Verdict: Basically we want to live there, aside from the fact that I think apartments are the size of a shoebox for $20,000 a month. But seriously this city rocks and I cannot wait to go back to eat, shop and explore more.
Where we stayed: The Pottinger – Central (border of Soho). This might be my fav hotel ever, I’d move right in if they let me – plus I see they’ve won a ton of awards. We booked on Expedia.
When & how long: Early March – 2 days, 2 nights
Getting there (Visas): We flew in and out of HK, Cathay Pacific for the big flight from Chicago. NO Visas Needed. Just Passports.
Hong Kong Airport: I mean this place is insane, every major designer has a store there and the food is next level.
Food & Activity (Short & Sweet):
- Mak’s Noodles for wonton noodle soup. This place is famous for a reason. It’s small and literally a block from the hotel and serves up small but hearty bowls of steamy soup. Get the wonton noodle soup with brisket.
- Envoy for incredible cocktails on a rooftop. This cocktail bar, at our hotel, exceeded all expectations especially for a girl who pretty much considers herself the opposite of an alcoholic. Awarded top 50 bars in Asia!
- TokyoLima for a super cool fusion restaurant. I cannot recommend this place enough. The food was INSANE (like dream worthy) and the ambiance is super trendy. It’s tricky to find because it’s in a weird building above a parking lot but when you open the door, you’ll get it.
- Spring Deer for peeking duck and crispy juicy lamb. If you stay on the island this is on the Kowloon side and an easy walk from the ferry. It’s uber-traditional, not fancy but they run a serious operation.
- Stanley Market for trinkets. I was sort of overseeing these types of tidbits and markets by the end of the trip but it’s a sight to see for sure and a nice little drive to the other side of the island.
- Nathan Road for a long walk, street hagglers, and watch shopping. A little touristy for us.
- Central/Soho for neighborhoods walking, amazing food, super cool shopping. The best part of HK in my opinion.
- Ferry for a night ride to see the lit up buildings. Stay on the island but do dinner at Spring Deer one night and take the ferry back in the dark to see the building of central and causeway bay all built up.
- Wan Chai/Causeway Bay for more walking and shopping. Other good neighborhoods on the island
On the Hotel…
This insanely adorable two-year-old boutique hotel, with other locations around HK and Singapore, was full of fabulous nods to colonial British rule from a style standpoint. Floral notes abound, this hotel was covered in prints and patterns that make your heart skip a beat. From the ginormous bouquets of fresh flowers in the lobby to the metallic velvet wallpaper to the bright China floral patterns on the toiletry boxes this place was attuned to every detail. And the best part, the room was just about pitch black at night which is a common pet peeve of mine, I’ve been known to spend quite some time covering any bright object in a hotel room for a dark room to sleep in. Inside beauty aside, this hotel also boasts a top HK restaurant Ta Vie and a fabulous cocktail bar with creative libations from a well-known mixologist, Envoy. I’m not usually a cocktail girl but the ginseng hummer was my order two nights in a row. Finally, what really clinched this hotel as a top recommendation for future HK travelers (myself included) is the location. It’s in the middle of the best neighborhood and walking distance to everything from the Central ferry terminal to IFC to almost every great restaurant new and old that the city has to offer.
On Food & Shopping…
In Hong Kong food is where it’s at, and I was especially anxious to squeeze in as many meals as possible. We arrived in the late afternoon quite hungry with late dinner reservations so after dropping our bags we made the one block trek to, what I’ve read is, the best bowl of wonton noodle soup in the city and it did not disappoint – Maks Noodles. We got one regular bowl and one with the beef tendon. The classic was just that, classic. The beef tendon (brisket) was the amped-up version: heavier broth, deeper flavor and fall apart brisket. After Maks, we hit the town for some shopping – Zara, Y3, and yes Abercrombie and Fitch. Don’t ask why we decided to pop our heads in but let me say 2 things. 1) they actually make some really awesome stuff, which I bought, and no it doesn’t have a huge moose anywhere in sight, but it does smell strong of “fierce” and 2) why isn’t there anyone in the marketing department working on a campaign around #AF… when in their history have their initials had such great pop culture relevance as now??? I think they’re due for a comeback, and then they’re gonna be #CoolAF again.