Rosewood Hong Kong hotel is a towering vertical estate on the Kowloon waterfront, with high-luxe-yet-homey rooms, panoramic city views, and an in-house art collection including pieces by Henry Moore and Damien Hirst. Dine on dim sum, Cantonese cuisine or perfectly formed pastries at the multifarious restaurants, then pair rare whisky with Cuban cigars at the sultry bar, DarkSide. The Asaya spa has you covered for holistic treatments, and there’s a lengthy infinity pool looking over Victoria Harbour. And if you do eventually venture outside, you’ll find yourself in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong’s revamped arts and cultural district.
Those harbour views never get old, so snag a table by the window.
Modern metropolitan, with a dash of Jackie Kennedy-style flair.
You’re spoilt for choice – there are four in-house eateries. At the Legacy House you’ll find classic Chinese (hello, Peking duck) and seafood recipes from the rural Shunde region, served in an elegant dining room overlooking the Victoria Dock. Upscale parlour Holt’s Café delivers a modern take on Hong Kong’s Cha Chaan Teng tea culture, along with a menu of soul-warming local specialties and dim sum. Flutter over to The Butterfly Room for all-day snacks and sandwiches, or drop by the pristine Butterfly Patisserie anytime between 11am and 11pm to fulfil your wildest pastry-based fantasy (come on, we all have them).
DarkSide is a husky, masculine kind of bar decked out in black marble, aubergine hues and with Murano glass hourglasses dangling from the ceiling. It deals in Cuban cigars, rare whiskies and moody live jazz, along with a concise collection of house cocktails.
The Legacy House serves lunch (noon to 2.30pm) and dinner (6-10.30pm). Holt’s Café does breakfast (6.30-10.30am), lunch (noon to 2.30pm) and dinner (6-10.30pm). The Butterfly Room serves breakfast (8.30-11am), lunch (until 3pm), and dinner (6-11pm).
You can order from an extensive menu of local and international dishes, around the clock.
The hotel occupies a prime plot on the Kowloon waterfront, in the heart of the Victoria Dockside arts and design district.
Fly into Hong Kong International, a major global hub with direct flights across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The airport is 33km from the hotel, which takes around half an hour in a taxi (transfers cost HK$1150 in a Jaguar XJV, or HK$1500 in a Mercedes-Benz).
Your nearest metro station is Tsim Sha Tsui East, a couple of minutes’ walk from the hotel. From there, you can zip any which way you like across the city.
You don’t need a car to get around the city, but if you do have your own four-wheeler, you can leave it with the hotel valet.
For trips around Victoria Harbour and to outlying islands, head to the Star Ferry terminal, which is a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
There’s more art than the average gallery in this hotel, so take a guided art tour, taking in works by Henry Moore, Damien Hirst and Bhakti Kher along the way. Indulge in a treatment at the Asaya spa, feast on afternoon tea at the Butterfly Room, or work your way through the whisky menu at the bar, DarkSide. On every floor there’s a chilled-out lounge space loaded with snacks and drinks (guests in Suites and Club rooms are also invited to the Manor Club – a 40th-floor salon with a games room, butler service, shoe care and culinary presentations throughout the day). Whether you’re in your room or in one of the many social spaces, you can always swoon over those views of Victoria Harbour.
1881 Heritage (2A Canton Road) was once the HQ of the HK Marine Police – you can still visit the cells where pirates and smugglers were held, the stable blocks, former fire station and the carrier-pigeon coops, if that’s your sort of thing (if not, perhaps the luxury shopping mall on the same site will be more appealing). Make time for the Time Ball Tower while you’re there – the historic monument that once helped ships recalibrate their chronometers after discombobulating voyages across the seas. Get hands on with the cosmos at Hong Kong Space Museum (10 Salisbury Road), or take the ferry over to Hong Kong Island from the Star Ferry Terminal. And guess what? Hong Kong can be a beach destination – if you don’t believe it, head to Clear Water Bay.
The Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront has been redesigned and rebranded as the Avenue of Stars, an art-laden promenade with full-frontal views of Victoria Harbour. At 8pm each night, it’s the top spot for viewing the Symphony of Lights (Avenue of Stars), a dazzling 10-minute show of lights and lasers illuminating the skyscrapers.
Artistic lattes are served alongside jus-drizzled waffles at Studio Caffeine (284 Temple Street). For lunch, hoover up the slow-cooked short ribs at Under Vacuum Deli (63 Mody Road), or go for Vietnamese vermicelli at Madam Saigon (Mira Place 1, 132 Nathan Road). Date night deserves Hexa (Shop OTE 101, Canton Road), where the wraparound harbour views are only outshone by the tiptop Cantonese cuisine.
Bowtied barmen concoct cocktails with perfect precision at Butler (30 Mody Road), a sophisticated spot in Tsim Sha Tsui, inspired by the high-class hangouts of Tokyo.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this skyscraper hotel in Kowloon and unpacked their fortune cats and mooncake cookies, a full account of their Asian city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Rosewood in Hong Kong…
You’ve got to feel sorry for skyscrapers. Most of the time, all the attention is on their exterior appearance – how tall they are, what they’re made of, which supermarket vegetable they resemble, and so on. Nobody thinks about what’s on the inside – understandable perhaps, given that many of these gigantic slabs of glass and metal are filled with soulless offices and empty apartments. But this one is different. The Rosewood group is famed for supreme hospitality and attention to detail, and this is their brand-spanking new global flagship. Yes, there are 413 rooms spread over 43 floors, but there’s still a personal, home-like feel and not a hint of corporate stuffiness. That’s down to Toni Chi’s unfussy, intentionally mismatched interiors (because who actually has matching sofas and curtains at home?) and the hand-picked collections of objets d’art in each room. Consider this a reminder to all mega-buildings: it’s what’s inside that counts.