The word "whirlwind" doesn't begin to describe what it feels like to be thrown from the tranquil jungles of Ubud, Bali, into the frenzy of Hong Kong.
On a four-day stopover in Hong Kong en route to the Philippines, I was thrown for a loop as I reacclimated to city life between beach-hopping. Fortunately, the Hotel Icon made the transition not only easier but downright luxurious.
The adventure began with a personalized pickup from the airport in a Tesla. A seamless meet-and-greet led me right to the door of the sporty, ecofriendly, luxe set of wheels, and in less than an hour we had arrived at the sleek, chic glass entrance to the luxury city hotel in the trendy Tsim Sha Tsui shopping and nightlife district of Kowloon.
The urban escape continued with a stay in one of the Above & Beyond club rooms. These rooms, in addition to amenities like complimentary minibar, personal smartphone with 4G network and unrestricted WiFi, offer access to Exclusive Club benefits, which include complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails in the Above & Beyond Lounge.
With sweeping views across Hong Kong Harbour and the skyline, the lounge is a reprieve from the energy of the Kowloon promenade below. Here, guests have access to a decadent buffet spread as well as a la carte items like eggs Benedict and traditional dim sum and free-flowing Champagne. Come evening, the bottomless policy continues with select beers and wines and is complemented by a sumptuous spread of charcuterie, canapes and other tasty snacks. There is a dinner service open to Exclusive and non-Exclusive guests at an additional charge.
All guests also have the option to dine at the Market, a buffet restaurant that serves international fare, grilled meats and curries.
One of the highlights of the hotel, aside from its location in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, is its pool deck and fitness center. The outdoor pool overlooks the harbor and skyline, while the fitness center is a sun-drenched escape with high-tech equipment and a killer view.
The Hotel Icon prides itself on its sustainability practices, which extend far beyond its Tesla cars. It is one of the first hotels in Asia to implement Organic Refuse Conversion Alternative (ORCA) technology, which turns food waste into a liquid for disposal. The water created in this process is used to irrigate the hotel's vertical garden, composed of 8,603 plants representing 71 species. The implementation of ORCA at the hotel diverts 314 tons of food waste per year from landfills and recycles nearly 36,000 gallons of water per year.
Rates at the Hotel Icon begin at $254 per night. See www.hotel-icon.com.