It’s hard to find a bad view from within the Kerry Hotel Hong Kong. Whether staring out from the outdoor infinity pool, the trendy patio bar, the exclusive Club, or a Deluxe Sea View Suite, almost every angle of this chic, modern property offers gorgeous vistas of Hong Kong’s expansive Victoria Harbour.
Located on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong (as in, across the harbour from the main Hong Kong Island), the Kerry is a Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts-run establishment, but under a new brand name—meaning you get the same level of quality and the same impeccable service, but with a youthful, contemporary twist. Instead of the lush opulence and overt elegance that Shangri-Las are known for the world over (including at Vancouver’s, which celebrates 10 years in 2019), the Kerry offers a more subdued and playful version of high-end hotelling. Even the lobby’s signature scent—which is the same in every property carrying the Shangri-La name—is different at the Kerry. Called Walk in the Woods, this one is made with jasmine, lemon, and bergamot for a soft, intoxicatingly musky experience; it gets pumped through the vents so that the air smells amazing at every moment.
But back to the views. Even rooms that don’t offer sights of Victoria Harbour have their own distinct city charms. Just across the street from the Kerry are a series of quintessential Hong Kong buildings, standing tall with their primary colours and blocky yet pleasingly symmetrical designs. There is also a high school with a curving white staircase—with pops of hot pink wall, of course. And regardless of what’s out the window, every room includes a handy smartphone for maps and tourist information that can be used free of charge when out and about in town.
Speaking of town, getting across the water to Central Hong Kong is a simple ride aboard the Star Ferry, or a 15-minute taxi; once there, find Canadian Matt Abergel’s famed Yardbird, along with a trendy local staple called Little Bao and a hidden Earnest Hemingway-inspired cocktail bar called The Old Man. Hong Kong Island undoubtedly has the bulk of the food and dining hot spots, which could deter people from staying across the water at the Kerry. But in all fairness, the Kowloon side has noteworthy sights as well, including the destination of Mong Kok: a true feast for the eyes and senses with its smattering of outdoor markets, street vendors, sit-down restaurants, and sneaker stores.
Keeping things even closer to home, the Kerry has plenty of eateries for both casual and high-end authentic meals. On the main floor is Dockyard (a nod to the Hung Hom Bay area’s former life as a shipyard), a food court-style setup with eight food stalls offering everything from Chinese to Indian. “We’re selling the concept of having a food court in a hotel—with hotel service and quality,” says communications manager Bonida Chan as she tours around the property, pointing out art pieces and showing off the impressive presidential suite.
Or there’s Hung Tong, a gorgeous space on the seventh floor that celebrates Chinese cuisine both past and present (and has a neon installation by Hong Kong-born artist Adrian Wong out front). From deep-fried shrimp with a sweet mango sauce to goose wrapped in filo pastry and shaped to look like the bird, it’s all here for the taking (and eating).
Amidst it all is The Club Lounge for Golden Circle Diamond members and guests staying in Club Rooms or Suites. Here, find a wide selection of pastry, fruit, bread, and hot dishes for breakfast, plus an evening cocktail social with enough snacks to pass as dinner. Sip on a barrel-aged negroni and watch as boats zoom by in the harbour.
Opened in April 2017 and billed as Hong Kong’s first urban resort, Kerry is already a popular spot for events (this author spotted a wedding and an Yves Saint Laurent Beauté event), helping it appeal to a healthy mix of locals and visitors. For fans of the Shangri-La name who want to try something new while still keeping it in the family, Kerry offers relaxed luxury with all of the trimmings. But it also offers a bit of playful flair, a little whimsy. Staring out over the island skyline, it’s hard to find fault with that.