July 17, 2024

10 of the best hotels in Hong Kong

10 of the best hotels in Hong Kong

This article was produced by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

Self-styled as ‘Asia’s world city’, Hong Kong has seen its fair share of upheaval over the decades, but much of its current prosperity is built on its historic standing as a trading outpost. You sense that when you fly over the freighters that crisscross its waters, and see the skyscrapers that pierce its chockablock centre. A one-time British colony that sits in the South China Sea, it has always been a place where tastes and cultures collide. In this easily navigated destination, travellers typically stay in Kowloon, with its Victoria Harbour views, and on Hong Kong Island, which has exceptional places to eat and the landmark Victoria Peak.  

Best for: discreet decadence

There are two Mandarin Oriental hotels in Hong Kong: the original is the brand’s global flagship, a six decades-long headline act in Central. In the same district, The Landmark distinguishes itself by taking a more demure approach. Cocktail connoisseurs gather at speakeasy-style bar PDT for creative cocktails (the name stands for ‘Please Don’t Tell’) while diners ascend to the seventh-floor Amber restaurant for exceptional modern-French meals in an elegant room crowned by golden sculptural pieces. Other tasteful touches round off this thoroughly accomplished offering — spacious, sophisticated rooms in pistachio greens and earthy tones feature striking circular tubs alongside display cases stocked with complimentary treats; a quiet pool allows for proper swimming; and at the welcoming two-storey spa, experienced therapists deliver top-tier treatments.ROOMS: From HK$6,205 (£650), plus a 10% service charge. 

Best for: luxury for less 

That you can bag such an impressive five-star hotel at this rate goes to show how Hong Kong can offer fantastic value for money. Unpretentious and inviting, the hotel’s Palm Court lobby is a magnet for locals who gather for afternoon tea; beside it, the art deco-inspired Artesian bar buzzes as friends enjoy free-flowing drinks during ‘extended happy hours’ in the evening. And for out-of-towners, three-Michelin-starred T’ang Court provides an exceptional introduction to Cantonese cuisine, in a space decorated with Chinese art and priceless antiques. Another star amenity is the open-air rooftop pool that offers views towards the harbour, and for shoppers, there’s an extra boon to the hotel’s Kowloon setting: the property is surrounded by independent homeware and clothing stores, alongside fancy boutiques such as Tiffany. ROOMS: From HK$1,150 (£120). 

Best for: savvy socialites

Occupying a skinny skyscraper on Central’s Arbuthnot Road, this welcoming property is minutes from Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s entertainment district. It’s also beside the more subdued delights of Tai Kwun, a century-old policing complex converted into a drinking, dining and cultural precinct. Though amiable service means the hotel remains relaxed, the Ovolo readily supports guests who want to get into the party spirit. Book direct and you’re free to plunder the in-room mini-bar — with snacks, soft drinks and booze all included — plus there’s a daily happy hour when drinks are again complimentary. Overdone it the night before? Rest up in the fuss-free, studio apartment-style bedrooms or replenish with nourishing Indian dishes at Veda, one of the few exclusively vegetarian restaurants you’ll find in this meat-loving city. ROOMS: From HK$1,800 (£190), B&B.

Best for: all-out extravagance

As the scion of a local billionaire-class family, Rosewood Hotels’ CEO Sonia Cheng was always going to go all out with the brand’s flagship property in her home city. This Kowloon retreat shows what ‘spare no expense’ means in reality. Bedrooms feature walls woven with wool from upmarket Italian brand Loro Piana, cobalt-blue couches and lacquered cabinetry; bathrooms are clad in marble and finished with touches of copper. And there’s plenty of soul on show, too — Cantonese restaurant The Legacy House pays tribute to the Cheng family with private rooms themed around the dynasty’s key milestones. Attentive staff are accustomed to serving Hong Kong high society; amenities including bars, restaurants, spa and flash fitness facilities mean locals, as well as tourists, love the hotel.ROOMS: From HK$7,900 (£830), plus a 10% service charge, B&B.

hotel room with harbour view

All rooms at the luxury Regent Hong Kong offer waterside views of Victoria Harbour.

Photograph by AJL Photography

Best for: cinematic sleepovers

This Kowloon hotel sweeps over the edge of Victoria Harbour, and its waterside rooms — they’re the only option to go for — provide the perfect panorama of the metropolis. By day, traditional wooden junk boats, cargo ships and cruisers glide along the water; as dusk descends, flashes of light bring steel-and-glass towers to life as the daily ‘Symphony of Lights’ show animates the skyline. Elegant rooms in beachy tones feature huge windows with banquette seating and soaking tubs. And there are other reasons to stay: afternoon tea and sundowners are served in the lobby, again with stellar views, and guests have access to a spa, pool and fitness facilities. ROOMS: From HK$6,000 (£630), plus a 10% service charge. 

Best for: suburban seaside living

Just 20 minutes’ taxi ride from Central, The Arca hits a sweet spot for travellers who want easy access to the city without its intensity. The Southern District setting is perfect for travellers keen to understand Hong Kong beyond its commercial core, with many parks, hiking trails and beaches nearby that are beloved by locals. At the property, there’s a buzzy rooftop infinity pool and restaurant Arca Society, which serves Western and Asian specialities. Finished in pretty pinks and creams, mellow rooms come with slick mid-century-modern-style furnishings.ROOMS: From HK$1,600 (£168). 

Best for: escaping the city

In the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark in the North East New Territories, this unique restored village includes 11 simple houses available for stays to guests who book an on-site activity. The settlement was established centuries ago by Hakka clans, an ethnic group originally from Northern China, and the project aims to celebrate them with workshops, such as weaving classes or rice harvesting. Designed to provide respite from city life, with no wi-fI or TVs, it’s about as rustic as it’s possible to be in Hong Kong.ROOMS: From HK$880 (£92).

Best for: on a budget

What’s unexpected at this cheap-and-cheerful hotel is that guests enjoy one of the most coveted settings in the city, overlooking Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island’s skyscrapers. It’s also close to major attractions such as the Star Ferry and Hong Kong Cultural Centre. But there are other reasons to stay here — its leisure facilities are extensive; alongside two pools, there’s a gym and challenging climbing wall. Finished in shades of milky coffee, rooms are perfunctory but comfy — book one facing the harbour for showstopper views of the city.ROOMS: From HK$1,200 (£125).

Best for: feel-good hospitality

Beloved by locals who visit for unfussy staycations, the Icon is owned by the Polytechnic University and many of its staff are students training for careers in hospitality. A 15-minute bus ride from Hong Kong’s main attractions, the East Tsim Sha Tsui property’s many facilities mean guests are happy to relax on site. Rooms feature generously sized bathtubs and complimentary mini-bars, plus there’s a sixth-floor outdoor infinity pool, elegant Angsana Spa and an incredible swirling vertical garden with more than 8,600 plants in the building’s atrium. For a special meal, snag a window seat at top-floor Chinese restaurant Above & Beyond for truly stunning views of the city. ROOMS: From HK$2,400 (£250), plus a 10% service charge.

Best for: retro fans

Illuminating an innocuous Wan Chai tower block on Hong Kong Island, the old-school neon ‘The Fleming’ sign running vertically down several floors of the building is the first sign that this is a hotel with retro sensibilities. Head inside you’ll see that promise delivered handsomely with interiors inspired by Hong Kong’s fabled Star Ferry. Look out for porthole-shaped mirrors and Star Ferry-style seating, all complemented by an aesthetic that emphasises classic materials like smoked-oak flooring and brass lighting. It’s a charming take on the old-new character of the city, and the hotel provides easy access to another local institution: the brilliantly boisterous Cantonese restaurant Tung Po Kitchen is on the same street. ROOMS: From HK$1,400 (£145).

Published in the March 2024 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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