Hong Kong has been a blaze of red for Chinese New Year, last Monday, February 8th, 2016. Public places are still adorned – see a display in Pacific Place shopping mall, above. But, says the gal, red is a lucky colour anytime, not only for the start of the Year of the Monkey. Sylvia and Kevin were so happy with their wedding at the luxury Conrad Hong Kong hotel, above the mall, that they posted a whole series of images on line. Yes, there are hen-night photos, and hilarious shots of the wedding party‘s groom and his ushers dressed up as highly-implausible geishas. There is also one of the bride and her bridesmaids, all with scarlet bouquets.
At this 513-room hotel, two insider tips. By hook or by crook make sure you have a harbour- facing room, looking across to Kowloon. I find I am totally mesmerised by this harbour view, whether it is from the Kowloon – Tsim Shat Tsui – side or, as here, from Central on Hong Kong Island. The other tip is that it is absolutely worth buying up, either a Club room or a suite, so you have access to the sensational 59th floor club lounges. Yes, that is right, there are two, identical, lounges, one next to the other. This allows, as necessary, for compactness, or spreading to the whole double space. Both lounges have amazing facilities, including wall-set ovens so you can help yourself to fresh-baked croissants or, at cocktail hour, hot canapés.
Both lounges have lots of glass-door chilled cabinets, for some of the world’s best home-made yoghurts, and smoothies, and if you cannot see what you want on the induction hot spreads, a chef awaits just out of sight. And, oh, the view from up there…. The lounges are a work of art on the part of hotel GM Thomas Hoeborn, a foodie through and through – see the glint in his eye when he describes those fresh-baked croissants – and see a panorama video of one lounge below. Thomas Hoeborn gets equally excited about the French and Italian cheeses in the hotel’s eighth floor Wine & Cheese Library, overseen by the Italian chef of the adjacent Nicholini’s restaurant, Luca De Berardinis. These are connoisseur cheeses, and individually matured to perfection.
After learning about the cheeses, we moved next door to Nicholini’s to try Luca De Berardinis’ new menu. Yes, he offers six-course tastings, but the à la carte is divided into Classic, say Burrata, with Parma ham and rocket salad, and Contemporary, say Turbot, served meunière, with Oscietra, fava beans and Brussels sprouts. Mr Foodie, in his element, also insisted that this red wine lover at least try a white wine from his home area in Rheinland, a Hans Wirsching 2012 Scheurebe Iphöfer Kronsberg. It is because of his dedication to detail, frankly, that all the restaurants in this luxury hotel seem to be booming, even though you have to take an elevator to get up to the eighth floor.
Now see more about the ideal executive club lounge, below: