Hong Kong Travel Guide
With the holiday season just a month or so away (sorry to be the bearer of bad news), Shangri-La is giving members of its Golden Circle rewards program the opportunity to help out two Hong Kong based charities, Oxfam Hong Kong (which aids poverty and disaster relief) and MedArt (which brings care to those in long-term confinement, such as prisons, psychiatric institutions, hospices, homes for the elderly, etc).
For every 1,000 points given by a member, Golden Circle will donate $20 to one of the charities on the member’s behalf. The minimum donation starts at 2,000 points and can be increased by increments of 1,000 up until a maximum of 10,000, equivalent to a $200 cash donation. Members may donate by visiting the “Redeem Points” section on Golden Circle's website.
The donated points are forfeited from your account in exchange for the donation made by Golden Circle. How much these points are actually worth varies. For example, at a Shangri-La "collection A" hotel, a standard room is worth 1,000 points/night. At the highest tier of hotels, "collection G," a standard room is worth 20,000 points. So, a guest who donates 2,000 points sacrifices a two-night stay and the hotel donates $40 to charity.
The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong sent us a sweet summer reminder that it’s celebrating its 50th birthday all year long – and everyone’s invited, as long as your “splurge travel” budget can handle it. With special spa treatments and commemorative cognac, dining promotions in all 10 F&B venues and champagne flowing from every direction, the hotel is wooing travelers on every front.
The list of “50 Fantastic Years” promotions goes on and on, so here’s the Cliff Notes verision of the MO, HK Glorious Excess.
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotels that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
There's quite a bit to explore at any Peninsula hotel, from bedside digital control panels to butler boxes, but the flagship property in Hong Kong has a few extra secrets waiting to be discovered. Take, for instance, this small slit of a window found not in a guest room or restaurant, but in The Peninsula Hong Kong's shopping arcade.
Pass the Goyard boutique (the only one in HK!), beyond Chanel and other big brands with guarded doors lies this peekaboo spot to tickle your curiosity.
Happy New Year from Shangri-La Hotels!
Of course, a Hong Kong-based hotel portfolio would get a little loud about the Chinese New Year. It's the most important holiday in, not only the Chinese culture, but also a good portion of Asia. And with the number of hotels Shangri-La has opened in China, it's pretty fitting.
Shangri-La has welcomed the 'Year of the Snake' via their Instagram account. While the name sounds vicious, there's nothing poisonous about this serpent—he's made of flowers coiled around a tree in one of their properties.
Officially, Hong Kong celebrates the holiday starting today, the 11th, but many other Asian countries take part in the holiday from the 9th to the 13th. With a wealth of customs that accompany the special time of year, we can only hope for the traditional red envelope filled with monatary gifts when checking into our hotel on the New Year.
[Photo: Shangri-La Instagram]
The boutique brand will feature a burnished bronze "dragon" that will wrap around the facade of the new building acting as a screen for shielding the interior from heat and harnessing solar power.
Each of the 138 rooms is individually designed to reflect the flare of the historic Wan Chai neighborhood. Keeping with Hong Kong's colonial heritage, the rooms will marry both Asian and European influences with a modern touch. Along with the unique design, the entire property will offer complimentary WiFi throughout.
Mandarin Oriental is in a serious party-mood these days. We’ve already talked about the $60,000 New Year’s Eve package that lets you ring in 2013 baller-style in Las Vegas, but next year will bring a whole range of celebrations on the other side of the world when Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong turns the big five-o.
Difficult as it may be to imagine, given the maze of skyscrapers in the city today, but when the hotel opened in 1963, its 27 floors made it the tallest building on Hong Kong Island, and the first in Asia with bathtubs in every room.
A Grand Deluxe Harbour View Suite
Six months or so later, the first phase, covering all rooms in the Peninsula Tower, is complete. We love the warm colors and the artwork on the wall in the Harbour View room; inspired by Chinese ink paintings, these are three-dimensional branches, leaves, and blossoms made of laser-cut bronze-lacquered stainless steel. Flora and fauna inspired details show up throughout, with a Grand Deluxe Suite having a similar design woven into the carpet.
Changes in décor may be the first thing you notice, but in-room technology is where the hotel has gotten serious with its upgrades.
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Airport hotels get a pretty bad rap. Sure, there are the greasy, grimy ones, but we like to think that for every one of those, there's a perfectly clean business-friendly oneor, even better, an airport hotel with the luxury of an airport view.
All this week we've looked at a few of our favorite hotels for plane spotting.
Here's our final pick:
The Regal Hotel at Hong Kong International Airport.
If, for some reason, you can only give yourself to one airport hotel, then by god let it be the Regal at HKG. All of the previous hotels for plane spotting have nothing on the Regal, which sits right alongside one of the major runways. All that separates you from planes of exotic airlines taking off and landing is a street and a low, thin building.
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If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong this month, make sure you pack your appetite for fine food. The Langham Hong Kong and Langham Place will be hosting a massive Food & Wine Festival featuring world-class chefs, award winning wineries, and famous industry enthusiasts. The city will become a foodies dream with this culinary journey.
Both Langham properties are playing host to a culinary experience designed for guests that love food, wine and lots of laughter. The chefs from the Hong Kong and Shanghai hotels will work side-by-side with a grocery list of highly-acclaimed chefs such as Benjamin Bayly and Claude Bosi.
A Hong Kong Airlines flight lands while a turbojet catamaran to Macau zips along the water
Okay so. Airport hotels aren't usually the most exciting places to pop into for an evening's rest, but occasionally we hit upon a diamond in the rough. Our latest awesome airport hotel trumps them all 'til now, and it comes from a city whose hotel game is tight: Hong Kong.
Specifically we speak of the Regal Airport Hotel at HKG, a building shaped like a capital letter "D," with the outward straight edge commanding the most enviable runway views at Hong Kong International Airport, beating even the main terminal with its floor-to-ceiling windows.
Alright so you've just got a layover at the awesome Hong Kong International Airport and you're desperate for a little taste of Hong Kong without having to go outside. OR maybe you're at the airport, leaving Hong Kong, but ran out of time to visit The Peninsula Hotel. It's all good, because, as we found out while zipping through HKG last week, the hotel has its own boutique right in Terminal 1.
The Peninsula Boutique specializes in little edible treats, perfectly packaged, ready to tote home as gifts. This means boxed chocolates and truffles of all varieties, including mix-your-own, containers of cookies and macarons, and a healthy selections of tins of tea.
True story: last night we wandered around the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Little did we know that we were sun set with Lady Gaga, who had arrived to the Ritz-Carlton just the day before, in order to prep for her "Born This Way Ball" performances later this week.
Naturally the Mother Monster's arrival had to be grandiose; Gaga turned out in a dress made of purple hair (her own hair extensions braided into it) and greeted fans at the main entrance to the hotel before heading up to a suite in the high altitudes.
We've previously peeked into one of the Ritz-Carlton's specialty suites, this one on the 116th floor, but we're guessing Lady Gaga is going even higher. Our money is on 118.