Stretching more than 100 stories above the city, the five-star Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong isn’t just a tall hotel; it’s the tallest building in Hong Kong and the highest hotel in the world. How high? During my stay I found myself looking down on clouds several times. The hotel is so tall that the cars below don’t just look like toys—entire buildings look like children’s toys, and cars are barely visible specks below them. To say staying at the Ritz-Carlton is an “elevated experience” is a severe understatement. But that’s not just because of its height.
The Ritz-Carlton is located on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour and the hotel is set inside the International Commerce Centre along the waterfront. The hotel’s 312 guest rooms start on the 102nd floor, accessed via an 80-second ride in the fantastically fast and smooth elevators. One you reach the lobby, the noise and chaos of the city falls away and you’re enveloped by the kind of serenity rarely seen in a bustling hotel lobby. My husband and I were staying in a Deluxe Seaview Room with Club Access, which meant we completed our check-in drinking champagne in the Club Lounge overlooking the city—the perfect way to start our stay.
From that moment on, the Club Lounge was our home-away-from-home, where we had breakfast, happy hour, and afternoon tea, forgoing a meal in one of the hotel’s five other dining venues, including the two Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Tin Lung Heen, and the Michelin-starred Tosca Italian restaurant, each with more panoramic views of the city and stunning architecture and design. There’s also Alma’s Caviar bar, CAFÉ 103 on the hotel’s 103rd floor for afternoon tea, and the OZONE rooftop lounge, where as hotel guests, we had priority for a reservation for a nighttime cocktail view a few. With our Club Level status we were also able to take advantage of the services of a house car anywhere on Kowloon.
Rooms come in a variety of sizes and types, starting at a spacious 540 square feet. Of course, all rooms have views given the hotel’s height, but some are better than others. My room was decked out in classic neutral tones and luxe soft fabrics and offered a view of the sea and of Victoria Harbour with Hong Island across the water. There was a plush King bed, 42-inch LCD TV, a large mahogany work desk and comfortable chair; and a well-stocked minibar with Nespresso coffee machine. The large bathroom was a mini-spa unto itself, with a marble shower and rainforest shower head, lighted mirror, Asprey bath amenities, dual sinks, and deep soaking tub.
Since we were celebrating my birthday during the trip, staff hung balloons and a sign in my room, and even printed out several photos from my social media profiles to decorate the room, a sweet touch that made the stay more personal.
Throughout my stay, staff was attentive to an exceptional degree, always calling my husband and me by name. Always available and exceedingly polite, but never obtrusive or obsequious, they answered every request promptly and even anticipated our needs on several occasions. While the service was excellent and the room was a luxe retreat above the city, my favorite moments were in the hotel’s pool and hot tubs, watching the clouds make their way across the sky beneath my perch high above the city.
If there was one downfall to the stay, it was, ironically, also the height. Leaving the hotel requires a ride to the lobby in one set of elevators, a ride to the ground floor in another, and then either a long walk through the attached mall to the metro, or a taxi (there’s no immediate sidewalk access from the ground floor). All told, exiting the hotel took about ten minutes every time. Of course, with the views, we often found ourselves not wanting to leave anyways.
If you go: Room rates start at around $500 per night. Compare rates at Hotels.com or your favorite hotel booking site.