REVIEW: Hong Kong’s Hotel VIC is a harbor front home away from home
Perched on the shore of Hong Kong’s famous harbor in one of the city’s most fashionable up-and-coming neighborhoods, Hotel VIC is as luxurious as it is dynamic. The newly-built twin-tower skyscraper has a whopping 665 rooms overlooking the azure waters of Victoria Harbor. The design is smart, sleek, and fresh, the food is tantalizing yet sumptuous, and the beds are incredibly comfortable.
Harborfront properties fetch an enormous premium in Hong Kong. But, along a quieter (and some would argue more authentic) section of Hong Kong Island’s coastline Hotel VIC gives stunning harbor views without the eye-watering price tag. The hotel is a stone’s throw from North Point tram and metro stations. Guests can zip into the famous nightlife districts of Wan Chai, Lan Kwai Fong and Soho in under 30 minutes. There’s plenty of old-world charm with traditional wet markets, street vendors, and restaurants within walking distance. Increasingly, there’s hip bars and music venues to search out. If that wasn’t enough, the ferry station is just five minutes walk—a perfectly romantic (and affordable) way to get round the city and take in the harbor views.
Hotel VIC welcomes everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Staff assured this reviewer there won’t be any of those awkward questions over double beds. The hotel is not far from some of Hong Kong’s gay bars and saunas in Wan Chai district The Sheung Wan ‘gayborhood’ is about 25 minutes on the subway.
All the rooms in both the east and the west tower afford dramatic views over Victoria Harbor. If you wish to spoil yourself premium corner rooms afford panoramic views of the water and skyline. The design is sleek yet welcoming and comfortable. It is also very utilitarian — lights, sockets, and switches just where you want them. The room comes with an espresso machine, super-fast WiFi, and a portable Wifi device. If that wasn’t enough the mini-bar is free!
Hotel VIC’s striking twin towers are recognizable from around the neighborhood and even across the harbor. Arriving, a vibrant, proud, colorful port cochere welcomes guests. Inside, a two-tier lobby has vast windows, marble screens, and textured glass to make the most of the stunning cityscape outside. There’s a huge number of contemporary artworks across the hotel. Highlights include an installation in the lobby by Portuguese artist Pedro Calapez, and Spanish sculptor Maria Oriza’s modern ceramic structure.
Some of you may be drawn by the name of the rooftop restaurant—Cruise. It serves high-end stylish European dishes such from seafood to steak all with a giddying view over the sea below. At the other end of the hotel on the ground floor, Farmhouse serves a very impressive breakfast spread each morning—including Western, Japanese, Indian and other favorites. If the weather permits, start your day al fresco by sitting outside in the restaurant’s charming garden.
Service and amenities
Sports lovers must head straight to the roof where a 24-hour gym and 25-meter infinity pool look out over the skyline and harbor. Inside the gym is the hotel’s piece de resistance: a virtual reality flying machine. With the ICAROS you can soar over mountains and battle space ships while sculpting, shaping, and toning your physique. It is a geek’s dream work out. Those of you visiting more for business than pleasure will be pleased t make use of the lobby — where a a common work area with plenty of sockets is perfect for a bit of work.
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Author: Rik Glauert