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My night in the clouds at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong – it is the tallest hotel in the world and offers breathtaking views from a height of 1600 feet

The elevator is one of the fastest in the city, traveling at 30 feet per second. That means it takes one minute and 10 seconds to reach the check-in counter on the 103rd floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, where you collect your key and see the view for the first time.

At least that’s the idea. But as the highest hotel in the world, it’s so high that I see nothing but clouds for much of my stay.

Still, it’s a sensation, and it explains why people pay around £380 ($480) a night for such a high spot above the glittering skyline of Hong Kong’s Kowloon district.

The hotel occupies floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Center (ICC), a glass beacon only made possible by the 1998 closure of an airport famous for its hair-raising descents, as planes weave between skyscrapers and towering apartment buildings. flew.

The superlatives are coming thick and fast. The Ritz-Carlton has the highest swimming pool in the world (almost 1,600 ft or 490 m) and the Ozone bar, at the top of the hotel, proudly bears the title of ‘Asia’s highest rooftop bar’.

Harriet Sime checked into the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which offers guests views from 500 meters above sea level

Harriet Sime checked into the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which offers guests views from 1,600 feet up

The hotel occupies floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Center (ICC), a glass beacon only made possible by the 1998 closure of an airport known for the hair-raising descents it required, Harriet explains

The hotel occupies floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Center (ICC), a glass beacon only made possible by the 1998 closure of an airport known for the hair-raising descents it required, Harriet explains

The hotel's floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the South China Sea and Hong Kong Island

The hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the South China Sea and Hong Kong Island

The hotel is 46 floors higher than The Shard in London, which has only 72 floors, and 153 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower. I had arrived on the Airport Express train, which conveniently pulls into the basement of the ICC (although I am an exception among the other guests, who show up in chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royces).

It’s disappointing that I won’t be sleeping at the very top of the tower, but when I open the heavy door of my luxury suite, I see a huge living room with a desk, a chaise longue and upholstered flower boxes.

The angular floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the South China Sea and Hong Kong Island. Some skyscrapers look so small that you want to pick them up and put them in your pocket. After a quick shower after my 13-hour flight from London, I head to the pool and gym on the 118th floor to work up an appetite.

Harriet Reveals The Ritz-Carlton Has The World's Highest Swimming Pool

Harriet reveals that the Ritz-Carlton has the tallest swimming pool in the world

A guest (stock photo) enjoys the breathtaking view from the Ritz-Carlton pool

A guest (stock photo) enjoys the breathtaking view from the Ritz-Carlton pool

The hotel is 46 floors higher than The Shard in London, which has only 72 floors, and is 153 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower

The hotel is 46 floors higher than The Shard in London, which has only 72 floors, and is 505 feet (153 meters) taller than the Eiffel Tower.

Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong start from £377 ($480) per night

Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong start from £377 ($480) per night

I return two hours later to find my view painted over by the clouds. They feel intimidatingly close – all I see is white, like I’m in a plane flying through a storm.

I spend much of my day exploring the busy markets and back streets of Hong Kong Island, which are full of locals and tourists. They queue outside small tea houses and noodle bars as men push carts full of steaming dim sum.

That evening I go to the 102nd floor of the hotel to Tin Lung Heen for dinner. “Sorry about the view,” the waiter says as he takes me to my table – rain dripping down the window. I can just see some of the tallest towers in the city.

The next day at breakfast I am asked, “How are you this morning, Mrs. Sime?”

‘On top of the world’ is my answer. He doesn’t pick up on my attempt at a joke, and before I know it, I’m being taken 118 floors back to Earth – in more ways than one.

The Ozone bar, at the top of the hotel, proudly carries the title of 'Asia's highest rooftop bar', notes Harriet

The Ozone bar, on the top floor of the hotel, proudly bears the title of ‘Asia’s highest rooftop bar’, according to Harriet

Guests arrive at the hotel via one of the fastest elevators in the city, traveling at a speed of 30 feet per second

Guests arrive at the hotel via one of the fastest elevators in the city, traveling at a speed of 30 feet per second

Harriet says her stay makes her feel 'on top of the world', thanks not only to the views, but also to the friendly staff and food

Harriet jokes that she felt “on top of the world” after her stay, thanks not only to the view, but also to the friendly staff and food.

The pinnacle of the hospitality world: This photo shows the incredible view from Harriet's luxury suite

The pinnacle of the hospitality world: This photo shows the incredible view from Harriet’s luxury suite

Mouthwatering view: Harriet dines at Tin Lung Heen restaurant on floor 102

Mouthwatering view: Harriet dines at Tin Lung Heen restaurant on floor 102

TRAVEL FACTS

Harriet was hosted by the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, where doubles start at £377 ($480) per night. Visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/hkgkw-the-ritz-carlton-hong-kong/overview.

Cathay Pacific return flights from Heathrow to Hong Kong cost from £566 (cathaypacific.com).

Plus points: Incredible views, friendly staff, spacious rooms, delicious food.

Cons: Located in a rather charmless business district.

Rating out of five: 4.5 stars

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