With four destination restaurants, spacious suites and soaring park views, The Murray defies Hong Kong’s reputation as a space-strapped city. Standing 25 storeys tall in the heart of Central, this 1969 landmark borders Hong Kong Park, giving it views of the financial district and leafy botanic gardens. The movers and shapers at celebrated firm Foster + Partners have treated the interiors to a top-to-tail refit, replacing old government offices with sumptuous suites, decadent marble bathrooms and sleek mid-century furnishings. The building’s not lost its 1960’s heritage, however, holding on to arresting arches and hooded windows, an award-winning showcase of design that shields the hotel from the subtropical sun.
Get this when you book through us:
A cocktail each at Murray Lane and a guaranteed upgrade for guests staying in any room category below the Signature Suite
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $293.19 (HK$2,300), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates don’t include breakfast. The buffet (HK$325 for adults, HK$160 for children) includes fresh bread and pastries, cereals, fruit, cold cuts and hot dishes (both Chinese and Western). A la carte items start at HK$80.
Set at a 45-degree angle, the Murray’s recessed windows have won design awards for their ability to let in plenty of light without raising the room temperature.
There are no disappointments here: the smallest rooms are 38sq m with marble bathrooms and views of the city or surrounding park. From there on, they get increasingly indulgent: N2 Grand Rooms and above have freestanding oval bath tubs, and all the suites have separate living areas with sleek designer furniture.
There’s a heated lap pool in the spa area, with a wall of greenery on one side and loungers on the other, plus a large hot tub (known as the vitality pool).
The spa has five treatment rooms (three singles and two for couples), some of which have a private hammam or sauna. Rejuvenate travel-weary muscles with a tailored massage, or try a beauty treatment with Grown Alchemist and Kerstin Florian products. For a more in-depth session, book in with the hotel’s professional nutritionist, who’ll conduct body tests, put together a customised diet plan and even liaise with the chefs to create bespoke menus for your stay. Personal trainers are on hand to help you work up a sweat in the gym, or join one of the yoga, tai-chi or dance classes in the studio.
In the hotel, smart, snappy dressing will keep you right. If you’re planning on hiking to Victoria Peak, bring a sturdy pair of trainers – the climb takes a good 90 minutes.
All the common areas are wheelchair accessible and there are eight specially-adapted rooms.
In Popinjays, wander out onto the terrace with your pre-dinner drinks before settling into a table by the window. If you’re a party of four or more and looking for something special, book one of Guo Fu Lou’s private dining spaces.
Popinjays is arguably the most fashionable of the lot, so don’t be shy when it comes to dressing up. Mr Smith will need a shirt or jacket for Guo Fu Lou.
There are four. Popinjays, the rooftop restaurant, is named in honour of the cockatoos that reside in the park, paying homage to their bright liveries with blue furniture and vibrant artwork. The modern European cuisine is the work of chef Didier Quennouelle, who has put the full weight of his 25 years' experience into practice – opt for the four- or six-course seasonal tasting menu (available Tuesday to Thursday). Helmed by chef Ricky Chan, the Tai Pan also has an international lean, and the interiors of burgundy leather, black marble and gleaming metal have a touch of the brasserie about them. Housed in a two-storey pavilion, Guo Fu Lou is the hotel’s Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, where chef Andy Chan and his team prepare dishes that are rooted in Chinese tradition, but every inch adventurous enough to make this restaurant one of the city’s best. Garden Lounge, on the ground floor, is a more casual space for all-day light dining and the Murray’s signature afternoon tea, served Tuesdays to Sundays from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. The Garden Lounge is open for leisurely breakfasts every day from 6.30am to 10.45am.
Attached to the lobby, Murray Lane is a seductive cocktail bar with a mirror like ceiling, leather lounge furniture and gold-toned artwork. Try one of the signature cocktails from the Tape, a list of drinks inspired by the surrounding financial district, or the Cassia, named after the pink-blossoming Cassia Javanica tree at the entrance. The rooftop bar in Popinjays is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 5pm to midnight (1am on Fridays and Saturdays).
The Garden Lounge serves lunch (noon to 2.30pm) and dinner (6.30pm to 11pm). Popinjays serves dinner Tuesday to Saturday (6.30pm to 10.30pm, 11pm Thursday to Saturday). The Tai Pan and Guo Fu Lou serve lunch (noon to 3pm) and dinner (6.30pm to 10.30pm).
Breakfast can be served in-room and at other time you can order a wide range of hot dishes while the restaurants are open, with a reduced menu offered overnight.
The Murray is in the heart of Central on Hong Kong island, overlooking leafy Hong Kong Park.
Hong Kong International can be reached directly from most European hubs and larger US airports. Depending on the traffic, it takes around 40 minutes to drive to the hotel; one-way transfers in a Mercedes-Benz S Class (seats three guests) are HK$1,400. If there are more of you, opt for the larger Mercedes-Benz V Class (which has space for five) for HK$1,600. Our Smith24 team are on hand to arrange flights and transfers.
If you’re travelling light, catch the Airport Express to Hong Kong Station, then take a five-minute taxi to the hotel. If you’ve got anything more than a carry-on, you’ll be better off taking a cab straight from the airport.
You won't need your own set of wheels in the city – the public transport system is fast and efficient, and if you choose to drive, you’ll probably encounter traffic.
Worth getting out of bed for
One of the Murray’s biggest assets is its parkside location – the green space right outside means it isn’t hemmed like many other buildings in Hong Kong. To make the most of the vistas, have at least one dinner at modish rooftop restaurant Popinjays, which gets particularly lively around sunset. If you want to stretch your legs, the park immediately around the hotel is strewn with sculptures, making it something of an open-air art gallery. Once you've taken a turn around Hong Kong Park, stroll over to the Garden Road Lower Terminus, where you can buy tickets for the famous Peak Tram that climbs to Victoria Peak. Or, if you’re up for a challenge, forgo the easy option and hike the Central Green Trail instead. It’s no stroll in the park – the path is over three kilometers long and uphill all the way – but the lush greenery on either side makes it feel like you've left the city altogether. Back at ground level, there’s the Hong Kong Zoological Gardens and Botanical Gardens, just up the road from the hotel. It's on the smaller side, but you can see a range of monkeys, reptiles and birds, as well as exotic flowers. For an arts-and-culture hit that’s off the beaten track, head to PMQ, a set of Grade III-listed buildings filled with design boutiques, art studios and pop-up event spaces. Both blocks were originally used to house married police officers, before the government repurposed the buildings in 2010, creating a not-for-profit hub for Hong Kong’s creative industries.
Hankering after a hearty brunch? Try Fang Fang, a stylish pan-Asian restaurant in LKF Tower. Both the interiors and menu have one foot in China’s traditionalist past, and the other in its forward-thinking present. The fixed-price brunch menu gets you a starter, all-you-can-eat small plates, a main and dessert. Having started your culinary tour in the east, swing westward at Motorino, a celebrated New York-style pizzeria. We can heartily endorse the Cremini Mushroom, topped with its namesake fungi along with fior di latte, Italian sausage, garlic, thyme, pecorino, Campania olives and extra-virgin olive oil. Spread across the top floors of the Shanghai Tang Mansion, restaurant and salon Duddell's is the preferred haunt of Hong Kong’s art-inclined elite. A world-class art collection and inch-perfect interiors by Ilse Crawford make a fine backdrop for the restaurant, a Michelin-starred exercise in modern Cantonese cuisine. If you arrive early, head up to the verdant garden terrace for an apéritif. If you’re in the market for some serious spoiling, book dinner at Mott 32, a fine-dining restaurant with decadent Joyce Wang interiors and a menu by acclaimed Cantonese chef Lee Man Sing, who netted two Michelin stars for the flagship Mandarin Oriental. The Peking duck is a firm favourite: you’ll need to order in advance as it takes more than 48 hours to cook in the restaurant's custom-made ovens.
Just north of the botanical gardens, speakeasy Stockton is inspired by the rakish and disreputable drinking holes found in 19th-century London. All the hallmarks of the best sort of dive bar are in evidence – leather armchairs, exposed brickwork and a fine selection of single malts. If you like the sound of a bar that threatens to eject patrons who request Jägerbombs, this is the place for you.
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 luxury hotel in Hong Kong and unpacked their design finds from creative hub PMQ, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Murray in Hong Kong…
If you’ve ever seen a photo of Hong Kong from above, you’ll know it’s quite a sight – and that the word ‘spacious’ isn’t usually the first that springs to mind. But then the Murray isn’t your typical Hong Kong hotel. With Victoria Peak in its eyeline and Hong Kong Park on the doorstep, it’s sitting pretty when it comes to verdant views. The design, too, inspires a sense of breathing space that’s uncommon to the city. At the entrance, you pass through three-storey-high arches on your way to the lobby; in the rooms, the clean-lined furnishings have a space-maximising design by architects Foster + Partners, who know a thing or two about how to make an old building sing. Not content with one restaurant that samples the breadth of Hong Kong’s cuisine, they built four, including a Michelin-starred Cantonese affair and a Francophile eatery with a wine list to rival the best of them.
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