(Courtesy: LKF Hotel)
It’s a Scene
One of Hong Kong’s trendiest hotels, the LKF Hotel is located between two of Hong Kong’s most happening nightlife locales, Lan Kwai Fong and Wyndham Road/Hollywood Road. Rooms are spacious, especially for a city where space is at a premium (they start at 500 square feet), and have city views, Aeron desk chairs, and a ton of natural light. Central Station is also a short walk away.
33 Wyndham Street, Central
From $310 per night
(Courtesy: W Hong Kong)
With fabulous views of Hong Kong Island thanks to the Kowloon location—the 76-story tower includes a rooftop pool deck—the W Hong Kong was the first time the brand opened in China. It’s a W through and through, so you’ll find 42-inch flatscreens, feather beds, bathtubs with their own built-in televisions, and a thoroughly modern decor. Trendy Woobar is popular with locals and visitors alike.
1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station, Kowloon
From $330 per night
Sitting on the other side of Victoria Harbor from the W and the Peninsula, the Mandarin faces Kowloon and the mountains behind it. The amenities here are all encompassing: 10 restaurants, Hermes toiletries, Chinese marble bathrooms, and duck feather pillows. The two-story spa is designed to be reminiscent of 1930s Hong Kong.
5 Connaught Road, Central
From $595 per night
(Courtesy: The Peninsula)
Old School Stay
A taste of old Hong Kong, The Peninsula remains a standard of luxury nearly a century after it opened. The hotel has a fleet of Rolls Royces at the guests’ disposal and a staff so eager to please they’d carry you to your room, and it features the luxury touches you expect from the Peninsula brand. In this case, you’ll find views of Hong Kong Island, room controls operated via touchscreen panel, Quagliotti linens, and sleek walnut trim on much of the decor. Afternoon tea here is a must.
Salisbury Road, Hong Kong
From $615 per night
(Courtesy: Tim’s Kitchen)
Tim’s Kitchen, a Michelin-rated two-star restaurant, serves exquisite Cantonese cuisine in a very accessible setting at surprisingly affordable prices. The restaurant offers all of the classics, including dim sum, and has several options for vegetarians.
84-90 Bonham strand West, Sheung Wan
Hau Fook street hosts a number of street food stalls that serve up tasty Cantonese food at rock-bottom prices. After getting some grub, stop in at the Hui Lau shan dessert shop, also on Hau Fook street, for some fruit-infused sweets. The mango with coconut milk and sago is particularly tasty.
Address: 49 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
(Courtesy: The Peninsula)
Even if you’re not a guest, the best place in Hong Kong to experience afternoon tea is at its oldest hotel, the Peninsula. Afternoon tea is served in the lobby everyday from 2 p.m., and the lines start before then. Tea comes with an assortment of cakes, scones, and sandwiches. There are no reservations, so arrive 15 to 30 minutes early.
Address: Salisbury Road, Hong Kong
(Courtesy: Cafe Gray Deluxe)
Food with a View
Hit dinner at Cafe Gray Deluxe, in the Upper House in Admiralty if you’re looking for a break from dim sum and other local eats: the menu offers European fare. The restaurant also has some pretty amazing views of Central Hong Kong, as it’s on the 49th floor. Make a reservation.
49th floor, The Upper House, Pacific Place, Admiralty
(Courtesy: Star Ferry)
Ride the Waves
Start the day with a cross-harbor jaunt on the Star Ferry. These boats have been plying the waters of Victoria Harbour since long before the Cross Harbor tunnel was built. Visitors get stunning views to go along with the ride: sit on the upper deck for the best. Once in Tsim Sha Tsui, walk along the waterfront promenade to the Avenue of Stars.
Central Pier 7, Central
(Photo: Nagaraju Hanchanahal/Flickr)
Take a Hike
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without at least a cursory visit to the Peak. From the terminus in Central, take the Peak tram, which has been in operation since 1888. Once at the the top, check out the amazing views from the Peak tower’s sky terrace.
Address: Peak Tram Lower terminus, 33 Garden Road
At the Races
After dinner, take the tram from Des Voeux Road to the Happy Valley Terminus and the Happy Valley Racecourse. Wednesday night races are a Hong Kong tradition. The races run from 7:15 to 11 p.m. Admission to the racetrack level “beer garden” is around $10 HKD and the atmosphere is generously described as “festive.”
2 Sports Road, Happy Valley
(Photo: Alexander Synaptic/Flickr)
Opening at noon, the Ladies Market runs along Tung Choi Street and, contrary to its name, sells items for both genders. Further north on Tung Choi Street is the Goldfish Market, and near there is the Flower Market. Visitors can hear lovely sounds from the songbird stalls at the Bird Garden on Yuen Po Street.
Tung Choi Street
5 Things to Know
1. The Airport Express is as easy as it gets. The high-speed train takes about 25 minutes, has WiFi, great views of the city, and leaves at 10-minute intervals. From there you can connect to the MTR if necessary.
2. The local language of Hong Kong is Cantonese, and it’s quite different from Mandarin, which is spoken by most of mainland China. But most of the city speaks English as well.
3. The “octopus” is Hong Kong’s multipurpose transit card that can be used on all buses, minibuses, ferries, trams, and subways. The card can be topped up at any convenience store or train station. You get your deposit back if you return it at the end of your stay.
4. Keep an eye out for buildings sporting feng shui in their designs. The Bank of China tower, for example, is designed with sharp edges to dispel negative energy and direct it at its rivals in the H.K. headquarters of HSBC.
5. Taxis are surprisingly expensive and traffic is a beast, so whenever possible, stick to the subway—which, unlike in many U.S. cities, even has air-conditioned subway platforms.