Twice I arrived at the Mira, expecting it to be empty; twice I met a stylish party scene instead.
Just opposite the shopaholic’s paradise the Mira Mall, the Mira Hotel Hong Kong doesn’t draw attention to itself on the outside. It’s far too cool for that.
It’s only once you’re on the inside, at 2am and then 6 am in my case, wondering whether you’ve walked through the wrong doors, that the cool vibe kicks in.
The lights are low. The floor shiny. The walls ribboned white. There’s music. Sexily dressed people. Immaculate reception staff and a signature required by dancing your fingertip across an iPad screen.
Peculiarly, the Mira’s a new legend on an old block. It had a former life as the Hotel Miramar undergoing a $65 million renovation in 2009. Some rooms overlook the lively Kowloon Park and it’s just a short walk from the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Avenue of Stars and Victoria Harbour.
The spa downstairs glows too. The ballroom hosts Academy Award style parties and indeed the entire complex was influenced by Colin Cowie, interior decorator and lifestyle guru to the stars.
Live music plays in the lobby til the early hours, and the green-leafed outdoor bar, Vibes, has a rare thing in this concrete jungle: open air to show the real stars, all those thousands of light years away.
Of its several restaurants, Cuisine Cuisine blends an interesting range of Cantonese delicacies together in a way that stimulates, even though the overall effect wasn’t quite to my taste.
The rooms don’t let the side down, though. They’re on the small side, but pretty standard for Hong Kong, with too many gadgets for me to master and see-through walls to the bathroom. When all is said and done, though, a hotel is for sleeping (and for surfing the web, of course!) and both bed and internet access deliver.
All in all, if you’re looking for design and a place to feel the pulse of China’s global city, then check out the Mira in the Kowloon side of Hong Kong.
What I loved
The gadgets. Even if I didn’t know what they all were or what they did
The service from the concierge and reception
The spa. A proper length swimming pool available to use at proper times
The location. So easy to get around
The design. There’s something eye-catching on every corner
The chilled outdoor feel of Vibes at night, watching the clouds flow in the reflection of the city lights
What to know
Dining service doesn’t match the excellence found elsewhere
Cuisine Cuisine has the atmosphere of a business meeting
Watch out for hidden charges
If you long for peace, tranquillity and lots of natural sunlight, this isn’t the place for you
492 rooms, including 56 suites
24 hour gym
Indoor swimming pool
24 hour concierge
Free local calls (you can actually take the mobile phone from your room out and about with you)
40” LCD TV with internet access
Laptop size safety box
Connecting rooms possible
Complimentary bottled water
iPod docking station
Tea and coffee
Rates from 1900 HKD
Disclosure: I paid a reduced rate to stay at the Mira for review purposes. As usual, as ever as always, I keep the right to write about what I think and what I want on this site. Cheers!
Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com