Fodor's Expert Review Island Shangri-La
Pacific Place, Supreme Court Rd., Admiralty, Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China See on Map
The type of hotel that will appeal to a whole gamut of well-heeled guests from society types to business travellers, the Island Shagri-La charms with equal parts overblown pageantry and elegant old-world interiors. From immaculate bell boys in bellhop hats to beautiful views of the Peak from some rooms, the hotel’s aesthetics are a pleasure, matched by the staff’s distinguished service.
Rooms at the Island Shangri-La are classically elegant with handsome cherry woods, stately furnishings and thick carpet delivering the good looks. Standard rooms come with Peak or Harbour views. Rooms are located off a grand, 16-story high atrium, complete with a jaw-dropping mural entitled Motherland of China hanging the length of it that’s well worth spending a few minutes admiring.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some with a penchant for modern design might find the decor a little old fashioned by Hong Kong standards. We would opt for a Peak room, but it’s down to personal preference.
Fed up with minimalist, boutique chic? Then you’ll appreciate the glamorous old-fashioned looks of the bathrooms (forgetting for a moment the bathtub TVs that shatter the illusion of the past). L’Occitane bath products add an opulent touch.
The Island Shangri-La hits you head on with its old world style from the get go in the form of a Gatsby-esque lobby. Asian decorative touches add a sense of place and grand crystal chandeliers hammer home the opulence.
The large outdoor pool is just another element of the Island Shangri-La’s many highlights. Outside of winter and monsoon season, the pool is an oasis of peace and calm.
The gorgeous spa rooms serve a range of treatments from facials to full body massages. Should you want independent down time in the spa, outdoor and indoor Jacuzzis and steam and sauna rooms are the place to kick back.
Complimentary yoga classes are provided for all guests.
In addition to the top of the line machines in the well-equipped gym, personal trainers offer one-on-one workouts tailored to guests.
Eight restaurants make sure nobody leaves the hotel bemoaning a lack of choice. For an occasion, the one Michelin-starred Summer Palace is a sumptuous place to indulge in some of the finest Cantonese cuisine you can find. The fine dining options continue with French perfection in the form of Petrus, housed within a Louis XIV style dining room. On a lighter note, the extensive buffet at Café TOO is a sight to behold.
Nightly lounge jazz stimulates the ears in the relaxed Lobster Bar and Grill, which serves a great selection of creative and classic cocktails.
Located in the foothills of the Peak, the hotel is surrounded by greenery. Well-located for the tram as well as the nearby Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, guests should take the time to explore. Admiralty MTR is close on foot and taxis represent a convenient way to go further afield.
Taking a different direction to myriad options within the hotel, head for Ammo (1-minute walk), a modern Asian restaurant in an old arms store once used by the British Army. Dim sum is readily available across Hong Kong but at the Dim Sum Library (6-minute walk), the stalwart cuisine of Cantonese cooking is elevated to something finer.
For something similar to the Lobby Bar at the Island Shangri-La cross over Pacific Place to the Conrad Hotel for drinks overlooking Victoria Harbour at the Pacific Bar. Almost as close as the Conrad is the Upper House hotel, where the destination is the Grey’s Cafe (9-minute walk) on the 49th floor for cocktails in one of the most exclusive bars in town.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Island Shangri-La combines timeless chic with high levels of service to leave guests wanting for nothing. The choice of restaurants is vast, the location is ideal and rooms are equally cozy and classy. Guests looking for five-star luxury with an underlying atmosphere of quiet sophistication will feel right at home.
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