Posts Tagged: Ritz-Carlton

Jun 12

Best Hong Kong Hotels for Celeb-spotting

If you’ve ever read my bio you’ll know that if there is one place in the world that I love above and beyond all others, that place is Hong Kong. I grew up on this spectacular little island and spent much of my childhood skipping between school and the pool,  spending my pocket money in street markets and occasionally celeb-spotting – my most memorable being a city-wide search for Madonna while she was in town filming of Shanghai Surprise.

Hong Kong Harbour @Lee_Cobaj

Well, it seems twenty-odd years on I’m still doing the same, only this time I’m flitting between spas and rooftop pools, splashing my hard-earned cash (still mainly at the street markets) while searching the city’s haute spots for the latest celebrity sightings. And try as they might to hide behind oversized sunnies and burly bodyguards, celebrities are often spotted leaving their lavish hotels. Along with the legendary Mandarin Oriental (which I’ve featured previously) and the iconic Peninsula (which I will no doubt feature at some point) here’s a handful of other great Hong Kong hotel’s for star-spotting:


It’s been A-list all since the Upper House hit the Hong Kong hotel scene in late 2009. In fact, Gwyneth Paltrow stayed here while filming her scenes for Contagion and loved the Upper House so much she recommended it on her everything’s-lovely lifestyle blog Goop. I have to agree with her choice, this chic city-centre hotel is swoon-worthy at it every turn. The design is both subtle and sensational with chic minimalist interiors made up of great swathes of Italian limestone, bamboo panelling and stunning sculptures. The rooms are HUGE by Hong Kong standards and all come with show-stopping spa-bathrooms overlooking the city or harbour, ultra-luxe modernist furnishings and a truly incredible range of amenities – think an entire range of REN goodies including eye-cream and night cream, as well as yoga mats, iPod Touches….the list goes on. Along with a spectacular Michelin award winning restaurant (be warned, you’ll need to book well in advance) it’s clear to see that the Upper House will be providing all-star service to the rich and famous for a long time to come.

Cool woods, cashmere soft carpets, one-off sculptures and a corner view to die for. I want to live here. Forever.

Just look at this bathroom. Amazing. And did you spot the REN Rose Otto bath oil on the side? There’s also a monsoon shower and celeb-style dressing room out of shot.

The Upper House Atrium with the most dizzyingly beautiful art installation by Japanese artist Hirotoshi Sawada

The stunning sky-walkway to Cafe Gray Deluxe – Gwyneth’s order of a club sarnie doesn’t do the Michelin award winning menu justice















The Ritz-Carlton is another new kid on the celebrity-hotel block and has become something of a superstar itself, having achieved the lofty title of the World’s Highest Hotel. So it comes as no surprise then that a hotel of this stature would have equally amazing guests to match. Lady Gaga chose the Ritz as her hangout of choice when she was recently in Hong Kong – in fact I seem to be inadvertently  stalking her at the moment, having followed in her footsteps via the The Dorchester, the Fairmont Pacific Rim Vancouver and The Setai. Anyway, the lady has clearly got great taste in hotels and the Ritz-Carlton is no exception. There is so much more to it than its record-breaking status suggests: cutting-edge contemporary décor meets unadulterated luxury, sublimely good service and some of the most incredible views you’ll ever see. I had read a previous review of the hotel which suggested the hotel’s stratospheric  positioning made Hong Kong feel distant and dislocated. But for me it had entirely the opposite effect; Hong Kong had never looked more beautiful, more jewel-like and lovely. The cityscape meandered across the South China Sea, as the Kowloon West harbour bustled below while the mountains lazed in the haze. I just wanted to put my arms around it and tell it how much I loved it. Sigh.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. The world’s highest hotel soaring between the 102nd and 118th floors. One for everyone’s Bucket List!

There’s no doubt Lady Gaga would have checked herself into the best room in the house, the Ritz-Carlton Presidential Suite. Taking up the nearly the entire 117th floor, this heart-stopping haven features swathes of crystal chandeliers, walls inlaid with mother-of-pearl and this incredible bathroom.

The World’s Highest Swimming Pool on the 118th Floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Quite possible the coolest pool in the world.



This is where Victoria Beckham chose to stay on her recent trip to Hong Kong. And how do I know this? Because when I popped along for a visit, I noticed an uncanny resemblance between the view I was seeing and the one that VB recently tweeted! See for yourself in the pics below.

The Four Seasons is of course renowned as one of the best hotels in the city. Located front and centre of Hong Kong harbour it too offers spectacular views of the harbour and city. The design is much more contemporary than you might expect from the suave Four Seasons brand with a MOMA-like lobby, high-ceilinged super-chic restaurants and large, luminous, ultra-luxurious spa. I didn’t get the chance to stay over (this time) but I did stop by for a splendid Thai massage in a suite overlooking the Star Ferry terminal – heaven – and very special dinner at the extraordinary Caprice – think posh frocks, a ballet-like service and food that tastes even more divine than it looks. Highly regarded by Hong Kong hotshots there’s no doubt that the Four Seasons will be staying on the celebrity circuit for the foreseeable future.

The Fabulous Four Seasons Hong Kong


“LOVE Hong Kong!!! Check this view out!!! X VB”

And check out this view! Pretty much the same as Victoria’s. Definitely the fabulous Four Seasons













Caprice is another great place for celeb-spotting, also mentioned by Gwyneth Paltrow in her Goop blog and said to be a favourite of Nicole Kidman’s too. A Hong Kong must do.



Even though VB chose the Four Seasons on this occasion, the sleek and tres chic Landmark Mandarin Oriental is the usual crash-pad for the fashion pack. Stella McCartney and Georgia Armani are both known bedded down between its 400-thread-count sheets – although not together of course – while models, muses, buyers and bigwigs fill the tables at O Bar and Amber. Sitting pretty, slap-bang in the middle of the city the Landmark’s main draw is its high-design concept and easy access to all the essential A-list shopping Hong Kong has to offer – Harvey Nichol’s is next door and every big name luxury brand from Bulgari to Vuitton are just a (precious) stones throw away. Inside, the hotel is intimate and self-assured. Rooms are spacious and stylish with the likes of shamelessly-decadent soaking tubs and three (!) plasma TVs. With no time to spare, all I could manage was  a quick tour and an exquisite lunch at Amber – the only HK hotel to make it onto the S.Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the world list – but that little taste was enough to have me longing for more.

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s L900 Suite with its catwalk-like corridor is the preferred choice for the fashion set

L900 Suite Bathroom – another swoon-worthy Hong Kong Hotel tub


Have you spotted any celebrities in Hong Kong? Stayed at any of these A-list hotels? I’d love to hear your comments!



Finnair flies daily from Manchester and London Heathrow to Hong Kong. 

The below fares are ‘starting from’ return fares and include taxes and service fees:

Manchester-Hong Kong: Business class: £2326.00 Business class Campaign for Mid Week travel: £2076.00 Economy class: £667.00

London LHR-Hong Kong: Business class: £2321.00 Business class Campaign for Mid Week travel: £2067.00 Economy class: £658.00 

For more information call 0870 2414411 or visit . For up to date offers and news please follow us on twitter @finnairuk. Finnair also have daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai in China.  Finnair began flights to new destination Chongqing, China in May 2012. 

Finnair also fly to 7 other Asian cities too in Singapore, Japan, Korea, India and Thailand.


Oct 10

The Cancun Ritz-Carlton’s Celebrity Guest List

Cancun, one of the hottest destinations in the Caribbean,
became even hotter this summer. The paparazzi descended as a fleet of private
jets delivered some of the world’s greatest actors, including Angelina Jolie
and Julia Roberts, to the Summer of Sony publicity event. The Ritz-Carlton
Cancun played host to the star-studded party so I went to see where the stars
cooled down when the temperature soared. 


Javier Barden, Julia Roberts, and Richard
Jenkins pose for photographers at the media event for Eat, Pray, Love at the
Ritz Carlton, Cancun


Mexico and movie stars go together. Since the Thirties, Hollywood heavyweights have been regularly swooping south of the border for a bit of R and R. By the time we reached the Nineties and Noughties Cancun was welcoming a new galaxy of red-hot stars to its shores – Tom Cruise is rumoured to have wanted to marry on
its snow-white beaches until an unexpected hurricane blew him towards Italy
instead. Jennifer Anniston withdrew to its spellbinding sea to mend her broken heart and Leonardo Dicaprio also recently made it his slice of paradise for a romantic retreat – and now, as we reach out into a new decade, Cancun shows no sign of losing its A-list allure.


It’s fair to assume that the Sony of Summer actors stayed onsite at the glitzy Ritz. Resting on the Yucatan Peninsula, the Ritz-Carlton
has more awards on its mantelpiece than Meryl Streep and is considered to be one of the most luxurious hotels in all of Mexico. 

From the moment you walk through its well-guarded doors, the crystal chandeliers, antique tapestries and elaborate artworks promise an A-list experience. Every room has the kind of over-the-top opulence that any celebrity entourage would be happy to bed down in including breathtaking balconies, divine marble bathrooms and tres beau Bulgari toiletries. But celebrities, like Mark Wahlberg and Eva Mendes who were in town promoting their
new movie The Other Guys, are sure to have been hidden away in the Club Level
quarters. These secret suites are positioned around a stunning ivy-filled atrium
in the heart of the hotel and can only be accessed if you’ve got The Key

And celebrity tots Maddox, Pax, Zahara and Shola, Pitt-Jolie would have been treated to their own special service with membership to the very exclusive Itsy Bitsy Ritz Kids Club when they tagged along with mum to the Cancun premiere of Salt.   



Angelina also premiered her new body art in Cancun


The Ritz-Carlton hotels may conform to the traditional concept of luxury but that doesn’t mean that guest can’t partake in some of the most innovative services around. The Kayantá Spa has all the top Tinseltown treatments including the Perfector facial. Using super-fancy nanotechnology the Perfector claims to achieve a surgery-free facelift and is apparently a favourite in current celebrity circles. 

Iconic guests of the Ritz can also mingle
with the masses (well with thirteen other members of the elite really) at the impressive
half million dollar Culinary Centre, where they can explore cooking, wine and
Mexican tequilas and then consume the fruits of their labour at a torch-lit beach party. The restaurants, as expected, are exquisite. The most-memorable being Casitas which is made up of a collection of intimate cabanas on the beach that feel so private you could be on your own dreamy desert island. 


My favourite service at the hotel though is the Turtle Guardian programme. In amongst all the high-end spending opportunities is an experience that is simply priceless. Guests can “give back” by taking part in the release of adorable baby turtles which come to hatch on Ritz’s patch. Each little Tortuga is guided down to the beach, given a name by its releaser and sent with good wished into the biggest bluest sea you’ve ever seen – if that’s not the stuff of Hollywood then I don’t know what is!


No A-list lovely would dare expose themselves to the sun and La
Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Extreme Fluid SPF50 is the dream cream of choice at the moment. Packed with all sorts of UV fighting protection, this French sunblock will keep those celebrity beach bods freckle-free and fully moisturised no matter how hot it gets. There’s only one other must-have accessory and that’s a pair of gorgeous oversized Miu Miu sunglasses to keep out the glare from that diamond white beach. 

Image 1 of Miu Miu Oversized Graduated Jackie O Sunglasses

Must-have Miu Miu Oversized Jackie O Sunglasses.

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