Where to stay in Kowloon

From a fun designer hotel to sleek, waterfront luxury, Ruth Jackson picks the best that the Hong Kong mainland has to offer.

The Mira

The Mira has undergone a complete redesign by Miami architect Charles Allem. Clean lines with sleek finishes and cutting-edge technology blend with older touches, such as the original vast chandeliers in the main entrance. The hotel is opposite Kowloon Park on the Golden Mile and is well placed for a range of high-end shops. The internal courtyard bar is an oasis of calm. There's also a new spa.

Cond Nast calls it "bold, fun, and vivacious", with the bedrooms offering "stylish comfort" to the jet-lagged. There are Arne Jacobsen Egg Chairs, an all-in-one computer and entertainment system and iPod docks. Bose sound systems pipe music throughout the room.

Outstanding restaurants in the Mira include Whisk, which combines modern French cuisine with Asian accents masterminded by two-Michelin-starred chef William Girard. But the highlight is the two-Michelin-starred Cuisine Cuisine restaurant, serving contemporary Cantonese and Chinese food. Its outstanding dim sum is as popular with locals as with guests.

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Doubles cost from £130, room only. For more, call 00 852 2368 1111, or visit www.themirahotel.com.

W Hotel


This sleek hotel is part of a glittering development on West Kowloon's waterfront. It's in the heart of the commercial and entertainment area and attached to the vast Elements shopping centre and Kowloon railway station. There is a soaring, two-storey Living Room' with eye-catching rippling mirrored panels behind the cocktail bar, and a roof-top pool.

With its neon signs, lifts with "strobing dance floor panels" and glitzy interiors, the hotel can feel a bit like "you're pulling up to a film premiere", says Cond Nast Traveller. However, the rooms are a "much calmer concern", with a "fall-to-sleep colour scheme", Bliss Spa products and biscuits delivered nightly. Unlike many luxury hotels, "there's no stuffy atmosphere" and the "army of staff manage to cater for your every whim without appearing either overbearing or put out", says Andrew Welch in The Daily Post.

Guests can eat at Kitchen, the breakfast restaurant open until midnight. The chefs will cook anything from simple eggs to a selection of dim sum. The main dining room, serving traditional Cantonese food, has floor-to-ceiling windows that frame Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island.

Doubles cost from £177, room only. Call 00 852 3717 2222, or see www.starwoodhotels.com

What the travel writers are saying

Where is the best place to go for afternoon tea in London? The Times's Ginny Light has three suggestions.

For chocoholics, she recommends London Hilton Park Lane. It "delivers on quality", with traditional sandwiches that are a "gentle warm- up to the tiers of warm scones (raisin, plain or chocolate chip) and cakes, parfait and marshmallows". The Confessions of a Chocoholic' tea costs £25.50 (Podiumrestaurant.com).

For a more traditional tea, head to the Langham Hotel. It offers "all the charming traditions of an afternoon tea, but in the airy and rather glitzy setting of the Palm Court". You can choose the Wonderland Afternoon Tea, the G and Tea Time (served with a gin and tonic), or the Bijoux Tea, "where the cake selection is inspired by the jewels of some of the world's most glamorous jewellery houses (Delices de Cartier, for example)". The highlight of all the teas, though, is "definitely the warm scones". Prices from £38 (London.langhamhotels.co.uk).

Finally, try Wonderland at The Sanderson, where Lewis Carroll's adventure serves as the inspiration for afternoon tea. You'll be served a small Drink Me' bottle containing liquid layers of apple pie, lemon curd and toffee. The heart-shaped strawberry mousse cake has the words Eat Me' written beautifully in icing. The "Alice theme continues with a rich chocolate and coffee rabbit clock layer cake". Meanwhile, the hot-cold blueberry lollipop is "pure, but delicious, madness". Afternoon tea costs £25 (Sandersonlondon.com).

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.