Hotel Review: Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong
From a flawless entry to unlimited Veuve Clicquot, the Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong is a welcome respite from the vibrant city of Hong Kong. We’ve long been big fans of the Shangri-La brand and the classic elegance they exude through their decor, service and quality of offerings. Max and I spent 3 glorious nights in the lap of luxury and can’t wait to share our experience with you.
Located on the vibrant Island side of Hong Kong, the Shangri-La sits on top of a beautiful mall and the metro line (Admiralty Station). It’s also a short 15-minute walk from Victoria Peak and the main shopping district of Central. Mong Kok is approximately 10 minutes away by Metro. Given that access to any part of the city is incredibly easy, the location is 5 stars all around. The hotel is situated next to the JW Marriott, Upper House hotel and the Conrad, making this a hub for business and leisure travelers alike.
Lobby & Check in experience: 5/5
We were picked up by the Shangri-La in their brand new signature-color Mercedes and whisked away to the Island Shangri-La hotel. Cold towels, water and L’Occitane products were provided for us to Ooo and Ahh over until we arrived. Once we arrived, we had the most flawless entrance I think we’ve ever experienced. Since we were booked into the Horizon Club level, we were greeted by senior management and whisked up the waiting elevator, directly to our room, forgoing the usual reception check-in experience. It was truly impressive and breathtaking. And don’t worry, it’s not just because we were hosted. All Horizon Club guests are greeted by senior management and checked into their room directly.
Before we knew what was happening, we were being served tea in the traditional way by the lovely Joyce and provided our keys. Overall, there is no better way to arrive than one where you feel like a total VIP.
The lobby itself is stunning: bright, airy and with a beautiful banyan tree outside the large windows. There is a lobby bar, spectacular chandelier and (at the time) a beautiful Christmas display.
Our Horizon Club Harbour View Room was located on the 54th floor of the hotel with a spectacular view over the harbour and city skyline. The room is 479 square feet of pure elegance, complete with a chandelier, Nespresso machine (my fave!) and size-able bathroom.
The Horizon Club rooms also come with access to the stunning 56th floor Horizon Club that offers breakfast, daily snacks and free-flowing Veuve Clicquot, cocktails and canapés every evening. We raced back from our adventures every day to experience the amazing canapés and champagne and chat about our day as the sun set over the city. This upgrade is 100% worth it in our opinion and provided a delicious way to start and end the day.
While on property, we learned that they will be undergoing renovations to update the rooms and we were excited to learn this as some of the elements were outdated in the room- mainly related to technology. However, I will say the hotel did an excellent job making up for some of the missing tech pieces by providing charging cords that reached the nightstand, to ensure guests did not have to go looking for an outlet. We do hope that they keep the classic elegance of the room in the renovation, because we felt so at home in the cozy, elegant space. The rooms are also exceptionally quiet, providing a wonderful night sleep for both Max and I.
Turndown was absolutely our favorite part of the room because it always came with little treats and was always immaculately done. Our robes and slippers were ready for us as we returned from our evening adventures.
The Island Shangri-La has a size-able and well-appointed fitness center next to the outdoor pool. Inside the fitness center is also a “spa” area with a hot tub, steam and sauna. It is our understanding that they are making updates to the spa area, so the women’s area is new and fresh, while the men’s area has some peeling paint and needs an update.
As we mention earlier, the property is directly on top of a large shopping mall and the metro station, providing access to the rest of the city and world-class shopping. You do not even need to leave the doors of the hotel to access the rest of the city. We found the metro to be significantly faster than a Taxi, depending on where we were going. It was safe, clean and very convenient.
The Horizon Club alone is a 5 star facility, with a dedicated concierge and meal service throughout the day. If you’re wondering if it’s worth the upgrade – it is.
We spent most of our “dining time” at the Horizon Club, which provided exceptional canapés that were enough to fill you for dinner. The lounge had a wide spread of food that changed nightly and included spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, salads, desserts, meat and vegetarian options.
We did also indulge in breakfast at Petrus twice as well as room service on our last morning. The food everywhere was excellent and Petrus just received their Michelin Star back, which was very exciting.
On our last night, we had drinks at the Lobster Bar, which just won the 39th best bar in Asia and we had a blast getting to know Bob Louison (Bar Manager) and Jonathan (Bartender). They poured some incredible cocktails and the atmosphere was so much fun. I can’t recommend the Lobster Bar enough if you’re looking for some excellent cocktails in Hong Kong.
True to Shangri-La’s reputation, the staff lived up to every word. The service goes beyond just training- true passion for hospitality was present in every person we met on property. People were proud to work there, to serve you, to tell you everything about the hotel and about Hong Kong. We spent hours chatting away with staff like Hayden in the Horizon Club!
We classify 5-star service as getting what you want before you know you want it. The staff at the hotel anticipated every need and appeared practically out of thin air before you could finish your drink to pour you another. In fact, Hayden even told us when we joked about how quick he was, that the champagne is best when it’s cold so it was his duty to make sure we never ran empty.
We absolutely love the classic elegance the Shangri-La offers. It fits in so seamlessly in its environment and is a welcome retreat from the city. The Asian-inspired decor, opulent chandeliers around every bend and the daily changing carpets in the elevators add a flare to the property that we absolutely love.
With the renovation, we are excited to see the modernization, however, we hope they maintain some of the classic Asian style that makes the Shangri-La so elegant.
We fell in love with the Island Shangri-La and the impeccable service we experienced while on property. From a flawless arrival to the beautiful send-off, we could not have asked for a better stay.
I will say as well that we visited amidst the hype around the protests in December 2019 and we experienced nothing but gracious hospitality from everyone we met in Hong Kong. No matter when you visit, it’s a great time to experience this beautiful, vibrant city and we highly recommend the Island Shangri-La. As we mentioned, they are going to renovate the property starting January 2020, so we look forward to providing and update on our next visit post renovations!
Disclaimer: We were hosted by Shangri-La Hotels on a media stay. Please know the opinions expressed are all our own and may not reflect the hotel’s own views.