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InterContinental, Hong Kong

By:
Ben Hall
 

This iconic hotel stands sentinel over one of the most spectacular harbours in the world, and the InterContinental Hong Kong is a romantic getaway in its own right in one of the world’s truly great holiday destinations. Situated right on the tip of Kowloon, the InterConti Hong Kong has unrivalled views of Victoria Harbour and the neon-lit madness of Hong Kong Island, and is a stone’s throw from some of the city’s great tourist and shopping areas. Inside the hotel, it’s a tranquil oasis of calm and sophistication and despite its size, the InterConti has all the trappings and atmosphere of a luxury boutique hotel. Even if you don’t actually stay here, every visit to Hong Kong should include an hour or two in the Lobby Lounge to experience one of the 20 or so signature cocktails to enjoy the massive floor to ceiling windows which showcase one of the most exhilarating cityscapes in the world.

Rooms:

Of the 503 guest rooms, which includes 87 suites, just over two thirds have views over Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island and have undergone recent major renovations since our luxury hotel review on the InterConti in 2009. All of the rooms are sumptuously furnished with rich silks and Asian and contemporary art throughout and they also all have indulgent bathrooms with Italian marble and separate large sunken tubs and separate showers. Even the “basic” Guest Rooms are spacious and beautifully presented with generous work spaces and high tech mod-cons such as a 37 inch LCD televisions, Bose DVD/CD sound systems with iPod docking stations and high speed wireless broadband. At the top, and extreme, end of the scale there’s the Presidential Suite at a massive 2,300 square metres (7,000 square feet) which is the largest of its kind in Hong Kong with five bedrooms, a massive rooftop terrace with private infinity pool and jacuzzi with uninterrupted harbour and island views. This is where the international celebrity jetset hang out when they’re in Hong Kong and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly stayed here the week before we were in town, while a Korean pop sensation was in residence the following week. In between there are five different categories of suites, all with harbour and Hong Kong Island views, and the main difference is the size as you move through each category of suite up to the Presidential. The InterContinental Deluxe Suites, Terrace Suite and CEO Suite all have the added luxury of a jacuzzi with spectacular harbour and city views.

Dining:

There are six world class restaurants in the InterContinental Hong Kong including the 2-Michelin star Spoon by Alain Ducasse with contemporary French cuisine along with Nobu, which is rated one of the best Japanese restaurants in the world thanks to the influence of Nobu Matsuhisa. Yan Toh Heen is a 1-Michelin Star Classic Chinese restaurant with some of the most innovative and classic Cantonese dishes created by Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai. The Steak House Winebar + grill also has a Michelin Star and this is a meat lover’s paradise with prime cuts from the world’s finest meat, coupled with a wine list featuring no less than 450 selections. Harbourside is a casual venue which offers all day dining with fabulous harbour views and the Lobby Lounge is the main bar with impressive floor to ceiling windows serving a crazy range of signature cocktails and great food throughout the day and night, usually with live music in the background.

Other Facilities:

The hotel's laundry list of great facilities starts with the state-of-the-art Club InterContinental, an exclusive retreat for a business meeting, afternoon tea, or relaxing with a pre-dinner cocktail. Another is the feng shui-inspired I-Spa - an urban oasis in which to indulge in a rejuvenating massage or beauty treatment. Afterwards, you can relax in the unique trio of outdoor spa pools. Set in granite with glass walls, they are perched right on the water's edge offering an unequalled overview of Hong Kong's bustling harbour.

The Verdict:

With impeccable service, classic decor throughout, world class restaurants and one of the most stunning locations in Asia, the InterContinental Hong Kong captures the city at its very best. This is where you can easily spend a day just watching the vibrant harbour life right outside your window, and never leave the hotel.

The Hotel:
InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon. Call 0011 852 2721 1211.

Getting There:
For more information on Cathay Pacific, visit www.cathaypacific.com/au
The airline has four daily flights between Sydney and Hong Kong, as well as three per day from Melbourne, 11 per week from Brisbane, and 10 per week from Perth. Premium Economy and Business Class feature on all flights, which use A330 aircraft.

Getting Around:
One of the many blessings of Hong Kong is that it’s easy to get around thanks to a simple and cheap transport system of ferries, a subway, and buses. And as a fairly compact city, most of the main attractions are comfortably walkable - visitors are never too far from shops, restaurants or major sights.

When To Go:
Boasting a sub-tropical climate, Hong Kong is a year-round destination. The most popular time to visit is from mid-September to late February, when the weather is cooler. At its coolest (mid-December to February), the temperature may fall to 10C; at its warmest (late May to mid-September), it averages 28C, but may also reach 33C.

What Should I Bring With Me?:
The shopping in Hong Kong is so abundant and such good value, just bring an empty suitcase and plenty of energy. Tourism Information: www.discoverhongkong/au

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