The InterContinental Hong Kong is built over Victoria Harbour right in the heart of the Kowloon waterfront; not only does it give you the most awesome view of the Harbour and the captivating Hong Kong Island skyline, but the smooth, efficient service (synonymous with the InterContinental brand in our experience) makes this a great vegan friendly luxury hotel choice.
There’s a sleek and contemporary design throughout the hotel, which has a comfortable feel but actually serves a bigger purpose. According to traditional Chinese beliefs, ancient spirits must be appeased when building and so when the hotel was being constructed in 1980, a Feng Shui Master was consulted to ensure the delicate balance of nature was not disturbed.
Legend has it that the ‘Nine Dragons of Kowloon’ come down from the mountains each day, to bathe in Victoria Harbour and the InterContinental (with it’s waterfront location) sits right in their path. There are several features built in to the design of the hotel to entice the Nine Dragons inside so they can drop off some of their wealth on their way to the water. Look out for the fountain that symbolises a pearl (to lure the dragons in), spot glass walls (for easy passage if you are a dragon) and the island reception desk (designed to allow dragons to drop off their wealth easily). Respect for legends like this gives you a little glimpse into the soul of this well established Hong Kong hotel.
But lets not give all the credit for the InterContinental’s success to these legendary dragons; there are other reasons why this hotel has stood the test of time and won multiple awards for its service.
There are 503 rooms including 87 suites, two thirds of which have that enviable view of Victoria Harbour. There are 3 signature suites which includes the prestigious 5 bedroom Presidential Suite (Hong Kong’s largest at 7,000 square metres) which has a huge outdoor patio and rooftop infinity pool overlooking Victoria Harbour (and has even been used as a movie set).
Our Executive Room room has direct views over Victoria Harbour, in fact we’re so close that it feels like we could step through our window, right into the water. By day we can watch the water glistening with sunshine, eagles fishing and soaring and boats of all sizes chugging along the busy waterway. By night, the skyline is illuminated, with Hong Kong Island’s skyscrapers producing a light show that is captivating and impressive; a neon display of the city’s importance in the global business world.
As we complete our in-room check in, we notice the complimentary smart phone, part of the InterContinental Hong Kong’s ‘I’m Free, I’m Handy’ initiative which allows guests to stay connected during their stay. We are gifted unlimited 3G, free local and international calls as well as travel tips and maps that come in handy. But, and here’s that excellent InterContinental service again, we also receive a 3 page print out of vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants (to suit all budgets) making sure we won’t go hungry when we’re out exploring.
Elsewhere in the hotel, there’s everything you’d expect from a top end 5 star hotel, outdoor pool (the largest outdoor pool in Hong Kong with 3 infinity spa pools all with different temperatures), a beautiful Feng Shui designed spa offering a range of treatments (see below in the Vegan Essentials section), a business centre as well as several award winning dining outlets.
It’s probably no surprise to hear at this stage that the InterContinental Hong Kong also ticks all the boxes for being a great vegan friendly hotel, tried and tested by us and definitely getting our seal of approval.
The Vegan Food:
Our Club InterContinental benefits gave us the option to eat breakfast in either the hotel’s Executive Lounge, Club InterContinental, or to delve into the extensive international buffet at Harbourside.
Our vegan Club InterContinetal breakfast experience was hassle free, convenient and peaceful, accompanied by excellent service from the staff team and high quality vegan food. Options included vegan Western breakfast favourite such as cereal, fresh fruit, breads, hash browns and grilled vegetables as well as some local dim sum dishes. We sampled mushroom and vegetable filled dumplings and mushroom stuffed beancurd rolls, a typical Cantonese dish, that were gorgeously crispy on the outside with a firm, chewy beancurd skin wrapper and a tasty mushroom flavour from the filling.
At Harbourside light streams in through the glass walls and Victoria Harbour is right outside; we select healthy shots from the juice bar, with combinations like spirulina and melon being surprisingly delicious.
The chef at Harbourside has already prepared us a tray of healthy vegan food including fruit, salad and sweetcorn fried rice that we can add to with selections from the extensive buffet. Vegans will benefit from the excellent food labelling at InterContinental as well as the helpful staff who are readily on hand to answer any further questions. Pick from an international choice of dishes from pasta and tomato sauce to Indian vegetable curry.
Afternoon tea is a popular event in Hong Kong, with the InterContinental Hong Kong being one of the ‘go to’ places to indulge in this traditional British affair. We loved that the team in Club InterContinental thought we might like to partake and created our very own vegan afternoon tea without us even asking. We sipped tea and ate roasted vegetable sandwiches with fresh avocado, dainty fruit jellies with edible gold and heavenly spiced peach and fig miniature fruit salads.
We also enjoyed canapes and cocktails in Club InterContinental in the evening where deliocus vegan food was flowing. We were particularly impressed with the spicy cashew and pepper dip with tiny vegetable gardens.
Vegans can also dine at the two Michelin starred Yan Toh Heen, InterContinental Hong Kong’s Cantonese restaurant for a classy vegan lunch or dinner with superior service and more of those famous Victoria Harbour views. Expect light, traditional Cantonese food and exquisite teas served by their charming tea sommelier. You can read a full review of our vegan lunch at Yan Toh Heen here.
The Vegan Essentials:
There were synthetic pillows already available in our room so it was easy to arrange a feather-free, vegan sleep.
The in room amenities are from Californian based company Agraria and are 100% plant based, chemical free and not tested on animals. We were so happy when the company wrote back to us and confirmed their products are suitable for vegans because they are lovely products that we’re always happy to see in a hotel. It’s worth noting that suites and Club InterContinental rooms have Salvatore Ferigamo amenities but a quick call to housekeeping will get them changed easily.
The spa has a range of vegan products that are used including Esse organic probiotics (certified by The Vegan Society) that are used for facials and a range of Spa Ritual products (labelled as vegan on the boxes) so go and stock up on those luxury vegan goodies.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check-in to the InterContinental Hong Kong for a luxury vegan hotel stay with stunning views of Victoria Harbour, excellent service and even better vegan food.
Treat yourself to a meal at Yan Toh Heen or a fully vegan session at the spa, or maybe just book in for both; Hong Kong is one of the world’s most luxurious cities after all.
We were guests of Intercontinental Hong Kong but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Intercontinental Hong Kong
18 Salisbury Road,
Telephone: +852 2721 1211