The Murray, Hong Kong: All you need to know about the city's newest five-star hotel
Hong Kong has seen a rush of new hotel openings over the last year, and one of the most anticipated was The Murray, Hong Kong. A readaptive use project that saw an abandoned government building made over into a chic new hotel, the property has been making waves since its opening earlier this year. It takes a lot to stand out on Hong Kong's crowded hotel scene, so I checked in to see if The Murray, Hong Kong lives up to the hype.
Design & Décor
The building was created in 1969 by British Modernist architect Ron Philips, and was used as government offices until the 1990s. The exterior is a study in early 1970s architecture, and was lovingly preserved during the building's conversion into a hotel. The sweeping entry forecourt, three arches, and recessed windows are hallmarks that have been retained, while the extensive use of glass and concrete ensures a seamless connection to the more modern skyscrapers in the area.
Clean lines and contemporary, minimalist interiors are the heart of the hotel's design scheme, all of which take full advantage of the building's inherently stark, sharp geometry. Aesthetics are best described as timeless and sophisticated, with subtle nods to decades past in Art Deco-esque flourishes and '60s-inspired artwork and fabrics. Luxury materials are everywhere, from black and white Calacatta marble, polished metals, and handmade glass and fabrics from Italy and Asia.
Any hotel can offer good service. But if the mark of a five-star property is personalised service that meets guests' every whim and connects them with the heart of a city, then The Murray, Hong Kong delivers in spades.
At the spa, staff go out of their way to ensure you create the perfect bespoke experience by talking you through the range of tea ingredients and essential oils on offer, and expounding the benefits of each. Sitting down to dinner (at The Tai-Pan), our server quickly talks us through the menu, and later offers short but informative overviews of each dish and wine; it's possible the meal is more enjoyable for knowing exactly what you're having and how it's been prepared. Later that night, a staff member discusses pillow choices — from an impressively extensive menu — with me before delivering the requested lavender pillow to the room within five minutes.
I spend most of my time in Hong Kong, so didn't need to use the concierge service at all. But, I did notice that the hotel has its own guide to the city in its rooms. A quick look showed a run down of hot new restaurants and bars, popular shopping spots and hidden gem local experiences, so I can only assume that the concierge desk does know its stuff.
Rooms & Amenities
The Murray, Hong Kong boasts 336 guest rooms and suites over 25 floors, and each one is an elegant oasis in the heart of the city. The best part? Most rooms are over 50sqm, offering some of the most spacious accommodation in Hong Kong.
The hotel's timeless, luxurious design bleeds into the rooms with a black-white-grey colour scheme, geometric furniture, opulent metal-and-marble bathrooms, and plenty of natural fabrics, stone, and leather. And that's before you get the view. The postcard windows in my N3 Grand Deluxe room featured up-close views of the HSBC and Standard Chartered buildings, and birds' eye views of St John's Cathedral, that you're unlikely to find anywhere else.
Adding to the luxurious feel, rooms are stocked with boutique brand amenities like Antipodes water, TWG tea, and Grown Alchemist bath products. And the linens, slippers and bathrobes? Frette, from Italy, naturally. There's technology to spare, too. The oversized smart TV offers mirroring with iOS devices, while lighting is controlled from a bedside hub that, conveniently, also offers outlets and USB charging.
Spa & Wellness
Blurring the line between boutique touches and big-name hotel, The Murray, Hong Kong offers a full complement of wellness facilities. For the active, there's a modern 24-hour gym stocked with Technogym equipment, and a 17-metre indoor swimming pool that's a zen-like oasis with vertical gardens, waterfalls, loungers, and a vitality pool.
The heart of the hotel's wellness offerings, however, are the five spa suites (two of which include private saunas and steam rooms). An array of massages and facials are available — all with Grown Alchemist or Kerstin Florian products — but the highlight is the bespoke experience. You'll start your spa retreat by creating a custom scent from 20 essential oils (mine was a fresh, sprightly combination of geranium, rose neroli and grapefruit) and sipping on a personalised tea blended from your pick of five ingredients, including lavender, rose and osmanthus.
Food & Drinks
There are five F&B outlets onsite, each one offering a unique — but uniformly excellent — experience. The crowning glory — quite literally, since it sits atop the hotel on the 26th floor — is Popinjay's. As well as delicious modern European plates, the elegant restaurant boasts chic rooftop bars with handcrafted signature cocktails and nibbles and a fun, whimsical design scheme.
Hidden within the hotel's gardens, The Tai Pan is a sophisticated spot for international gastronomy. There's an a la carte menu, but the set menu is the way to go. We sampled the lobster bisque, foie gras, lamb, and prawn curry, all of which were flavourful, well-portioned and beautifully plated. But the cherry on top was the dessert trolley; with seven choices on offer, picking two was nearly impossible.
Breakfast is served between The Tai Pan and Garden Lounge (which also serves an indulgent afternoon tea). It's a hearty affair starting with a buffet of pastries, fruits and cereals, and finishing with made-to-order mains like French toast, all manner of eggs, and congee.
Rounding out the gastronomic offerings are Murray Lane, a trendy bar offering artisanal spirits and craft beers, and Guo Fu Lo, a Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, set apart from the hotel in a flourishing garden.
There's plenty to love at The Murray, Hong Kong, especially if you're looking for a beautifully crafted luxury hotel that features plenty of personalised boutique touches. The hotel has plenty of competition from other recently opened hotels in the Harbour City, but with its careful attention to detail, attentive-but-not-intrusive service, and a holistically bespoke experience, it hits all the right notes and might just be one of the best new five-star properties in Hong Kong. We're all for you checking it out the next time you hit up this eclectic, bustling city.
For more information, visit The Murray.