Rooms With a View

The newly upgraded InterContinental Hong Kong boasts spectacular harborside views

By: By Jimmy Im


InterContinental Hong Kong
Room rates start from $577 per night.
Commission: 10 percent

The InterContinental Hong Kong recently completed a five-year renovation. // © InterContinental Hotels GroupHong Kong is one of my favorite destinations, but I didn’t get to see much of it this time around, from the ground at least. I blame it all on InterContinental Hong Kong.

Located on the Kowloon side — with an impressive view of Victoria Harbor — the property recently completed a massive and exhaustive five-year renovation that comprised minor and major upgrades and facelifts to the entire property, including its restaurants, guestrooms and spa. The hotel’s wealth of activities, amenities and luxury qualities truly make it a destination within a destination.

As Asia-Pacific’s flagship property for InterContinental Hotels Group, this five-star property remained open during its $70-million overhaul, refining different areas in various phases and never interrupting its feng shui, which the hotel takes very seriously. From the large fountain outside the entrance and lobby island reception to walls of windows and strategically-placed floral decorations, feng shui is a strong theme. In fact, two-thirds of the hotel stands on pile-ons that blend effortlessly with the contemporary decor. An appealing Western-Asian motif is expressed and embraced, prominent in corridors decorated with colorful calligraphy artwork by David Chan, and all rooms come with Asian-influenced furnishings.

InterContinental arguably has the ultimate harbor location. It’s within short walking distance to major shopping streets like Canton and Nathan roads, the Star Ferry, museums and harborside Hollywood road. With the best vantage point in Hong Kong, views are no less than commanding; the harbor is remarkably visible through most guestrooms, all public spaces and all five restaurants. This setting makes it a hot spot for those who want to watch the nightly Symphony of Lights at 8 p.m., the world’s largest light and sound show.

The property’s healthy mix of business and leisure travelers (an average 50/50 split) will enjoy the spacious rooms offered in 11 categories. Each room type fosters a unique element. Two-thirds of all 495 rooms offer harbor views, though some guests prefer the plaza-view rooms that are significantly bigger. Executive suites feature steam room-cum-showers; nine deluxe harbor view rooms have outside patios (uncommon in Hong Kong) and superior harbor-view rooms have window sheers drawn at the touch of a button. For those who want to splurge, consider the 7,000-square-foot, five-room Presidential Suite with private gym, infinity pool and Jacuzzi.

All rooms — designed by trendsetter HL Lim — include 37-inch Sharp flat-screen televisions, Bose sound systems, generous work stations, iPod dock stations, wireless Internet access, butler service and twice-daily turndown service.

The Club InterContinental lounge on the second floor provides extra amenities and top services. For an additional $115 per day, clients have access to a full gourmet buffet breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails, free Wi-Fi, private check-in/check-out, business services and special room amenities.

The popular I-Spa features nine treatment suites, all embracing the feng shui principles of inner and outer harmony.

Extensive renovations to the large outdoor terrace introduced two outdoor spa cabanas that complement the large, heated swimming pool with underwater music, generously sized lounge chairs and three Infiniti temperature pools.

At times, I didn’t feel like I was in Hong Kong, but rather a posh resort in a secluded oasis. The teak deck is perfect for a snack and drink and the atmosphere is enhanced with lily ponds full of koi fish. Complimentary tai chi classes are offered in the morning, with yoga offered on the weekends.

Inside, the full-service fitness center has also been expanded, offering two rooms of cardio machines, exercise equipment and free weights. InterContinental recently introduced an iHealth menu, which offers preventative health dishes.

Restaurants here include: Nobu; Spoon, an award-winning contemporary French hot spot by Alain Ducasse; The Steakhouse; Yan Toh Heen; the buzzing Lobby Lounge; and Harbourside, an international buffet. Clients can sign up for dim sum-making classes and private sushi classes.

InterContinental’s ballroom is the largest in Hong Kong. A total of 11 boardrooms completes the 22,626-square-feet of meeting space.

In the Know experiences — an InterContinental Hong Kong initiative — provide guests with invaluable city knowledge. Staff are trained to possess and dispense insider tips, from where the best foot massage can be had to the best off-the-beaten path excursions.

And, if it seems like Hong Kong never sleeps,InterContinental is right there with its 24-hour butler service, fitness center, business center and concierge.