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Lan Kwai Fong Hotel at Kau U Fong

Lan Kwai Fong hotel exterior

Hong Kong, China
Simon Gresswell goes up in the world at this luxury high-rise hotel in central Hong Kong.

first impressions
An award-winning hotel that really is head and shoulders above the rest. Tucked away in a quiet part of a trendy suburb, the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel at Kau U Fong (LKF) is a towering oasis in the bustle of this hectic city.

The building itself is typical of most modern skyscrapers; that is, classy, imposing and grand in every way. But unlike most non-descript high-rises, the LKF has its very own, unique, personality. For example, there's a pond either side of the entrance with turtles – a sign of good luck to the Chinese people. The interior – dubbed "arty and hip" by guests – is also full of quirky details (keep an eye out for the turtle-style internet cables).

According to management, the hotel blends 'Sino-hip' (whatever that is) with traditional Oriental décor. The result is magnificent. Expect ultra-modern glass chandeliers and stylish sandalwood furniture, together with ancient porcelain vases and Chinese couches. Gold and red – traditional Chinese lucky colours – are used prominently throughout.

It goes without saying that you should expect exceptional views of Hong Kong harbour.

Thanks to "hands-on" owner David Chiu, this family-friendly hotel has won a string of awards since it opened in 2006. These include the Won Hong Kong Business High Flyers Award 2008 and the coveted 'Best Boutique Hotel in Asia' by Travel Weekly Asia Industry Awards in 2007.

Lan Kwai Fong bedroom

bedrooms
Each of the 162 bedrooms and suites are individually designed and outfitted to the highest standard. The LKF is also one of just two hotels in the entire city with balconies. Needless to say, this makes it a favourite with passing photographers and TV crews.

When it comes to style, mod-Oriental is the buzz-word here. Furniture is Oriental in style with soft, king-sized beds, window sofas and wardrobes. There's also bamboo towel racks! There's also a range of hi-tech gadgets including high-speed internet access, flat-screen TVs, cordless direct-dial telephones, iPod docks and a DVD-cum CD player (and DVD rental) in every room. But that's not all – there's a magazine stack, alarm clock, fruit basket, iron and ironing board, and a complimentary wake-up call.

Here's a nice touch: most furniture and ornaments are available to buy – including the bamboo ladder towel racks.

When it comes to the bathroom, expect modern styles merged with Oriental. There's also a glorious goody box stuffed full of luxury – and complimentary – toiletries.

The Breeze Lounge at Lan Kwai Fong Hotel

food and drink
When it comes to eating, the Chinese do it best – and the LKF is no exception. There's a range of restaurants and eateries to choose from in the hotel. The Breeze Bar is perfect for round-the-clock bar snacks; the 7th Lounge serves a wonderful buffet breakfast; while Celebrity Cuisine, the hotel's landmark restaurant, serves a delightful Cantonese menu. Do try the chef's speciality: Bird's Nest (bird saliva) with chicken wings.

Room service is also available 24/7. The LKF breakfast is superb, while the assorted Dim Sum platter is to die for.

If you fancy heading out, you'll find an array of restaurants within a short walking distance. There's everything to choose from, whatever your taste and budget.

The Celebrity Cuisine restaurant at Lan Kwai Fong Hotel

service with a smile?
The Chinese are renowned for their hospitality, and the LKF won't disappoint. I was greeted by three members of staff who gave me a personal guided tour of the hotel. There's also a shuttle service from the airport, and a wonderful concierge with the best knowledge of local attractions (and discount offers!).

But it's the little things that make the biggest impact. For example, guests are given a special card with the hotel's name and address in Cantonese – just the ticket if they get lost. They also receive a complimentary drink in the Breeze Bar on arrival.

Mums and dads take note: there's babysitting facilities on offer around the clock.

Agnes Cheng, the hotel's spokesman, said the hotel was one of the few boutiques in the city. She said: "Boutique hotels are a new concept in Asia, there are only around five in Hong Kong and this makes us extremely unique, especially given our central location.

"We combine contemporary and traditional oriental styles where most HK hotels are focused on modern, and our attention to these oriental touches, styles and detail of our hotel makes us different from the rest."

local attractions
There's a million and one things to do in Hong Kong, whatever your budget and time limits. Take an evening ferry to Tsim Tsai Shui and Kowloon for a spectacular view of the city's neon skyline. The same ferry port will take you to Lantau to see the world's largest seated bronze Buddha. In the day, jump on a Peak tram to the top of the city for 360 panoramic views over the harbour and surrounding islands.

And then there's the nightlife ... The Soho and Lan Kwai Fong districts and thriving and are less than a five minute walk away from the hotel.

Soak up the atmosphere and cheap beer in Temple Street night market in Kowloon, where you can haggle away for cheap gifts before eating fresh crab at an outdoor cafe.

will it break the bank?
Unlikely. City View rooms start from £193 per person per night. The Harbour View Suite with Balcony is £550. Check out the hotel's website for seasonal offers and discount packages.

details
The Lan Kwai Fong Hotel
3 Kau U Fong Road
Hong Kong
Web: www.lankwaifonghotel.com.hk

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