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There are some stunning buildings like the cleanly soaring IFC, the mirrored chocolate layer Exchange Square, the sky-piercing jagged diamond pattern China Bank, and the Meccano set Hong Kong Bank, all arrayed around the stately, colonnaded former Legislative Council building. Streets teem with brisk-stepping people accoutred in the latest fashions as ongoing reclamation work ensures the harbour promenade is ever receding, leaving ever more space for brisk-stepping people, trundling trams, and sweaty shoppers.
Queen's Road Central and East demarcated the original northern shoreline in the s. This is where you'll spot the HSBC bank headquarters with its signature bronze lions. The room Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong and unit Four Seasons Place strut out in front of all their competitors, contentedly gobbling up the views.
It makes you wonder whether a hotel can get a little too big. The lobbies almost feel like an extension of the posh IFC shopping mall next door. Still, this proximity to the mall is another useful magnet for work-and-play visitors.
The Four Seasons Hotel is a highly regarded among top drawer Hong Kong hotels with a raft of excellent facilities, fine dining, attractive, hi-tech rooms both short and long staya plush spa, and two stunning swimming pools. Wired and wireless Internet access is available in all rooms for a fee — for guests in suite rooms, WiFi is free.
In contrast, grande dame the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, sits back along the original waterfront not far from the younger Four Seasons.
The consternation was palpable when renovation plans were announced — its ancient regulars shaking their silver-topped canes in dismay. The hotel bravely closed in and re-emerged ina remastered classic with many familiar trimmings as patrons raced to The Chinnery and The Captain's Bar - with its silver plated beer tankards - to resume their familiar tipples at these iconic Hong Kong watering holes.
With the 21st century quietly in evidence - from business frills to technology butlers - and a garnish of Asia to always serve up a sense of place, the hotel chose to stay with a 'warmer' approach, retaining the Mandarin Barber, where the brisk snip of forelocks has been honed over generations and the mosaic tiled floor and coloured glass panels create some splendid old Shanghai nostalgia.
There's no better example of confidently measured pace in the heart of the city's borderline hysterical banking district.
The lobby serves up deep sofas inviting a sit-down to gaze at intricate wood carvings set against black marble walls. The first thing you'll notice about a 40sq m Harbour Room, is the light and the muted pastel colours.
Walk up to the generous windows through the extended verandah the old balcony, now enclosedto spot a pair of binoculars, a playful touch to gaze across the harbour or linger on the profile of another Hong Kong stalwart, The Peninsula, to see what their guests are up to.
Separated by a curtain, the verandah is an alcove for both work or reading on a small divan. The desk has a data port with two three-pin multi-plug sockets, a flat-screen TV faces the invitingly plump bed, and a laptop-friendly safe in the wardrobe has a power socket as well as a velvet-lined jewellery box.
The valet box ensures laundry and shoe shine is accomplished with minimum fuss. The bright marbled see-through bathroom may feature a tub, and a twin-head power shower, with exclusive Hermes toiletries. Study Rooms on the other hand are far simpler and plainer in their set-up.
At 72sq m the specialty suites provide greater stretch room.
Pick the classic wood panelled 80sq m Oriental Suite, or opt for the modernist black-and-white Lichfield Suite. There are some rooms in the hotel with windows that can be opened — a rare luxury. The spa has an old-China feel, an indoor lap pool, and an array of treatments and Chinese herbal remedies.
On occasion, a visiting wellness therapist, nutritionist, or even face reader, may be on hand to offer advice. Fine dining options include Man Wah with impressive views, and the intimate Pierre, which serves experimental, Michelin-star French cuisine.
This is among the finer Hong Kong business hotels on show in a highly competitive city. And concierges going back over 30 years with the hotel will link you up with some of the best the city has to offer.
The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong features in our exclusive by-invitation Top Asian Hotels Collectionfeaturing the best Asian hotels, resorts and spas in a printable A4 page with stunning visuals. The Niccolo brand launched with the Niccolo Chengdu in and plans to build a new high end marque to take on the top dogs.
Set apart from the steel and reflective glass properties housing some of the world's top financial muscle, this is an understated construct identified at once by its unassuming laundered white arches, straight lines, and symmetrical square windows, all angled in a bit to allow a triangular fin overhang that provides cover from blazing summer sunshine and takes pressure off the interior cooling systems.
It was a design ahead of its times and it still works splendidly, ensuring that while the hotel is hugely welcoming of light, no direct sunlight really falls within for any length of time.
If you need a tan, head outdoors. There's plenty of manicured green space. Stepping into the work of celebrated architect Lord Norman Foster - or in this case, his company - is reason enough for a must-see, and business travellers as well as leisure trippers will enjoy the proximity to Central and Pacific Place as well as the Peak Tram Station.
Cars come in through Cotton Tree Drive St Johns side and circle around a remarkably preserved year-old tree to drop guests at a starkly minimal black marble lobby with tall windows running its length framed in gold, before departing from the HK Park side.
Views throughout are aplenty, skimming the skyline none too vertiginously, from 25 floors - a separate lift runs up to the rooftop Popinjays restaurant with its wraparound balcony that presents an extraordinary perspective on Hong Kong, especially as the neon comes on. This will be a space for entertaining, a stylish snuggle, or a camera with all the megapixels you can muster for the selfie of a lifetime.
Nibble on soft burrata, chomp guiltily on a giant chocolate cookie, slice and dice assorted cold cuts, and savour choice breads with real butter that you can sink a knife into not the tiny foil-sealed airline cattle-class variety. The bar, dining, and outdoor deck stream in July the home of real beauty.
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