Thanks to its vibrant pace, there are always elements of new or fabulous to experience and discover in Hong Kong. At the moment this includes hidden intrigue, progressive culinary talents, and a changing neighbourhood landscape.
Stay on the Bay
The hottest place to wake up refreshed is the city’s first urban resort, Kerry Hotel (opened late April). Situated at Hung Hom Bay, it offers arguably the best hotel harbour views, with stunning vistas of north to central Hong Kong.
The immediate sensation (and the lasting impression) upon entering this five-star property is the luxury of space, and the privacy of nature. The stylish and fluid design by Andre Fu creates a true luxury resort ambience.
This is particularly true in the many al fresco areas that use greenery creatively to carve hidden spaces that naturally invokes a deep sense of relaxation. Its bar, Red Sugar, with 270-degree harbour views from its outdoor terrace has quickly become one of the hippest places for sunset cocktails. shangri-la.com/hongkong/kerry
Other superb options are the grande dame, The Peninsula, the chic Four Seasons, or for a boutique option, The Pottinger.
Satisfy your appetite
For a revolutionary dining experience try Happy Paradise, the latest opening from the innovative May Chow and her team. Chow, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017 (Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards) is the talented ambassador for, and creator of, neo-Chinese cuisine. Her creations pay homage to and are inspired by tradition while presenting delicious dishes in a completely new, modern, reinvented, at times playful, thoughtful, inspired way. For example, the scallop “rice roll” inspired by cheung fun is made purely from scallop. Other standouts include comforting pan fried pig’s brain with burnt pear juice, and succulent slow-cooked chicken that highlights chrysanthemum. The cocktails are also excellent. happyparadise.hk
Also of note is Dragon Noodles Academy, which serves Chinese cuisine (including dim sum) with a contemporary presentation in a retro-cool Hong Kong history/pop culture environment. The lobster noodle station is at the heart of this open kitchen, with fantastic handmade noodles a speciality. Other must-tries include the lobster puff, jam-packed with lobster meat, it cleverly resembles the body of a lobster thanks to culinary skill and carrot glaze; and the excellent Peking Duck, with the option to have up to eight extra duck courses. dragon-noodles.com
For exciting Michelin dining try Caprice. Its recently appointed chef de cuisine, Guillaume Galliot, is a maestro of flavour-forward, exquisitely presented, contemporary French cuisine and is hungry for three stars. For the complete culinary journey opt for the Carte Blanche tasting menu. Signatures include the divine beef-oyster tartare and caviar, a wonderfully French crab laksa with confit egg, and roasted and confitpigeon with beetroot variation. fourseasons.com/hongkong
For a crafted gin and tonic or silky martini look for the doctor’s door. Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour is one of the city’s newest speakeasy, with over 270 gins available. Seek advice from the white-coat clad staff, who know their stuff, to recommend the perfect gin prescription for you. The ambience is quirky parlour inspired by Alice in Wonderland (including Mad Hatter afternoon tea). Mind your head as you enter. drfernshk.com Also new, The Old Man, a bijou space inspired by Ernest Hemingway is operated by creative, award-winning mixologists. theoldmanhk.com
Generating the biggest buzz, thanks in part to the superbly crafted custom-made cocktails by passionate staff, is Employees Only (of New York fame). Sit at the serpentine bar and watch free-pour specialists in action or take a table in the back to sample the high-end comfort food. Open till late, this industry-favourite has a reputation for taking its guests on a journey. employeesonlyhk.com
Sindart may be tiny, but it has some notable fans, such as the legendary fashion icon, Iris Apfel, who recently purchased bespoke designed items here. The store focuses on hand-made embroidered shoes from third generation owner, Miru Wong. In addition to traditional motifs, Wong also has modern designs that appeal to the fashion forward.
For handbags and scarves inspired by quintessential Hong Kong, try Louella Odié. The stylish items can be found at the Four Seasons, HKTDC Design Gallery, and Thorn&Burrow, a lifestyle and homewares store that stocks a curated on-trend range. louellaodie.com For unique Hong Kong gifts, Goods of Desire (G.O.D), always has its finger on the pulse with its offering of playful clothing and lifestyle products. god.com.hk
Hong Kong experiences
Neighbourhood gentrification continues, with some being worthy of exploration. For example, Tai Ping Shan Street and its side lanes offer an interesting mix of the old (temples, traditional stores) and new (restaurants, bars, galleries, fashion designers, quirky antique stores). The neighbourhood of Tai Hang is also a good place for discovery.
If the green side appeals, head to one of the lesser visited outlying islands such as Po Toi. There is always the ever-present option to take in the breath-taking beauty that surrounds Hong Kong from the comfort of a chartered luxury yacht by Riviera Orientale (various packages available), champagne in hand. rivieraorientale.com Cheers!