I booked The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong because, despite living in Hong Kong, we don’t spend enough time on the Kowloon side and I thought my daughter would get a kick out of staying in the world’s highest hotel. I was definitely right about the latter as a room on the 116th floor is pretty epic.
The luxury hotel occupies the top floors of Hong Kong’s tallest building, the ICC (toward the left in the photo below), and is built to withstand typhoons and brutal rain.
Guests arrive at a designated hotel entrance on the 9th floor. Taxis can pull up to the door for easy drop off.
I was most curious about the elevator ride. A designated elevator takes guests from the 9th floor directly to the 103rd floor lobby. Would our ears pop? How long would it take? Well, rocketing up almost 100 floors proved relatively uneventful. We barely felt the movement of the elevator, which took less than a minute overall–impressive!
We arrived early but since the hotel upgraded us to Club Level this wasn’t an issue. My primary concern had to do with the rainy summer weather potentially dampening (pardon the pun) the panoramic view, but I had worried in vain.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Club Level
No stranger to hotel club level lounges, this one was pretty spectacular and probably the best we’ve been to. You just can’t beat a view from the 116th floor through floor-to-ceiling windows, especially with free-flowing cocktails.
The buildings in the photo above are quite tall so hopefully, this gives you height perspective. The club has telescopes for guests to check out Hong Kong island and other Victoria Harbour and Kowloon happenings. Even on a rainy day, the views are spectacular.
The Club Lounge food is another story. Wine on tap (literally), beer, tea, coffee, juice, soda and more are self-serve but the staff will likely anticipate drink needs before you do. Six exquisite food and beverage presentations include breakfast, light snacks, traditional and elegant English afternoon tea, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert. This basically equals all-day dining except for short periods of time when staff is setting up for the next service. The photo below is of the cold buffet section of the evening presentation. Hot food is against the wall behind me.
There’s plenty for a full meal and I can’t recommend Club Level enough especially when visiting Hong Kong with kids who may need to eat at odd hours. Though, do make an effort to dine the hotel restaurants as they are all very well-regarded around town.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Harbour Island Room
Attention to detail around the hotel is especially noticeable in the decor with its creative mix of color and texture. Dark woods, decorative mirrors and state-of-the-art technology prevails throughout and I so wish my house was designed in a similar manner. The hotel’s is simply stunning. And from luxe Asprey bath amenities to a variety of Nepresso in-room coffee, it’s hard to want for anything here. We did have a slight problem with a mold smell that wasn’t the end of the world, but would certainly bother some people.
The World’s Highest Swimming Pool
With LCD screens playing scenes of swaying palm trees and swimming fish on the wall as well as moving clouds on the ceiling, this pool is cool. Really cool. Hang out toward the window for panoramic views of Victoria Harbour and then some. Despite a fabulous spa and fitness center, we spent the majority of our brief stay lounging here. My daughter still talks about this pool.
I regret staying one night because we were unable to sample all of the restaurants I’d heard so much about. My daughter exhausted herself in the pool on both days and it was all we could do to grab a quick bite to eat at Club Level. Not to mention, the hotel had left treats in our room.
It’s a popular hotel and I should mention that we tried to call in a room service order a few times in the evening and it rang and rang. But, we just headed to the Club Lounge instead. I encountered a similar issue when trying to contact the concierge desk but eventually succeeded.
If it weren’t for the fact that I’d left my iPhone cord at our prior hotel, I don’t think we’d have left The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. Elements mall is adjacent to the hotel housing all of the luxury brands one might require in addition to convenience stores, dining outlets and Kowloon MTR (train) station. It’s by far one of Hong Kong’s best luxury shopping malls.
Those arriving from Hong Kong International Airport will be pleased to know that the Airport Express Kowloon Station is inside Elements mall. Walking to The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong doesn’t require even stepping outside.
Otherwise, to take the Star Ferry, visit the museums, Harbour City or Avenue of the Stars in Kowloon near Tsim Sha Tsui, you’ll need to take a taxi. But taxis are usually easy to come by at luxury hotels in Hong Kong.
Tips For Families
Kids are welcome throughout the hotel with the exception of dining facilities that have age restrictions. For example, Tosca welcomes kids ages 3 and above daily and children of all ages during Sunday brunch (which I hear is amazing). Right now there’s a Teddy Bear afternoon tea at The Lounge & Bar I definitely would have booked if it had overlapped our stay. Staff is fantastic with the kids all over the hotel.
Because of close proximity to the MTR station (though being on Kowloon side, a taxi is easy) it’s easy to get to Hong Kong Disneyland or even Ocean Park Hong Kong on the island (via MTR and bus, MTR and taxi or just a taxi).
Again, I think Club Level offers a great deal of convenience for parents who’d like a drink while kids refuel with snacks.
About the View
While the view is totally spectacular, you should know that the building is so tall that if it happens to be foggy in Hong Kong (which absolutely happens) you will have a view of nothing. The “shorter” Hong Kong luxury hotels will still see the harbour even in bad weather.
International Commerce Centre (ICC)
1 Austin Road West
*Thank you to the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong for providing us with a slightly discounted media rate. Restaurant and exterior view photos are courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.