbor View Rooms
These rooms have been recently refreshed with furniture that looks a bit more modern and I’ve asked for photos of them. They are the same size at 479 square feet.
Executive View Suite
Look over some of Hong Kong exclusive residences and Victoria Peak from the comfort of an Executive View Suite. They are approximately 883 square feet with living rooms that close off completely from bedrooms that have a king or two twin beds. We adore the hand-painted murals in the suites, and another upgrade includes a professional home audio theatre system.
These luxury suites have Horizon Club access and can connect to Horizon Harbour View Twin rooms.
Harbour View Suite
Harbour View Suites are a bit larger at approximately 947 square feet. They also feature a hand-painted mural, separate living room and bedroom, and a professional home audio theatre system.
Views of the harbour are spectacular in these high-floor suites that come with Horizon Club access.
Hong Kong Suite and Shangri-La Suite
Enjoy 1420 square feet of luxury in either of these specialty suites. The Hong Kong Suite overlooks Victoria Harbour to Tsim Sha Tsui which is prime viewing for the daily Symphony of Lights show. The Shangri-La Suite enjoys both harbour and city views.
Both suites come with a kitchenette, dining table, fireplace and fine art in the study, and a marble bathroom with Jacuzzi in addition to Horizon Club access. As there is only one of each in the hotel, booking is not available for them online. Each can come with an adjoining bedroom to create a two-bedroom suite.
The magnificent Presidential Suite offers panoramic harbour views through floor-to-ceiling windows from the 55th floor. Guest enjoy a private entrance; dining room that seats up to 12; kitchenette; bathroom with sauna, bathtub with jets and separate shower; hand-painted Chinese artwork and Horizon Club access.
Island Shangri-La Restaurants
The main reason why I’ve been to Island Shangri-La more times than I can count is that locals love the nine restaurants and bars. This is high praise in a city full of competition when it comes to food and beverage. Guests enjoy Hong Kong food, but international cuisines as well.
cafe TOO is the family-friendly buffet restaurant at Island Shangri-La. Bring your appetite to enjoy presentations at the ten chef stations and multiple food displays in between. Elaborate buffets are served at breakfast, lunch, weekend afternoon tea, and dinner.
Options embrace multiple cuisines from noodles soups and dim sum to wagyu beef cutting stations and Boston lobster (offerings depend on the time of day). Just bring your appetite.
COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST FOR TWOReaders who book in with Luxury Circle and Virtuoso rates can enjoy breakfast for two here complimentary.
Island Shangri-La has a nice children’s meal policy where up to two children of registered hotel guests under the age of 6 can enjoy buffet meals at no extra cost in cafe TOO when accompanied by a paying adult. Other children and children ages 6-12 receive a 50% discount on the buffet price. See the hotel website for more details.
Go to Michelin-starred Summer Palace for Cantonese favorites including dim sum lunch. Signature dishes include Baked King Prawn in Truffle Pesto Sauce, Pan-fried Beef Ribs with Goose Liver Paste and Chilled Sago Cream with Mango Juice and Pomelo. Do make a reservation well in advance.
My husband used to entertain clients quite a bit at Petrus, which is famous for its massive wine cellar filled with prime vintages from renowned French vineyards. Besides, the spectacular views of Victoria Harbour are not to be outshadowed by delicious modern French cuisine.
Petrus houses one of the largest collections of wine in Asia at over 12,000 bottles that Master Sommelier Yohann Jousselin helps curate. Make a reservation.
When the craving for Japanese strikes, head to Nadaman, another local institution. Find sushi and a teppanyaki bar, but the highlight here is kaiseki, which is a multicourse dinner with both outstanding taste and presentation.
The original Nadaman was founded in 1830 in Osaka and has since expanded into many other locations. The location at Island Shangri-la’s was the first Nadaman established outside of Japan.
Lobster Bar and Grill
With its long mahogany bar area and a 90-seat dining room, Lobster Bar and Grill is an intimate space for artisanal cocktails, fresh seafood and a spectacular weekend brunch with free-flowing Champagne and wines. Don’t skip the signature Lobster Bisque. Enjoy live jazz performances Monday to Saturday from 8 p.m.
As the name implies, the Lobby Lounge is next to the main lobby and an easy place to meet for a drink or afternoon tea. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with light and provide guests with a view of the 140-year-old Banyan tree that is painstakingly cared for.
ABOUT THE BANYAN TREEIt’s thought that the tree was planted around 1870 as part of the British Military Forces Victoria Barracks which occupied the site until 1979. The total cost to preserve the tree was HKD 25,890,227 because it required a big cylindrical structure to contain the roots. It’s believed to be the most expensively preserved tree in the world.
I’m a huge fan of grab-and-go outlets at luxury hotels. Island Gourmet gives you this choice in addition to dine-in menu featuring a la carte items and an afternoon tea set. The patisserie is perfect for picking up cakes or desserts to take to your room or to enjoy outside of the hotel, at Hong Kong Park or elsewhere.
Tip: If you were unable to secure a coveted Summer Palace lunch reservation, come here for a selection of Summer Palace dim sum.
Poolside refreshments in Hong Kong are a must when the sun is out. Waterside Terrace serves a Thai menu and poolside snack items like sandwiches, burgers and pizza in addition to a nice list of cocktails, wine and refreshments.
A Hong Kong Hotel Pool
This is a lovely outdoor pool deck with water heated during winter months (trust me, you won’t need a heated pool in summer). Notice the view of famous skyscrapers in the background like the Bank of China building. The depth ranges from about 3-6 feet (1-2 meters). Swim for exercise or recreationally.
An outdoor Jacuzzi awaits next to the pool near the lawn area. Waterfront Terrace restaurant here serves food and drinks. Locals can buy memberships to Island Shangri-la’s health and fitness facilities so the pool deck can be busy on weekends with good weather.
Health Club Facilities
You’ll find plenty of equipment to work off dim sum here between free weights, cardio equipment and more in the fitness center with trained staff to help.
The health club also has a nice indoor Jacuzzi to soothe tired muscles, five massage treatment rooms, steam room, sauna, tanning solarium, and a refreshment bar.
Around the Hotel
And, not-to-be-missed is the 16-story The Great Motherland of China spanning from floors 41-56. It’s the world’s largest indoor Chinese silk mural featuring over 250 Chinese silk panels hand-painted by over 40 artisans throughout six months. When you see it, look for landmarks like the Great Wall and Huangguoshu Waterfalls as the painting represents the great landscape of China including Qinghai and Tibet to Shangdong Province on the Yellow Sea, and from Beijing to Guilin.
Over 900 pieces of Chinese are scattered throughout the hotel.
You’ll never forget what day it is as the elevator carpets are changed out daily to remind you. Kids will enjoy these elevators that are bubble lifts so they can see how high or low they’re going.
You’ve probably noticed the Austrian crystal chandeliers in some of these photos. The three in the lobby weigh three tons each. Housekeeping staff meticulously hand clean the crystals every three months.
The Admiralty Neighborhood
We lived in the Admiralty neighborhood for about a year when we first moved to Hong Kong. I like it.
Admiralty is adjacent to the Central business district on Hong Kong Island. It’s possible to walk between the two (ask for directions as there are some turns to take). Hotels over here can price ever-so-slightly lower than the luxury hotels in Central, which is indeed a perk.
Island Shangri-La is adjacent to Pacific Place mall and Hong Kong Park. It’s also a neighbor to the Conrad, Upper House, and JW Marriott hotels (which means their restaurants are also a short walk away, too).
Inside the mall, you’ll find some shops (including many designer brands), a Lane Crawford department store, GREAT food hall and gourmet grocery store, a movie theater, a chemist, and multiple dining outlets. The other benefit to being attached to a shopping mall is that you’ll always have something nearby to do in inclement weather and that you don’t have to go outside in summer weather for essentials.
Families and fitness enthusiasts will like being next to Hong Kong Park. There’s a playground (about 10 minutes walk from the hotel), little ponds with turtles and koi fish, a teaware museum, a giant waterfall to walk behind, a small seasonal butterfly garden, and more. I mention fitness because my boot camp used to run through here as it’s hilly terrain with steps in parts and a nice place for a walk or jog, weather permitting.
The MTR station is Admiralty, which is one stop on the South Island Line to Ocean Park. It’s also one stop to Central and one stop to Kowloon in the other direction. You will use the MTR here, especially when in Hong Kong with kids, as outside of the mall, Hong Kong Park, and Peak Tram, other popular Hong Kong attractions like Tai Kwun, Man Mo Temple, Mid Levels escalator, Soho, etc. are a further walk away.
Getting to Island Shangri-La from Hong Kong International Airport
There are a few ways to get to Island Shangri-La from Hong Kong International Airport.
Island Shangri-La will arrange a private airport transfer. A Shangri-La representative will meet you in the arrivals hall right after baggage claim and escort you to the transfer. It’s rather easy. The hotel’s fleet of limousines have complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and include a Rolls-Royce Phantom, luxury six-seater vans as well as Mercedes-Benz S-class sedans. Virtuoso guests may choose a one-way airport transfer as part of their rate (more below).
Many travelers and residents opt for the Airport Express train. It takes 24 easy minutes from Hong Kong International Airport to reach Central station. Right after you exit the train and its turnstiles, walk straight, and you’ll see taxi queues. From here, hop into a taxi for the approximately (depends on traffic) 10-minute ride to Island Shangri-La.
Families will need to consider taxi size as most Hong Kong taxis comfortably seat no more than four passengers outside of the driver and probably have room for two large and one or two small suitcases in the trunk. Many families with a lot of luggage take two taxis.
Getting to the airport is even easier. Taxi to the Airport Express station in Central where the majority of airlines have check-in desks. You’ll then board the train with airline tickets in-hand and your luggage already checked through to your destination. After arriving at the airport, you’ll proceed straight to security and customs with only your carry-on bags.
Which method you choose depends on how many people are traveling with you, how much luggage you have, whether you’d be traveling during rush hour, and how much you value the convenience of a driver.
Island Shangri-La Hong Kong Reservations
You can book in one of two ways now for the same price: Virtuoso or through the Shangri-La Luxury Circle program. These programs add extra amenities (at no extra cost) to your room or suite.
Note that Island Shangri-La offers a Pay 3 Stay 4 promotion for Luxury Circle and Virtuoso clients, which means that you receive a 4th night free on select dates throughout the year.
The two programs offer slightly different amenities.
- Upgrade from Peak View Room to Harbour View Room of the same category at time of booking (excluding Suites and subject to availability)
- Daily breakfast for two guests per bedroom at Restaurant Petrus, cafe TOO
- Complimentary one-way private airport transfer to/from Hong Kong International Airport or Kai Tak Cruise Terminal OR $100 Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay ( no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- For Suite Bookings: Complimentary round trip private transport for Hong Kong International Airport or Kai Tak Cruise Terminal OR $200 Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay and a Chinese silk scarf (no cash value if not redeemed in full)
This rate can be booked directly through my Island Shangri-La Virtuoso page. Kids ages 12 and older are priced as adults so please input them accordingly. I’ll be notified when you book and will follow up to help coordinate your stay.
If you are staying four nights or longer, you’ll see one of the nights zeroed out or omitted. I’ll be notified when you book and will double-check your reservation and have the upgrade processed.
*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. If you’re on a mobile device you can email me through Virtuoso or use my form to request rates. When searching rates on Virtuoso, do not input children ages 11 and under as they will be priced as adults. Kids ages 12 and older need to be entered into rate searches as adults.
- Inclusive of daily breakfast for two at cafe TOO or Private Dining
- Room upgrade on selected room categories at time of booking subject to availability
- Early check-in or late check-out subject to availability
- Hotel Credit per stay at USD100 or equivalent to 10% of average daily room rate whichever is higher applies to incidental spend but not room or applicable to banquet charges or outlets by concessionaire
- VIP welcome amenities
- Dedicated concierge to handle requests
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access
To book the Luxury Circle rate, send me your dates.
Basically, if you would like the one-way airport transportation, choose Virtuoso. If you’d like in-room dining as an additional breakfast option, choose Luxury Circle.
Island Shangri-La Hong Kong
Supreme Court Road