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Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category

Best Presidential Suites in Hong Kong

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The Peninsula

The grande dame of Hong Kong hotels has had a little nip and tuck recently including the presidential show piece: The Peninsula Suite.

Based on the 26th floor of the Pensinsula tower, the elegant suite with its minimalist deluxe decor has a full view of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island skyline – “the money shot” of HK vistas. And there’s high ceilings with full length windows, an in room telescope and private balcony from which to enjoy it from.

For an 89 year old The Pen is surprisingly modern. In a nod to the hotel’s mix of traditional and 21st century, the sitting room features both a grand piano and floor standing hi fi speakers. More techy touches can be found throughout with everything from lighting to do not disturb signs controlled by LED touch screen tablets that are fool proof to use.

There’s also a serious screening room with an 85-inch, flat-screen, Blu-ray plasma television, surround-sound speakers, amplifier and subwoofer, as well as automated, reclining seats.

If you’re more body con that couch potato (or a bit of both) there’s also a private gym with state of the art equipment and a harbour view.

A chauffer driven Peninsula Rolls Royce in signature green is of course on call 24 hours for Peninsula Suite guests.

Price: HKD128,000 (USD16,411)


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The Landmark Mandarin Oriental

The newest suite on the block, the presidential suite at the boutique Landmark Mandarin hotel has just been revamped as The Apartment and as such has the feel of a very chic residence. You’ll walk into a spacious entry hall which leads to a vast open plan living area that spans lounge, study, dining and bar.

One of the Landmark’s USPs is that it’s bang slap in the centre of Central Hong Kong. That doesn’t make for the prettiest of views but Joyce Wang’s clever design keeps the eye in the room with gorgeous furniture and furnishings of buttery leather and sumptuous velvet in soft blue and caramel. The look is best described as Art Deco meets Mad Men glamour.  Natural wood floors and hand tufted rugs add to the homely feel (albeit a very stylish one).

The Apartment is dotted with coffee table books with a fashion bent and fashionistas will love the hotel’s proximity to all the international designer boutiques in the adjoining luxury Landmark mall (handily accessed by elevator).

Come cocktail hour the in suite bar has every conceivable utensil in eye catching copper along with Japanese whisky and boutique gin. The full service kitchen includes Gaggeneau appliances, a US size fridge, wine cellar (stocked with Dom Perignon) and cute touches such as Smeg blender and mixing bowl.

LMHKG redesigned L900 bathrooom Portrait (1MB)

The suite also features the Landmark’s trademark huge bathroom with a circular, seven foot bath (call for a bath experience with bubbles and champagne) and his and hers, light sensor operated, walk in wardrobes off the bedroom.

A connecting room can be booked for your kids/helper/personal assistant/security detail as desired.

Price HK$68,000



The Presidential Suite, Intercontinental Hong Kong

The InterContinental

The Presidential Suite at the InterConti is the largest in Hong Kong at a mammoth 7,000 square foot. As the hotel is on the Kowloon side, right on the water’s edge, it has a view of Victoria harbour and Hong Kong Island. And the duplex space, designed by Singaporean firm LTW, is designed to have a panoramic view from every room. It can be hired with just one master bedroom or with four adjoining rooms to make a five bed suite.

Among its many features the suite includes a dining room seating up to 12 people (food may be ordered from any of the hotel’s restaurants including Nobu and Rech by Alain Ducasse), and a private gym. The bathroom has a shower for two people with a view of the harbour and spa-like “rain forest experience”, plus sauna and steam room.

Want even more? There’s a 2,500 sq ft wrap around roof terrace complete with a showstopper infinity pool and jacuzzi. Private tai chi or fitness sessions are offered on the terrace or in the gym as well and in room hair and spa services can also be arranged.

Price: HK$98,000 for the Master Suite, HK$118,000 for all 5 bedrooms



MOHKG-Mandarin Suite Living Room (High Res.)

Mandarin Oriental

The presidential suite at “the old Mandarin” is aptly named the Mandarin Suite. The hotel’s appeal is its classy, old world Chinese charm and in keeping with this all the furniture in the suite has either been expertly restored or is tastefully handcrafted. Priceless objets d’art and antiques are dotted throughout including Gerard D’A Henderson murals adorning the walls of the sitting room, a Qing Dynasty court robe which has been framed and hangs in the entertainment room and a Tang style horse in the dining room.

It’s not all old school though. The en suite bathroom off the master bedroom (there’s an option to expand into an additional bedroom and sitting area) includes a steam room and bathtub with hydrotherapy jets plus there’s an adjoining couples’ spa room for treatments.

The double height living room has full length windows offering a glimpse of Victoria Harbour from the Hong Kong Island side while a balcony runs the entire length of the suite on two sides with both harbour and cityscape views of the Central area.

Price HKD78,000


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The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton occupies the top – that’s the 112th to 118th – floors of the ICC skyscraper and the hotel’s sultry Presidential Suite is on the dizzyingly high 117th. The suite’s corner position allows a 270 degree view of Hong Kong – a slightly different vista to other hotels in TST, not just because of its sheer height but because the R-C is based in West Kowloon which juts out into Victoria Harbour.

The just under 4,000 sq ft space is slinkily designed in smoky tones of marble and mirrors with a large sitting room and a separate dining area featuring a round table for eight people under a stunning, contemporary chandelier.

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If you’re in need of pampering you’ve come to the right place; in the bathroom there’s an oversized square shaped tub, space for a massage table and huge shower area. The towels and bathrobes (along with the pillow cases) are monogrammed. Added to all that there’s a vast walk in closet – in case you’ve been shopping in the gargantuan Elements mall which the Ritz sits on top of – and a private sauna for relaxing your shopped out limbs in afterwards.

Price: HK$139,000



Top 3 Hotels (and their Restaurants) for Hong Kong’s 20th SAR Anniversary

Fireworks as seen from Kerry Hotel

View of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour from the Kerry Hotel

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s SAR so expect an even more fireworks than usual (ahem). The celebrations start at 8pm on July 1st so make sure you have your hotel room and restaurant booked. These are our three top spots – all on the Kowloon side for optimum viewing:

Kerry Hotel

Newcomer the Kerry Hotel has been causing a stir with it’s modernist, Andre Fu, design and stunning views of Victoria Harbour. Book a ringside seat on the Red Sugar terrace where drinks and snacks will be served.

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Red Sugar terrace at Kerry Hotel

The hotel is also offering an overnight package for July 1st with Sea View rooms start at a rate of HK$2,340 + 10% Book directly with the hotel.

The Intercontinental

Fireworks Intercont View of the fireworks in the harbour from the Intercontinental hotel

The Interconti is perched right on the harbour’s edge giving it some fantastic views from many of its guests rooms where you feel you’re right on the water and the rooftop Presidential Suite as well as the Lobby Lounge and Harbourside restaurant plus Rech by Alain Ducasse and Nobu if you can bag a window table. All the restaurants have special menus planned for July 1st including a five course tasting menu with optional wine pairing at Rech and an eight course omakase menu at Nobu.

The Ritz Carlton

Tosca at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong

Many of the rooms at the Ritz Carlton have dizzying views of the harbour (check you are facing the right way) but perhaps the best is from Tosca, the hotel’s Italian fine dining restaurant.

For Hong Kong SAR 20th anniversary chef Pino Navarra has created a four course and a six course set dinner to enjoy with firework display as a backdrop.

The Rivers Less Travelled – New Journeys in Myanmar


The intriguing Southeast Asian country of Myanmar, flanked by Thailand, Laos, China and India, has opened up to tourism in recent years and one of the best ways to see the country is by boat. As many of the roads in Myanmar are in poor condition, some villages and areas can only been accessed via the waterways. Belmond Orcaella, a boutique sized river cruiser, is designed to reach remote, less travelled areas of Myanmar between July and March, avoiding the hottest and rainiest months of the year.

As a passenger you may choose to start your journey in the bucolic central region of Myanmar at Bagan or Mandalay, or alternatively at Yangon in the south of the country near the Bay of Bengal. Yangon, the former capital, is home to the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, fascinating markets and historic colonial buildings as well as Southeast Asia’s largest reclining Buddha. Waterways connect Yangon to the great Ayeyerwady River which runs north to south through the centre of Myanmar. So for guests staying at Belmond’s Governor’s Residence hotel in Yangon (below) it’s possible to begin your trip here.


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Alain Ducasse revitalises Hong Kong presence with Rech restaurant

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Legendary chef Alain Ducasse’s first foray into food was not a runaway success. As a child growing up in France he would watch his grandmother cooking and aged about 11 he decided to make a chocolate roulade himself. “My grandmother let me attempt this, although I was not up to the task,” Ducasse recalls. “Chocolate ended up everywhere and in the end the cake did not resemble a roulade at all!”

Luckily for the culinary world Ducasse was not put off by his early endeavour. Last month saw the opening of his 25th restaurant worldwide. He has chosen Asia for the first international outpost of Rech Alain Ducasse, a French seafood restaurant replacing his Spoon concept at the Intercontinental hotel in Hong Kong.

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A Private Island Paradise for World Earth Day

Cempedak Island 1

What’s the story?
Cempedak (pronounced Chemp-e-dak) is a new private island resort in the Indonesian archipelago, five years in the making. This just opened venture is from the same team behind nearby Nikoi Island, another Robinson Crusoe-esque set up.

How does it differ from Nikoi Island then?
It’s a few notches up on the design and cuisine front. What they can’t better is the service which is legendarily good on Nikoi – it’s as equally smiley and attentive on Cempedak. The main difference is that Nikoi is geared more towards families with young children whereas Cempedak is for adults only.

You’ve got my attention, how do I get there?
Catch a ferry from Singapore to Bintan (an hour’s crossing) where you’ll be picked up by private car and driven across the island (another hour) then it’s a 30 minute speedboat ride to Cempedak. Trust us, it’s worth it. Or you could arrive direct by yacht.

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