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This Might Be Hong Kong’s Best Hotel, As We Discovered On A 36-hour Stopover

The Island Shangri-La Hotel offers an unparalleled blend of traditional Chinese elegance and modern luxury. 

This Might Be Hong Kong’s Best Hotel, As We Discovered On A 36-hour Stopover

We spent two unforgettable nights in a Harbour View Suite on the 52nd floor at the Island Shangri-La, basking in Hong Kong’s best luxury. Here’s why the Island Shangri-La is the hottest property in this underrated stopover city. 

Thanks to the pandemic, Hong Kong is often overlooked as a stopover destination. But it’s now making a triumphant return as China awakens from its four-year slumber, and the Island Shangri-La is the perfect place to experience this resurgence.

The hotel is conveniently located within the newly completed Pacific Place shopping centre, which means luxury brands like Celine, Loewe, and Gucci are just an elevator ride away. It’s also conveniently close to the Admiralty MTR station, making it a handy base for business travellers and families alike.

The upper floor rooms offer breathtaking views of the Peak and Hong Kong harbour. The rooms themselves are testament to the hotel’s commitment to luxury, with a mix of traditional and newly renovated spaces, enhanced by the quiet elegance of the ongoing renovations.

Image: Conde Nast

There are even floors dedicated to children’s themes to ensure that younger guests are entertained all day while adults can indulge in high-end amenities, while the staff at the Island Shangri-La are exemplary, attending to every need with warmth and professionalism. Being addressed by our surname added a personal touch that elevated our stay. 

Whether arranging a pre-wedding shoe shine or fulfilling a business request, their attention to detail was impeccable. The scents that waft through the hotel evoke a sense of home and tranquillity, making even the most anxious traveller (like myself) feel at ease. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave.

Art enthusiasts will find the hotel’s extensive collection a delight. Among the many pieces is “The Great Motherland of China,” a 167-foot-high silk painting, one of the largest paintings in the world, which spans multiple floors and adds to the hotel’s artistic charm. 

Rolls Royce Phantom. Photo: DMARGE
A grand entrance. Photo: DMARGE

For those who prefer a grand entrance, the hotel offers a fleet of courtesy cars, including a Rolls Royce Phantom and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, ready to chauffeur guests in style. I dared not ask for a transfer to the airport, but in hindsight, I should have. 

Most importantly, the Island Shangri-La is all about sustainability and minimising impact on the environment. Everywhere you turn, there are little touches to help improve the hotel’s use of plastic and electricity. Who knew luxury could be so good for the environment?

Discovering the luxurious rooms at the Island Shangri-La

Spacious and views. Photo: DMARGE

Regarding opulence, the Island Shangri-La never disappointed. During my recent stay, I enjoyed experiencing one of their finest accommodations: the newly renovated Harbour View Suite. This room is one of the best in the hotel, if not in all of Hong Kong.

Space and Amenities

The living quarters. Photo: DMARGE

The sheer size of the suite is astounding, especially considering the compact nature of most Hong Kong apartments. This suite felt more like a grand residence than a hotel room. Every conceivable luxury was at our fingertips: a fully stocked mini-bar and kitchenette, a selection of fine teas and coffees, and two massive 65-inch LCD televisions loaded with an array of news and entertainment channels.

The suite even has everything needed to mix your cocktails. Beer, wine, and a mini bottle of vintage Krug were available. There’s a water vessel included, perfect for gym-goers who might forget their own. Not to mention Asahi is for the beer-loving traveller like me.

Exceptional Views and Never-Ending Comfort


One of the highlights of the Harbour View Suite is its stunning, sweeping views of the harbour and the city. Being a corner room, we were treated to a panoramic vista impossible not to stare at, out into the distance of mainland China. Whether day or night, the view never failed to impress.

The suite also features two bathrooms and a living room with a dining table fit for four. We were greeted with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot upon our arrival, a welcome touch that set the tone for our luxurious stay. The living room boasts a 180-degree sofa, perfect for enjoying the spectacular view or the equally spectacular television.

Practical Luxuries

Walk in wardrobe. Photo: DMARGE

Storage is never an issue here, with a spacious walk-in wardrobe accommodating the attire and accessories of two very well-dressed individuals. The suite also offers Bluetooth connectivity in the bathroom, allowing guests to enjoy their favourite music while preparing for a special event or business meeting.

Security is always paramount, and the large wall safe ensures that valuables, including high-end items like Rolex and Patek watches, are kept secure. The second bathroom offers an additional layer of comfort for those who value privacy.

An Elevated Experience

Kitchenette complete with cocktails. Photo: DMARGE

Situated on the 51st floor, the suite provides a mesmerising perspective of Hong Kong. The high vantage point means you never tire of gazing out at the bustling city below, whether you’re relaxing in the suite or entertaining guests.

This incredible suite costs around $12,000 HKD per night, approximately $2,300 AUD. Considering the luxury and the exceptional experience, it represents great value for money. Living like royalty for a weekend or a week in Hong Kong is an experience that is well worth the price.

A Spa and gymnasium worthy of a king… or queen.

High-end health club amenities without the Fitness First creeps. Photo: DMARGE

Renowned as one of the best hotel gyms, second only to Dubai’s Atlantis The Royal, Yun Wellness offers a blend of amenities and modern equipment.

The changing rooms feature marble floors and electronic lockers. Complimentary bathrobes and deodorant are provided, ensuring a smooth transition from workout to work. The facilities include both an infrared sauna and a traditional sauna, offering options for post-exercise relaxation.


The gym has the latest Technogym equipment, ensuring you never have to wait for a bench. The hotel has even replaced bottled water with refill stations that track how many bottles have been saved from landfills, promoting environmental consciousness.

Then there’s the spa—wow. Just wow. We experienced the Million-Dollar Men’s Facial by Dr. Burgener of Switzerland. Specifically designed for men’s skin, this facial is cleansing, healing, and oil-controlling. 

A spa treatment of gods and men. Photo: DMARGE

White and grey clays are applied to deeply cleanse, absorb oils and sebum, and provide nourishing minerals. This deep cleansing allows the skin to absorb hyaluronic-acid-rich serums, restoring hydration and soothing irritation fully.

It was one hour of pure bliss in their spa sanctuary. We were greeted with complimentary ginger tea upon arrival and relaxed in the lounge area after our treatment. No joke — my skin has never looked better. 


At around $500 AUD for the hour, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend your downtime at the hotel. Go on. Treat yo’self.

Lobster lords, bad-ass buffets and a breakfast of champions.

Breakfast on the 56th floor. Photo: DMARGE

Under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky, the Island Shangri-La has some pretty big shoes to fill in the culinary stakes. What better way than to ‘eat the ass out of a low-flying duck’ than to try every restaurant over 36 hours.

To start this culinary journey, I visited Petrus on the 56th floor for my one and only breakfast at the hotel. In true fashion, I chose something that wasn’t on the menu.

6 egg whites, spinach, tomatoes. This recent health kick has made for boring eating, but the staff couldn’t be happier to oblige. 


As a business traveller, it’s easy to get swept up in eating crap, and especially after the gym workout and infrared sauna, I had grand ambitions of eating well that morning. That was until I spotted the Portugese tarts and croissants…. Goodbye, calorie control for the day. 

Later that day, whilst planning my shopping trip at the Pacific Plaza, I opted to go off schedule and treat myself to Cafe Too. This restaurant within the hotel wouldn’t be my first choice as I’m not a buffet guy.

That said… it was awesome. Everything you can possibly think of was available, and the place was buzzing with families and friends all coming together for a five-star buffet experience. Seafood, traditional Cantonese dishes and the desserts, yes, the desserts were fire. It cost me around $600 HKD for the buffet, and whilst I didn’t overindulge, it would be awesome to come again and really get my eat on. 

The food-a-thon didn’t stop there: Chef Carey treated me to one hell of a last supper at Lobster Bar & Grill. The LBG is an upmarket steak and seafood restaurant that’s perfect for surf and turf lovers like myself. 

Surf andturf. Photo: DMARGE
Choc lobster. Photo: DMARGE

Chef Carey welcomed us with a series of unique dishes like a full artichoke, something I’d never experienced before, lobster bisque and finally, a full lobster and a perfectly cooked sirloin steak with a side of asparagus and mash potato. Pure bliss. 

The meal was finished with chocolate lobster claws and washed with more Veuve Cliquot. 

The Wrap Up

Not leaving. Ever. Photo: DMARGE

Make no mistake, the Island Shangri-La is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a luxurious hotel perfect for your next Hong Kong stopover. It’s best enjoyed with your partner or family because there’s so many cool little things I kept discovering even after 36 hours at the property. 

My biggest regret was having to leave at 2 a.m. to catch a flight to Europe and not getting to enjoy my final breakfast of egg whites and Portuguese tarts; a modern tragedy. 

Rest assured, there are a number of wonderful rooms available to suit most budgets. In our case, we scored the suite, and I will be back to sample it again. 

Head over to their website to check out more of the hotel and what it has to offer.