China never has been a country to do things in moderation and the completion of the world’s highest hotel in Hong Kong is China’s latest accomplishment in extremism.
Returning to Hong Kong in style after a three year absence, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel opened its doors yesterday to the world’s tallest hotel. The hotel is located on floors 102 to 118 of Hong Kong’s tallest building, the International Commerce Center. This location on the south west edge of Kowloon at the height of 490 meters offers unrivalled panoramic views of the famous Victoria Harbor and the surrounding city.
Victoria harbor is an incredible site from the ground or the deck of a ferry. I can only imagine from that height how much better the view would be seen through floor to ceiling windows on the 118th floor in air conditioned comfort slurping a martini (shaken not stirred).
With prices to match its height, the cheapest room in the Ritz-Carlton has a minimum rack rate of HK$ 6,000. In case you have trouble comprehending all those zeros, I’ve made exchanges in several currencies for you – Aussie dollars $748, US dollars $771, British Pounds 481 GBP and Euros 544 EUR. The Presidential Suite goes for HK $100,000 which you really don’t want converted into your own currency.
If you are a mere mortal who’s travel budget puts you in slightly more modest accommodation, take comfort. The hotel took 10 years to complete and will lose it’s newly won title of the world’s tallest hotel in only three years to the J Hotel that will open in Shanghai’s Shanghai tower in 2014. To add insult to injury, the J Hotel will have a height of over 600 meters and completely dwarf its shorter Hong Kong cousin.
If you do manage to bribe, sneak or pay your way into the Ritz-Carlton, you will be able to enjoy the world’s highest bar, a pool on the top floor that features a 19 meter ceiling mounted LCD TV, a 930 square meter ballroom which is one of the largest ball rooms in Hong Kong and six dining venues.
Mainland Chinese guest currently make up roughly 35% of the hotel groups guest, an increase of over 30% from 14 years ago. This hotel is deliberately designed the “wow” factor that appeals to the upper echelons of Chinese society who demand quality service, efficiency and a matching price tag to brag about.
For a hotel that prices itself on exceptional service, the website of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong looks very rushed, amateurish and plain. The map/directions page of the website was even completely devoid of maps. The only redeeming feature of the website was the photos which given the quality of the hotel and views, were impressive. You can see the website yourself by clicking the link below