The five-star Four Seasons in Hong Kong is a relatively new hotel in the city, having opened in 2005, but it's already made its mark as one of the city's most luxurious business hotels, and a firm favourite among business travellers lucky enough to have a corporate travel policy that includes the Four Seasons.
Known for its views and fantastic restaurants -- in fact, we picked the Four Seasons' Lung King Heen as one of our top eight business restaurants in Hong Kong -- the Four Seasons' 399 rooms alternate between "eastern" and "western" decor and styles.
But we wanted to test out whether the Four Seasons' vaunted service and picture-postcard views were worth the price tag, so I paid it a visit on a recent trip through Hong Kong.
Location & Impressions
The Four Seasons is particularly well situated for business travellers coming in from Hong Kong International Airport, with the Airport Express train station a brief, stairless walk through the covered, airconditioned IFC mall -- easily feasible even with two suitcases.
The mall is also useful if you're looking for that perfect gift to bring home with you, and connects into the wider Central covered walkway that stretches to (among others) the Star Ferry terminals and the Landmark complex.
Although I had the option of checking in on the top-floor executive lounge, there was no queue at reception in the spacious, airy lobby, so I decided to check in there rather than going up to the lounge and then going back down to my room.
The Four Seasons alternates floors between Eastern and Western styles. Interestingly, hotel staffers explained that Western travellers tend to prefer the Eastern rooms and vice versa.
The rooms are a decent size -- especially for space-constrained Hong Kong -- and are beautifully decorated.
Inside, the room layout is fairly standard, with the large bathroom off to the side as you enter, a wide hallway and luggage shelf with enough room for a suitcase next to the bathroom door and the main room space (and full floor-to-ceiling windows) at the far end.
I reckon the bed is up there with the most comfortable I've slept in, with sumptuous linens and perfect squashy pillows that compress down into a decent amount of support.
Bedside tables flank the bed, with more than enough space on each for your phone, ebook reader and glasses. A nice touch is the small LED reading light on either side of the bed -- perfect if you're travelling with the plus-one and one of you can't sleep.
Between bed and bathroom is a large wardrobe, clad in an intricate pale wood pattern that brightens the room. Next to the wardrobe you'll find the wraparound minibar/coffee area, which continues on into the hallway.
A big plus is the Nespresso machine -- always good for a quick jolt of caffeine late at night or early in the morning.
There's no sofa in the room, but the good-sized armchair and ottoman -- and the clever overhanging side table -- make up for it.
Two corporate-looking wheeled leather desk chairs face the glass-topped desk near the window.
The large flat-panel TV is wall-mounted, with a Bose iPod/iPhone dock underneath on top of a narrow storage credenza.
In the bathroom, you'll find a separate glass walk-in shower (with monsoon head and detachable wand) and a deep soaking bathtub that has its own mini TV.
Toiletries are L'Occitane -- a brand which is, in fairness, starting to lose its lustre -- and there's a notable range of extras, including mouthwash, small cans of shaving foam, proper toothbrushes and so on.
Towels are proper fluffy Four Seasons quality -- large, soft and top-notch.
Usefully, the large desk has chairs both sides, so you can decide whether you want to be distracted by the fantastic views over Victoria Harbour.
Impressively fast wifi maxed out at around 12Mbps down/2Mbps up, which is more than enough for most needs.
Executive Club business lounge
Is the Four Seasons' top-floor executive lounge the best in Hong Kong? I'm minded to say yes.
With all-day drinks (including Taittinger champagne and an impressive range of wines), substantial food offerings at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a wraparound outdoor balcony with views over to the new ICC in West Kowloon, down Victoria Harbour to Central and Causeway Bay, and west towards the sea, it's a stunner.
The service is especially impressive, with the helpful staff happy to arrange meetings in the lounge's boardrooms, and a good range of spaces to get some work done, to chill out and to get together with colleagues informally.
Hotels in Hong Kong, unlike many other cities, often host fantastic restaurants, and the Four Seasons has two absolute gems with three Michelin stars each: Lung King Heen and Caprice.
I had lunch in the world-class Cantonese restaurant, Lung King Heen, which was just brilliant. (For more info, check out our guide to the top eight Hong Kong restaurants for a business lunch.)
Caprice, its French sister, is equally stunning by reputation, and while I couldn't stay for lunch, I had a look round and was very excited by the walk-in cheese room.
Room service, too, is absolutely top-notch, served swiftly and elegantly, with featured dishes from both Caprice and Lung King Heen.
And dinner in the Executive Club, too, is smashing -- one of the widest ranges of executive lounge buffets at breakfast and dinner that I've seen in quite some time.
You want relaxation? The Four Seasons is a blissful escape from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.
The superbly equipped gym is a big winner, with a plentiful supply of cardio and weight machines (and chilled damp towels to cool off afterwards).
But the large pool complex on top of the sixth floor is a world-class offering, with views down Victoria Harbour and across to the new ICC building (Hong Kong's tallest) at West Kowloon, all the while swimming underneath Hong Kong's second tallest building, the IFC, in your choice of two pools and several hot-tubs.
It's also my new favourite place to watch the nightly Symphony of Lights, or just to watch dusk fall over Hong Kong's glitzy skyline.
I can't fault a single thing about the Four Seasons. From the fantastic bed to the perfect bathroom, the world-class restaurants to the best executive lounge in Hong Kong, this is one of the few Hong Kong hotels I'll be returning to again and again.
Our reporter was a guest of the hotel.