Hotel Review: The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

Hotel Review: The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

When I planned my HKG over MLK weekend I booked flights which allowed for a two night stay in Hong Kong. Having never been to Hong Kong I wasn’t exactly sure where to stay. I searched for hotels for a few days trying to figure out the perfect place to book. With each search I found myself coming back to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is located in the top floors of the International Commerce Center and is currently the highest hotel in the world. While room rates are exceptionally high on both weekday and weekend stays I ended up booking this hotel with Marriott points.

I often worry that I won’t get the “full experience” with points, but that definitely wasn’t the case during my stay. Upon arriving at the hotel I was given a complimentary upgrade thanks to my Marriott Gold elite status. The room was absolutely incredible and I loved my single night stay on the property.

Booking The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

When booking the hotel I first had to decide which night I wanted to stay at the property. The first night I wouldn’t arrive in Hong Kong until 8PM, but I could stay until 4PM the following afternoon. The second night I could check-in as early as noon, but I’d have to leave at 6AM to catch my flight home. In the end I decided to book the first night as it would give me a chance to experience the hotel’s nightlife and buffet breakfast.

After deciding which night I wanted to book I began looking at prices. A standard room at the property usually costs more than $400/night and weekend nights tend to cost more than $500/night. I debated booking this hotel through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program because the booking came with a $100 property credit, but in the end I decided to book with points. I ended up spending 70,000 Marriott Rewards points for my single night stay.

About 24 hours after booking my stay a received an e-mail from the Ritz-Carlton reservations team. The e-mail detailed various upgrade packages. The email outlined a few options to upgrade to a club room or a deluxe suite for several hundred dollars extra. I decided to pass on the upgrades.

The e-mail continued to outline the location of the hotel and the various ways to get from the airport to the hotel. This e-mail included both the various transportation methods and the costs associated with each.

It’s safe to say that when I received this e-mail I knew I had made the right choice to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. This e-mail was above and beyond anything I’ve ever received from any other hotel prior to checking in.

Requests Prior To Check-in

Consistent with the booking e-mail from the hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong experience began well before I arrived at the property. About 24 hours before my arrival I received a notification that I could check-in to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. I decided to check into the hotel using the Marriott app.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Mobile Check In
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Mobile Check In

After checking into the hotel I was given the above options. I decided to click on the “request services” button to see what exactly I could request. Honestly, the pre-arrival requests were a bit overwhelming.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Mobile Check In
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Mobile Check In

Within the Marriott App I had the option to request several amenities or even a baby crib. As I had no use for a crib I instead decided to see what room amenities and bath amenities I could request prior to arriving at the hotel.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Mobile Check In
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Mobile Check In

Within the bath amenities tab I could request various items that I may have forgotten otherwise. Although you can request all of these items prior to arrival, it’s worth noting that all of these items are found standard in every room regardless if you request them or not. That became apparent when I was given a different room when arriving. More on that in a minute.

Getting To The International Commerce Center

After landing in Hong Kong and taking a quick shower at Cathay Pacific’s The Arrival lounge I began the easy journey to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. You can of course get to the hotel by taxi or car service, but I opted to take public transportation. From the lower level of the airport there is an Airport Express train which takes arriving passengers from the airport to downtown.

The cost of the Airport Express varies based on where you’re traveling to and prices in HKD are as follows.

Hong Kong Airport Express Prices
Hong Kong Airport Express Prices

To get to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong it’s easiest to take the Airport Express directly to Kowloon Station. The train ride takes a little less than 45 minutes and drops you off at the base of the International Commerce Center. Form Kowloon station it’s a short walk through the Elements mall to reach the entrance of the hotel.

Arriving At The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

After the quick ride on the Airport Express I finally arrived in Kowloon Station. I had no idea where I was going, but luckily the station features ample directional signage.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Kowloon Station Signage
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Kowloon Station Signage

After looking like a tourist for a few seconds I finally located a sign which directed passengers to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Since the Ritz-Carlton is in the International Commerce Center you can also follow signs to the ICC.

Kowloon Station International Commerce Center Signage
Kowloon Station International Commerce Center Signage

Eventually you’ll find yourself in the heart of the incredible Elements mall. Again, as you walk through the mall you can easily follow signs to the ICC or The Ritz-Carlton.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Elements Mall Signage
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Elements Mall Signage

After riding a short series of escalators I found myself at the base of the ICC with overlooks the Elements mall.

Elements Mall
Elements Mall

After a short walk from the above location you’ll eventually arrive at the doors to The Ritz-Carlton’s ground floor lobby.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

Next to these doors is the iconic RC logo.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

After passing through the doors to the ground lobby there is an escalator which takes you into the ground floor lobby.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Ground Lobby
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Ground Lobby

From the lobby you’ll be directed into a set of elevators which take guests to the lobby located on the 103 floor of the ICC.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Sky Lobby
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Sky Lobby

The elevator ride takes about a minute to reach the 103 floor. As you exit the elevator you arrive in the stunning lobby flanked by restaurants on either end.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Lobby
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Lobby

After exiting the elevator I proceeded to the check-in desk. Near the check-in counter was a small waiting area which featured two plush couches. It was as I sat on the couch waiting for an available receptionist that I caught my first views of Hong Kong from the property.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Lobby
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Lobby

Deluxe Victoria Harbour Suite Entrance And Office

Upon checking in a was given a complimentary upgrade to a Deluxe Victoria Harbour suite on the 112th floor. It was a short elevator ride from the 103rd floor to the 112th floor.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Elevator Bank
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Elevator Bank

After exiting the elevator I proceeded down the hallway to my room for the evening.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15

During my one night stay I was assigned room 112-15. It wasn’t until I opened the door to the room that I realized I had been given a corner suite.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15

I loved the hotel room number signage located next to the door to the room.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Entryway Art
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Entryway Art

Immediately after opening the door I noticed some interesting wall art. At this moment I knew this room was going to be extremely special.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Pantry
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Pantry

As I ventured farther into the room I found a small pantry with an espresso maker, complimentary bottled water, and an electric tea kettle. Within this little pantry was again a wonderful decorative bowl. The bowl had a white exterior and red lining which caused the bowl to appear red under the overhead light.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Entryway
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Entryway

After passing through the entryway of the room I reached the room’s generously sized “office.”

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Desk
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Desk

Next to the desk featured several drawers which housed the in-room safe. Next to the desk was a bowl of complimentary fresh fruit which rested on top of a box which contained a set of china plates.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Stereo
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Stereo

Located next to the office’s swivel chair was a Bang and Olufsen iPod stereo which came complete with a retro iPod Mini.

Deluxe Victoria Harbour Suite Bedroom

After exploring the room’s office I proceeded into the bedroom area of the suite.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 King Bed
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 King Bed

The bedroom consists of a large king sized bed in between two night stands.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Bedside Table
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Bedside Table

On one of the night stands was a obnoxiously loud clock, a bottle of water, a phone, a writing pad, and some bedtime chocolates. The drawers of the nightstand had been replaced with room lighting controls and USB power outlets.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Bedside Room Controls
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Bedside Room Controls

There were also two buttons which controlled the room’s motorized window shades. Across the room from the king size bed was a small wall which housed a flat screen tv and DVD player.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Television Set
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Television Set

Along the wall of windows which overlooked Kowloon park was a chaise lounge and small side table.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Chaise Lounge
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Chaise Lounge

Finally, since this was technically a corner suite, the corner featured a few pillows so guests could theoretically lounge on the windowsill.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Window Lounge
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Window Lounge

Deluxe Victoria Harbour Suite Bathroom

While the room was stunning, the bathroom was equally impressive. The bathroom features a large double sink with several Asprey Purple Water soaps and lotions spread out on the counter.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Sink
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Sink

Beneath the sinks were a set of drawers which housed extra towels and various amenities. Within the amenity kit box were more Asprey Purple Water items and a hair dryer.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Amenity Kit
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Amenity Kit

Across from the double sinks were two smaller rooms with glass doors. The shower door had transparent glass while the toilet door was constructed from frosted glass.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Bathroom
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Bathroom

Behind the frosted glass door was a single toilet room which also came with a landline.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Toilet
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Toilet

Next to the toilet was a large overhead rain shower which also offered a handheld shower head.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Shower
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Shower

Finally, located along the back wall of the bathroom was a large tub which was centered below a wall of angled mirrors. Within one of the mirrors was a TV screen and next to the tub’s pillow was a (hopefully) waterproof TV remote.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Tub
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong 112-15 Tub

Just outside of the bathroom was a second smaller closet which housed a Ritz-Carlton branded bathrobe and an ironing board.

Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Bathrobe
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Bathrobe

Deluxe Victoria Harbour Suite Views

If you’ve made it this far, thank you and congratulations. You’re about to see what makes this hotel so incredibly special. Obviously the hotel design is wonderful and the room is great, but it’s the views of Hong Kong offered from the 112th floor that make this hotel worth staying at. I got incredibly lucky during my stay as there were not clouds either at night or the following morning.

Since I checked into the hotel in the evening I first had views of the Hong Kong skyline by night.

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong View

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong View

When I returned to the room later in the evening many LED signs on buildings were finally off. Even thought the LED signs were off, the light pollution was still a bit overwhelming.

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong View

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong View

I decided to sleep with the window shades open so I wouldn’t miss the sunrise. Since the room mostly faced East I was able to watch the sunrise from my bed.

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong Sunrise

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong Sunrise

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong Sunrise

The sunrise was absolutely beautiful, that view alone may have justified the 70,000 point price tag.

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong Sunrise

The views to the South overlooked the more residential side of Hong Kong. Many of these buildings are more than 50 stories tall yet they are dwarfed by the International Commerce Tower.

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong View

From my room I could easily see Kowloon Park and the Mira Hong Kong where I’d be staying the next night.

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong View

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong View

After enjoying the sunrise and taking in the early morning views of the city I decided to head up to the gym for a short workout before breakfast.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center And Pool

Sadly, the pool was closed for renovations during my stay, but the fitness center on the 118th floor remained opened. The fitness center, pool, and spa are all located on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Center. As you exit the elevators on the 118th floor there is a reception desk for the spa.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center Reception Desk
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center Reception Desk

If you turn right instead of left you’ll pass down a short hallway and eventually reach the entrance to the fitness center.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center

The fitness center is surprisingly spacious and has plenty of treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and weight machines.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center

Along the back wall of the fitness center are various free weights and a few weightlifting benches.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center

By far the most impressive part of the fitness center is the open air terrace. This area has several pool style lounge chairs for guests to sit back, relax, and enjoy the incredible views of surrounding Hong Kong.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center Outdoor Terrace
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center Outdoor Terrace

The terrace, like my room, faces East, but you can also see the views of the Zhujiang River Estuary to the North.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center Views
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center Views

While on the terrace you may also get lucky enough to see a large jet pass directly overhead as the hotel sits along one of the airports departure flight paths.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center Views
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Fitness Center Views

Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong The Lounge And Bar

Following my quick visit to the fitness center it was finally time for a bite to eat before heading out to explore Hong Kong. I originally looked for a nearby breakfast restaurant, but not much was open on Sunday morning. Instead, I decided to visit the breakfast buffet in The Lounge restaurant and bar. The breakfast buffet was admittedly hilariously expensive. At $50 USD I’m not sure the buffet was worth it, but I did try my best to get my money’s worth. During my breakfast I also noticed a lady putting food into Tupperware containers so perhaps she really got value from her purchase.

The Lounge is an attractive space on the 102nd floor of the hotel. To access The Lounge you must go to the lobby and then take an escalator down to the 102nd floor. As you take the escalator down a floor from the lobby you’ll pass under a stunning purple chandler mural.

The Lounge Restaurant Decor
The Lounge Restaurant Decor

At the bottom of the escalator you’ll find yourself at the hostess stand as you wait to be seated.

The Lounge Restaurant Decor
The Lounge Restaurant Decor

The entire space is decorated with bright colors paired with dark wood furniture.

The Lounge Restaurant Decor
The Lounge Restaurant Decor

Toward each end of The Lounge are two massive chandeliers which each hover over a fire pit.

The Lounge Restaurant Fire Pit
The Lounge Restaurant Fire Pit

The hostess seated me directly next to one of the fire pits which was nice, but as the meal progressed I found myself getting a little warm.

The Lounge Restaurant Decor
The Lounge Restaurant Decor

In the center of the Lounge is a large square breakfast buffet. Around the buffet were various sections of food. One section (against the window) offered various breads, pastries, and cheeses. There was also a fruit section, a traditional western breakfast section, and a traditional eastern breakfast section. Then, located near the hostess stand was a dumpling station which I visited several times.

The Lounge Restaurant Views
The Lounge Restaurant Views

Lastly the views from The Lounge restaurant were simply stunning. After eating I requested an open seat which faced the window while I finished my morning coffee.

While the breakfast buffet is obscenely expensive, it did come with plenty of delicious food. If you don’t plan on eating a large breakfast I’d instead recommend going into the Elements mall for something light or just ordering off of the a la carte room service menu.

Final Thoughts

While I had no intention of paying the outrageously high $500/night room rate, I did have enough Marriott Rewards points to pay for a single night. After several days of deliberation I finally decided to book a night at the hotel with points. In the end I shelled out 70,000 Marriott points for a single night stay. While I realize that is a lot of points for a single night stay, I’m happy to say that I believe it was worth it. My night at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is one that I’ll never forget. I hope that I’m lucky enough to stay here again sometime soon.

I absolutely loved my stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. The hotel is simply beautiful and the staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming. Next time I visit Hong Kong I’m definitely going to try to stay at this property again.

However, I do worry that my stay wouldn’t have been as enjoyable ad there been thick cloud cover. The views offered from the hotel really set this hotel apart from others and if you take that away I’m not sure it’s worth paying the premium to stay at the property.

Post Comment