The Island Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong Wows Upon Arrival

By Karen Loftus

When you start to jetset on the global travel trek, you see a number of big brands that pop up in all the posh spots around the world showing their hot hospitality wares. Perhaps there’s a slight bend in style and service to cater to a market’s needs and sensibilities, but inherently, you see the consistency of a luxury brand from entrance to exit.

That is what the Hong Kong’s largest based hotel chain, the luxury brand Shangri-La has done. It has shown up in several key cities and resort destinations throughout Asia and has recently made its mark in North America with its Vancouver and Toronto properties and of course their posh Parisian property. The Asian brand with classic European flair and global sensibilities wows at every corner, whatever the continent.

So, when headed to Hong Kong to stay at The Island Shangri-La, their signature property, I assumed I would be wowed prior to arrival as the hotel has long been on CN Travelers’ Gold List, awarded Asia’s Top City Hotel by Travel + Leisure, given a five-star rating by Forbes, awarded Best Business Hotel in Hong Kong by Business Traveler and coined one of the Top 25 Hotels in China 2012 by Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, to name but a few.

Wowed I was, as the brand is known for and spearheaded that seamless special service often slated for the celeb set, at the airport. Before you know it, you and your bags are miraculously whisked away, and well on your way in one of the hotel’s fleet of limousines, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, luxury van, or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, all of which offer complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi en route so you can reconnect after the long flight.

The Island Shangri-La has 531 rooms and 34 luxury suites on their 56 floors in Hong Kong’s Central District. The architectural jewel contains 771 chandeliers, which the brand is well-known for. So, when in doubt, look up and in this property’s case look all around. The property boasts 917 pieces of artwork including the world’s largest indoor Chinese silk mural, The Great Motherland of China, which is an absolute stunner measuring in at 16 stories tall and can only be viewed from levels 41 to 56 of the hotel. It is a great travel wow to start with and it sets the Shangri-La tone upon arrival.

Other wows and firsts to note; The Hotel’s Horizon Club Lounge on the 56th floor lounge is the highest executive lounge on the island. The lounge connects to an outdoor Roof Garden – the only venue of its kind in all of Hong Kong. This has wow written all over it.

Check in to a Deluxe Harbor View or Deluxe Peak View Room, one of the largest guestrooms on Hong Kong Island, 44 and 41 square meters respectively, each equipped with Austrian crystal chandeliers. Then get the hotel to scoot you around town as it is also the first hotel in Asia to launch a 100% electric, zero-emission car, the Nissan LEAF, to shuttle guests between the hotel and nearby districts on Hong Kong Island in support of their continued commitment to environmental improvement. First in class suddenly takes on new meaning.

Horizon Peak View and Horizon Harbor View rooms come with Horizon Club privileges, which include the most breathtaking views of Hong Kong’s world-famous Victoria Harbor first and foremost. Then add on 24 hour personal butler services, Frette linen, free wake up calls made personally with delivered complimentary tea or coffee, which aids in awakening, an international paper fresh fruit and complimentary suit pressing and shoeshine service for those that need to be business forward and step out in style.

For those preferring a lazier lap of luxury, there are eight restaurants on site, which include the Michelin starred Petrus. The elegant French establishment is the hotel’s signature restaurant with an exclusive wine cellar and a premium collection of over 1,900 wines. Petrus has been recognized for 11 consecutive years by Wine Spectator with it’s “Best of Award of Excellence” for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world.

It’s easy to take advantage of The Club Floor amenities on the Horizon Lounge or to linger too long over breakfast at Petrus as I did several mornings over, or to simply get caught up in the natural theatrics right outside your big bay window as the weather, the view and the natural light can turn on a dime. Regardless of the inevitable distractions, be sure to make it to the Olympic like pool below as it is surrounded by Hong Kong’s architectural excellence. It makes for a very sexy swim, another noted Shangri-La signature for me; mind-blowing pools in an aesthetically pleasing setting.

I was only sorry it took me to the last morning to dip in. It was so right on and reason enough to almost miss my plane and get “stuck” on site for just one more night.

Island Shangri-La Hotel – Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong