2. Sushi with a view
Try dinner at Aqua Roma / Aqua Tokyo or cocktails at Aqua Spirit. All are located in the pointed tip of the 30-story One Peking Place building near The Star Ferry in TST (+852-3427-2288). The romantic low-lit tables face stunning Hong Kong Island vistas thanks to the property’s three-story glass façade. Two separate kitchens prepare sushi and Italian cuisine … did I hear someone say, “sushi Italian?” The Aqua group also operates Aqua Luna, a traditionally-built floating lounge that sails from Central to Kowloon three times each evening (45 minutes, US$25).
3. Saddle up for shopping
There are two professional sports in Hong Kong: Horse racing and shopping. So, gallop over to the new Armani Collection mega-store and Emporio Armani Café (204-205 Chater House; +852-2532-7722) near favorite Central shopping hot-spot Landmark Building (15 Queen’s Road Central). Afterwards, walk, or hop a three-minute taxi ride on those all-too-common humid and steamy Hong Kong days, over to the new IFC2 shopping mall (www.ifc.com). There you can browse the aisles of Lane Crawford and others before stopping for a late afternoon tea and dessert at Harlan’s or Café Costa.
4. Peaking Duck
Take the Peak Tram up to The Peak (www.thepeak.com.hk) overlooking downtown Central Hong Kong and be amazed at how this architecturally wonderful city has been built literally into the side of a mountain. Then have a romantic dinner, oysters and a bottle of fine wine at Café Deco Bar & Grill (Level 1-2, Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong; +852-2849-5111).
5. Get a foot massage
Too much walking? Try a tried-and-true Hong Kong tradition: Foot massages. Happy Foot (11/F., Jade Centre, 98-102 Wellington St., Central) and Big Bucket Footbath & Reflexology (Shop 1& 2, G/F, Hoi Kung Court 264-269 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay).
6. Hike the Dragon’s Back
Enjoy the territory’s natural beauty via the island’s finest short hike. The “Dragon’s Back”
ends at beautiful Big Wave Bay beach, making it the perfect way to cool off after a hot hike. Follow-up your hike/swim in style by hopping a taxi to nearby Shek-o beach and enjoying a quite candlelit dinner at the quaint French bistro, Black Sheep Cafe’. Hiking directions at www.hkoutdoors.com
7. Party in Lan Kwai Fung and Soho
Welcome to Bourbon Street, Central HK style. It would take 3 or 4 trips to sample all the restaurants and clubs in these buzzing four-city blocks. SOHO A-list clubbing spots include: Dragon-i (11pm to 1 am) and Drop (1am to 4am). For dinner + drinks and a night of bar hopping, try Finds, Lux, California, Indochine 1929, Stormy Weather or Agave. For live music and a more raucous crowd, there is always Insomnia (all located in Lan Kwai Fung)
8. See Buddha
Take Ngong Ping 360 (www.np360.com.hk), a 5.7km cable car journey, over the mountain’s of Lantau to one of the world’s largest seated Buddhas.
9. Have a noisy dim sum lunch
Gather a group of friends, get a big circular table, and sample the joys of Dim Sum food at Maxim’s City Hall (Central, Low Block, City Hall). If you go at 12:30 on a Saturday or Sunday be prepared to fight to get your name down, it will take minimum 45 minutes to be seated.
10. Ride the mid-levels escalator
Work your way up the hills of downtown Hong Kong as you pass through the trendy “mid-levels” neighborhoods of Central. Stop off periodically to explore the shopping, arts, restaurants, pubs and clubs of Hollywood Road, Staunton Street and Elgin Street. The quaint French bistro Brasserie Le Fauchon (G/F 45 Elgin Street) is a local SOHO favorite. The small antique-clad Feather Boa (G/F 38 Staunton Street) and the more modern Cru Wine and Grill (G/F 44 Staunton Street) are fun for evening gathering and drinks.
For true international comfort, fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class service on “The Diplomat” from D.C. to London. Departs daily at 7:00pm. Hit the spa at Virgin’s sprawling members club in Heathrow before hopping a direct flight to Hong Kong. Round-trip, approximately $12,000.