Cordis, Hong Kong, an Understated Luxury Hotel in Kowloon
Mong Kok isn't typically the first place one thinks of when it comes to luxury hotels. Yet it's the beating heart of Hong Kong culture, home to the colourful flower market, an abundance of vintage shops and night market with curios and fortune tellers. Cordis, Hong Kong is the flagship of Langham hospitality group's new division of hotels, with outposts in Beijing, Shanghai, Ningbo and Auckland opening following its inception. We checked into the chic hotel for a two-night stay with club access.
For those unfamiliar with Mong Kok, the district can be quite overwhelming, with its rush hours being rather manic. We made our way to the hotel at a less busy hour to avoid the crowds and travelled through the Langham shopping mall which is all accessible directly from the MTR. Guests can also arrive via taxi.
Check-in was simple and thorough, with friendly staff who were happy to assist with any request. It did take a while to queue up to check in but that was the result of Cordis' marvellous staycation packages reigning in locals to get their inbound travel fix.
We stayed in the Club Studio room, a spacious harbourview sanctuary with panoramic views from the 180-degree windows. Every room at Cordis is kitted with a bathtub—a rarity in Hong Kong flats due to space, but thanks to the Mong Kok location, the hotel is able to provide more generous room sizes and amenities. The plush king-sized Dream Bed was a treat for morning snoozes while the lounge area provided an alternative spot to relax for afternoon reading. Guests who book the Club Studio can access the club lounge, a contemporary one-floor spot for all-day dining and drinking.
There are four F&B outlets to choose from at Cordis, Hong Kong. Ming Court is a Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant which also opened a branch in Wan Chai. Breakfast is at The Place, a large, lively lobby eatery, next to The Garage Bar, a terrace bar and restaurant serving food truck favourites. Alibi - Wine Dine Be Social is a modern Asian and Western restaurant offering creative dishes and bespoke cocktails for discerning travellers.
Dinner at Alibi | Image courtesy of Adam Thompson | CSP Times
We headed to Alibi - Be Wine Be Social for dinner on our first night. There's a warm ambience at the restaurant, filled with Nordic-influenced decor and modern furnishings including the mismatching chairs. Dishes were presented beautifully with an artistic touch, backed with creative recipes like teriyaki-glazed quail breast with confit egg spring roll (a must try) and the jumbo lump swimmer crab soaked in coconut cream and crisp seaweed.
It's easy to see why Ming Court has retained its Michelin star for years since its opening. Helmed by Chef Li Yuet Faat, who has over 20 years of culinary experience, the Cantonese restaurant stays true to its roots, focusing on traditional regional classics like the char siu, which strays from Iberico pork variations commonly found in Hong Kong, to using local pork in its curation. Other dishes worth trying include the juicy marinated cherry tomato appetiser and the Inaniwa udon with lobster and Sichuan peppercorn.
Drawing wisdom from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chuan Spa is devoted to the principles of Wu Xing—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—which work in harmony to fully unwind in a serene setting. I tried the Chuan signature massage for a holistic spa experience in an intimate, tranquil treatment room, followed by tea and champagne in the spa lounge post-massage.
The Health Club at Cordis also features a state-of-the-art gym, group exercise studio, stunning swimming pool and daily tai chi class every morning.
Cordis feels welcoming from the moment you walk in, with staff happy to help whenever needed, despite the busyness of the hotel in recent months due to its attractive staycation packages. The hotel feels unpretentious and luxury in a pared-back manner that's reasonably cheaper than hotels on Kowloon and Island side. We were told that Cordis is an affordable high-end hotel with all the trimmings of luxury facilities and generous room sizes for an urban stay. Plus, when you factor in the club lounge inclusion when opting for the club room choice, it adds more reason to stay indoors, since it includes snacks and drinks all day. It's clear to see why the hotel was named after the word 'heart' in Latin, and it shows in its warm hospitality and attention to detail.
Recommended summer staycations:
Cordis, Hong Kong, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, cordishotels.com