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. 

A Weekend Getaway in Malibu

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A Weekend Getaway in Malibu

If you’re looking for the perfect beach escape within the United States, look no further than Malibu, California. Situated west of Los Angeles, this coastal oasis offers more than world class surf and homes of the rich & famous. Diamante’s Jessie Chaney shares with us her favorite Malibu hotel, dining recommendations and activities.

GETTING HERE

Upon request, Diamante can coordinate private jet charter to and from the Santa Monica FBO for you as well as arrange all ground transportation.

If you want to add a touch of adventure to your Californian experience, fly into LAX, rent a car and take the scenic route along Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, about a 45-minute drive from the airport. Your personal Diamante concierge will style you out in your very own Jeep or luxury convertible to cruise the coast in.

EXPERIENCE

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The Surfrider Malibu is the ultimate stay-cation and Malibu dream destination. Upon arrival you instantly feel as if you are at your home-away-from home Malibu beach house. The recently renovated Surfrider Malibu creates a relaxing, seamless experience for guests, with a stylish design throughout the hotel. Each of the 20 rooms have their own private deck or balcony, with reclaimed teak floors, earth tones and warm whites to resemble the natural ease of the California lifestyle. The hotel is run by Malibu locals which also adds to its California beach house feel, and supports other local brands, products, and ingredients from the farmer’s market. With a roof deck for guests & guests of guests only, their local restaurant and bar features the best views of Malibu and the infamous Surfrider beach break. Every detail in this hotel is carefully thought out and combined with impeccable design to feel unique, as though you were staying in someone’s home.

With their own library, boutique, and incredible on site local staff who will make your stay feel like your own home, The Surfrider provides the best local recommendations for surfing, dining, relaxing, or amazing references in the area.

DINE

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Malibu is known for its incredible variety of amazing local restaurants, with a variety of cuisine, there is an abundance to choose from!

Surfrider Roof Deck: with the best views of Malibu and the surf break at Surfrider Beach, this is the ideal location for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all things in between. Their menu is Californian-coastal, with local and organic fare that rotates seasonally. With the best chips + guacamole in town, paired with the most delicious spicy margarita, you will never want to leave the rood deck. Their wine list by a Michelin Star sommelier is incredible as well, and pairs perfectly with their seasonal menu.

Malibu Farm: beautiful café + restaurant on the Malibu Pier. Their counter-order option is perfect for breakfast and lunch, or a beautiful setting to watch the sunset and surfers for dinner.

Nobu: the best Japanese fare in a modern beach side setting. The views can’t be missed, and while reservations are strongly recommended, the bar is open seating with a fun vibe and equally amazing menu and cocktails.

Café Habana: A delicious mix of Cuban and Mexican fare, and conveniently located in the Malibu Country Mart, perfect after a day of shopping around the local boutiques.  They’re known for their infamous Wednesday night karaoke, and also a great local place to watch any sports game.

Taverna Tony: delicious Greek fare with you a beautiful patio and ambiance that makes you feel like you have just stepped into the Mediterranean. Their salads, fresh fish, hummus and fried cheese all can’t be missed!

Your personal Diamante concierge is happy to make reservations on your behalf.

RECHARGE

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Choose from a variety of well-being activities/services in the Malibu area.

CURE day spa, offers a wide variety of spa and beauty options, along with in room massages for guests of the Surfrider Hotel.

Soul Space is a beautiful place and amazing for acupuncture, sound healing and other alternative therapies.

Malibu Health Club: a beautiful gym with ocean views, and next door to the Surfrider Hotel, full steam/sauna and all the amenities you could need.

SoulCycle Malibu: located in the Malibu Country Mart and perfect for a high intensity workout.

PLAY

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Malibu offers a variety of activities to keep you busy and toned.

Surf/stand up paddle lessons, all of which can be arranged in advance through your Diamante concierge.

Yoga on the beach, take your own personal practice to the beach, or a private class with LOVE yoga that can be organized through the hotel or your Diamante concierge.

Malibu is known for its amazing hiking, be sure to check out Temescal Canyon, Solstice Canyon or the cliffs of Point Dume, and if you’re lucky you might spot whales migrating along the coast.

Surfrider Beach: The legendary Surfrider beach is known for one of the most famous point breaks in the world, and perfect for surfers, sunbathers, and spectators to spend the afternoon.

Topanga: take a cruise up the coast and check out this famous original 1960’s point break. The ideal location for surfing and people watching, along with playing in the tide pools on a low tide afternoon. Be sure to check out Cholada Thai Food or the Reel Food Inn for a great bite to eat after a long day at the beach.

Malibu Country Mart: A large outdoor shopping mall, perfect for lunch, great local boutiques and restaurants, shopping and afternoon smoothies or coffee at SunLife.

Adamson House: One of Malibu’s original historic houses and landmarks, known for their incredible property on Surfrider Beach with original California tiles in a stunning setting. Reservations are required for an interior tour, however walking around the exterior is just as beautiful.

Getty Villa: Malibu’s location of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the other is located off Sunset Blvd., the Villa exhibits Ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities with Roman inspired architecture. The gardens are equally as beautiful as the art inside, so be sure to make an afternoon of it so that you can see everything, followed by lunch in their café.

WHY

Whether it’s a girl’s surf trip, birthday celebration, bachelorette party or weekend getaway, Malibu is the perfect destination to recharge your life-battery. Diamante loves Malibu for it’s convenient location to the airport, sunny weather and conscious lifestyle. Malibu is a must for those who are looking to unwind and get back to living their best life.

Sun & Sea: A Tulum Guide

As we are almost through the winter season, you are probably dreaming about your next warm weather spring/summer get away.  Now is the perfect time to start planning your tropical adventure for this upcoming off-season!

If you love something that is beachy/boho/relaxed/chic, look no further than Tulum. With its incredible white sand beaches and turquoise water, variety of amazing restaurants and cuisine, fun nightlife and bars, beautiful yet low key hotels, gorgeous spas, unique shopping and incredible art, then this is your place!

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Logistics / Getting there

The easiest way to get to Tulum is to fly to Cancun, a major hub where you can fly direct from almost anywhere. Once you land in Cancun, your Diamante travel adviser can help you coordinate transportation to your selected accommodation. It will take approximately 1.5 hours to get to downtown Tulum from the Cancun International Airport. Also, Tulum is a primarily cash economy and there are very few USD ATM outlets there, so make sure to take out cash before you travel.

Accommodations

Tulum is one giant strip of so many incredible hotels along the beach with a variety to choose from. If you are looking for a fun relaxed by day and party by night Papaya Playa Project is the place to be, especially on the weekends with amazing DJ’s and beach dance parties. If you are feeling more of a low key romantic beach vacation the Nomade hotel is a truly special getaway, with a beautiful chic beach set up, cool crowd, bohemian décor and amazing food breakfast, lunch, dinner (all of which can be eaten gazing on the beach).  Next door is another amazing hotel Be Tulum which has an incredible spa and known for their amazing signature massages. If you are looking for an amazing yoga/spa vacation look no further than the newly renovated Sanara hotel with their beautiful minimal chic décor, incredible yoga studio overlooking the ocean and absolutely delicious organic café next door called the Real Coconut, for all things gluten free, raw, and collagen infused lattes.

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Restaurants

Aside from the amazing white beaches one of the very best parts about Tulum is the incredible variety of delicious restaurants. Even though you might be instantly craving Mexican food, one of our favorite place was an adorable Italian restaurant called Posada Margherita where you walk through what feels like the entrance to a greenhouse and leads you to the most charming beachside creative vibe, with an incredible selection of wine and homemade pastas. For an absolutely magical dining experience, be sure not to miss the restaurant at Azulik hotel, with the most incredible rooftop table overlooking the jungle, perfect for a group setting or special occasion. We preferred to eat on the beach most evenings, but for the best international restaurants on the jungle side, be sure to check out MUR MUR, with a cool crowd, amazing cocktails and fabulous food cooked on a wood fired oven. Another must is Hartwood, incredible food in a relaxed and trendy outdoor setting, also with an open kitchen featuring the fresh caught specials and amazing grilled organic seasonal vegetables. For fun mezcal cocktails and dinner on the jungle side, or an after dinner night cap, be sure to check out Gitano for its festive flair.

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Experiences

All of the hotels offer incredible yoga on the beach, and if you’re looking for even more of a workout, be sure to try a bikini-boot-camp to balance out all of the delicious meals you’ll be eating and drinking in Tulum. No matter what, be sure to catch at least one sunrise on the beach, coffee in hand, and take in the beauty of this truly special place. All of the hotels offer bike rentals for the time that you are there, and we couldn’t get enough of riding our bikes along the strip and restaurant hopping and shopping along the way. If you are wanting to mix it up and take a break from the beach, be sure to go swim in a Cenote. It’s a truly special experience and unique to the area. Tulum is also known for its incredible ruins, either the Tulum ruins if you want to stay local, or if you’re up for a bit of an adventure make a day trip to Chichen-Itza, where the Mayans believe the Universe started!

Tulum is a truly sacred, special, beautiful, cultural hub in Mexico where no matter what kind of experience you are seeking, it will be sure to find you there.