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The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong – how to waste a view

If you look at the picture above you are probably thinking one of two things:

  • Wow, somehow they managed to sneak onto the set of the new Starwars film George Lucas is filming in Hong Kong; or
  • Why have Tom and Jen put up a picture of some weird nightclub they went to in the 1980’s when they must have both still been kids?

Well disturbingly both of those thoughts are wrong. This is in fact Hong Kong’s newest, most glamourous, highest, blingest, hotel – the Ritz-Carlton. Their website says the hotel enables you to “experience the vibrant energy and breathtaking beauty of China“. Hmmm.

However, this is what happens when you entrust the interior design of what is meant to be a luxurious hotel to the Japanese “architects” responsible for Bathing Ape or BAPE stores. I.e. deliquent schoolkids who previous work is designing concrete housings for over fluroscent streetwear. You get shock and awe, but in a bad way.

Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong and their Lounge Bar
A chandelier which must have been inspired by the thought "Louis XIV but bad"

When you eat or drink in the Ritz’s Lounge & Bar or Ozone (their top floor bar), you should be enjoying the view out over Hong Kong’s seductive skyline from the highest bars in the world. You don’t need much else. Really, you just need them to be a “frame” which doesn’t distract from the view. However at the Ritz, the interiors shout and scream “tacky” to such an extent that you are focused on the inward horror rather than the skyline.

Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong and their Lounge Bar
Why not put a big red Christmas tree light in the middle of the Lounge bar (twice)?

And the picutures above are all from the Lounge Bar which is actually the Ritz’s most refined effort. If you want to raze your eyes with LED lighting, curves, synethic materials thrown together with wood and stone, bad drinks, a waste in every way, go up to the Ozone bar. It is so actively full of visual deitrus you are hard pressed to see out of the windows.

The Lounge Bar, despite looking like a big red Christmas tree is somewhat better as it least it isn’t full of thugs in football shirts and people trying to compete on who has the most garish Gucci handbag.

Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong and their Lounge Bar
The view from outside of the entrance of the Ritz - probably the best in HK

Still the picture above is what you should be focusing on if the Ritz didn’t try its damndest to ruin it.

  • Price – your eyeballs
  • The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong


  1. I’m glad we agree on this, Tom.

  2. Ha Ha I love the line about the 1980s night club. Looks very Russian to me….

  3. Jonny Berger

    “deitrus” … snigger

  4. agree on the decor, what did younthink of the food?

    “We started on some starters.  Which were of an excellent quality and boded well for the rest of the meal.  My husband arrived (by taxi – also obviously a better idea than bus) in a slightly dishevelled post-flight state and tucked in.  The hot and sour soup was great.  And then things all became a little strange and mediocre.  The pigeon was no better than the local dive in Lamma, declared my ex-hippy ex-Lamma now more yuppy mummy friend.  The beef was good quality, but lacked that something special that would set it apart in flavour.  The white wine was under-chilled. Being Westerners we weren’t deemed worthy of the apparently extensive tea list, but were denied Oolong tea (my favourite) and delegated to Jasmine tea.  The rather large light pictured above kind of says it all.  It’s the type of light more commonly associated with rather dark and dingy bars of port cities.  You know, the old ship’s wheel with some bulbs dangling on.  But then on steroids.”

    • I haven’t eaten there despite going a few times. I did enquire at the high level Cantonese restaurant there – Tin Lung Heen – about their menu and had a quick discussion with the chef but thought the prices were rather high for what I guessed would be good rather than exceptional high level Canto food.

      I was going to test it out with dim sum but found I would have to wait a few months to get in and thought… maybe not.

  5. can’t agree more. old school grandeur, we ate at tin lung heen which cost us our arms, legs and eyeballs. And the food? Even the beautiful sky high view could not make up for the bad service and insanely overpriced average food.

    • I was going to try to go to some of the R-C restaurants, then I went there, found out they were booked out for about 2 months and thought… good riddance.

      I’ll eat more economically and better elsewhere

  6. Trippy man trippy …….

  7. you are so funny tom! but i hear you… i have heard its hideous!

  8. And I loved the line “Louis XIV but bad”. Haha, straight to the point.
    Shame on me, I haven´t visited the Ritz Carlton yet, but now, I can´t wait to go there and see all that design “splendor” 😉

    ps food, is it good?

    • The view – really annoyingly – is amazing!

    • Woops forgot to comment on the food but, you have to book a couple of months in advance for good times and people who hvae been say it is good but more expensive than other restaurants which are doing similar things.

      And there are a lot of expensive Japanese/ high Cantonese/ Italian places in Hong Kong!

  9. Mystery

    Sounds pretty whiney

  10. I am looking forward to go, but just for the view. I know what I am going to find in the bar, disappoiting tss… it should have been better according to the place and the views.

  11. PhilD

    Tom – just returned from our second meal there. Agree on the decor: not to my taste either.

    My guess is that we are not the target market, as it sits next to the new high speed rail terminal, and thus will be the gateway for many from the PRC. My supposition is that it is designed with this in mind and given the hordes of locals/mainlanders there on Sunday it seems to work – it was packed with the high tea seemingly the most popular.

    Food – we had our second dim sum lunch there and again it was superb. It is expensive, but then so are the other places of this ilk in HK. For me the quality of cooking is far higher than more mainstream places like Fu Sing and thus worth the price differential. I find the service in the restaurant to be very good, but in the lounge pretty bad which is odd.

    Strange comment upthread about the tea menu, we were offered three drinks menus when we said we wanted both tea and wine; the tea list is extensive including a particular noxious rose petal tea: the girls loved it the boys stuck to the white Rioja (which was served at a perfect temperature).

    Enjoy Seoul – time to search out the warm clothes – it is freezing up there in winter!

  12. Couldn’t agree more. i was totally freaked out by the hideous multicolored LED lighting. two words, bad taste.

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