Hotels Reviews

Review: The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong breaks many world records. Does it justify its hefty price tag?

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The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong resides within the International Commerce Centre building. This giant 118 story (actually only 108 above ground due to tetraphobia) is hard to miss. It’s Hong Kong’s tallest building and the 11th tallest in the world.

The Ritz-Carlton only occupies the top section of this massive building, between floors 102-118.

ICC Hong Kong (Bernard Spragg)
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong occupies the top section of the huge ICC building. (Photo: Bernard Spragg)

This lofty position affords it plenty of world number ones. Not only is it the world’s highest hotel – the bar and swimming pool are also the world’s highest. After a number of trips to Hong Kong, we finally decided that we’d have to check it out to see if the hotel itself matched up to these physical world-beating standards.

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Booking

We booked a Club Deluxe Room (Skyline view) at this property for a 2-night stay following our flight from Singapore on Singapore Airlines’ new A380 Suites product, after the first leg of our round-the-world in First Class trip.

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You can read our full review of the A380 Suites experience, including the double bed, here.

After we left the Ritz-Carlton, we moved on to the excellent Cathay Pacific First Class Lounges in Hong Kong, and experienced Cathay’s First Class to London.

Arrival

Several days before our arrival the concierge reached out to see if we would like the hotel to arrange an airport pickup. Whilst this seemed like a convenient option, the prices were rather steep, and given that we had only a short flight preceding this we chose to take the train.

The ICC building is located above Kowloon station, which is on the Airport Express line. The train departs every 10 minutes and only takes 22 minutes to Kowloon, stopping just once on the way. It’s then a short, signposted walk through the ‘Elements’ basement mall to the lower lobby of the hotel itself.

Entrance
The entrance to the hotel from the ‘Elements’ mall. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Here you’re greeted by hotel staff who will direct you to the high speed lifts which then whisk you up to the ear-popping 103rd-floor main reception in less than a minute.

The lobby is dark and opulent with plenty of traditional Chinese decoration. It was generally rather busy here at all times during our stay, but it is well staffed and the wait wasn’t long.

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The lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The receptionist was friendly and polite. He repeatedly thanked us for our loyalty as Marriott Gold Elite members.

Interestingly Marriott Gold Elite (now Bonvoy Gold Elite) members usually aren’t recognised at Ritz-Carlton hotels. Whilst they are part of the group, they run their own reward program. So when we were told we had been upgraded to a Deluxe Victoria Harbour view 1-bedroom Suite as loyal Marriott customers – we were rather surprised!

We were then personally shown to our room and given a guided tour, which is also unusual in a city hotel where typically you are just passed the key and told where the lifts are.

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Room types

There are several entry-level room types configured in a very similar layout. The only difference is the view. You can also select the same rooms with Club Lounge access, which effectively means paying for access to the Club Lounge. Normally we wouldn’t recommend this, but in this case – it’s well worth it and we’ll explain why later on.

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The Deluxe Victoria Harbour View Suite floor plan. (Image: Marriott International)

For further details on the room and suite types available at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, see the hotel website here.

Suite first impressions

A short corridor with an art piece on the wall greets you as you first enter the suite.

Room Entrance
Entrance corridor. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Alongside one wall as you walk in to the room is the dresser area, housing amenities with tea and coffee making facilities, a wine and spirits selection and the mini-bar.

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The bar. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Between the dresser / bar and the living room there is a well-equipped desk with ample space, a writing tablet, charging outlets, and a fantastic office chair with views across the suite and out over the water.

Desk 2
The desk. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

An impressive set of speakers with an iPod dock also features at the desk area, alongside a telephone and writing pad on a dedicated side table against the wall.

These speakers were perfectly placed for listening to music in the living room while enjoying the amazing view.

Ipod Speakers
Speakers by the desk. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Opposite the desk a large mirrored wall gives a great sense of additional space as you walk through to the living room.

Corridor Mirror
Mirrored wall as you enter the living room. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Obviously, in a building like this, you are expecting an amazing view but nothing quite prepares you for when you step into the living room for the first time and the curtains automatically draw open revealing genuinely jaw-dropping views of the harbour, Victoria Peak and Hong Kong island.

Deluxe Suite Window
The corner vista in our Deluxe Victoria Harbour View Suite. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

There is a seating area with a recessed TV on the opposite wall and of course the large windows that extend from a low padded windowsill all the way to the ceiling.

The decor continues with the theme from the lobby of dark colours, modern materials and traditional Chinese accents.

Living into Bedroom
Looking through from the living room to the bedroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The luxurious Ritz-Carlton style of deep carpets and window dressings can make their properties feel slightly dated to us even when new, but it’s a design choice that they stick with and it seems popular with their guests so it’s hard to criticise.

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Bedroom

Through two sliding doors either side of the TV you enter the bedroom, featuring a large king-sized bed, numerous wardrobes and, of course, another huge TV.

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The king bed. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The luxurious colour scheme continues here with shades of brown, deep reds and black marble surfaces.

The floor to ceiling window continues into the bedroom for those morning views, out over Discovery Bay in the case of our room.

Deluxe Suite Bedroom
Views extend into the bedroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

On the left side of the bed a drawer extends to reveal USB charging sockets and blind / lighting controls.

Bedside Controls
USB charging and blind / lighting controls. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

On the right side a Type G (UK / Singapore / Hong Kong) 3-pin plug socket is included, with a few replicated lighting controls.

Bed Side
A different socket type on the right side, with lighting controls. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Of course there is also a phone on one side of the bed. Also a writing pad and a clock are provided.

Bedside
Bedside. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Storage is ample with a small wardrobe at one side of the bed between the bedroom and the bathroom.

Robe Wardrobe
A smaller wardrobe. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

This is complemented by a much larger wardrobe with storage drawers and over a dozen hangers.

Wardrobe
The main wardrobe. (Photo: MainlyMiles)
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Bathroom

The bedroom leads into a spacious bathroom.

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Bathroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

No city views in here, but a large deep bathtub sits opposite dual sinks and a separate standalone shower.

Bath Shower
Bath and shower. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

There is even an integrated flat screen TV in the wall to watch while you’re bathing if you so choose.

The large shower cubicle has a rain shower function and individual shower hose for those who prefer it.

Toiletries are by British luxury brand Asprey.

At the back the bathroom a door leads to the ‘house bathroom’ with a toilet and separate sink. This is also accessible from the main entrance corridor to the suite, so it doubles up as a restroom for any guests you may have visiting.

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House bathroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Room conclusions

Overall this a well-equipped room with modern, thoughtful touches. Being a Ritz-Carlton, it’s kept to high standards and immaculately clean. The decision as to whether on not to pay for the view is a difficult one on paper but once you see it real life, the choice is clear – it is stunning. You will not be disappointed.

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It all comes back to the unbeatable view. (Photo:MainlyMiles)

Facilities

At the very top of the building sit the gym, the spa and the pool. Both, naturally, have excellent views.

The gym is well equipped with comprehensive cardio and free-weights sections. Complimentary water and some energy drinks are provided, alongside cold towels.