Suite: N3 Grand Deluxe | Size: 50 square metres | Price: From HKD 4700 (about $844 AUD) per night | Details: niccolohotels.com
The Murray, Hong Kong is a new luxury landmark in the heart of one of the world’s most exciting cities. Built in 1969, the former government building has been refashioned into a peaceful city retreat, all while abiding by strict heritage laws (and ensuring the preservation of an enormous old tree).
The hotel overlooks St John’s Cathedral, a grand church built in the 1840s and one of Hong Kong’s official Declared Monuments. Water, mountain and city views are all on show from various points throughout the hotel, a modernised five-star establishment with style and a whole lot of character. Exceptional design is evident as soon as you enter the lobby and beautiful artwork is found throughout the premises. With 336 sophisticated rooms and suites spread over 25 floors, there are plenty of places to enjoy a meal, drink or quiet time, while state-of-the-art amenities such as a gym, swimming pools and a spa are also available.
In a city like Hong Kong, only a suite with large windows will do the stay justice. And at The Murray, every room offers floor-to-ceiling, uniquely recessed windows, providing gorgeous natural light and a front-row seat to the cityscape, which puts on a particularly dazzling show at night. Most of hotel’s spacious rooms are 50 square metres or more and include a large living area decked out in a slick colour scheme of white, chrome and black. And still there is room enough for a large marbled bathroom complete with a Japanese toilet, famous for its bells and whistles (and I do mean whistles, literally).
For the business traveller, there is a small nook with a beautiful desk and any office products you might need. The 400-thread-count sheets and huge fluffy pillows along with noise-blocking windows allow for a very comfortable night. Free mini bar excluding alcohol is always appreciated.
The hotel’s convenient CBD location on Cotton Wood Drive is perfect for business or leisure travellers. Everything is just a quick cab ride away or walk through urban parks to get to the main shopping areas. Hong Kong is one of the greatest cities in the world because of these beautiful parks that are always clean and graffiti free, and wonderful day and night. Outside the hotel is also the tram which takes you up to the peak for some views and hiking – an absolute must for any visitor. Or, if calorie-burning is more your style, you can hike up and tram down. Don’t forget water!
Hong Kong is known for exceptional cuisine and The Murray doesn’t disappoint if you choose to dine in. The rooftop restaurant and bar, Popinjays, boasts a crowd-pleasing menu with a side of spectacular views; Tai Pan offers delicious Western dishes with a tasting menu with delights such as lobster bisque and black miso cod; and the Garden Lounge is perfect for lunch or a pre- or post-dinner drink. For an upscale Cantonese experience, Guo Fu Lou will bring you fine dining and an extensive wine selection.
I loved taking advantage of the laundry service, which offered the dry cleaning/laundering/ pressing of two pieces per day. This was just one of the numerous complimentary offerings with conveniences like baby products (strollers, toys, playpens), wet weather needs (a shawl, scarf, raincoat) and even a beard/moustache comb (a first for me) available.