Sky's the limit as world's highest hotel is opened

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2011, 12:00am

Sun Hung Kai Properties yesterday held the grand opening for its Ritz-Carlton hotel, the highest in the world, saying the company was upbeat about the prospects for the hospitality industry in Hong Kong.

Speaking at the 490-metre-high hotel in the International Commerce Centre building in West Kowloon, Sun Hung Kai Properties said it planned to continue building its hotel portfolio, believing demand for rooms would be driven by mainland visitors flocking to the city.

'We are interested in applying to trigger land auctions for hotel sites [on the government's application list],' said vice-chairman and managing director Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong. He declined to identify the sites, but said 'we are particularly interested in those in prime locations in Kowloon'.

The developer owns five hotels in Hong Kong and another two in Tseung Kwan O, which are due for completion next year.

The 312-room Ritz-Carlton occupies floors 102 to 118 of SHKP's ICC, making it the world's highest hotel. This is the latest addition to SHKP's Kowloon Station development and the newest in Ritz-Carlton's growing global portfolio of 75 luxury hotels, 16 of which are now in Asia.

'The Kowloon Station project is one of the largest private developments in Hong Kong's history and Sun Hung Kai Properties is proud of its leading role,' said Kwok.

'It includes grade-A offices, high-end shopping, luxury residences and serviced apartments in Hong Kong's new commercial, cultural and transportation hub.'

The ICC is the tallest building in Hong Kong and stands on top of Kowloon Station. The structure took nearly five years to build. In a nod to popular Chinese culture, the building is called the Dragon's Tail because of its shape and the cladding which resembles scales.

The opening ceremony started with a spectacular dragon dance performed by 118 dancers in a 178metre-long dragon.

Building the dragon and choreographing the dance took over six months.

The new Ritz-Carlton may be the world's 'highest' hotel, but the ICC is still not the world's highest building.

That honour belongs to Dubai's 828-metre Burj Khalifa. However, its signature hotel, the Armani Hotel, is no higher than its 39th floor.

The Ritz-Carlton also boasts the highest bar in the world, Ozone, on the 118th floor.

From many rooms, hotel guests get a panoramic view of the harbour. Each room has its own telescope.

The rack rate for a standard room is HK$6,000 a night, and rates go up to HK$100,000 for one night in the presidential suite on the 117th floor.

A basic room is 540 square feet, while the presidential suite is 3,920 square feet.


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