Pembury Partners Travel Diaries: Hong Kong
The gateway to Asia, Hong Kong has for many, many years been a fusion of East and West, and has become a hub of cosmopolitan life. There’s a seemingly ever-growing number of luxury hotels and upscale bars, which would make compiling a comprehensive list an impossible task, and the art market has grown in recent years to be one of the largest in the world after New York and London. Here is but a small selection of some of the notable hotels, bars and art galleries in this bustling metropolis.
The Peninsula opened in 1928 and is known as “The Grand Old Lady” of Kowloon, or the “Grande Dame of the Far East”. With a total of 300 rooms across the original building and the newer tower, the hotel combines the very best of traditional and modern – much like Hong Kong itself. It has its own helicopter pad, seven restaurants, a live orchestra to accompany your tea, and children are more than welcome.
Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong https://peninsula.com
The Ritz – aka Ritz Carlton Hong Kong – is a close neighbour of The Peninsula. It’s located high up on floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon and is, being The Ritz, of course known for luxury. There’s a caviar bar, Michelin-starred restaurants and a unique spa with an indoor infinity pool. Ideal for parents or partygoers, with night safaris for children and a rooftop lounge bar.
International Commerce Centre (ICC), 1 Austin Rd W, West Kowloon, Hong Kong https://ritzcarlton.com
The Upper House has spectacular views of Hong Kong harbour and of the mountains, coupled with décor by renowned Asian interior designer Andre Fu. The hotel caters to those with an interest in eco-friendly matters, with organic food, paperless processes and hybrid car hire. The hotel’s restaurant Café Gray Deluxe is very well regarded in its own right by the upper echelons of the business community.
88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong https://thehousecollective.com
Another hotel with in-house restaurants known for excellent dining, the Four Seasons is located at Victoria Harbour and contains two Michelin-starred eateries – the French Caprice and the Cantonese Lung King Heen. Mirroring this choice, there are the options of Chinese or Western-style rooms. Whichever combination of East-meets-West appeals to you, the Four Seasons chain is rightfully known for its exemplary standards of service.
8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong https://fourseasons.com
The Langham is home to the Michelin-starred restaurant T’ang, serving some of the finest Cantonese food anywhere. The hotel itself is an exercise in European-style elegance with Wedgewood china, impressive vaulted ceilings and chandeliers. Although this hotel opened its doors in 2003, the chain has been around since the 1800s and retains a sense of that lineage.
8 Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong https://langhamhotels.com
Inside the Four Seasons (see above) is found the much anticipated Argo. Of note is the intriguingly curated cocktail menu – itself called “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” – which riffs on six key ingredients: rice, vanilla, apple, coffee, honey and cacao. There is a particularly well-travelled selection of spirits and liqueurs, as well as Argo’s own gin.
Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong https://fourseasons.com
Avenue 75 Bar & Eatery melds innovative cocktails and tapas with the art world – with a selection of cocktails dedicated to iconic works of art. It’s located in the fashionable district of Tsim Sha Tsui East, where you’ll find a dynamic host of trendy bars and cafes.
South Seas Centre, 75 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong https://facebook.com/Avenue75.Bar.Eatery
For another take on the unpredictable world of mixology, head to Tell Camelia for a tea-based cocktail, or “teatale”. Further avant-garde ingredients have recently included seaweed, sweet potato, blue cheese and plankton.
H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong https://tellcamellia.com
In a Hong Kong speakeasy style, XX is, as you might infer from the name, a women-only bar. It’s hidden away in the Rosewood Hotel behind a code-locked door and is as indulgent as one might reasonably expect from the velvet slippers presented to you on arrival.
Rosewood Hotel, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong https://rosewoodhotels.com
Quinary is amongst the most well established of Hong Kong’s bars, seldom absent from Asia’s 50 Best Bars, and has one of the city’s widest cocktail menus. A true trendsetter with its inventions copied widely, it’s worth visting for many reasons, not least its signature Earl Grey Caviar Martini.
56-58 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong https://quinary.hk
White Cube opened in Hong Kong in 2012, their first gallery outside the UK. This goes some way to illustrating the importance of the city in the global art market. Its exhibitions feature some very familiar international names – Antony Gormley, Gilbert & George, Harland Miller and Chuck Close to name a few.
50 Connaught Rd, Central, Hong Kong https://whitecube.com
Another very well-known gallery is Gagosian, again with exceptionally well-known names such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. The gallery has also curated exhibitions of historic artists such as Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, Henry Moore, Andy Warhol… the list goes on.
Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St, Central, Hong Kong https://gagosian.com
David Zwiriner represents almost 70 renowned artists and estates from around the world, including photographer Wolfgang Tillmans from Germany and Yayoi Kusama from Japan. His gallery is in H Queens, and is notably his first Asian location.
H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong https://davidzwirner.com.hk
Also in H Queens, but less concerned with the international art scene, Tang Contemporary promotes Chinese and Southeast Asian artists.
H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong https://tangcontemporary.com
Pearl Lam has two galleries in Hong Kong, one also in H Queens (see above) another in the Pedder Building. She is committed to promoting Asia’s contemporary and emerging artists, ranging widely in media from abstract painters concerned with traditional Chinese philosophy to geometric beeswax sculptures.
H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong; Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St, Central, Hong Kong https://pearllam.com