Why should I go?
March sees the arrival of the international fine art circus and party known as Art Basel in Hong Kong. While the Asian edition of the fair is not as lofty as the original in Switzerland, and less sexy than the Miami version which sweeps together America’s top collectors, gallerists, and wannabes every December, it is growing steadily in stature and is Asia’s premier art fair.
What’s the low down?
It’s actually a misnomer to say the Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong, is in Hong Kong. Sitting on the open terrace of the “Ozone” bar on the 118th floor, sipping a Tanqueray Ten Martini to steady our nerves, our view looked down onto the tops of clouds, with a dreamy orange glow. Closer inspection revealed a city and water far below the clouds. We were viewing Hong Kong’s landmarks as if overflying in a military drone: Ozone is the highest bar in the world, and the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is the highest hotel in the world. Rooms span the 102nd to 108th floors, and the hotel is really located above Hong Kong. Like a mountaintop, the temperature on that terrace is a few degrees below that on the ground, a welcome break from the summer heat.
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Our bedroom had light taupes and greys balanced out deep mahogany wood finishes. It was classic-modern Ritz Carlton, with the service touches they do so well: a good balance between too much service (where in some luxury hotels you expect a butler to pop out of the bathroom cabinet to rinse your toothbrush for you), and overcasual, where an establishment tries, and fails, to be Soho House. Staff were professional, efficient, human (a mix of young European hotel-school pros and effortless stylish Asians) and didn’t jump out of cupboards to ask how our stay was going.
The hotel is located on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, which has its own attractions but is a 15-minute cab ride away from the central district. And it’s definitely not for those with vertigo.
Rates: From $7,600 HKD per night (approx. USD $1000/ €950/£800)
Art Basel Hong Kong, March 23-25