The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong Rating: 5.0 Pearls
The gorgeous Landmark hotel is one of the more intimate luxury options in Hong Kong. With a great location in Central, the city's business hub (also home to clubs and restaurants), this hotel stands out from competitors because of its size: It's a boutique property with only 113 rooms (the Kowloon Shangri-La and Langham Place both have nearly 700). The interior design is exceptional: The lobby, restaurant, and rooms feature warm brown and silver tones, with Asian-inspired accents (typical of the Mandarin brand). The hotel has every amenity one could want -- a large fitness center with a yoga and Pilates studio, meeting rooms, a French restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef, tons of kid-friendly amenities and gifts -- but the gorgeous spa may be the highlight, with treatment rooms, a Turkish Hammam, a pool, and a spa cafe. And the spacious, high-tech rooms feature marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, iPod docks, at least three flat-screen TVs, and Wi-Fi. Its beautiful design, long list of amenities, and extremely attentive service make this our top luxury pick.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong Rating: 5.0 Pearls
The Mandarin Oriental is one of the top luxury hotels in Hong Kong, and a popular choice among well-heeled families and business travelers. It has 501 elegant rooms featuring contemporary Chinese decor, large windows with wonderful views, and gorgeous bathrooms with sleek glass-enclosed showers and bathtubs. Study Rooms, however, only have walk-in showers, which is why this Mandarin is just a step behind its sister property, the Landmark. Highlights include a nice spa, a modern fitness center, an indoor pool, upscale services such as floor butlers, and a convenient location in the heart of Central. There are also multiple dining options, including three Michelin-star restaurants.
Island Shangri-La Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Arguably one of the most elegant hotels in Hong Kong, the 565-room Shangri-La features opulent details -- including the largest Chinese silk painting in the world, and TVs in every bathroom. Elegant rooms are outfitted with silk throws, gilded wooden furniture, crystal chandeliers, and high-tech features such as large flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Amenities include an outdoor pool, a well-equipped fitness center, and a spa. They are not exclusive to guests, though, as Health Club members also have access to them. The Shangri-La has steep rates, but most guests claim the hefty price tag is worth it, particularly when staying in rooms with harbor views. Even those not staying at the hotel opt to check out its Michelin-starred restaurant.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Only a few hotels in Hong Kong deliver the Ritz-Carlton’s level of luxury. Large rooms feature decadent touches, such as plush beds with 400- to 600-thread count linens, iPods and iPod docks, Nespresso coffeemakers, and high-end toiletries. The hotel is set on floors 102 to 118 of Hong Kong's tallest building, and while acrophobes may not appreciate being this far from the ground, the height does make for breathtaking views -- that is, when the sky is clear. Highlights include a stylish indoor pool, sleek gym, and top-notch spa. The Ritz-Carlton is connected to a great shopping mall and corporate offices, and also offers easy access to the airport train and the MTR. However, its location in an up-and-coming business area west of Tsim Sha Tsui is a bit out of the way for leisure travelers, as there are no major attractions within walking distance. Unlike many 5-pearl hotels in Hong Kong, it does not have a Michelin-starred restaurant and there have been some complaints that the food is way overpriced, which puts it lower on our list than the Island Shangri-La.
The Peninsula Hong Kong Rating: 5.0 Pearls
The 300-room Peninsula Hong Kong is the city's oldest hotel; built in 1926, it evokes the elegance of the '20s but the modern sophistication of the 21st century. The grand lobby features high, gilded ceilings and stately pillars, and hosts the hotel's popular afternoon High Tea. The European-style rooms are classic and tasteful, if a bit stuffy to some, and marble bathrooms have separate showers and soaking tubs. The amenities are, as expected from such a high-caliber hotel, top-notch: six gourmet dining options (although some say the breakfast buffet is just so-so), an indoor pool, a full-service spa with stellar city views, and a modern fitness center, also with stunning views. Many people (who can afford it) stay here for the bragging rights alone -- after all, some of the hotel's guests are flown in by private helicopter. The vibe is very upscale, and there's even a dress code that's enforced throughout the hotel (no flip-flops allowed!). The location in the touristy Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood, near designer shopping and Victoria Harbour, is very convenient. Overall, it is a gorgeous hotel with all the amenities one could want, but some say it lacks the charm of spots such as the Mandarin Oriental hotels.
Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This luxury hotel lives up to the Shangri-La brand's stellar reputation. Beautiful rooms have elegant furnishings, wood accents, and floor-to-ceiling windows, most with sweeping views of Victoria Harbor or the skyline. There are several fine dining options, as well as a more casual tapas bar and a lobby lounge with bar service, but the highlight here is the Shang Palace, a wonderful Cantonese restaurant boasting two Michelin stars and outstanding service. The fitness center, spa, and classy business center make it a great pick for business travelers, but its central location in Tsim Sha Tsui, near major attractions and the MTR, make it an ideal option for tourists, too. One of the few downsides, however, is that the indoor pool is small. Also, several rooms only have showers.
The Mira Hong Kong Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This hip 492-room luxury property is centrally located in hopping Tsim Sha Tsui. From the pool to the rooms and the spa, everything here has an almost futuristic touch: Think colorful lighting, straight lines, and a sleek design. Most rooms are decent-sized by Hong Kong standards, and all feature Bose iPod docks, LCD TVs, wireless keyboards, and entertainment units that incorporate a computer and Blu-Ray DVD player. Marble bathrooms, though ultra-modern and squeaky clean, have clear glass walls, so those who want some privacy will have to pull down the blinds every time they step inside. The hotel boasts seven outstanding dining and dinking options -- two of which are Michelin-rated -- that range from upscale to casual. There's also a modern fitness center, and great services such as the use of cell phones provided during the stay.
Langham Place, Hong Kong Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The 665-room Langham Place is one of the most luxurious hotels in Hong Kong; but while other four- and five-pearl hotels are largely concentrated along the water, the Langham is part of a large shopping complex in central Mong Kok. The hotel has a long list of on-site (and upscale) amenities, including a gorgeous spa, a small rooftop pool, and five restaurants (one with a Michelin star). The sleek, contemporary style is consistent throughout: Picture sleek lines, high ceilings, and funky local artwork. Rooms are understated, with plush white bedding and neutral tones, as well as art-adorned walls and peek-a-boo bathrooms. Technology includes flat-screen TVs (that are tiny in some rooms), DVD players, iPod docks, and Wi-Fi (for a fee). Harbor views are limited, but the Langham is still a popular choice for tourists and business travelers looking for an upscale hotel in a convenient location.
The Langham, Hong Kong Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Located in the heart of the popular tourist area Tsim Sha Tsui, the 495-room Langham Hotel is a luxury property and a shopper's paradise -- it's close to designer stores like Fendi and Louis Vuitton, and also near the Langham Place Shopping Mall. The hotel itself fits right in to its high-end surroundings. The gorgeous European-style lobby features high, gilded ceilings with huge crystal chandeliers, and the rooms have fancy golden fixtures in the bathrooms and modern amenities such as iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Although there are plenty of dining options right outside the hotel, The Langham does have several of its own restaurants, including The Bostonian, an American-style lounge with a raw bar, and the Michelin-starred Tang Court. After a day of shopping or sightseeing, guests can head to the rooftop pool and Jacuzzi, sweat it out in the very well-equipped fitness center, or relax in The Langham Club, a trendy lounge with a DVD library, a modern business center, and buffet-style kitchen stocked with snacks. Though its pool is larger, The Langham is a step behind it's sister hotel because some rooms are still in need of renovations.
W Hong Kong Rating: 5.0 Pearls
The 393-room W Hong Kong is a fun, modern hotel in Kowloon, a popular tourist area. In many ways, this W feels like all others; it features funky decor the W brand is known for -- bizarre sculptures, pop art wall murals, and bright, colored lighting -- as well as a Bliss spa and a Living Room bar, with a DJ at night. But this W feels a bit more special, and luxurious, than some you might find in the U.S. The Bliss spa is absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful teak tubs and soft lighting, and the stunning rooftop infinity pool on the 76th floor offers poolside service and dizzying views. The decor is downplayed in the rooms, which have bright green comforters, high-tech amenities, and sleek slate bathrooms (unfortunately, some rooms have slate that is already discoloring). Those who prefer more traditional luxury may consider the nearby Langham, which also trumps the W by having a Michelin-starred restaurant.