Since opening in Hong Kong last spring, the icing-white government offices turned luxury hotel The Murray has garnered attention as much for its eye-catching Modernist architecture (conceived by visionary Brit Ron Phillips in 1969) and ambitious reworking by Foster + Partners, as for its showstopper restaurants and forward-leaning wellness.
And while this heritage hottie is attracting a stylish, globestrutting clientele, for those who live in The Fragrant Harbour, The Murray is also one of the best in the city for a staycation – though parents, you might wanna leave the sprogs at home for this one.
Whatever direction your room, you’ll be treated to sensational views, be they of the neon-drenched cityscape with the peeking harbour behind, or, the lesser-spied green n’ leafy Botanic Gardens – zip to the rooftop for the full 360-degree panorama. When built, The Murray was the tallest building in Hong Kong; today it’s towered over by its financial neighbours, and this is all for the better; you have a sense of being right in the heart of the city, hugged by gleaming skyscrapers on one side, and protected by the verdant mountains on the other.
Handsome, muted chambers are all plush greige accented with leather, textiles and occasional pops of colour – though they’re saved from the realms of taste-so-good-it’s-bland by the distinctive cubed windows and those views. It is, after all, The Murray’s striking architecture and outward aspects that add personality and a sense of location to this 336-room, remarkably dapper chap. Upwards of 50-sq-m in size, abodes are well endowed by Hong Kong standards, leaving you and your other half with ample space for lounging.
When and if you manage to drag yourself from your room, there’s a teched-out gym (views of the Botanic Gardens will while away the dullest of treadmill runs); personalised fitness that includes tai chi, yoga and PT either indoors or out, a sliver of an indoor dipper, and a spa offering tailor-made, guest-only treatments for body and face with divine Grown Alchemist and Kertsin Florian prods.
An array of wine and dine options also entice, including Garden Lounge, a glassy foliage- flanked dining room for brekkie and afternoon tea (note: service is friendly but on the slow side), and The Tai Pan, serving contemporary east-west fare to a biz crowd. For a more romantic rendezvous, book a perch at Popinjays, the hotel’s demure rooftop fine-diner where pan-man Didier Quennouelle’s culinary magic plays out in delicately balanced, seasonal set menus generously tailored for even the fussiest of gluten, dairy and meat-free eaters. Before you retreat, be sure take post-prandials on the vast terrace; with its twinkly vistas and buzzy atmos, it’s a veritable scene spot on balmier evenings.
The Murray Hotel, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, tel +852 3141 8888, niccolohotels.com
When you’re ready to leave the hotel, here are three sip n’ sup spots close by:
The cute, serene Lock Cha Teahouse set amid the lush greenery of Hong Kong Park serves tea (but natch) and veggie dim sum. lockcha.com
Rough-luxe subterranean lair of show-stopping Chinoiserie-dappled design, Mott 32 has rightly earned a stellar rep for its meticulous modern Sino fare. Advance reservations essential. mott32.com
Sultry 30s-inspired lounge Foxglove delivers vintage jazz vibes and innovative pours with aplomb. mingfathouse.com
LUXE was hosted for a stay at The Murray.
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