Living in the world’s most vertical city certainly gives a girl an appetite for heights. A true Hong Konger’s vertigo kicks in when they find themselves in low-lying country. We like altitude and we like it in style, cocktail in hand and with mesmerising views! With a whole host of dazzlingly high hotels perched atop the world’s tallest buildings, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
Not to boast or anything, but we’re proud to say that the world’s highest hotel is right here in Hong Kong. At a whopping 484 metres high with the hotel occupying the 101st to 118th floors, it stands proud amongst its competitors. If you don’t have time to schedule in a stay, the hotel is best experienced from Ozone, the semi-open top bar perched on the 118th floor (the world’s highest bar is another accolade well deserved) offering up fantastic cocktails. Slightly lower down on the 103rd floor are a range of other dining and drinking options with delicious gourmet food, afternoon teas and other delightful treats on offer in a more enclosed environment. But for the full show stopping experience, nothing beats a stay at the hotel and a bit of pampering in their spa. Find the full low down on both rooms and spa in our in depth Sassy reviews.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2263 2263, www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/HongKong/Default.htm
Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Despite no shortage of land to build on, our friends in the UAE have a love of building upward. With a whole range of tall hotels to choose from, our pick has to be the famous Burj al Arab. We’ve chosen this hotel partly because it’s the most iconic, partly as it’s one of the original sky-scraping hotels but mainly because it is possibly the most brash and showiest in our whole selection! Mystical dancing fountains greet you on your entrance before you are whipped up 280 metres to the opulent rooms, fine dining restaurant and buzzing bar. Whilst it may be one of our shorter contenders, the hotel occupies the whole building allowing for al fresco dining on the ground floor and wide-open views from the top.
Burj Al Alrab, Jumeira 3, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, +971 4 301 7777, www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab
Shangri La at the Shard, London
One of the most recent sky scraping options is the hotly anticipated Shangri La in London’s new tallest building, The Shard. Situated in the heart of the Capital’s famed London Bridge area, the hotel occupies the 34th to 52nd floors of this iconic building. Infusing Asian standards of hospitality and odes to the Shangri La’s recognisable design approach, this hotel is breath taking. The hotel covers all four outlooks of the city with each side offering up a different view. Be prepared to pay a premium for a North side room that captures all of London’s most famous landmarks – but the cheaper rooms that look South are no less impressive. All rooms are unique so if you want a bath by the window, ask in advance. Even if it’s a bit too pricy for you to stay there, book into their lively 52nd floor cocktail bar, Gong, for a tipple before descending back to the 34th floor for a delicious dinner at Ting, which serves up sumptuous food and obviously, more of that drool-worthy view. For a real insider’s perspective, join their daily tour of the hotel at 11 and 4 everyday.
Shangri-La at the Shard London, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9QU, United Kingdom, www.shangri-la.com/london/shangrila
Park Hyatt Shanghai
Shanghai is a city of gigantic proportions, squashing together old and new and Western and Eastern in a fusion of smells, sights and noises. The city has to be explored by foot to get to its heart (see our City Guide here) but to gain a full perspective of the maze that it truly is, you need to head upwards. There’s no better place to do that than the Park Hyatt. Located in the iconic Shanghai World Financial Centre, it is a mighty 492 metres high and occupies the 79th to 93rd floors. Those who can’t stay can still benefit from the views by dining or drinking on site in the 87th floor restaurant, which is a darn better way to see the city than paying for a viewing platform. But again, the experience is best appreciated by waking up with panoramic views of the city waiting for you in the world-class rooms at this impressive hotel.
Park Hyatt, 100 Century Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai, China, 200120, www.shanghai.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
If you’re budget can’t quite stretch to the Park Hyatt, then there are some other Shanghai options that dish up a view that is almost as good. Our personal favourite is the Hotel Indigo, perched on the opposite side of the river and with a more modest but no less impressive height, it nonetheless offers views of the business district, Bund and more Western quarters, perhaps best appreciated from the ever popular rooftop Char bar.
Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund, No.585 Zhong Shan Dong Er Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China, www.ihg.com/hotelindigo/hotels/us/en/shanghai/shgnb/hoteldetail
Park Hyatt, Tokyo
Sometimes it’s more important for a hotel to be cool, iconic and suited to its own city than soaring ever higher into the sky. Tokyo isn’t the highest of Asian cities, so the Park Hyatt’s bashful occupation of the 39th to 52nd floors are actually perfectly poised to give you 360 degree views of the whole city. Wake up to the sight of the sun bouncing off Mount Fuji and be lulled to sleep by the thousands of red lights that top the city’s office blocks. Famous for its use as the backdrop in Lost in Translation, it is a true Tokyo rite of passage to have a drink listening to the live music in the New York bar. Be prepared for high prices though as this is Tokyo’s most in-demand spot. The rooms are spacious, luxurious, but don’t try to overpower the views beyond them and make for the perfect spot to explore the city (check out our City Guide here). Make sure you schedule some time in the gym and skylight covered pool for a workout that will make you giddy.
Park Hyatt, Tokyo, 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, www.tokyo.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html