As a specialist business travel management company we pride ourselves on our expertise and local knowledge covering some of the world’s most visited cities. With so much great destination data we’re asking our regional travel experts to share some of their top insider tips on the locales they know best as part of a new series of posts profiling the Traveltrust team and their recommendations.
Introducing Blake Nari
Blake is a recent addition to the Traveltrust family and heads up operations in Asia-Pacific from his base in Hong Kong. Though born in Brighton, UK, Blake has family ties to Hong Kong going back to the 80s when his aunt and uncle were resident in the vertical city. After an encounter with Traveltrust MD Noah Meyerson meant Blake had someone to practice his Mandarin with he was delighted to come on board and help develop the company’s luxury travel offering in Greater China.
As well as having a deep love for Hong Kong, Blake is passionate about sustainable luxury travel and is always thinking about ways to minimise impact on the environment whilst still being able to maximise global exploration (in line with Traveltrust’s own approach to sustainability). These are Blake’s top recommendations for visitors to Hong Kong.
Reasons to Love Hong Kong
This is a bustling city with a unique location and rich history. It’s vibrant and dense with one of the most incredible cityscape’s of any world city, making it instantly recognisable in film and TV. Home to over 7.4m people there’s always plenty going on, day and night.
“You could be shopping in Landmark, or having afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental, and then ride a ferry from Central to Lamma Island, to enjoy a completely different natural scenery and contrasting laidback lifestyle, within the space of one day.”
Hong Kong Food
Famed for its Dim Sum and other Cantonese cuisine, Hong Kong’s dining scene has been influenced by both its eastern neighbours and it’s European former colonists, giving it a fascinating fusion of styles that make it a true gourmet’s paradise.
You’ll find plenty of spicy food, including Sichuan and Korean cuisine, alongside arguably the best Japanese food available anywhere outside of Japan. One venue Blake recommends seeking out is Yardbird, a modern Yakitori restaurant in Sheung Wan, though be sure to plan your visit well in advance as this stylish Michelin starred eatery is frequently completely booked out.
For something a little more laid back try the wonderfully nostalgic menu of Sun Hing by the waterfront in Kennedy Town. Visitors to this quaint and simple dining spot can enjoy custard buns, huge steamed shrimp dumplings and traditional yet hard to find Hong Kong delicacy quail egg Siu Mai. An absolute treat.
Hong Kong Hotels
As a truly global city and one that’s no stranger to hosting visiting dignitaries, foreign tourists and business travellers alike there is no shortage of first rate hotels to pick from. The likes of the world famous Hong Kong Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental offer extravagant splendour but Blake’s personal recommendation is the Upper House in Pacific Place.
Tasteful and minimalist with surprisingly spacious rooms for a city where space is at such a premium, this gorgeous 5 star hotel offers breathtaking views across Victoria Harbour. It also boasts excellent sustainability credentials with energy and water conservation programmes as well as a ban on single use plastics.
Hong Kong Travel
The city state’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific remains one of the world’s most prestigious airlines, frequently winning awards for the quality of its offering. Starting your journey to or from Hong Kong International with steamed dim sum or dan dan noodles in the lounge is hard to beat and it’s some of the best in-flight meals you’re ever likely to come across. Their business and first class products are outstanding, with true lie flat beds and high end toiletries from the organic skincare brand Bamford meaning you’ll always arrive at your destination feeling refreshed.
Though not quite as centrally located as the former main city airport of Kai Tak, which closed in 1998, Hong Kong International is just a 20 minute high speed train journey from Kowloon Bay. Built on reclaimed land off Chek Lap Kok island it’s one of the busiest passenger airports in the world, with all of the modern amenities you’d expect for a modern major international transport hub.
Hong Kong Must See
The new M+ Art Museum in West Kowloon Cultural Centre features works by contemporary Asian artists including many from the Chinese mainland. Much of the artwork maps China’s profound social and economic change since the 1970s. Their revolving special exhibitions are always worth seeing and at the time of writing you can enjoy the work of cultural icon Yayoi Kusama, which will leave you seeing dots!
Hong Kong Business Tips
Business in Hong Kong is all about forging relationships, or “guanxi.” Networking and meeting in person are really important for building trust in the local culture and as COVID restrictions have begun to ease the region is rapidly opening up to welcome business travellers once more. If you’re seeking to pay a business visit to this incredible city, talk to Traveltrust about how we can support your trip.