Hotel ICON: Where To Stay In Hong Kong
You can often sense that a hotel fits into a contemporary and luxurious blueprint from its architecture, its passion about art, design, food and culture and its approach of providing guests with service that is world-class as it is familiar. A handful of hotels tick those boxes but one such hotel in Hong Kong that does it with ease is Hotel ICON.
Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Glenn and I recently stayed in the Club 38 Harbour room. We arrived at the hotel at 7am, barely surviving from the overnight flight, and our senses were instantly awaken by the light-filled, open space.
Hotel ICON, designed by Rocco Yim, has a contemporary grandeur – there is a twirling staircase in the lobby that compliments the circular seating, a commanding shaped vertical garden (also Asia’s largest indoor one, 18m in height to be exact) in the brasserie and bar on the ground floor and industrial furniture that round up the modern elegance. The hotel also showcases over 100 art pieces from acclaimed artists and the pieces reflect Hong Kong’s cultural spirit.
One of the prominent features of Hong Kong is its skyscrapers contrasting against the mountainous and harbour views and to showcase this, Hotel Icon has used an all glass exterior which offers guests an expansive view. Imagine the both of us waking up every morning to a breathtaking view, watching morning joggers doing their deeds and junk boats sailing towards the morning light.
While the weather was mostly overcast and at times chilly (it was early March and winter has just finished), it did not deter us from doing our morning swim (or “600” laps as Glenn often calls his swim achievement).
I will admit that the chill did occasionally get the better of me even though the pool was an inviting heated one but the impressive skyline was enough to coerce me to strip down, power through those laps and work up an appetite for breakfast. Glenn decided once or twice that he would much rather sweat it out at the gym and he played his cards right – the glass exterior overlooks the pool and Victoria Harbour which definitely eases the idea of working out.
Hotel ICON has three restaurants – Above & Beyond which serves exquisitely prepared Cantonese cuisine and winner of the Conde Nast Traveller UK “Best New Restaurant 2012: Hotel Tables” award; The Market, an open-plan kitchen that serves international delights from antipasti to laksas to grilled beef and Green, a cafe by day and bar by night.
Due to our jam-packed schedule, we did not manage to dine at any of these but a few locals we met at the end of our trip chastised us for bypassing The Market. We were told bookings for their buffets can easily be a 2-month wait and considering we are unstoppable when it comes to food, we were chastising ourselves for missing what could have been a delightful international tasting affair.
The hotel’s central location is a 10-minute walk from Tsim Sha Tsui station and a 7-minute walk to Victoria Harbour. The hotel provides shuttle service to Harbour City on the vibrant Canton Road and caveat to all fashionistas, if your credit card is not ready for a healthy workout avoid this shopping precinct at all cost. But something tells me that you do not go to Hong Kong just for wonton noodle soup.
In the midst of its pizzazz and creative spirit, Hotel ICON is also a “learning environment” where aspiring hoteliers come to life as part of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and an extension of its School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM). Young, luxurious and cultured and never once pretentious, bookmark this hotel for your next Hong Kong trip.