Hong Kong to get world's tallest hotel in March

By Bill Bennett, November 20 2010
Hong Kong to get world's tallest hotel in March

You'd expect the tallest hotel in the world would be in either the UAE or the USA, but Hong Kong is set to claim the prize when the city's new Ritz-Carlton opens in March next year.

It occupies the top 16 floors of Hong Kong's soaring International Commerce Centre at Kowloon, which towers over the Kowloon waterfront as the world's fourth tallest building.

The topmost 118th floor includes an alfresco bar perched 490 metres above sea level plus an 'infinity' swimming pool. This is the latest trend in sky-high swimming, with the 'infinity' name referring name to the optical illusion of water extending to the horizon.

Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands sports a spectacular infinity pool on its 55th floor, so the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong easily tops that to set another record of the world's highest hotel pool.

There are a total of 312 guest rooms ranging in size from a generous 50 square metre to an opulent 365 square metres, with wi-fi piped throughout the hotel and all rooms equipped iPod/iPhone docking stations.

While the hotel is set to become Ritz-Carlton’s Asian flagship there's still debate over its status as the world's tallest hotel. Some in the industry claim that with only 16 out of a total of 118 floors dedicated to the hotel, the Ritz-Carlton doesn't belong in the same league as properties where over 90% of the space is devoted to the hotel.

By that measure the UAE sprints back into the lead, with Marriott's 77 storey Emirates Park Towers in Dubai holding the crown at 365 metres (1,198 feet) – at least until the 601 metre (1,972 feet) Abraj Al-Bait Towers opens in Mecca mid-2011.

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