Above left: the west side of Victoria Harbour Above: the Mandarin Oriental hotel AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI49 still plays as hard as it works, and it works as hard as it can to preen and proffer its countless attractions. On a whistle- stop stay in the city, headline your trip with the following attractions. PILLOW TALK For a city with such an electric nightlife, it would seem that having somewhere to rest your head should be merely a formality, but Hong Kong does nothing by halves. Honouring its grand colonial upbringing, the city continues to think big when it comes to hospitality. The trusty clan of leading hotel chains are here along with a healthy string of gems from the boutique clique. Among the big- hitters are the recently redesigned Mandarin Oriental, the Excelsior ( reserve a harbour- front room as they all have a sofa by the bay window so you can city- gaze in comfort), The Langham, which is encircled by designer boutiques, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental with the largest rooms of any hotel in Hong Kong, the harbour- front Four Seasons, and The Peninsula: the legendary Grande Dameof the Far East. A recent addition to check out is the Harbour Grand Hong Kong, opened just a few months ago. Situated on the waterfront, it has 828 rooms, including 86 luxury suites, and is five- star opulence itself. Smaller, hipper and boutique inspired is the stylish, award- winning Hotel LKF by Rhombus in Lan Kwai Fong. TOP TABLE East and West get whisked together to delicious effect in Hong Kong's culinary scene. With a gut- busting 9,000 restaurants you can guarantee Asian fare of all varieties, along with a very wide repertoire of gourmet international offerings. As well as booking a table at the well- established, lauded gourmet establishments, simply wandering along the Yun Ping Road, Kai Chiu Road, Pak Sha Road, Lan Fong Road, Hysan Avenue, Hoi Ping Road and Yiu Wa Street offers up a veritable feast of ?
50Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 bars, sushi joints and restaurants. Causeway Bay, Times Square and the Lee Theatre Plaza are also tasty and entertaining areas to explore. For something a touch more exclusive, options abound as the celebrity chef is something of a flourishing breed in Hong Kong. Try the InterContinental's Spoon by Alain Ducasse, and its Japanese Nobu; or cross the water to Macao to sample the three Michelin stars of Robuchon a Galera. Hutong at 1 Peking Road impresses with its imperial palace style ( picture floor- to- ceiling windows giving way to the laser- light display of Hong Kong's skyscrapers), as does the impeccably sleek WasabiSabi with its glowing red glass, creative Japanese- inspired food and place- to- be- seen status. Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons, meanwhile, continues to impress with contemporary Cantonese cuisine worthy of its three Michelin stars. Another place not to miss is Cépage for its French Mediterranean cuisine and 2,100 wine labels. It's one of the most exclusive places in the city for a drink. WHAT'S IN STORE? People come to Hong Kong to make big money, and likewise they stay here to spend it. Happily accommodating this trend, every designer worth their salt lavishes an array of boutiques across town - try Paterson Street, Great George Street, Kingston Street, Sharp Street or Percival Street. As well as independent boutiques, the ultra- modern malls are the popular places to shop ( and are also crammed full of designers). Langham Place, Pacific Place and The Peak Tower are three of the big names. While visiting the latter, head to its Sky Terrace for mid- shop refreshments and 360- degree views from the terrace. Also, try the sixth- floor China Hong Kong City arcade or Granville Road, the latter of which is a hot destination for designer brand samples, unique collections and vintage gems. And spare a morning to wander around the traditional open- air markets for a dose of culture and down- to- earth haggling. AFTER DARK You don't have to travel far to find life, music and adventure in Hong Kong. Wan Chai is a popular place to start, or dart to the heart of Lan Kwai Fong where Finds is a popular club for the sophisticated crowd. Subtly hip, with top DJs and tasteful Scandinavian styling, it has a huge balcony for great views of the action on the streets below. Members- only club M1NT does occasionally deign to open its highly exclusive doors to non- members, and if you can beg or buy your way in it's worth the effort. A palace