Madeline Gressel

Correspondent

  • Hong Kong, China, Asia

Madeline Gressel is a correspondent who lives in Hong Kong and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Her work can be found in The Wall Street Journal Asia, The South China Morning Post, Time Out Hong Kong, Matador Network and The Glass Magazine. Since graduating high school, Gressel has lived in Udaipur, Bombay, Montreal and Hong Kong, and visited more than 40 countries. She loves scuba diving, music festivals and searching for national renditions of fried chicken. Although most of her travel is in Asia, she holds an enduring love for Provence, Vienna, Virgin Gorda and her hometown, New York City. Russia, Turkey and Madagascar top her travel bucket list.

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  • On July 31, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What are the best hiking trails in Hong Kong?

    Hong Kong is a hiker's dream: hilly, scenic, temperate, and highly accessible by public transport. Few tourists take advantage of the tropical paradise outlying the city center, but those who do are richly rewarded with green mountains, turquoise seas, and gorgeous beaches that can't be reached any other way (except by yacht, of course). Go on...take a hike. 

    Dragon's Back: This is the classic Hong Kong beginner's hike, and it hits all the marks: scenic, accessible, and ends in a beach. True to its name, the hike runs up and down the humps of a hill range overlooking Stanley Bay. The hike is relatively unstrenuous, and you'll be rewarded at the end by Shek O beach, where you can swim, tan, and eat at the delicious Thai restaurant, Happy Garden. Accessible from the number 9 bus from Shau Kei Wan. 

    MacLehose trail: This New Territories trail is considerably harder than Dragon's Back, with considerably better rewards--which only increase as you push onwards. The entire trail is 100km long, but you can choose a section and go from there. Start at the Pavilion in Sai Kung Country Park (accessible by mini bus or taxi from Kowloon), and hike downwards until you reach Sai Wan beach. Sai Wan is nice enough, and there's a freshwater rock pool with a waterfall about ten minutes walk away. But push onwards, over a steep hill, to the next bay, Ham Tin, which is even more beautiful and serene. Get lunch at one of the cute eateries here, and then, if you're not too exhausted, climb over the next hill to Tai Wan-- Hong Kong's most beautiful beach. 

    The Peak: Less of a hike and more of a walk, Victoria Peak is a great place to experience the nature of Hong Kong without leaving the city. You can either hike all the way up from Central, past elegant apartment compexes and mansions, or take the tram up, and then circle the Peak on Lugard and Harlech roads. The scenery is lovely, and the whole walk takes only about an hour. Then reward yourself with lunch or walk back down. 
  • On July 31, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What is the hottest nightclub in Hong Kong?

    Like any big city, Hong Kong's hippest club is constantly changing. But here are some perrenial favorites: 

    Hottest crowd, Boujis: There's a definite emphasis on exclusivity at this outpost of London's celebrity den, but once inside, the crowd, the vibe, and the musica are all quite fun. 

    Hottest music, Volar: Technically a members-only club, Volar has a tough door. Inside, there's usually a top international DJ, and recently, the newly-renovated club hosted hip-hop icons Dr Dre and Kendrick Lamar. People flock to Volar not to see and be seen, but to dance. 

    Coolest vibe, Insenses: Ask a Hong Kong DJ what their favorite club is, and they'll likely name Insenses. This insider favorite distinguishes itself with wildly enthusiastc DJs and patrons alike, both there to get down. It's a place to come and feel like a local. The space is miniscule, but if you get too hot, there's a sizeable outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a cool drink. 

  • On July 31, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What are the five best food experiences in Hong Kong?

    Hong Kong is known for its strong and unique food culture, and there are certain experiences that you just shouldn't miss. 

    Dim Sum: Dim Sum literally means touching the heart, but in practice, it's a delicious meal of savory and sweet dishes (not always so small), like noodle rolls, dumplings, fried squid, and sauteed vegetables. It's also a serious staple of Hong Kong cuisine and family life. Dim Sum was traditionally often served from carts which circled the dining room, but that's harder to find these days. For the dim sum cart experience, try Maxim's Palace in Admiralty, or Lin Heung Kui, in Sheung Wan. For a more elegant experience, go to the Four Seasons' Lung King Heen, often called the best Chinese food in the city. 

    Duck, Duck, Goose: Hong Kongers love their BBQ poultry. The best place for goose is the very delicious, very celebrated Yung Kee. For Peking Duck, try Peking Garden, where you can also watch the chef deftly hand-pull lo mein noodles. It's like magic. 

    Lamma Seafood: Hong Kong is full of fresh seafood, but for the full experience, head to quiet Lamma Island, where you'll eat overlooking the lapping ocean as you eat. The prices are good and the menu is enormous, featuring lobster, clams, prawns, whole grilled fish you choose from a tank, scallops in cheese, and more. Rainbow is a trusty bet, and offers a free ferry to the island from Central, upon reservation. 

    Fine Dining: It's worth splurging in a city that boasts some of the world's top restauranteurs. Some combine an exceptional meal with a fabulous setting, like the Asia Society's AMMO, where you can enjoy sublime Asian Fusion in what feels like a tropical glasshouse, overlooking the jungle. 

    Dai Pai Dong: Perhaps the most classic Hong Kong dining experience is the Dai Pai Dong, an outdoor stall where you can enjoy steaming plates of Cantonese food al fresco. The prices are unbeatable. Sadly, the stalls are fast disappearing. For a selection of food, try Stanley Street in Central, or Temple Street in Jordan. 



  • On July 31, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What are the best art galleries in Hong Kong?

    Hong Kong is filled with so many celebrated galleries that "best" really depends on what's showing when you're there. It helps to pick up a local guide and see what's on. Alternately, a ramble down Hollywood Road from end to end offers an interesting cross-section of art. 

    Here are some good bets to get you started: 

    Sundaram Tagore Gallery is the oldest, and only, gallery that trafficks in deeply crosscultural art. The results are often breathtaking. Look for international masters of beauty like Sebastiao Salgado, Hiroshi Senju, Edward Burtynsky and Annie Leibovitz. 

    Para/Site strives to showcase local art talents, such as Adrian Wong and Samson Young, and some larger names (think Ai Wei Wei) in non-profit conceptual exhibits designed to make you think. 

    Above Second is Hong Kong's new, cool kid on the block. Their monthly exhibits focus on genre-bending street and pop art from around the world. 

    White Cube This  Hong Kong outpost might not have same the amazing design (a white cube) as its celebrate London parent gallery, but it definitely has the same high caliber exhibitiions. Gilbert and George and the Chapman brothers are recent features. 

    Duddell's The newest addition to Hong Kong's art scene is Duddell's, an art gallery meets restaurant meets artists' salon meets bar. Gaze at the art while enjoying gourmet Cantonese cuisine designed by Chef Siu Hin Chi of the Michelin starred T’ang Court, and then stay for a drink outside, or a debate on the meaning of contemporary art. This is modern Hong Kong. 


  • On July 30, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What should I pack for a trip to Hong Kong?

    The most important thing to bring on any trip to Hong Kong is an umbrella. Rain is unpredictable, unseasonal and sudden. 

    Beyond that, Hong Kong is a pretty easy place to pack for. During the day, dress is casual, and most restaurants will take patrons in flip-flops and the like. At night, things get a bit fancier, and men should be sure to wear long pants and closed shoes for nights out. Women get off a bit easier at the door, but Hong Kong's ladies take fashion pretty seriously regardless, and you'll probably want at least one sleek outfit. High heels are standard, but precarious--it's nearly impossible to walk in heels on some of Hong Kong's cobbled hillside streets. 

    In late October or early November, the temperature drops and can get surprisingly low--just above freezing at times in January. The prevalent damp gets in your bones and makes it feel even colder, so bring a cozy jacket and sweaters. 

    In the summer, shorts and tees are standard, and bring a bathing suit or five. But don't foret a scarf or sweater-- the airconditioned restaurants, malls, buses, metros, taxis, bars (...the list goes on) are absolutely frigid. 

    Finally, leave some extra space in your suitcase. Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise, and there are souvenirs to be had. 


  • On July 30, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What is the best Hong Kong nightlife?

    Hong Kong's nightlife is essentially centered around a few islands of intense activity. These neighborhoods come alive at night with people spilling out of bars, pubs, and superclubs--happy to take advantage of Hong Kong's legal street drinking. Drinking is a huge part of Hong Kong culture, especially for expats, many of whom are drawn to the city for its glitz and lighthearted atmosphere.

    The most famous--perhaps infamous--of these 'islands' is Lan Kwai Fong, or LKF, a little pedestrian cul-de-sac in Central lined with bars and restaurants open 'til wee hours. Due to its notoriety as the place to party, a large percentage of the crowd on any given night will be tourists--but that makes for a friendly, chatty atmosphere. LKF is at its best during holidays and sporting events (like Halloween and 7s), when it explodes with inebraited, costumed revelers. 

    Above LKF is Wydham Street, home to Hong Kong's most exclusive clubs. If red ropes and bottle service is what you want, try Boujis, Tasmanian Ballroom, Dragon-i, Prive, Azure or and Bisous (the latter featuring pretty impressive burlesque show). Unless you’re “on the list”, prepare to wait on line. For something a bit more hip and relaxed, try Kee Club, Socialito, Midnight & Co, or Fly. 

    A bit further up the hill is SoHo, a charming matrix of lanes filled with trendy restaurants, bars and clubs. The perfect place to meet a friend for a drink, or hop from bar to bar. For a grittier, more counterculture experience, try Senses 99 on Wellington Street, where you can buy a beer in an apartment and listen to locals jam on the bar's instruments, or The Globe, a real gastropub, where you can sample a beer from Hong Kong’s only local craft brewery, Typhoon. 

    Hong Kong's other nightlife 'island' is Wan Chai, long known as the sleazy haunt of older expat men. The main drag, Lockhart Road, is lined with pubs and clubs, ranging from the very convivial Mes Amis to the less-reputable Amazonia. But there's more to Wan Chai these days than bartop dancing and Filipino coverbands. Trendy hangouts have been popping up and redefining the area, slowly but surely. Stone Nullah Tavern, TED's Lookout, and the atmospheric Tai Long Fun are all exceptional places to exlore the scene. 

    Hong Kong has seen a recent, celebrated influx of speakeasy-style cocktail bars, the coolest of which is probably 001, distinguished only by unmarked black door tucked in a wet market. Lily & Bloom, Quinary, Boudoir, Wyndham the 4th, and The Pawn are also highly regarded. The new kid on the block is Honi Honi, an outdoor tiki bar where drinks are served in coconuts and melons.

    And finally, perhaps the sleekest place to sip your cocktail is atop one of Hong Kong's many soaring luxury hotel bars, like M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental and Café Grey at the Upper House. Prices usually run upwards of 120 HKD a drink (about $15), but along with your drink, you get the opportunity to ogle Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline. 

  • On July 30, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What is the best Hong Kong nightlife?

    Hong Kong's nightlife is essentially centered around a few islands of intense activity. These neighborhoods come alive at night with people spilling out of bars, pubs, and superclubs--happy to take advantage of Hong Kong's legal street drinking. Drinking is a huge part of Hong Kong culture, especially for expats, many of whom are drawn to the city for its glitz and lighthearted atmosphere.

    The most famous--perhaps infamous--of these 'islands' is Lan Kwai Fong, or LKF, a little pedestrian cul-de-sac in Central lined with bars and restaurants open 'til wee hours. Due to its notoriety as the place to party, a large percentage of the crowd on any given night will be tourists--but that makes for a friendly, chatty atmosphere. LKF is at its best during holidays and sporting events (like Halloween and 7s), when it explodes with inebraited, costumed revelers. 

    Above LKF is Wydham Street, home to Hong Kong's most exclusive clubs. If red ropes and bottle service is what you want, try Boujis, Tasmanian Ballroom, Dragon-i, Prive, Azure or and Bisous (the latter featuring pretty impressive burlesque show). Unless you’re “on the list”, prepare to wait on line. For something a bit more hip and relaxed, try Kee Club, Socialito, Midnight & Co, or Fly. 

    A bit further up the hill is SoHo, a charming matrix of lanes filled with trendy restaurants, bars and clubs. The perfect place to meet a friend for a drink, or hop from bar to bar. For a grittier, more counterculture experience, try Senses 99 on Wellington Street, where you can buy a beer in an apartment and listen to locals jam on the bar's instruments, or The Globe, a real gastropub, where you can sample a beer from Hong Kong’s only local craft brewery, Typhoon. 

    Hong Kong's other nightlife 'island' is Wan Chai, long known as the sleazy haunt of older expat men. The main drag, Lockhart Road, is lined with pubs and clubs, ranging from the very convivial Mes Amis to the less-reputable Amazonia. But there's more to Wan Chai these days than bartop dancing and Filipino coverbands. Trendy hangouts have been popping up and redefining the area, slowly but surely. Stone Nullah Tavern, TED's Lookout, and the atmospheric Tai Long Fun are all exceptional places to exlore the scene. 

    Hong Kong has seen a recent, celebrated influx of speakeasy-style cocktail bars, the coolest of which is probably 001, distinguished only by unmarked black door tucked in a wet market. Lily & Bloom, Quinary, Boudoir, Wyndham the 4th, and The Pawn are also highly regarded. The new kid on the block is Honi Honi, an outdoor tiki bar where drinks are served in coconuts and melons.

    And finally, perhaps the sleekest place to sip your cocktail is atop one of Hong Kong's many soaring luxury hotel bars, like M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental and Café Grey at the Upper House. Prices usually run upwards of 120 HKD a drink (about $15), but along with your drink, you get the opportunity to ogle Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline. Same goes for Wooloomooloo Steakhouse in Wan Chai.

  • On June 25, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What is nightlife like in Hong Kong?

    Drinking and dancing are a huge part of Hong Kong's social culture. Most nighttime activity is centered across a few concentrated neighbohoods filled with bars, pubs, and clubs. 

    Hong Kong Islands' major drinking turf is the famous Lan Kwai Fong, a little pedestrian cul-de-sac lined with innumerable bars filled with tourists and expats taking jello shots and drinking liquor. It's friendly, but can be raucous. On any holiday or major sporting event, LKF becomes packed to the brim with drunken denizens in costume (or "fancy dress", as they call it here). In some ways, that's the best time to see LKF at its most impressive, but it may also feel overwhelming. 

    For something more glamorous, head to Wyndham Street, just about LKF, which is lined with exclusive, bottle-service bars and clubs. Among the favorites are Tasmanian Ballroom, Dragon-i, Azure, Boujis, Solas, and Bisous (the latter featuring a nightly burlesque show). Unless you’re “on the list”, prepare to wait on line. 

    LKF's nightly competitor is Wan Chai, where you'll find a funny mix of strip clubs and British pubs (arguably catering to a certain type of expatriate male). The streets are lined with Filipina and Thai escorts for hire. But Wan Chai is quickly changing--in addition to the eternally convivial pubs, a number of hip cocktail bars now pepper the area, including the historical Pawn, TED's lookout and Stone Nullah Tavern. Wooloomooloo Prime's rooftop cocktail bar also offers one of the best views in the entire city. 

    Hong Kong has seen a recent, celebrated influx of speakeasy-style cocktail bars, serving specialized selections of every liquor. Honi Honi, Lily & Bloom, Quinary, Blck Brd, and Origin  are all highly regarded. You’ll also find exotic, artisanal cocktails atop some of Hong Kong’s best hotels, including M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental and Café Grey at the Upper House. Prices usually run upwards of 120 HKD a drink (about $15), but along with your drink, you get to ogle Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline. 

    Hong Kong’s drinking scene tends towards glitz and glamour. But if you’re willing to venture off the beaten path, a gritty counterculture exists, albeit a small one. The Globe is Hong Kong’s best beer bar—not your average watery Britpub, but a real gastropub, where you can sample a beer from Hong Kong’s only local craft brewery, Typhoon. Hidden Agenda, way out in Kwun Tong, is a former factory now serving up a cool, diverse line-up of local hardcore rockers and overseas indie bands.

    For the true Hong Kong hipster experience, nowhere beats XXX. Formerly located underground in Sheung Wan’s dried seafood market, XXX is a BYOB space where DJs spin music ranging from dubstep to indie-electro to dancehall. XXX has vacated its iconic space due to rent and noise complaints, but is set to reopen in August 2013 in Sai Ying Pun. 

    The last thing to know about drinking in Hong Kong is that public consumption of alcohol, on the street, is totally legal. Cheers. 
  • On June 25, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What is nightlife like in Hong Kong?

    Drinking and dancing are a huge part of Hong Kong's social culture. Most nighttime activity is centered across a few concentrated neighbohoods filled with bars, pubs, and clubs. 

    Hong Kong Islands' major drinking turf is the famous Lan Kwai Fong, a little, pedestrian cul-de-sac lined with innumerable bars filled with tourists and expats taking jello shots and drinking liquor. It's friendly, but can be raucous. On any holiday or major sporting event, LKF becomes packed to the brim with drunken denizens in costume (or "fancy dress", as they call it here). In some ways, that's the best time to see LKF at its most impressive, but it may also feel overwhelming. 

    For something more glamorous, head to Wyndham Stree, just about LKF, which is lined with exclusive, bottle-service bars and clubs. Among the favorites are Tasmanian Ballroom, Dragon-i, Azure, Boujis, Solas, and Bisous (the latter featuring a nightly burlesque show). Unless you’re “on the list”, prepare to wait on line. 

    LKF's nightly competitor is Wan Chai, an area filled with strip clubs and British pubs (arguably catering to a certain type of expatriate male). The streets are lined with Filipina and Thai escorts for hire. But Wan Chai is quickly changing--in addition to the eternally convivial pubs, a number of hip cocktail bars now pepper the area, including the historical Pawn, TED's lookout and Stone Nullah Tavern. Wooloomooloo Prime's rooftop cocktail bar also offers one of the best views in the entire city. 

    Hong Kong has seen a recent, celebrated influx of speakeasy-style cocktail bars, serving specialized selections of every liquor. Honi Honi, Lily & Bloom, Quinary, Blck Brd, and Origin  are all highly regarded. You’ll also find exotic, artisanal cocktails atop some of Hong Kong’s best hotels, including M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental and Café Grey at the Upper House. Prices usually run upwards of 120 HKD a drink (about $15), but along with your drink, you get the opportunity to ogle Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline. 

    Hong Kong’s drinking scene tends towards glitz and glamour. But if you’re willing to venture off the beaten path, a gritty counterculture exists, albeit a small one. The Globe is Hong Kong’s best beer bar—not your average Britpub, but a real gastropub, where you can sample a beer from Hong Kong’s only local craft brewery, Typhoon. Hidden Agenda, way out in Kwun Tong, is a former factory now serving up a cool, diverse line-up of local hardcore rockers and overseas indie bands.

    For the true Hong Kong hipster experience, nowhere beats XXX. Formerly located in Sheung Wan’s dried seafood market and literally underground, XXX is a BYOB space where different DJs spin music ranging from dubstep to indierock to dancehall. XXX has left its iconic space due to rent and noise complaints, but is set to reopen in August 2013 in Sai Ying Pun. 

    The last thing to know about drinking in Hong Kong is that public consumption of alcohol, on the street, is totally legal. Cheers. 
  • On June 22, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What is the best way to see Hong Kong in two days?

    Hong Kong is quite easy to do in two days. The city is bustling but compact, and in two days you can experience both the urban center and the outlying landscapes. 

    Begin in Central with a hearty dim sum brunch at the elegant old-world Luk Yu Teahouse on Stanley Street. For something more upscale, try the Four Seasons's rendition at celebrated Chinese restaurant Lung King Heen. Then ride "the world's longest covered escalator" through SoHo's shoplined winding streets and then veer westward to explore PoHo's hip, local charm. Do a spot of shopping and then meander back down the hill to Central Piers, where you can catch the Star Ferry to Kowloon. 

    After the scenic ride, either explore busting Tsim Sha Tsui--another shopping mecca--or hop on the MTR to Prince Edward or Mongkok, to peruse Hong Kong's famous markets, including the flower market, the bird market, or the goldfish market. Then back to TST for dinner at one of Hong Kong's fancy aerial restaurants, like Hutong or Felix. 

    Finish the night off with dancing and drinks in SoHo or Lan Kwai Fong. 

    On your second morning, enjoy a quiet walk in Hong Kong's zoological gardens, a peaceful oasis in Admiralty (full of flamingos and monkeys!) that feels worlds away from the city. Then take the wonderfully scenic bus to Stanley, where you'll find a beachfront plaza with lots of great lunch options. Wander through the very kitschy Stanley Market, a perfect place to scoop up souvenirs. Weather permitting, take a taxi to Shek O, and relax for the whole afternoon on the sandy beach. Then back to Central for dinner (perhaps at Otto e Mezzo or Amber) and a nightcap. 

    If the weather isn't beach-friendly, skip Stanley and Shek O. Instead, take the ferry to Lamma Island, which is charming to explore even in the rain, and enjoy a beer by the beach before your massive seafood dinner at Lamma's Rainbow Seafood, where you can choose fresh catch from the tanks. 
  • On June 19, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What are the best festivals in Hong Kong?

    Chinese New Year: For local Hong Kongers and Chinese, this festival in January/ February (depending on the moon) is arguably the most important of the year. Celebrations continue over the course of a week, during which people exchange gifts and lucky red-packets of money, lai see. The city also puts on quite a display, with spectacular fireworks, a long float parade in TST, and "flower" markets (which sell much more than just flowers). But the festival isn't an ideal time to be in town, unless you'll be involved in family decorations--many businesses close and the big crowds at the parade and fireworks can be frustrating and exhausting.

    Hong Kong Rugby Sevens: Thousands of fans descend upon the city for Hong Kong's most raucous and iconic sporting event, both to watch the rugby tournament and partake in the drunken revelries that attend it. Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai are filled nightly with costumed fans, not unlike Halloween. 

    Dragon Boat Festival: In June, teams of dragon boat racers hit to the water to partake in a week of competitions, which can be exhilarating to watch. Many teams train year-round for the big champion race at Stanley. The festival traditionally commemorates the legendary poet Qu Yuan who fought corruption at the Emperor's court and threw himself into the river--the underlying message may be more meaninful to Hong Kongers now than ever. 

    Mid-Autumn Festival: This festival is perhaps Hong Kong's most charming. Families and friends gather to light colorful paper lanterns and eat sweet, sticky mooncakes. 

    Clockenflap: Hong Kong isn't known as a music capital of Asia, but the organizers of Clockenflap, an outdoor music festival in West Kowloon, are working to change that. Each December, local bands and international names come together to put on two days' worth of great shows. It may not be Coachella or Fuji Rock, but it gets better and bigger each year. Past headliners included Alt-J, Azealia Banks, Hot Chip, YACHT, and Santigold. 







  • On June 11, 2013
    Madeline Gressel answered the question: Madeline Gressel

    What are the best hotels in Hong Kong?

    Hong Kong has no shortage of wonderful hotels, although prices can feel quite steep for the region. Choosing one all depends on what you want: 

    For Hong Kong history: The 85-year-old flagship Peninsula and the 50-year-old Mandarin Oriental are locked in an eternal struggle to be Hong Kong's most pedigreed hotel. Each hotel has much to recommend it: The Peninsula has the celebrated Felix restaurant, beautiful colonial archictecture, a famed high tea, and a fleet of green Rolls Royces; The Mandarin has a Forbes Five Star Spa, ten top-notch restaurants, including the private Krug Room, and a sinfully delicious top-floor cocktail bar, the M Bar. Really, the difference comes down to whether you'd prefer to be in Kowloon or on the Island. 

    For understated elegance: The Upper House is Hong Kong's last word in painfully chic elegance. From the grey slate exterior to the warm, inviting interiors, everything in this hotel has been perfectly thought out. Impeccable service, an open mini bar, and the immaculate food and cocktails at Cafe Grey make this the city's hippest hotel. 

    For a different view: It's easy to ignore EAST Hotel, located in Taikoo Shing, but that would be a mistake. Designed by leading Hong Kong architect William Lim, this East Island business hotel blends a peaceful vibe with beautiful design and great service. There's a lovely outdoor pool and a 32nd-floor cocktail bar, Sugar. Order the Gin Collins and relax. A perfect place to escape Hong Kong's hectic pace. 

    For a futuristic feeling: Hotel ICON was co-designed by the leading icons of Hong Kong design (hence the name): William Lim, Vivienne Tam, Tommy Li, Freeman Lau, and others. And it shows. The hotel boasts a creative flair and attention to detail that few others have. Amenities include a vertical garden, a rooftop pool, complimentary cocktails, a TST shuttle service, and the popular restaurant, Above & Beyond.