Kerry Hotel Hong Kong
BACKGROUND The Kerry Hotels brand is part of the Shangri-La Group. Opened in April, this is the group’s fourth property in Hong Kong. WHERE IS IT? Next to the Hung Hom pier (connected by ferry to North Point district on Hong Kong Island) and a short walk from the famous Whampoa land-locked “ship”shopping centre and MTR station. WHAT’S IT LIKE? It’s a 16-storey new-build that calls itself an urban resort and creates that feeling as soon as you drive up the ramp under the porte-cochère and see the extensive harbour views, swimming pools and greenery on the terraces in front of the hotel. Designed by André Fu, (known for his work at Hong Kong’s Upper House hotel and Singapore’s Fullerton Bay), the lobby is spectacular but also deferential to the view through the 80-metre windows. When you bring your gaze back in to the lobby you’ll see walls clad in Turkish onyx, while sofas flow and curve their way around the central tea station/bar. ROOM FACILITIES Some 60 per cent of the 546 guestrooms have harbour views. They range from the 42 sqm Deluxe City View room to the 294 sqm Presidential suite on the 16th floor. Corner rooms benefit from extra window space and there are four rooms, on the fifth and sixth floors, with their own internal balcony.
All rooms offer free films on demand and a free minibar on arrival, have plenty of power points, a good sized desk to work from and lights that have several settings but most importantly can all be turned off from the bedside at night-time. Air conditioning is effective and able to chill the room very quickly. Club rooms (located on floors 15 and 16) and suites have access to the eighth-floor Club lounge – this offers late checkout (until 4pm), daily breakfast, evening cocktails and canapés (5.30pm-7pm), soft drinks during the day, pressing of one suit, and shoeshine on arrival. RESTAURANTS AND BARS The hotel has enough eating establishments to ensure you could stay for a week and not eat in the same place twice (well, apart from breakfast). On level 3 is the bustling all-day dining Big Bay Café, with indoor and outdoor seating.
Dockyard on level 1 attracts local office workers as well as hotel guests and is all the better for it. It’s right on the harbour front and has a choice of nine quick-service kiosks alongside a fully serviced bar with an open-plan seating area and industrial-style design. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Dockyard hosts live bands. It even has an app to order food and receive special offers.
Fine-dining restaurant Hung Tong also has views over Victoria Harbour with a contemporary Chinese menu. The design invokes the historical heritage of Hung Hom as a dockyard, with rough red bricks, vintage-inspired leather chairs and tinted glass pendants. There are two private dining rooms for special occasions and events.
The bar – Red Sugar – is similarly impressive, with a neon installation by local artist Adrian Wong, walls of rough-cut granite, and a traditional bronze fireplace. As the lights of Hong Kong Island begin to glow in the evening, it becomes a magical place for a drink. MEETING FACILITIES These are outstanding, with a huge range of possibilities and some very, very large spaces. Pride of place should probably go to the pillarless Grand Ballroom, which can be split into four and accommodates 1,250 people for a banquet. It has rock crystal chandeliers, a 15-metre LED video screen and an extensive harbour-view foyer. A second ballroom, the Hung Hom, can seat 1,000 guests for dinner, and there are six other meeting rooms of varying sizes. LEISURE FACILITIES The hotel has an outdoor pool and a large 24-hour gym with a spinning (cycling) room overlooking the harbour. At the time of my stay, the spa was not yet open. VERDICT A lovely hotel – luxurious without being ostentatious; large and yet intimate, partly because of the clever design and furnishings, and partly the excellent service. The meeting facilities are superb. The location is likely to be an obstacle for some and ideal for others. It’s nothing like a ShangriLa hotel, but you can feel the confidence behind the brand – even though there are currently only three Kerry hotels in total. Well worth trying. Tom Otley