If you want the ultimate close-to-water view across Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, from the mainland, Kowloon, side, try InterContinental Hong Kong – and try it soon. It has been at least two years since rumours started that the hotel, now owned by Supreme Key, would close for complete renovation. It is now known that it will stay open until early 2021 so, says the gal, for your next visit to Hong Kong, plan a stay in this friendly-luxury hotel while it is still InterCon. Interestingly, although it had originally been conceived as a Peninsula, it had opened in 1977 as The Regent Hong Kong. It metamorphosed at the beginning of this century as InterCon and when it does re-open, it will once again be The Regent Hong Kong.
Some things will not change. The jewel-like Yan Toh Heen restaurant, which has two Michelin stars, will stay open during the closure. Harbourside will evolve, as will the lobby, now an evening entertainment centre with live jazz and other music: gypsy specialist Antpine Richard has the Monday slot; the Anthony Fernandes Trio is there Tuesdays; Wednesdays (and Sundays) are be Filipino Joel Senase; Thursday through Saturday is Jennifer Palor. Right now, you go through the lobby and down stairs to get to The STEAK HOUSE winebar+grill, a 100-seat delight that is always full, every night, mostly with non-hotel guests.
Franco Leung is the superb Manager here, and he remembers exactly what you like, from your last visit. My own regular is the copious salad bar to start – so generous that some, indeed, make their whole meal off it. Franco then always has a just-right ribeye, and he brings a choice of knives, including Laguiole. Then you have a choice of at least 30 mustards (no need for conversation here, you can spend most of the evening having protein, cutlery, condiments and, of course, wines, carefully and professionally explained).
I was with my hotel friends Jeremy Brook and Carole Klein, and we drank Simon Bize et Fils Savigny les Beaune Aux Vergelesses 2011. This is the luxury hotel that for years hosted the annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific HICAP. It had started across the water, at Marriott on Hong Kong Island, then relocated here. The conference moved along to The Kerry Hong Kong when the InterContinental’s renovation seemed imminent but many top HICAP delegates still prefer to stay here. This is just such a friendly base and the views are, well, memorable.