Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
At the International Commerce Centre in western Kowloon, overlooking Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island
The Ritz-Carlton looms over Victoria Harbour and the newest business area in western Kowloon, home to the International Commerce Centre, a great shopping mall, and corporate offices. While this might seem a bit out of the way for leisure travelers, the Kowloon MTR station and the Airport Express train stop are just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, which makes it easy to get to major tourist attractions. Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood, an area known for its numerous attractions and wonderful shopping, is located just east of the hotel. Bridges crossing over to Hong Kong Island are within a short driving distance of the property, while Central District is just a subway stop away.
Though Hong Kong Island is the most visited area of Hong Kong, Kowloon comes in second. A neighborhood of museums, historic temples, and shops, Kowloon attracts visitors throughout the year. Literally meaning "nine dragons," which stands for the eight hills in the area and the Chinese emperor, Kowloon is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Hong Kong -- an already over-populated city. With the constant influx of tourists, the crowds continue to grow even larger.
Kowloon is home to some of the world's largest malls, a lively nightlife, and Kowloon Park -- Hong Kong's version of Central Park. But it's not just shopping and partying in Kowloon. Many areas of Kowloon have an authentic vibe, with all kinds of open-air markets -- flowers, jade, produce -- and historic buildings from before and during the time of the British occupation. Kowloon is also home to important museums such as the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Museum of History.
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.