Elvis Wong opens the door to our room and the screams that follow would not disappoint the King of Rock and Roll himself.
Lit up like Las Vegas the night before Christmas, a skyline of skyscrapers glows with neon lights, reflecting soft columns of color in the waters of Victoria Harbour.
‘Wow. Wow. Wow,” sighs my husband as the kids squeal with excitement and I sit speechless on the bed. The view from the Regent Hotel of Hong Kong’s famous skyline is so spectacular that poor Elvis has no hope of showing us how to use the shower. or the safe.
We are glued to the panoramic window, enchanted by an urban landscape that promises so much.
Like the Regent itself, recently reopened after extensive renovations that are sure to not only restore this icon to its former glory but reinvent it for the next generation.
MailOnline’s Fiona Hardcastle checked into Hong Kong’s luxurious Regent Hotel, where rooms boast incredible harbor views.
The city’s skyscrapers reflect gentle columns of color in the waters of Victoria Harbor (seen above, from the hotel lobby)
The Regent underwent extensive renovations in 2022, returning the iconic hotel to its former glory for the next generation.
“I feel like I’m in Succession,” says Rose, 17, as we sit down to breakfast the next morning at the Harborside restaurant, our skyscraper landscape now bathed in sunlight as a Beethoven sonata rises from background.
As if on cue, a helicopter begins to descend over the city’s financial center. Félix, 11 years old, is hypnotized.
I’m about to begin my lecture on the importance of a good job when 16-year-old Evie pulls me out of the sermon and returns from the billionaires’ buffet with a full plate.
“Try this, Mom,” he says, knowing that a selection of shrimp and crab dim sum will allow everyone to eat in peace. We delight ourselves as financiers and then set out to explore.
We started in Kowloon, home to museums, galleries and the city’s latest high-end shopping mall, K11 Musea, advertised as the place to enhance my shopping experience and located next door.
The hotel impressed Fiona so much that she was speechless when she was shown her room.
The sunny harborside lounge has stunning views across the city.
The hotel restaurant, Lai Ching Heen, is like walking into a jade jewelery box, says Fiona.
The escalators of the middle levels. They connect Central District residents to their office jobs and have been called the best commute on the planet.
I should be used to my husband’s habit of marking the darkest landmarks first, but I still feel frustrated as I am led toward the bird, goldfish and flower markets dotted along the less salubrious Prince Edward Road.
“It’s the real Hong Kong,” he tells me as I huff and puff at what I’m missing while secretly admiring the contrast of this past way of life. It’s time to catch up on some history and take a trip on the legendary Star Ferry to the consumer paradise of the Central District.
It is impossible not to be overwhelmed by its skyscrapers, imposing temples of commerce, or the designer shopping centers that link them. Although does any city really need eight Tiffany stores?
But then the only way is up, as every Hong Konger knows. While having tea in the park, my husband meets an expat school friend who tells us that it is perfectly normal for the commute to work to take longer vertically than horizontally.
Hence the mid-level escalators. They connect Central residents to their office jobs and, at 2,600 feet long and covering a 443-foot climb, they’re not only the longest moving staircase in the world, but they’ve also been called the coolest commute on the planet .
Back to the Regent and another helping of superlatives with an afternoon tea that would put England’s finest to shame. Tiers upon tiers of cupcakes, buns and decadent treats are placed before us, as the waiter makes room for five little bowls of magic: the traditional Chinese dessert of ginger milk pudding. The spoons are licked clean before we remember that we had a seven-course dinner that night at the hotel’s two-Michelin-star restaurant.
Off to the outdoor pool to do a few preprandial exercises in the hopes of working up an appetite.
Fiona and her family enjoyed Cantonese cuisine at the two Michelin star restaurant.
The restaurant’s executive chef Lau Yiu-fai (right) and head chef Cheng Man-sang (left)
Fiona writes: “My menu of seared scallops with shrimp, steamed crab claw and sea bass with red dates leaves me in the mood to share.”
Fiona’s verdict on Hong Kong and the Regent? ‘Few places capture the past and present in such a magical way. And the Regent is where everything aligns.
But distractions are easy, and as we pass the designer stores (we’re within walking distance of Yves Saint Laurent), the mind soon wanders from front row to front row, asking what the heck to wear tonight.
It’s time to look for what passes for the best clothes and make ourselves worthy of spending a night at the sumptuous Lai Ching Heen.
Like walking into a jade jewel box, the interior is as polished as you’d expect from a world-class Cantonese restaurant, but the warmth of the staff makes you feel instantly comfortable.
Soon the Lazy Susan is spinning as the kids delight in a novel way to sample each other’s food, but my menu of seared scallops with shrimp, steamed crab claws, and sea bass with red dates doesn’t leave me in the mood to share.
Outside the skyscraper, the light dazzles as an old crimson junk sails majestically. Few places capture the past and present so magically. And the Regent is where everything aligns.