Lindsey Ueberroth's Hong Kong
Beyond the glass and steel of Hong Kong’s soaring skyline are ancient traditions, amazing cuisine and a dynamic cultural scene that’s a feast for the senses. It’s one of Lindsey Ueberroth’s favorite places – and that’s impressive, considering that the travel exec has visited more than 100 countries. “Hong Kong is one of the top five great international cities of the world,” she says. “The energy, shopping and melting pot of cultures make it a place you can visit time and time again.” Ueberroth earned her stripes as a globetrotter as president and CEO of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which represents 650 properties worldwide. The business offers marketing and branding services and has offices in Newport Beach and Chicago. Ueberroth has a familiar last name: She is the niece of Peter Ueberroth, 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games organizer and former Major League Baseball commissioner.
Time is right
Avoid the coolest days of winter and the heat of summer by visiting from late February through April or between October and December, when the weather is ideal for exploring and the city is not as full of tourists. Unless you don’t mind mob scenes, avoid Chinese New Year, February 8-10 this year, when hotel rates soar and the city is jam-packed.
Why Hong Kong
It’s an incredible city surrounded by water that presents exciting cuisine and culture that represents many Asian influences. It’s also a wonderful gateway to many other Asian destinations, making it an ideal place to start or end a trip when traveling to Asia.
One of my favorite things to do in Hong Kong is visit a foot massage parlor. They are tucked away in obscure buildings or side streets, but when you enter they offer a little oasis. The experience is like nothing else. As they steep your feet in a hot bucket with healing herbs, you receive a 20-minute shoulder-and-neck massage. Then you sit back and enjoy sipping herbal tea while you are treated to a reflexology-style foot-and-leg massage. You walk away feeling lighter and ready to shop and enjoy the city. My recommendation is Foot in the Central district.
Hong Kong has so much incredible shopping. If you want high-end products, I recommend Pacific Place for a one-stop-shop experience. Ask your concierge for the best place to get custom-tailored suits and other great finds; they always know the best and most reputable places to shop. Custom tailoring is a fun experience – these craftsmen have the best materials, unique designs, and usually can get clothes done in a day. If you are looking for interesting trinkets or antiques, head to Hollywood Road for lively street shopping.
One of my favorite activities is to take the Star Ferry from the Hong Kong side of the island to Kowloon. Get on just before sunset and then have a drink at the Intercontinental Hotel, which overlooks the harbor, allowing you to watch the city light up at night; you’ll also get a front row seat for the nightly Symphony of Lights show.
Start the night with a drink at Sevva, which has a fabulous rooftop bar in the heart of the Central district. Then move on to Wyndham Street/Hollywood Road, which has a variety of cool wine bars and lounges where patrons spill onto the streets. Finish off the night dancing at dragon-i, one of Hong Kong’s longest-standing nightclubs.
For an authentic dim sum experience, go to Metropol. You’ll need to get there early; otherwise, you’ll have a long wait for a table. An incredible hidden gem off of Hollywood Road is Bibo, which serves offbeat contemporary French cuisine in a setting featuring cool art and DJ music. For a fine-dining experience without all of the fuss, a must is Café Gray Deluxe on the top floor of the Upper House hotel: stunning city views, exceptional service and classic dishes with accents of local flavor.