On a humid, balmy evening in Hong Kong, there can be nothing better than enjoying spectacular views over Victoria Harbour at one of the city’s stylish rooftop bars.
Of course, there is more to the Hong Kong bar scene than view-boasting open-air drinking (usually the higher up, the better) – the city also offers a number of innovative, design-led bars and fabulous, fiercely air-conditioned luxury hotel bars.
Here are five cool Hong Kong bars that are sure to impress….
OZONE at Ritz Carlton Hong Kong – Kowloon
For stylish cocktails close to the clouds, find a seat on the open-air terrace of OZONE. Perched on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, an impressive 490m above sea-level, OZONE is officially the highest bar in the world.
Designed by Masamichi Katayama’s hip design company Wonderwall, the geometric, neon-flooded bar has a futuristic, clubby feel but it’s the outdoor terrace that draws in the crowds for unrivalled sunset views over the city and Victoria Harbour.
OZONE’s international and Asian-inspired cocktails are expertly-mixed and well-presented and there is a tempting menu of Asian tapas dishes to accompany drinks. For something more exciting than a classic glass of Champagne, try the delicate and refreshing Lychee Royale – lychee juice, lychee liqueur, rose syrup, lemon juice and Champagne.
Felix at The Peninsula – Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Opened in 1928, Hong Kong landmark hotel The Peninsula is steeped in elegance and colonial grandeur. The gilded white marble lobby filled with palm trees is the destination in Hong Kong for a refined afternoon tea, however we visited Felix, the hotel’s contemporary restaurant and bar for a Sunday nightcap.
Felix’s unmistakable Philippe Starck design is a striking contrast to the old world charm of the lobby. Spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the twinkling skyline are matched with Starck’s signature design features such as floating white curtains, long communal tables and white chairs printed with the faces of long-time employees.
We sat at The Long Table and ordered cocktails and rose tea, served with a platter of almonds, olives and pastry puffs. Service is surprisingly laid-back and discreet, so we were left in peace to discuss the day and relax after our visit to the bustling night markets.
Before leaving, take in the atmosphere and history of the hotel in the luxurious lobby and look out for the large fleet of Rolls Royces outside, painted in the signature ‘Peninsula green’.
The Pawn – Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
The Pawn is a cool British-influenced bar and restaurant located in buzzing Wan Chai, equally popular with expats and locals. Housed in a Chinese heritage building dating back to the late 1800s, The Pawn is named after its original life as the famous Woo Cheong Pawn Shop.
The four-floor complex features a charming botanical Rooftop Garden, The Dining Room serving innovative British dishes and The Living Room cocktail lounge with narrow outdoor terrace. As the rooftop bar was closed that evening, we visited The Living Room for cocktails. The Pawn specialises in superior cocktails and we loved the sophisticated Roasted Orange Negroni and Cigar Rum Old Fashioned. It even offers a selection of vintage cigars to be smoked on the terrace.
Designed by local artist Stanley Wong, the refined, clubhouse decor of Chesterfield sofas and restored tiled floors is offset by a hip house music soundtrack. However, the atmosphere is far from stuffy – in fact, guests from one of the two engagement parties in private rooms made an impromptu conga line through the bar, to everyone’s delight.
Wooloomooloo Rooftop Bar – Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
It would be easy to overlook a steakhouse in Hong Kong with all of the delicious Dim Sum on offer, however, the views from the rooftop bar of Wooloomooloo Steakhouse at the top of Wan Chai’s Hennessy Building are not to be missed. The stylish open-air terrace features plush sofas to sit and marvel at the views over Happy Valley and Victoria Harbour, or you can watch the slick bartenders at work at the central bar.
The limited selection of classic cocktails aren’t particularly exciting, but the panoramic views and smart urban crowd of locals and expats make it a great spot for early evening sundowners.
Aqua Luna – Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon/Central, Hong Kong Island
Who said cool bars can only be found on dry land? Evening cocktails on board the Aqua Luna are the most stylish way to see Hong Kong’s fabulous harbour, boasting front row seats for the dazzling Symphony of Lights. Operated by Aqua, the high-end Asian restaurant group, Aqua Luna is a beautifully hand-crafted ship, inspired by traditional Chinese fishing junk.
Hop on at Tsim Sha Tsui or Central, chill out with a drink on the upper deck sofa beds and enjoy the ride while listening to a mix of sultry lounge music and Chinese pop songs. After a long flight and a restorative dinner, it’s a fun and glam way to ease into Hong Kong.
It was difficult to squeeze in every bar on my list during my whirlwind three-night trip to Hong Kong, but if you have a little longer in the city, why not also try Cafe Gray Bar at The Upper House, lifestyle guru Bonnae Gokson’s plush SEVVA rooftop bar, Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge and the chic Armani/Privé rooftop bar.
For more tips on where to drink in Hong Kong, visit: www.discoverhongkong.com
Chérie City was a guest of Hong Kong Tourism Board
All photos by Chérie City (except Wooloomooloo exterior and The Pawn interior)