THE RITZ-CARLTON, HONG KONG

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The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is a five-star luxury hotel, located in the International Commerce Centre, West Kowloon, Hong Kong.

I have always wanted to stay in the world’s tallest hotel and watched the construction of the ICC during my frequent visits to Hong Kong.¬†

The hotel offers 312 rooms and suites as well as several restaurant outlets.

After our arrival at the street level¬†lobby we were greeted by a staff member who escorted us directly to the main lobby on the 103rd floor. The express elevator took about a minute to reach to the main lobby level and is reputed to be the fastest elevator in Asia.From there we were escorted to the Club Lounge for check-in. We were invited to have some food and drinks while the credit card and passports were processed. The Club Lounge is a fantastic venue. It offers six daily meal presentations including breakfast with an omelette station and full bar service all day. The staff are truly professionals and they keep the huge lounge tidy and pleasant at all times which left a very positive impression.The lounge is beautifully decorated and offers a wonderful view over Kowloon. There is a car available for free transportation within Kowloon and it’s available for all hotel guests¬†on a first come first served basis.¬†

Arrival at the Victory Harbour View suite was an unforgettable experience. A stunning view combined with a luxury suite that offered a separate bedroom, and a corner with a lounging area from where to enjoy the fantastic view. The suite offered a minibar, a Nespresso machine, fresh fruit and home-made chocolates. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an ice-bucket with a bottle of sparkling water and a few bottles of Coke zero which is probably on my file as a favourite drink! Really thoughtful and perfect service from Ritz-Carlton. Every aspect of the suite was well thought out (usually I find power outlets to be misplaced or the design to be impractical etc.) The hotel offers free Wi-Fi on all floors including the restaurants, the Club Lounge, the fitness centre and pool area etc.

The hotel’s other facilities were equally impressive, including¬†the swimming pool and the fitness centre which are located on the 118th floor. The swimming pool area is stunning and features nice lounge chairs as well as two jacuzzis, one of which¬†was located outdoors and the other in an indoor lounging area. It goes without saying that the hotel has its own SPA as well.¬†

The restaurants are a story of their own. There is the world famous Ozone bar (highest bar in the world) which is consistently mentioned in travel magazines and guides. There is Tosca, the Italian restaurant with one Michelin star as well as the famous Tin Lun Heen with two Michelin  stars and Cafe 103 on the 103rd floor. 

The service at the hotel was excellent. Every staff member I met was sincere and well groomed. They interact with the guests a lot and always try to anticipate the needs and do their best to offer impeccable service.. They go above and beyond in making your stay enjoyable and memorable.

In conclusion, I would say the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is¬†a stunning property and most certainly the best hotel¬†in the city. The bird’s eye view from the hotel is just unbeatable and the service is amongst the best I have ever experienced anywhere.

The suite

The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge

Spa, Pool and Gym

The Presidental Suite

Restaurants and Ozone Bar

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http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/china/hong-kong

EMIRATES AIRLINES

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The Lounges

The Emirates Lounges both in Bangkok and Hong Kong sharethe well known cooperate identity of Emirates Airlines which can be found across the world.

The lounges typically have a dining area with restaurant-type seating and a large open area equipped with comfortable lounge chairs. The lounges also have a small business centre with computers and printers, showers and a Muslim prayer room.

The buffet consisted of a cold section which offers humus and other Asian specialities; as well as vegetarian snacks, small fish/meat bites and a sweet desserts section. The warm buffet offered about 10 different main courses including meat, fish, potatoes, rice and vegetables.

The bar was fully equipped, offering a full range of alcoholic beverages including wine, champagne,and spirits. Non-alcoholic beverages on offer included a range of soft drinks and cordials.  Many choices of coffee and tea were available plus chocolates and fresh Emirates signatures dates.

To compare the 2 lounges, I found the food offered in Bangkok tastier, while the lounge staff in Hong Kong were much friendlier. The Emirates Lounge in Bangkok is located at the D concourse mid-level with a garden view of Suvarnabhumi airport. The Emirates Lounge in Hong Kong is located near gate 40, upstairs with a nice view towards the tarmac and the departure area.

The Emirates Lounge Bangkok

The Emirates Lounge Hong Kong


The Flights 

We flew Bangkok ‚Äď Hong Kong ‚Äď Bangkok on Emirates. Both flights were operated with an A380 aircraft which offers 12 F, 78 C and ¬†399 Y seats. The¬†upper deck was is solely for premium class passengers and boarding/disembarkation was via a separate, direct¬†aerobridge at both airports.

Business class¬†seating was the typical 1 – 2 – 1 configuration.The middle two seats¬†could be used as either¬†“honeymoon-style” seats or as private aisle seats. All business class seats were equipped with a personal minibar, and a tablet which helped¬†you navigate Emirates‚Äô sophisticated entertainment system.

The meal service consisted of a hotel-type meal choice on both sectors. Here again, Bangkok beat the Hong Kong catering in terms of taste. Meal service was conducted all by hand using an all-in-one tray and was carried out promptly on both sectors.

Here it was also nice to see the difference of both crews. While the outbound flight crew was outstanding, chatty, and efficient (they even took Polaroid photos of the passengers and wrote a personal message on the photo frame) the inbound crew seemed a little indifferent appearing to do everything by-the-book, no more no less.Everything seemed to be rushed.  This was unnecessary as there was no cocktail or drink service before the meal,no separate coffee/desert roundand no bad weather or in-flight turbulence to delay the meal service. On the outbound sector espresso coffee was not available due to a broken coffee maker.

Both flights were very lightly booked in Business Class (about one-third full each way) and the Lounge Bar was opened on both flights.

Although it was a short flight, the entire bar selection was available including small snacks such as olives, nuts,cheese flutes plus a small choice of sandwiches and fresh fruit. This was a very impressive service offering.

Conclusion: Emirates offers a solid product with fair prices. In my opinion Qatar Airways offers a more elegant and generous service while Etihad Airways has the better crews (upbeat and cheerful).

http://www.ermirates.com