I have to say one of the most lavish and glamorous things I have done was to have my Birthday at the Ritz Carlton during my stay in Hong Kong. Having seen photos of the exquisite hotel and ICC I slightly became obsessed with the idea of staying there. I would fantasize of how I would dress up in my fanciest clothes and go to the highest bar in the world and have drinks and dinner with the love of my life to celebrate my 23rd birthday.
No sooner did I decide that that was going to be my plan I booked a flight leaving out from Hong Kong so I could extend the layover and make my dream come true.
It wasn’t the most glamorous time trying to get to the building I’ll admit. Actually it was a nightmare. Not only could we not get a single cab to pick up but it started raining as well. When we waited in a cab line for almost 30 mins, missing my dinner reservations, we finally got in a cab where he told us we were in the wrong cab line and we needed to be on the other side of the street to catch the non-island cabs.
See, Hong Kong’s cabs are colour coordinated to their districts and won’t leave there district so you have to plan accordingly. Our problem was that even though the cab lines were flooded with english speakers, the cab drivers were having a hard time communicating. Something that I can’t really be upset about. What I could be upset about is that the Ritz Carlton is located along the harbour and is the BIGGEST building in Hong Kong. I pointed to it, showed pictures on my phone what it looked like, had the address screen shotted in mandarin but no matter what no one knew what I was talking about.
Finally after waiting in the second cab line we got in a cab, showed him the picture and then he dropped us off at the wrong location and told us to get out.
So far my birthday dream was getting diminished.
In the luxurious way we found a subway station and took it to the hotel, following people who looked well dressed for a friday night. A quick and not so scary elevator ride up we made it to the Ozone Restaurant. Luckily, they saved our dinner reservations and we had the entire back booth to ourselves. I must say I felt special.
After ordering some drinks and appetizers that were actually delicious we hung out and enjoyed the spectacles. Since it was raining the outdoor area was closed for seating but guests were welcome to walk out and enjoy the view.
After eating and relaxing we decided to look out on the balcony and take some photos. Oddly though the waitress followed us out asking if we could pay the bill so we did but when we went to go back to our seats the waitress had given it away to someone else. Aaron said they must have thought we were trying to dine and dash but the hostess did tell us it wasn’t an issue going outside to look out the windows.
Having a bitter taste about the experience we didn’t make a fuss about our booth being given away and decided to head back to our hotel. Not wanting to deal with cabs we took the subway and walked back to our apartment.
While the night didn’t go as I envisioned I still feel grateful to have to experienced being in the highest bar in the world. I also enjoyed getting all dolled up in the dress that I had carried around in my suitcase for a month.
A little redemption for them was when we got back to Canada my boyfriend, Aaron, emailed them about how he thought we were treated a bit rudely to which they replied quickly to give their genuine apologies. They said that the waitress should never had followed us outside and that we did have every right to see the view and that the table should have never been given away. They also said if we were ever in Hong Kong again they would like us to come back to have a true Ritz Carlton experience. It was a gracious offer to which I will happily take them up on.
All in all I am glad I got to experience the Ritz. The food was delicious and cheaper than the drinks and the drinks were delicious but more expensive then the food. But unlike most fancy restaurants the food and drinks we had were worth the money. It was a glamorous night. I would recommend to anyone who is going to Hong Kong to visit the the Ritz Carlton for an appetizer or drinks or both and enjoy that amazing view Ozone has to offer.
What are your thoughts on the Ritz? Have you ever had a birthday blunder?