Langham Place Hotel Hong Kong
Commission: 10 percent
Average room rates for summer and fall start at $135 per night, plus 10 percent in taxes, for standard accommodations.
Click here to read an interview with Ritz Tours managing director Evan Chan.
A lot of hotels make it a point to satisfy their guests’ every whim, but at the Langham Place Hotel Hong Kong, I actually experienced it.
When I read on the pillow menu card that a Japanese green tea pillow would have soothing, therapeutic properties, I called housekeeping and, within 10 minutes, I was fast asleep, testing out my brand-new pillow. And when I asked the concierge where to find the best silk in town to make a cheongsam (traditional Chinese dress), he knew just the place.
A Studio Room // © 2009 Langham Place Hotel Hong Kong
“Me” seemed to be the operative word. Throughout the property, your clients will see the marketing phrase “Place Me.” It’s hard not to notice the campaign, especially with its bold use of graphics and design. It’s hip and playful, without trying too hard — an apt description of the hotel itself.
The Langham Place Hotel Hong Kong is unique for a luxury Hong Kong hotel. For one thing, it’s located in Mongkok on Kowloon, not on Hong Kong Island or huddled around The Peninsula Hong Kong in Kowloon’s upscale Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood.
For some clients, this may be a slight drawback, but I beg to differ. Instead of being surrounded by dozens of high rises, the hotel stands alone in an area that still manages to retain its authenticity and Chinese traditions. Staying here gives clients a better connection to locals, many of whom still gather at nearby parks or barter for items at the markets.
If your clients are shopaholics like myself, they’ll soon be maxing out their ATM cards: The hotel is connected to a massive mall (also owned by Langham) and is walking distance to Hong Kong’s best-known street markets; the concierge holds daily market tours. Traveling to other parts of the city is a snap, since there’s a subway station located within walking distance of the hotel.
When clients aren’t busy traveling through the city, they’ll find plenty to keep them busy on site.
Art lovers can take a walking art tour of the hotel, which houses some 1,500 different works, all done by leading, contemporary Chinese artists. My favorite piece was the sculpture “Red Guards – Going Forward! Making Money!” by Jiang Shuo. Located near the groundfloor porte cochere, the striking sculpture instantly sums up how the Maoism of the Cultural Revolution has transformed into the capitalism of today.
If your clients are foodies, they’re in luck. The hotel has exceptional dim sum at Ming Court (be sure to ask for the XO sauce, a uniquely blended, spicy Cantonese seafood sauce) and a Japanese robata-style restaurant, Tokoro, that’s always a crowd pleaser. The Place, the hotel’s all-day buffet, is also top notch, and serves a variety of international cuisines.
When guests want to unwind, the hotel has plenty of options. I highly suggest clients purchase a membership to the Club L lounge, located on the 36th floor. The lounge has massage chairs, a round-the-clock assortment of foods and beverages, computer stations, international newspapers and multiple televisions. It’s a great place to chat before dinner, grab a quick bite or stop in to check e-mails. A separate Portal – Work & Play area on the second floor lets clients grab a drink and send e-mails.
And then, there’s the spa. Walking into the Chuan Spa is like stepping into a different world. The traditional Chinese medicine spa is simply breathtaking, built with dark woods and Asian touches, like the dazzling moon gate that doubles as its entrance. In fact, the spa is a big hit with locals and guests alike. My Chuan Harmony massage was, perhaps, one of the best I’ve ever had.
The spa houses nearly the entire 41st floor and was supremely serene. Here, clients can even book stays in special Chuan Residences that evoke the same look and feel of the spa — traditional Chinese with a slightly modern twist. There’s also an extensive fitness center and access to a heated, outdoor, rooftop pool with amazing views of the city.
But when all is said and done, the true test of a hotel, for me, is its guestroom accommodations. And in this category, the Langham did not disappoint. My bed was so plush, I didn’t want to get out of bed in the mornings. Clients can even charge their laptop inside the in-room safe. The marble bathroom was smartly designed, too, and I loved soaking my toes in the massive bathtub after a long day of touring.
Talk about “me time.”