Review of The Murray hotel, Hong Kong

Bathroom at The Murray hotel, Hong Kong - photo by Rob McFarland

Bathroom at The Murray hotel, Hong Kong – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – June 30, 2018

THE PLACE
The Murray, Hong Kong

THE LOCATION
A prime spot opposite Hong Kong Park in the heart of Hong Kong Island’s busy Central district.

THE SPACE
A modernist masterpiece, The Murray building housed government offices for more than 40 years before being transformed by award-winning architects Foster + Partners into the city’s newest five-star hotel (it opened in January). They’ve kept the building’s grand arches and distinctive recessed windows, cleverly angling each room to make the most of the views over Hong Kong Park and Victoria Harbour. The design of the public spaces is minimalist with extensive use of black and white marble, but colourful artworks and elaborate flower arrangements help soften the mood. A striking rooftop glass pavilion houses the hotel’s signature restaurant, Popinjays, and there’s a spacious wraparound verandah with mesmerising views over Central and the harbour. Throw in a state-of-the-art gym, a soon-to-be opened indoor lap pool and a lavish spa with a steam room and sauna and you might never want to venture outside.

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Six of the best Hong Kong speakeasies

Making a cocktail in The Old Man speakeasy - photo by Rob McFarland

Making a cocktail in The Old Man speakeasy – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – June 23, 2018

THE OLD MAN
In less experienced hands, The Old Man would be just another yawn-inducing addition to the long list of bars dedicated to writer Ernest Hemingway. However, the man behind this upscale establishment is Agung Prabowo, who previously managed the highly-regarded bar at the Mandarin Oriental. The menu features seven cocktails named after Hemingway books (Death in the Afternoon anyone?) plus a selection of the writer’s personal favourites, which includes the surprisingly feminine White Lady (a mixture of gin, Cointreau and lemon juice). Look for the unmarked flight of stairs leading down from Aberdeen Street in Central.

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W Hotel in Hong Kong

Kitchen restaurant in W Hotel Hong Kong

Kitchen restaurant in W Hotel Hong Kong

It’s the age-old question when flying back from Europe: to stopover or not to stopover? Do you utilise precious time that could be spent in your destination on a night somewhere along the way that may or may not leave you feeling less zombie-like when you arrive home?

Until recently I’d always subscribed to the straight-through theory don’t muck around with all the hassle of getting to some anonymous airport hotel just hunker down, grin and bear it. And then I stayed in the W Hong Kong.

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