With modern flair and an architectural legacy, The Murray Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel, is a refined destination for business travellers.
One of the newest five-star hotels to open in Hong Kong (along with the Rosewood, St Regis, and newcomer The Hari), The Murray Hong Kong is part of Niccolo Hotels and is the group’s only property outside Mainland China. In turn, Niccolo joins Marco Polo Hotels as part of Wharf Hotels.
The Murray, which opened in early 2018, is best known for its design legacy, including deep-set square windows that proved to be a ground-breaking energy-saving feature that is still applauded today. Housed within an iconic modernist building designed by British architect Ron Phillips in 1969 and now one of eight historic landmarks under the Hong Kong Government’s Conserving Central initiative, the building was lovingly transformed into a five-star hotel by acclaimed architectural firm Foster + Partners, ensuring the preservation of a vital piece of the city’s architectural heritage.
It doesn’t get much more central than The Murray. Set between Hong Kong Park, with its aviary and walking trails, and the respite of St John’s Cathedral, the hotel enjoys one of the quieter corners of downtown Hong Kong Island. Backdropped by the Mid-Levels and The Peak, the hotel is an easy 20-minute walk to both Central and Admiralty as well as Tamar Park and is easily accessible by taxi. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the city’s MTR system.
Guests arrive at the hotel’s entrance on a narrow lane between Cotton Tree Drive and Garden Road. Here, after passing a temperature check, guests enter an intimate, vaulted Art Deco-esque lobby in black stone and brass accents that was once the lobby of the previous office black incarnation and which features modern art pieces including works by Korean artist Back Soon-Ghi (above). From the lobby, guests can access the hotel’s restaurants, including the Wall Street-inspired Murray Lane cocktail bar at lobby level, and the hotel’s indoor pool, or take the elevators up to one of The Murray’s 336 guest rooms and suites.
The Murray prides itself on the size of its guest rooms, which are some of the city’s largest, and this is a plus for business travellers hoping to make theirs into both a home and an office away from home. Guest spaces include refined interiors ranging from natural fabrics and leather to plush textiles, as well as modern amenities and great cityscape views through those iconic, deep-set windows.
There is a modern elegance to the rooms and suites of The Murray, something that’s residential and comforting despite their unashamedly contemporary styling. While rooms are somewhat minimalist in their decor, there’s also intelligence to their layout – there’s everything you need and nothing you don’t, from the Nespresso machine to the ‘magic glass’ of the bathroom that turns opaque at the touch of a button.
My N2 Grand category room is no exception. A beautifully-large main bedroom area that includes a huge wall-mounted smart television, a king-sized bed with 400-thread count linens, and elegant hardwood floors gives way on either side to a workspace and a marble bathroom with a free-standing bathtub, rain shower, Toto multi-function toilet, double vanities, and amenities by Australia’s Grown Alchemist. There’s high-speed wifi, plush carpeting, a comfortable couch and coffee table, and views to St John’s Cathedral from both the bed and the spacious desk.
Like any luxury hotel worth its salt, The Murray offers a variety of dining experiences, ranging from classic cocktails at Murray Lane, a favourite with the city’s black suit nine-to-fivers (although in Hong Kong that’s closer to nine-to-just-after-eight) to elegant afternoon teas at the Garden Lounge.
During my visit, I enjoyed a few very well-made martinis at Popinjays, the hotel’s breathtaking modern European rooftop restaurant, with its famous wraparound terrace that makes it a popular spot at sunset. I then made my way down to The Tai Pan, the hotel’s modern bistro concept, a refined space in burgundy leather, brass, and onyx where the best ingredients from around the world are prepared by a dedicated culinary team and presented by attentive staff. The Tai Pan is also where breakfast is served, which guests can enjoy alfresco on the Cotton Tree Terrace (below), so be sure to leave time to graze.
This is where The Murray falls a little short of some of its competitors if only in the name of architectural preservation as the original commercial tower from which the hotel was born didn’t leave a lot of room for amenities. Guests can take a dip in a chic indoor pool hidden away off the lobby, or shake off the stress of their business trip in one of the spa’s five well-appointed spa suites. The hotel is also perfectly positioned for guests looking to run or walk the trails that criss-cross the iconic Peak behind the hotel.
Elegant, modern, and welcoming, with just enough heritage to stand it apart in historic Hong Kong, The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel continues to breathe new life into the city’s luxury hotel scene.
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