Tried & Tested

Hotel check: The Mira Hong Kong

30 Sep 2010 by Tom Otley

What’s it like? Originally opened in 1957, which possibly makes it the oldest hotel in Hong Kong after the Peninsula, the old Miramar was extensively remodelled in 2009 at a cost of more than US$65 million, and renamed the Mira, with US pop star Katy Perry performing at the opening party. On arrival, no matter how tired you are, you feel like you are making an entrance to this “chic lifestyle hotel”.

The interior is impressive, with a series of white fins welcoming you to a large lobby area, and the chandeliers from the former hotel now reinvented as art installations hanging from the roof. It’s no surprise to learn that event designer Colin Cowie, whose clients have included Hollywood celebrities, Dom Pérignon and Warner Bros, oversaw these interiors, and that the property is a member of the Design Hotels portfolio.

Where is it? In Tsimshatsui on the corner of Nathan Road and Kimberley Road, two minutes’ walk from exit B1 of the Tsimshatsui MTR station.

Room facilities Styled for today’s “fast-living urban travellers”, the 492 rooms come in a range of categories. Studio rooms are 22 sqm, while City, Park View and Courtyard rooms are all 27 sqm and come in red, green or silver colour schemes. All are furnished with designer fabrics and include an “Egg Chair” by Arne Jacobsen matching the décor, and marble bathrooms with rainshowers. The in-room technology incorporates 40-inch LCD TVs, 500GB Sony PC/entertainment centres, Bose in-room speakers, free high-speed wifi and wired internet, and a “My Mobile” Nokia phone that allows you to be contacted, and to stay in touch, wherever you go in the city as calls are forwarded to it from the room.

Next up are the Club rooms, also 27 sqm but styled in purple, with Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries and access to the Mira Club, set over the 12th and 15th floors, where you can get private check-in, breakfast, snacks throughout the day and evening, drinks, and daily use of a meeting room. There are 41 suites with a choice of views, from Kowloon Park to one overlooking the internal fifth-floor terrace garden lounge, Vibes. Sizes range from 70 sqm to 100 sqm, and there are also seven Spa suites with rainshowers and whirlpool baths, and eight Speciality suites. The smoking floors are the 12th and 16th.

Restaurants and bars A good choice is offered across several floors. There is excellent European dining at Whisk, and modern Cantonese at Cuisine Cuisine at the Mira – the second branch of the restaurant, after the one in the International Finance Centre mall. Breakfast is served at the “Japanese-infused” international all-day buffet restaurant Yamm, where I was impressed by the juice bar as well as the service. There is also the coffee and chocolate venue Coco, and lobby bar Room One, while Vibes has lounging cushions, chairs, clever lighting and waterways.

Business facilities There is more than 1,300 sqm of event space, including eight function rooms and a spectacular ballroom (one of the only pillarless halls in Hong Kong, although it is L-shaped) featuring 25,000 LED lighting combinations. The business centre is on the third floor but is closed temporarily.

Leisure facilities The Mira spa (open 8am-11pm) and gym (6am-11pm), on basement level three, opened at the start of this year and has 1,670 sqm of facilities, including a 25-metre indoor infinity pool.

Verdict Excellent. The Mira is aiming high to compete with hotels such as the W in West Kowloon. It has a better location for most Hong Kong visitors, the service is attentive, Whisk restaurant is excellent and the Club floor very impressive. Well worth trying.

FACT FILE

HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 492 in total, including 76 Club rooms and 56 suites.

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The free wifi, huge TVs and walk-about phone all make this a hotel that has thought about what technology can offer the modern business traveller. The safe allows you to charge your laptop.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in November started from HK$1,700 (£142) for a Studio (single occupancy) room.

CONTACT The Mira, 118 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon; tel +852 2368 1111; themirahotel.com

Tom Otley

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