Hong Kong: 5 Places to Stay

The Langham Hotel

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Italianate grandeur is the aesthetic of choice at this Kowloon property, set a few blocks away from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront (with its Star Ferry dock and hulking Harbour Plaza shopping center). The lobby is over-the-top ornate, with a high domed ceiling, Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, and inlaid marble floors that evoke a luxe Tuscan estate. Of the 495 rooms, the 270 Grand Rooms have been gorgeously and recently renovated, with leather-paneled walls and vintage black-and-white phtography; slick glass, chrome, and cherry wood furniture; and opulent baths with deep soaking tubs, elegant wall sconces, and piles of fluffy white towels. All have bedside controls for lights, temperature, drapes, and door chimes (the last can be disabled with a "Do Not Disturb" switch). There's a state-of-the-art fitness center, open around the clock, and a lovely rooftop pool, surrounded by mosaic tile and flowering bougainvillea (very popular during warm weather months — plan to stake out your chaise lounge early).

Insider Tip: Splurge on a dinner of Cantonese crab at the lavish onsite T'ang Court restaurant.

Room to Book: As usual, rooms on the Langham Club floors (11-16) include lots of bells and whistles, like breakfast and cocktails in the private club lounge, free limo transport to and from the airport, and access to a private boardroom for business meetings.

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