My ears pop as the elevator shoots up from the 9th floor entrance to the 103rd floor lobby 425 meters above sea-level. I’m at the highest hotel in the world – the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. The hotel occupies the top 17 floors of the 484 tall ICC tower in the Kowloon area of this intriguing city.
The hotel is easily reached from the airport with the clean and efficient MTR express train to Kowloon station. Club guests enjoy a complimentary limousine service around Kowloon. Hotspots on Hong Kong Island can be reached with a taxi, ferry or underground.
The 302 rooms and suites are spread are located on floors 104 through to 117 with the incredible 2,800 m2 presidential suite taking up a large part of the 117th floor. All rooms offer spectacular views of Hong Kong and the South China Sea with the view of Hong Kong Island being the most desirable one.
I have booked a club room giving access to the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge on the 116th floor. Here it is also possible to check-in, so on the 103rd floor lobby I head straight to the guest elevators taking me up to the 116th floor. The Club Lounge is the perfect all-day hang-out and meeting place. Even though the hotel has 302 rooms and runs close to full occupancy the club lounge is fairly quiet most of the day.
My deluxe queen room 115-20 is on the 115th floor with perfect views of Hong Kong Island and parts of Kowloon. A little bench below the window allows guests to sit and just take in the world down below. The hotel is so high up that helicopters and small airplanes pass by below. The street more than 450 meters is so far away that you feel disconnected from it all.
The room itself is well equipped with a desk, large double bed and large bathroom with double sinks, a large marble rain shower, separate toilet and bathtub. I could spend all day relaxing in the room and taking in the jaw-dropping views but there is so much more to explore in the hotel and Hong Kong that I end up spending hardly any time in the room.
Opposite the Club Lounge you can find the Spa with several treatment rooms and men and women dressing rooms with a sauna. From the spa take the elevator up to the 118th floor for a swim in the highest pool in the world with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the South China Sea and parts of Hong Kong Island. There is also a jacuzzi and terrace where guests can do yoga or other sports. On the same level is also a well equipped gym.
Also on the 118th floor, but well separated from the guest-only spa and pool area, is the Ozone bar serving cocktails and tapas. More restaurants can be accessed from the 103rd floor lobby with Italian restaurant Tosca and Chinese restaurant Tin Lung Heen both awarded by Michelin. The Almas Caviar Bar, Cafe 103 and The Lounge & Bar wrap up the wide range of dining options. Club guests can also enjoy breakfast, lunch, high-tea and dinner in the club lounge.
The facilities and dining options are top notch with the occasional compromise due to the limited floor plan size of the tower. The dressing rooms on the pool level are a bit small per example. But one aspect really stands out during my stay at the Ritz-Carlton and that is the effortless and professional service. No request is too much and there are many little gestures (like bringing a dry towel and hot water with lemon without asking when I started coughing after swimming) which made my stay even more memorable and comfortable. Add the incredible views and unique experience to stay in the world’s highest hotels and this is one of the most desirable hotels to visit around the globe.