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Janice Nieder

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Janice Nieder could be the love child of Indiana Jones and Julia Child. She was a specialty food co...Read More

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Hong Kong's new Hotel Icon: Where five-star comfort meets creative excellence
By: Janice Nieder   |    April 19, 2012   |   0 Comments (0) (0)

Hotel Icon



Question:

What do you get when you recruit a dream team filled with internationally celebrated designers and architects, such as Terrence Conran, Rocco Yim, William Lim (eminent interior designer), Dr. Patrick Blanc (International botanical designer who pioneered of the concept of the vertical garden) Vivienne Tam (fashionable stylist) among others?

Answer:

You get the amazing, award-winning, one-of-a-kind, Hotel Icon, owned by Hong Kong Polytechnic University. This unique non-profit teaching and research hotel (many students from PolyU do their internship at the hotel and you simply couldn’t ask for a more professional, hospitable bunch) is located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui East. Sky-high, open public spaces are filled with vibrant works of art and natural light, strikingly accessorized by the world's largest vertical garden and a spectacular sweeping staircase.

The Layout:

This boutique property offers three restaurants, all designed by Terence Conran: GREEN- a café and tapas bar, Above & Beyond- which serves Cantonese cuisine and The Market- a super fun, authentic international buffet.There is also a wine bar, which is connected to three private dining rooms, one even offers a private kitchen, if you’d like to bring in your own chef!

The Angsana (little sister to the world-renowned Banyan Tree Spas) is their gem of a spa. Word is that the not-to-be- missed signature treatment here is the two-hour Bamboo Massage, which uses warm bamboo canes.

It’s easy to stay with your work-out regime at the fantastic 24 hr. fitness center (filled with the state-if-the-art equipment and such killer views that before you know it you’ve run an extra mile on the treadmill) and the magnificent rooftop swimming pool is utterly magical.

The Guestrooms:

There are 262 beautifully-appointed guest rooms (many with spectacular Harbor views) including 165 Rooms, 68 Above & Beyond Club Rooms (the clubs rooms have Bose sound dock, Blu-ray player, deep soaking bathtub and separate walk-in rainshower and provide excellent value with complimentary breakfast, tea time and cocktails) 26 Suites and 3 Prototype rooms.

Loved that all the rooms are so perfectly insulated that you won’t hear a peep if the guests next door are busy celebrating whatever, which is just what I want while luxuriating in their signature bed.
Also loved that the safes are concealed in a drawer so you don’t have to play “Crouching Tiger” every time you try to open them.

Thoughtful Touches:

The Timeless Room: is just one example of how the Hotel Icon works hard to make sure that their guests are completely comfy at all times. (How many hotels can say that???) Instead of being forced to wait at an impersonal, crowded airport because you've already checked out only to find out that your plane is delayed, you can totally chill out in supreme comfort in the relaxing Timeless room. (Watch out- it's easy to fall sounds asleep in chairs this cozy.)

Free mini-bars: OMG. Can you believe this? Instead of being nickeled and dimed they actually include a complimentary, well-stocked mini-bar in all the rooms. So pour yourself a drink while you use the free high speed wi-fi.

  
Dining: 

Above & Beyond: with a name like that, this signature restaurant really has to produce and A & B totally lives up to its name. Decoratedin the style of a tasteful private club ( think beautiful wood library units filled with books and objet d’art with the sleek textures of leather marble and slate done in a muted palette) the restaurant is situated on the top floor, has 360 degree panoramic views of the Hong Kong skyline. And for once, there literally is not a bad seat in the house, since Conran cleverly placed angled mirrors above the inside seats so diners can enjoy the panoramic scenery behind them.


As for the food…every single dish I tried was more succulent than the last and successfully blended traditional Chinese cuisine done with just the right modern touch. If you find it hard to decide, then head straight to the Chef’s Recommendations on the menu, which is where I found the decadent Australian Wagyu Beef cubes wok-fried with silken pieces of Goose Liver, after which, life will never be the same. I was hesitant to order the Hot & Sour Soup (suggested by our extremely helpful waiter, simply because it sounded so mundane) but it was…dare I say…"Above and Beyond" any version I’ve ever tasted. Ditto for the Stir -fried Imperial Bird’s Nest scrambled with egg whites and milk, which was as delicate as a baby’s breath.  And you simply can’t miss with any of the exquisitely prepared dim-sum. For a unique dessert try the house-made Wu Liang Ye Chinese Spirit ice cream which packs a tasty wallop.

Bottom Line:

I hope and pray that Icon becomes the largest hotel chain in the world.

Hotel ICON
17 Science Museum Road
Tsim Sha Tsui East
Kowloon
Hong Kong
T: +852 3400 1000 F: +852 3400 1001 info@hotel-icon.com
For reservations: book@hotel-icon.com
www.hotel-icon.com/

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