Hong Kong Highlights: Top 9 Must-See Places

PLAY IN HONG KONG

Diamante recommends these top nine places as must-see when you’re in Hong Kong.

Avenue of Stars

The ‘Avenue of Stars’ pays tribute to the names that helped make Hong Kong the ‘Hollywood of the East’, with more than a hundred celebrity hand prints along the path, this is a beautiful walk along the Harbor and just steps away from the Rosewood Hong Kong, featured in this diary entry.

Star Ferry

The Star Ferry Harbour Cruise has been faithfully carrying passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1888. The Star Ferry and the Tram are the two favorite public transportation options for locals in Hong Kong, not just because of their affordable prices but they also represent the local culture. 

Sky 100

The Sky 100 observation deck is located on the 100th floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building, the International Commerce Center (ICC), the highest indoor observation deck in the city with remarkable 360-degree views of Victoria Harbour. 

Ladies Market

A well-known local market that provides a one-kilometer stretch with over 100 stalls of bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs. The Ladies Market gets its name from the large amount of clothing and accessories for women of all ages, along with watches, cosmetics, bags, home furnishings, CD’s and trinkets. 

Temple Street Night Market

The Temple Street Night Market is a popular street bazaar, named after a Tin Hau temple located in the center of its main drag, and a place filled with local atmosphere. Trinkets, tea ware, electronics, watches, menswear, jade and antiques are all haggled over here, while clay-pot rice, seafood, noodles and many other varieties of cuisine are available on every corner. 

The Peak

The highest point on Hong Kong island, this area has been the city’s most exclusive neighborhood since colonial times, with panoramic views of the city’s spectacular skyline.  The Peak Tower has a large viewing platform, along with shopping and a variety of dining options. It’s about a 30 minute taxi from central Hong Kong, or a 10 minute walk from the Rosewood Hotel to access the Peak Tram.

Hollywood Road

The oldest road ever built in the history of Hong Kong, Hollywood Road is the best place to visit for art lovers, particularly for Chinese antiques. Sellers are happy to assist buyers in transporting large items internationally. 

Stanley Market

Located in the quaint village of Stanley on Hong Kong Island’s south coast, this is a popular destination for locals, expats, and tourists, known for its enormous selection of brand name clothing items, accessories, jewelry, home furnishings, and souvenirs sold at reasonable prices. 

Big Buddha

Sitting 34 meters high and facing north to look over the Chinese people, the Big Buddha is one of Hong Kong’s most majestic sites to visit. Located at the remote Po Lin Monastery, and hidden away by lush mountains, this incredible bronze Buddha attracts visitors from all over Asia. Be sure to climb the 268 steps to the top for a closer look at this remarkable statue, with views to the mountain and sea that can be seen from its base. The right hand of the Buddha is raised to deliver a blessing to all. The best way to get there is to take the tram, and make sure to request the glass bottom for amazing views all the way to the top until you are greeted by the Buddha.

If you’d like help booking any of these activities during your visit to Hong Kong, let us help you make plans and reservations.

The Rosewood Hong Kong: Your Hong Kong Oasis

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EXPERIENCE

Soaring over Victoria Harbour, the newly renovated Rosewood Hong Kong is a center of gravity on the Kowloon waterfront; located centrally in the Victoria Dockside arts and design district. A warm welcome invites a stay of unparalleled comfort and genuine hospitality at the Hong Kong luxury hotel, inviting a feeling of going home. The hotel welcomes a sense of serenity in the hustle and bustle of the city, while providing a collective experience of Hong Kong culture with impeccable attention to detail and design that represents the essence of the city.

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The Rosewood philosophy is about creating a  sense of place, and their Hong Kong global flagship property has an exclusive, intimate feeling, as though you are returning home. Each property is infused with local culture, all unique in their own style and design of the place. The Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is owned by New World Development, a Hong Kong hotel-and-property company that's part of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, founded by the late Cheng Yu-tung, and now run by his granddaughter, Sonia Cheng, who is currently chief executive officer of the hotel, leading a team of seasoned industry professionals in the regional and international expansion of the brand. The Rosewood Hong Kong was designed by American architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, creating the 65-story exterior that pays homage to Hong Kong's verticality, which explains why the hotel is known as a "vertical estate".

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The Rosewood Hong Kong has 413 rooms and 93 suites, and with its prime location, over 80 percent of the rooms offer panoramic views of the Hong Kong skyline. Each guest room floor has a spacious welcome lounge area, intended to bring space into a busy place. Every floor has a different theme, intending to be a transition space, rather than entering the room immediately.  These lounge spaces also provide a private and personal location for guests to host or have meetings with clients in the remoteness of their own space. 

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Featuring a mix of fabrics and patterns, the interiors of Rosewood Hong Kong are designed by New York-based Taiwanese designer Tony Chi, who believes that a design experience should be invisible. The 127 lighting fixtures throughout the property create a beautiful natural light that emphasizes the feeling of ‘going home’. Each room has a luxurious yet warm and comfortable interior, where you could easily stay all day staring at the spawning skyline and watching the boats in the Harbour. The bathrooms are a work of art in themselves, with 8 point copper sinks, seasonal products and gorgeous mirrors and glassware. For longer-term stays, there are the Rosewood Residences—a collection of 186 luxury accommodations with a separate entrance and access to club facilities, including an indoor swimming pool and private gym.

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The Rosewood Hong Kong offers eight dining concepts, all of which have a balcony, with the emphasis on bringing the outside in. The restaurants include Holt's Cafe for elevated 'cha chaan tang' dining, The Legacy House for Cantonese fare and DarkSide for cigars and delicious unique after dinner cocktails. The Butterfly Room is the Rosewood Hong Kong's all-day lounge, and the Butterfly Patisserie showcases beautiful tiered cakes with artisanal gelatos and sorbets. The tea conservatory is located right next door, with an incredible variety and selection of teas to perfectly pair with the patisserie. The hotel's Manor Club executive lounge is located on the 40th floor, which offers guests VIP perks including all-day dining, a bar, game room and bespoke experiences. The Pavilion, the brand’s signature residential-style meeting and function space, hosts corporate events and is perfect for social celebrations.

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While the The Rosewood Hong Kong is a work of art in itself, the hotel also boasts an impressive collection of art, beginning with its first impression upon arriving, a 4.7-metre-long bronze sculpture at the top of the driveway by Henry Moore. Other standout pieces include a life-sized sculpture of an Indian elephant next to the lobby by Bharti Kher, covered in thousands of bindis, representing the complexities of life and its infinite possibilities.  The Butterfly Room lobby restaurant is home to several of Damien Hirst’s infamous butterfly-inspired pieces. The lobby is filled with Joe Bradly paintings which provide a powerful statement before entering the elevators. Limestone walls are throughout the property, which will create and represent a beautiful aging over time. In the Darkside bar, there are sand fixtures on the ceiling which rotate throughout the day and evening, representing the passing of time. 

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Not to be missed is the incredible Asaya wellness spa, with a holistic approach, where guests are guided to achieve their wellness goals through healthy eating and fitness programmes paired with alternative therapies. The gym provides incredible views of the city, with a variety of equipment and workout classes. The highlight of the spa is certainly the infinity pool overlooking the Hong Kong harbour and skyline, where one can float away staring into the infinity of this magical city.

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With all of its spectacular details and amenities, the greatest feature of the Rosewood Hong Kong is its incredible warmth and hospitality, and the successful creation of a place that truly feels like you are going home. 

St. Barthelemy is Back!

St. Barth’s is a little slice of magic in the Caribbean; a beautiful island known for its pristine beaches, incredible hotels and world class restaurants. French and Creole culture, as well as remote access, help add to its incredible charm. From the moment you land at the airport, you will feel immediately transported into an upscale French Caribbean oasis.

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After the devastating Hurricane Irma ripped through the island in September 2017, with winds reaching over 199 miles per hour, the island experienced a level of destruction it had never seen before. What would destroy most has only made St. Barth’s even stronger, and while the hurricane temporarily shattered the island, it also represented a turning point and new beginning for re-development.  

After a season of rebuilding, the island is more beautiful than ever. Nature has bounced back in her own natural rhythm, and the heart of St. Barth’s is beating again. St. Barth’s is back and stronger than ever before, a testament to the resilience and strength of the incredible community.

Best Time to Visit:

December through June is the best time to visit St. Barths, with December being the busiest month of the year. Diamante recommends booking your hotel or villa a year to 6 months in advance to get your preferred dates and accommodations this time of the year. Try to avoid the rainy season (September - November) as shops and restaurants tend to close during these wet months.

Logistics/ Getting There:

You can fly to St. Barth’s either on a private charter or through Tradewinds or Winair, both with flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico, or St. Maarten. Once you land, your Diamante concierge can arrange private transportation to your selected hotel or villa.

Accomodations:

Cheval Blanc: a gorgeous newly renovated hotel on its own private stretch of white sand, Saline beach, tucked remotely away in lush gardens and landscaping. Recently acquired by LVMH, this hotel is the ultimate combination of luxury and simplicity, with a stunning infinity pool and gourmet restaurant overlooking the ocean that can’t be beat.

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Hotel Le Toiny : known for its seclusion and luxurious simplicity.  The hurricane actually worked in their favor, where the white sand was blown in their direction to create a beautiful new stretch of beach for hotel guests to enjoy.  Le Toiny is also equipped with several of their own Defender caravans that drive guests down to the beach club, the perfect mode of transport that allows you to take in the exquisite view of the island.

The Christopher: a dream location with the most beautiful views and perfect for sunset cocktails. They have the most incredible spa on the island, where guests have their own private en suite massages overlooking the ocean.

Hotel Manypany: An eco-conscious/ environmentally friendly dream oasis, located directly down the hillside at Anse des Cayes, and directly on the beach.

Eden Roc (opening late 2019): The ultimate hotel to stay on the island, located on top of an actual giant rock, and surrounded by a bay of perfect turquoise water.  When the hotel re-opens again at the end of the year, it will have many new features, such as suites on top of the rock, a new gourmet restaurant, wooden walkways throughout the property, and built in kitchens in the newly renovated villas. Eden Roc also offers their own private villa rentals, each with their own beautiful and individual charm, all with the incredible amenities of the hotel while feeling like you are in the luxurious privacy of your own home.

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Restaurants:

Bonito: A truly special seafood spot with a breathtaking view. Delicious cocktails and drool-worthy fare, in a setting to match. Don’t miss the delicious ceviches and fresh fish.

Nikki Beach: Make sure to stop by for drinks and lunch, or bring your costume on Sunday for the best daytime party! Dance with your feet in the sand and a drink in your hand. Make reservations or come early if you want to get a table!

L'Isoletta: This is the perfect casual pizzeria that everyone wishes they had around the corner from them. Their relaxing, low key vibe is perfect after a long day at the beach when you are wanting to grab dinner with sand still in your toes.

Victoria’s: a newly renovated restaurant in the port, perfect for healthy breakfast, delicious avocado toast and fresh juices, or great for an afternoon cocktail and watch the boats sail into port as the sun sets.

 
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Victoria’s

 

Beaches:

Gouvener, Saline, and Colombier are the 3 most pristine and untouched beaches, with long, remote stretches of white sand. Shell Beach is ideal to watch the sunset and St. Jean is the perfect location to spend the afternoon watching the planes fly by.

Saline Beach

Saline Beach

Activities:

Surfing, kite surfing, swimming and yoga are plentiful. Also be sure to check out all of the shops in  town for unique treasures and finds to bring home as mementos of your magical time on the island.

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An amazing way to see the island is from the water also, and we highly recommend renting a sailboat, catamaran, or speedboat for the day with St. Barth Sailor to explore different beaches for snorkeling and lunch, or enjoy a sunset cruise with champagne in hand.

Recommended For:

Couples celebrating a tropical honeymoon, romantic anniversary, or those just looking to decompress from life. Diamante also recommends St. Barths for groups and families. Grab a few of your best friends or family members and hit the island’s beautiful white sand beaches or rent a private yacht for the day to explore hidden beaches. St. Barths is also great for those looking for a unique location to celebrate a luxury bachelor or bachelorette party.

Nomad Neighborhood NYC

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Nomad Neighborhood (North Of Madison Square Park)

Planning a trip to New York City? With all of the hustle and bustle in the city that never sleeps; it can be overwhelming to decide where to stay and what to do. Arianna, our newest addition to Diamante Advisor Team, gives us a run down on one of her favorite neighborhoods in her hometown. With new restaurants, hotels, and bars popping up everywhere, Nomad’s central location and laid back cool vibe is a great place to start!

From Arianna:

“While the Nomad neighborhood has been around forever, lately it seems that every corner I turn we find a new spot that I NEED to try. Expanding from 31st street down to 25th street, and from Park Avenue to 6th avenue, this neighborhood is surrounded by Chelsea, Flatiron, Midtown South and Kips Bay. With its central location, Nomad presents a golden opportunity for established restaurateurs with downtown or uptown locations to expand into the location and for new startup concepts to garner a client base quickly. Not only does the neighborhood host many fantastic restaurants, it features gorgeous hotels and an unparalleled “chic-chill” vibe that is almost impossible to find anywhere else in Manhattan. “

Logistics / Getting There

The easiest way to get to Nomad for out of towners is to fly into one of New York’s major airports. While LaGuardia airport is about a twenty five minute drive to Nomad without traffic, JFK is closer and offers more flight options, especially to the international traveler. Diamante is able to arrange any airport transfers or private chauffeurs around the city to make your trip as stress-free as possible.

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Accommodations

While there is an endless amount of hotels in New York City, Nomad happens to house a few of my favorites.

The Nomad Hotel - Truly one of my favorite hotels in all of Manhattan this French Bohemian inspired hotel has so much to offer. From their award winning bar to the rooms that are decorated with vintage photographs and bright rugs atop wooden floors to their exclusive weekend Magic Show starring Dan White. This chic luxe hotel has everything to offer!

Royalton (previously The Gansevoort) - Previously the Gansevoort Park Avenue, this hotel is now under new management and the service is better than ever. It is not only centrally located on Park Avenue South and 29th street but has a beautiful rooftop pool, Exhale Spa and Gym, as well as a summer time Sundeck restaurant and a Juice Press in the lobby.

Restaurants

Aside from the incredible dining options in the hotels above Nomad has recently expanded its dining options making it easy to satisfy both quick take out bites as well as fine dining experiences.

Cha Cha Matcha 1158 Broadway New York 10001

I absolutely love stopping by this bright pink and green hip coffee shop for my early morning caffeine fix! While they are known for their unique spin on traditional (super trendy) Matcha tea they also offer soft-serve Matcha ice cream. Their seasonal menu is delicious too including white chocolate and coconut matcha latte options. Don’t worry you don’t have to love Matcha to come here- they also serve delicious La Colombie Coffee and pastries.

Pecora Bianca 1133 Broadway New York 10001

This one is a definite must try! Whether it is brunch, lunch, dinner or a quick coffee and pastry in the morning this chic rustic Italian eatery offers both delicious hearty and healthy options for every meal. What I love about this spot is that it offers so many local farm to table options along with their pasta that is handmade in house. Some of my favorites- For breakfast/brunch: the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes or the Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce, For Lunch: I always typical opt for either the Chopped Salad or Toscano Salads and for Dinner: I can never say no to their Gramngia- a curly pasta dish with house made sausages, broccolini and chilli flakes!

Kazunori 15 West 28th Street New York 10001

This is one of my favorite go-to spots for lunch or dinner. This is the first restaurant of its kind offering a no reservation, tip included hand roll bar. Do not let the line here shy you away, it moves quickly. The menu offers a simple yet delicious handrolls- toro, yellowtail, scallop, crab and lobster. They even offer a six roll option for only $29. My personal favorite? The bay scallops and warm lobster hand roll!

Marta 20 East 29th Street New York 10016

Marta, located in the lobby of the Redbury Hotel, serves a variety of delicious extra crispy thin crust style pizzas. This is definitely not your local corner pizza shop, the pies are anything but ordinary ranging from my personal favorites the Carbonara pie and a Clams Casino to a delicious margherita option that can be customized with any toppings of your choice. It is not only the pie’s that have my heart but their Grilled Baby Artichokes and Chicken Meatballs are out of this world!

Nomad Hotel Bar 10 West 28th Street New York

If I haven’t already made a point of how much I love the Nomad Hotel vibes I can further validify my point by insisting you grab a drink at the Nomad Hotel Bar. They offer everything from unique large format drinks, “Cocktail Explosions” to rare wines and over 20 different types of beer. It gets pretty packed here so try to come early to grab a seat and fully enjoy this pub inspired tavern like atmosphere paired with bar snacks by famous chef Daniel Humm.

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Experiences / Activities

Visit Eataly- This Italian market by day, is also home to five unique restaurants, different food and beverage counters and a large selection of hard to come by Italian pastries. Come here to pick up fresh meat or fish to grill for dinner or stop by to taking a cooking class at their in house cooking school. On lunch break? Grab a hot panini or my favorite the Prime Rib Sandwich and a gelato to go!

Madison Square Park- This beautiful seven acre park is more than just what feels like a quick escape from the daily hustle and bustle of NYC. The park showcases art exhibitions, a variety of culinary feasts throughout the year, serves burgers at  New York’s famous Shake Shack, and has weekly events for families and children. My favorite event? Madison Square Eats- a pop-up food and beverage market that allows vendors from all over Manhattan to bring the best of New York’s food to Worth Square located on the West side of the park.

Other activities include the Museum of Sex or taking in one the many Comedy Shows. Talk to one of our Diamante representatives to get tickets!

What is better for your next trip; a hotel or a villa?

You’ve chosen the destination, but now it’s time for you to decide on your accommodation. Choosing a memorable hotel or villa can be a time consuming process with so many different options available to you. How do you choose between a hotel or a villa? In this blog we share our secrets to navigate this travel dilemma.

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HOTELS

Type of Traveler: A luxury hotel is a retreat away from home and yet also functions as a home base in a distant destination.  Hotels are perfect for the solo traveler that is looking to explore the area they are visiting and who doesn’t plan on spending all their time in the room. We also recommend hotels to couples looking for a romantic getaway or ‘stay-cation’ to keep that spark alive. Lastly, our team recommends hotels to smaller, active families that don’t mind sharing a room or reserving connecting rooms.

Location: Hotels as they are usually centrally located in cities making them perfect for travelers who like to explore and enjoy the convenience of accessibility. Simply walk out the front door to find anything from a chic cafe, fine dining or a hip cocktail bar.

Amenities: Let’s face it...the reason we love staying in hotels is because of the access we have to their numerous amenities...valet parking, concierge, laundry, housekeeping, swimming pool, shuttle services, free WiFi, and maybe even a complimentary hot breakfast. You get the point.

Reward Memberships: Points add up and if you are one who is a frequent customer at a hotel chain it is often worthwhile to plan your stays there for the added bonus of collecting points.

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VILLAS

Type of Traveler: Villas work great for a variety of travelers and situations that a hotel may not be able to accommodate.  Large families are always a good fit in Villas no matter the occasion and the same goes for a large group of friends or colleagues who want to have their own space and privacy away from a busy hotel.  Special occasions such as wellness or corporate retreats are also ideal in villas as the privacy allows for focus on the purpose of the retreat. Villas are also great private escapes for anyone who wants to disconnect or have a longer stay away from home.

Location: Villas can be found in a variety of destinations and often offer more privacy and uniques in location than many hotels.  Some of our favorite villas treat clients to the best views real estate has to offer, but you have to know where to find them.

Amenities: The villas that we book for our client’s will always have the option of providing the same amenities a hotel can. While you may have to pay extra for the services, the bonus is that you get to enjoy them exclusively in the comfort of your vacation home.

At the end of the day, hotels and villas are both great accommodation options, but it does comes down to a few deciding factors to help you choose between the two. It’s key to know the number of people traveling, the destination, and the occasion. Contact us and we would love to help you decide which option will be best for your next getaway.