Where to Stay in Hong Kong
Located in the beating heart of Hong Kong Island, the postcolonial charm on offer at the legendary Mandarin Oriental hotel (5 Connaught Road, Central; +852 2522 0111) is hard to beat. Glamorous and gracious in equal measure, the islands beloved Mandarin has won over decades of celebrities and dignitaries with its winning combination of old-school service and all-out luxury. Must-dos include taking afternoon tea with the tai tais and joining the jet set for some mixology at M Bar. Giorgio Armani is also said to be a huge fan of the MOs stylish little sister, the nearby Landmark Mandarin Oriental (15 Queen's Road Central, Central; +852 2132 0188) which also happens to house one of the best spas in the city.
Tucked away in the buzzing back streets of Causeway Bay, the smaller and altogether more intimate JIA Hong Kong (1-5 Irving Street, Causeway Bay) attracts visiting MCs, DJs and Prada-clad PYTs. Philippe Stark designed this haute spot as his first Asian hotel venture, and a few years on its still a popular place for Hong Kongs hipsters to hang out.
Where to Eat in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a mega-metropolis and is very proud of its extensive and eclectic food scene. With over 11,000 restaurants and 249 Michelin stars, youll find every cuisine from the Med to Mongolia on offer. It would be utter madness, though, to miss out on the mouth-watering local delicacies. Sample delicious Chinese food at the American Peking Restaurant (Lockhart Road, Wan Chai; +852 2527-7770) in lively Wan Chai. Its not fancy, but its unfailingly good food has been pulling in A-listers looking for dependable HK dining for over 40 years. At the opposite end of the gastronomic spectrum, dumplings are just one of the house specialities at Hong Kongs latest foodie hotspot, Bo Innovation (Shop 13, 2/f, J Residence, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai; +852 2850 8371). A favourite spot for celebrities and food connoisseurs, Bo has been heralded as Hong Kongs answer to El Bulli. Celebrity chef Alvin Leung Jnr. specialises in what he calls X-treme Chinese cuisine, a combination of centuries old recipes and innovative modern techniques reservations are a must.
Where to Go Out in Hong Kong
Following a decadent evening at one of Hong Kongs key clubs Dragon-i, Volar or Yumla nurse your hangover at the South Bay Beach Club (South Bay Beach, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong; +852 2812 6015). Sunday afternoon here sees pitchers of margaritas go round as DJs set up and the sun goes down.
Where to Shop in Hong Kong
Visiting Hong Kong is like hitting the shopping mother lode. Whether youre after the latest gadgets or designer goods, the islands tax-free status and relentless appetite for more, more, more means extraordinary savings can be made. Several designer labels are manufactured in nearby China, and as a result these same stores have outlet shops dotted around the island. Visit Pedder Street in Central for cut-price cashmere, savings on the finest silks and bargain basement buys from the likes of DKNY and Calvin Klein.
The Times Square mall is the best place for innovative electronics with international guarantees and savings of at least 20%. And bargain-hunters should put on some comfy shoes and hit the street markets. Ladies Market is a mile-long treasure trove of affordable accessories, while the Temple Street Night Market is awash with brightly lit stalls selling an astonishing array of clothing, crazy gismos and top-brand suitcases which youll probably need to cart home all your swag.
What to Wear in Hong Kong
Summer in Hong Kong is hot and humid and hair tends to expand (think Diana Ross in the Chain Reaction video ) so either embrace it with a big beautiful blow-dry or slick it down. Apart from that, easy-glam is a simple code to follow. Shanghai Tang and Vivienne Tam are both popular local design houses but remember fashion-conscious Hong Kong is obsessed with finding accent pieces and accessories to illustrate their own style so whatever you go for be sure to make it your own.
Dont Leave Without
a night at the races. Hong Kongs second favourite hobby (after shopping) is horseracing. Wednesday night at Happy Valley racecourse is packed with passionate punters and those who just want to eat up the excitement. Theres also plenty of food and drink available, and best of all you can extend your evening with a trip to nearby, wicked Wan Chai (the former red-light district) where most of the bars offer free drinks for the ladies all night long.
Beauty SOS Where to Go for Pampering in Hong Kong
Youll see neon pictures of feet all over Hong Kong which advertise the incredibly popular pastime of foot massage. Pop in anywhere you see the sign theyre all regulated and blow away jetlag with an hour of Chinese reflexology. For a more upscale experience the Oriental Spa at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental offers a soothing Time Ritual treatment which will more than fulfil all your Asian spa fantasies while resetting the bodys circadian rhythms.