This week, I really wanted to blog about my old hometown, Hong Kong, not only because it’s Chinese New Year - may you all hop to new heights in the Year of the Rabbit – but also because my brother, who still lives in HK, called me to tell me Kate Moss was floating around town a couple of weeks ago. Apparently the luscious Miss Moss regularly swoops into the Asian metropolis and the word is that she usually stays at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental Hotel – which happens to be a hotel that I know and love from my childhood years in Hong Kong. So here’s the lowdown…
Like catching a glimpse of your favourite celebrity, seeing the Hong Kong skyline for the first time is a breathtaking heart-racing experience. This little island is unbelievably glamorous: a vertical playground full of colour, aroma, and taste, with more light, spectacle, and sparkle than the Bulgari Christmas window display. Celebrities have been streaming in to the city since it exploded onto the celebrity scene in the Sixties and Seventies when iconic couples like Mick and Bianca Jagger, and Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson rubbed shoulders with sporting legend Muhammad Ali and political heavyweights Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. The rich, the beautiful, and the powerful still love to swing by Hong Kong; recent sightings include Nicole Kidman, Bill Clinton, and, of course, Kate Moss.
Any first time visitor to Hong Kong should definitely traverse the Victoria Peak, float across the harbour on the Star Ferry, and the visit the legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Affectionately known to the locals as the Mandarin, this hotel is part of the island’s social fabric. It’s out of town guest list includes at least six former US presidents, two princess – Diana and Grace, as well as Sultans, Shahs, Sheiks, moviemakers and models but it’s also much loved by the local ladies who lunch, trendy Taipans, international tycoons, British expats and well-to-do Chinese.
It’s difficult to choose just one star treatment from this amazing hotel. The food is truly orgastronomic! Hong Kong legend Jackie Chan has been spotted enjoying mouth-watering specialities like salt and pepper squid in the superb Man Wah restaurant and the great and the good are also regularly seen hiding in the shadows of the theatrical, and multi-award winning, Pierre restaurant on the 25th floor.
Celebrity guests who are more concerned with slimming than sinning though are certain to be found in the Mandarin Oriental Spa. Treatments here are divine; Chinese steam baths, Kneipp pools and Vichy showers feature, massage rituals are tailor made to suit each individual customer and the world famous Shanghai pedicure by Samuel So will have your feet ready to grace any red carpet – highly recommended.
Just a few steps away from the Mandarin Oriental is Hong Kong’s hautest designer store, Shanghai Tang. Decorating its walls is a collection of cheongsam wearing celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jodie Foster and Kate Moss. The Shanghai Tang sleepwear range is apparently a big hit with celebrity clients and Kate Moss is said to adore their pyjamas.