Express Guide to: Hong KongBy Jo Hartley
Got a trip to the Far East planned and need a great city to break the journey en-route? Or if you simply want to delve into an exciting mix of both the familiarity of the big smoke set alongside the exoticism of China, Hong Kong is a cracking choice. Here’s our express guide to Asia’s playground:
Hong Kong: Where to Stay
The Lowdown: OZO Wesley is located on Hong Kong Island – for the first timer, it’s good to know that Hong Kong is comprised of three main regions: Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. Hong Kong Island is where the main action is, with Central District home to the core city workers, shops and attractions. You;re bang on for location here at OZO Wesley, within five minutes’ walk to the premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination Pacific Place and three stops away from Central on the Metro/MTR.
Accommodation: Billing itself as ‘a stylishly designed urban accommodation for on-the-go global nomads looking to be right at the heart of the action,’ OZO Wesley provides bright, breezy charm in spades. Offering helpful staff (we were able to both check in early straight after an overnight flight, and enjoy a late afternoon check out), a gorgeous and hearty buffet breakfast which changed daily, plus clean and comfortable guest rooms in their ‘Snooze Zone,’ with views across the city. Meanwhile, the interactive orientation screen will give you all the information on the local area you need to dive into your day – however you want it to unfold.
Where: 22 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
The Run-Down: Hong Kong’s oldest hotel, The Peninsula Hong Kong is the legendary ‘Grande Dame’ of the Far East, located on Kowloon Island overlooking Victoria Harbour. Upon entering the property, you know this is somewhere pretty darn special. Boasting seven restaurants and two bars, it would be possible to spend your entire 48 hours here. Spring Moon, the hotel’s Michelin starred Cantonese restaurant, serves up exquisite dim sum and seasonal specialities as well as over 25 premium Chinese teas. Also boasting a 12,000 sq ft world class spa, The Peninsula offers its spa guests European and Oriental therapies, alongside an elegant lounging pool offering magnificent city views.
Accommodation: With 300 rooms including 54 suites you’re spoilt for choice – if you want to blow the budget, why not choose one of The Peninsula or Marco Polo Suites, to enjoy complimentary butler service and a chauffeured Rolls-Royce on call?
Where: Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Hong Kong: Where to Eat
Eat and Drink: Upper House is an all studio and suite contemporary luxury hotel, designed by architect Andre Fu. Café Grey Deluxe is the property’s 21st century Grand Café, located on level 49 with Hong Kong at your feet. Offering modern European dining, the acclaimed restaurant is headed by Chef Gray Kunz, whose signature dishes favour seasonality and a blend of influences, paying homage to his international pedigree. Enjoy world class cocktails at the adjacent Café Gray Bar after dinner, as you benefit from compelling views of Hong Kong and Kowloon beneath.
Where: Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Hong Kong: What to Do
What To Expect: Not sure where to start or how to get your bearings? Walk It offers a variety of exciting tours of Hong Kong on foot, including Old Town Central, which is a three hour taster of ‘East meets West’ history. One of the oldest yet trendiest districts of the city, Old Town is home to Possession Street, the birthplace of colonial Hong Kong. The tour also takes in funky neighbourhood Poho, ‘Po’ meaning ‘treasure’ in Chinese, where you can find clusters of pretty boutiques, cafes and art galleries – the perfect afternoon hang out.
After sampling a tasty lunch with locals, the tour continues, to visit the Man Mo Temple, a picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). The walk rounds off at Hollywood Road creative art hub, with various contemporary galleries, antique shops and boutiques filling every available space.
Where: Various starting locations, please see their website for further information.
Jo was a guest of OZO Wesley where the lead in room category, the Sleep Room price starts at HK$1100 (approximately GBP 113), exclusive of VAT and service charge and subject to season and availability. For efficient private transfers between the city and the airport, use Jubilee International. For more information on Hong Kong – visit the website here.
Words: Jo Hartley