This dazzling city will sate your clients’ appetites for luxury while engaging their minds with world class art and culture.
Video VIP Interview: Matthew Upchurch, CEO, Virtuoso
In this week’s video, Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso, discusses the allure of Hong Kong for affluent visitors and the destination's variety of traditional and contemporary must-do activities.
Next week: Chris van den Hooven of Cathay Pacific Airways.
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most sophisticated cities, so it’s no wonder this gateway to Asia excels at delivering the five-star experiences, service and facilities that today’s affluent clients demand — from legendary hotels to exquisite Michelin fine dining, luxury shopping, bespoke tailoring, pampering spa treatments and internationally renowned arts and culture.
Barbara Stein, CTC, senior advisor for Post Haste Travel in Hollywood, FL, has been sending her affluent clients to Hong Kong for decades, always with complete confidence. “Hong Kong is a prime area for the luxury upscale client who wants seamless travel. I love the city. I want to get as many people there as possible.”
Hong Kong’s talent for luxury is immediately apparent in its accommodations, which include some of the world’s most celebrated high-end hotels. “The hotels are beyond gorgeous,” Stein says.
The brand names speak for themselves — Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood, Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La, St. Regis, Langham, among others — along with superb independent and boutique properties and legendary icons like The Peninsula.
There are fabulous new luxury hotels too, among them the Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong, an oceanfront resort in Aberdeen. On Victoria Harbour, the former Intercontinental Hong Kong has been transformed into Regent Hong Kong, scheduled to open in early 2023.
The city’s luxury hoteliers cater to all tastes, with architecture and décor ranging from smart and sleek to sumptuously elegant. “There’s a hotel style for everybody, whether boutique or contemporary or Chinese traditional,” says Damian McCabe, owner and CEO of McCabe World Travel in McLean, VA.
Even extremely well-heeled clients will be wowed by the personal attention at Hong Kong hotels. “Service levels in Hong Kong are some of the best in the world,” McCabe says. “The Asian hospitality is really warm, and there’s always someone there to help. It’s also simple things, like having your clothes pressed or your shoes shined, which you get routinely.”
Be sure to urge clients to treat themselves to a hotel spa/wellness experience so they can soak up the soothing calm of beautifully designed spas whose highly skilled practitioners deliver divine treatments drawing on both East and West healing traditions and using top-shelf spa products.
Fine Dining That’s Over the Top
When it comes to sating epicurean appetites, Hong Kong shines. The city’s chefs are celebrated the world over for their creative interpretations of a full array of Asian and European cuisines, served up in gorgeous restaurants designed for maximum beauty and comfort.
Don’t take our word for it. At last count, Michelin had awarded its coveted star to 71 Hong Kong restaurants.
Many of the finest dining establishments are in the city’s luxury hotels. The Four Seasons Hong Kong boasts a trio of Michelin-starred restaurants, including Lung King Heen, the first Chinese restaurant in the world to be awarded three Michelin stars. The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, St. Regis Hong Kong and Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong are each home to two Michelin-starred eateries.
One notable Hong Kong eatery is The Chairman, which was named Asia’s #1 restaurant in 2021. Another favorite, Hansik Goo, features original interpretations of Korean fare. Newer restaurants earning rave reviews include Hue, which serves modern Australian cuisine in a beautiful harborside setting inside the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and nearby Hutong, noted for its award-winning northern Chinese cuisine.
Some of the most memorable dining experiences in Hong Kong are accompanied by gorgeous vistas of the city’s skyline and harbor. Two favorites include Aqua, which serves Japanese and Italian cuisine, and Popinjays, a rooftop restaurant and bar at The Murray hotel.
Are your clients art lovers and food lovers? Then suggest they cap off a visit to the museum M+ with the innovative Korean fare at Mosu, an offshoot of the two-Michelin-starred Mosu Seoul. Or consider one of the two Michelin star restaurants at H Queen’s, a glass-clad skyscraper that houses top international art galleries and dramatic large-scale art installations.
A ‘Passionately Creative’ Arts Scene
Hong Kong’s arts scene is as sophisticated and dynamic as any — so much so that a few years ago the New York Times dubbed Hong Kong “one of Asia’s most passionately creative cities.”
The flourishing arts scene is evident in an expanding array of superb museums, art galleries and performance spaces, as well as on city streets, whose walls local artists use as palettes for their colorful creativity.
Art-loving clients should make a beeline for the West Kowloon Cultural District, home to 17 arts venues, including museums, theaters, performance venues and art galleries, as well as award-winning architecture, a waterfront art park and eateries.
The just-opened Hong Kong Palace Museum here is a star attraction, with extensive displays of exquisite Chinese treasures on loan from Beijing’s Palace Museum.
M+, another new shining star here, features a vast collection of contemporary visual culture from across Asia, with a focus on design, architecture, visual art and multimedia. The exhibits include one of the world’s most impressive collections of contemporary Chinese art. At night, the museum’s facade lights up with a dazzling 12-story-high LED display of moving digital artwork.
Hong Kong is also a hot art market, and buyers from around the world flock to prominent events like Art Basel Hong Kong. Another calendar highlight is the long-running Hong Kong Arts Festival, which presents acclaimed international and local artists in genres ranging from classical music to jazz, world music, dance, theater and western and Chinese opera.
Nightlife as Splendid as the Evening Skyline
Whether your clients want to sip a nightcap in a stylish rooftop bar that’s ranked as one of Asia’s Top 50 bars, join hipsters at a buzzy club, take in a concert, explore a busy night market, or just wander the streets to soak up the vibe as the day winds down, they’ll find something to do.
“There’s a really vibrant nightlife in Hong Kong. Nightclubs are everywhere, and restaurants are open late, with people spilling onto the streets afterwards,” says actor Michael Corbett, who became a Hong Kong enthusiast after filming two episodes of Extra’s Mansions & Millionaires TV series there.
Nightly Light Show, Luxury-Style
One after-dark experience that’s a must is A Symphony of Lights, a choreographed light and sound display that dances across the facades and rooftops of over 40 glass and steel skyscrapers on Victoria Harbour, synced to original music performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. The nightly show is best seen from Kowloon’s harborfront Avenue of Stars.
While travelers can watch the show for free from various vantage points, for luxury clients the recommended choice is a dinner-and-drinks harbor cruise aboard a private yacht. “It’s one of the most wonderful things you can do in Hong Kong and a beautiful way to see A Symphony of Lights,” says Stein of Post Haste Travel.
HKTB Resources for Travel Advisors
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) works closely with travel advisors, providing training, sales resources and up-to-the minute destination information. Here are three key HKTB resources for advisors:
• Hong Kong Specialist program – free online interactive training and specialist certification.
• HKTB PartnerNet – dedicated website for travel industry partners, includes database of local suppliers, access to photo and video library, updates on promotional
• DiscoverHongKong.com – consumer and trade website provides the latest information on Hong Kong.
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