Property name: The Mira Hong Kong
Where: Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Street address: 118 Nathan Road
Rates: From US$463 to US$6,185
“My vision has been to leave an indelible mark on the mind, body and soul,” says The Mira’s interior designer Charles Allem. Teaming up with stylist-to-the-stars Colin Cowie (the man behind Oprah Winfrey’s 50th birthday party), Allem has done just that — he has created an ultra modern hotel that abounds with stainless steel, mirrored surfaces, and contemporary twists on the traditional. Sleek and modern, The Mira is Hong Kong’s first member of Design Hotels, a network of over 200 unique hotels in more than 40 countries.
Little remains of the hotel’s prior incarnation as the Hotel Miramar, though guests remembering that dated property might recognize the low-ceiling hallways (don’t get lost in the maze) and a few chandeliers now encased in open-ended tubes in the Japanese restaurant Yamm. The Mira, launched in 2009 after an extensive renovation, dusted off its past to become a modern, urban enclave. Today it’s the flagship Mira hotel of The Miramar Group.
While the unassuming entrance off busy Kimberley Road gives little indication of The Mira’s design-savvy interiors, the lobby’s futuristic décor — curved white fins on the ceiling and a series of mirrors behind the reception desk — does offer a taste of what’s on the other floors. Reflecting the city’s expansive skyline and sparkling lights, The Mira’s rooms and hallways are punctuated by emerald and platinum color schemes, experimental sculptures, and innovative furniture pieces.
All uniquely designed, The Mira’s 492 rooms (including 56 suites) come in different color schemes — take your pick from green, red, purple, or silver. Ambient lighting and the whimsical yet functional Egg Chair by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen complete the picture. To complement the modern design, each room is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including a Sony LCD TV, a Nokia mobile phone to keep you connected while you explore the city, a Bose iPod dock, a wireless PC, and Wi-Fi access.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Cuisine Cuisine, impresses with both fare and décor. Serving modern Cantonese delights, the Michelin-starred restaurant features new takes on familiar Chinese elements. While emerald, rather than red, dominates the space, traditional motives such as Chinese coins are a prominent feature of the decor. Textured glass and warm wood paneling complete the feng shui-friendly design. But at the heart of the restaurant’s architecture is the striking light installation comprised of hundreds of hanging glass orbs, which when lit at night give the appearance of a glittering sky.
However, for us the pièce de résistance in terms of design is housed in the hotel’s pre-function area on the third floor. The unique sculpture installation here is made of 12 identically sized steel spheres suspended in the air in the manner of Newton’s pendulum. The urge to push one of the spheres is almost irresistible, but do so at your own risk.
The rooms: 492 rooms, including 56 suites.
Food and beverage: Cuisine Cuisine, which serves upscale Cantonese treats; the French restaurant Whisk; COCO, with chocolate delicacies that would make Willy Wonka sigh; Yamm, serving Japanese buffet favorites; Room One, a stop for a stylish pre- or post-dinner cocktails; Vines, the fifth-floor terrace garden lounge for an al fresco experience (the lotus-shaped open firs, running waterways, and private cabanas are nice touches); and the Spa Lounge Bar, where you can make a splash over a protein shake.
Other facilities include an indoor 25-meter infinity-edge pool; MiraSpa, with its collection of traditional treatments and more modern temptations; a fitness center; function rooms; and a penthouse ballroom that can accommodate up to 800 guests (its 18 Czech crystal chandeliers apparently allow 25,000 lighting combinations).