Located in Hong Kong Island's Central district, opposite Hong Kong Park, the Murray Building has long been one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. After housing government offices for more than 40 years, the modernist masterpiece was sold in 2013 to Hong Kong-based developer Wharf Holdings. Four years and $HK3 billion later, it debuted in January as the city's newest five-star hotel.
The transformation was overseen by award-winning architects Foster + Partners (also responsible for London's ME hotel and Singapore's Capella resort, not to mention London's "Gherkin" and other award-winning landmarks). The building's distinctive recessed windows and grand entry-level archways have been preserved while new additions include a striking rooftop glass pavilion for a forthcoming restaurant and bar.
The hotel's 336 rooms are notable for their spaciousness – 75 per cent are larger than 50 square metres. Spread over 25 floors, many have sweeping views of Hong Kong Park and Victoria Harbour (book a corner suite for dual-aspect views of both). Three of the hotel's five planned bars and restaurants are open, including a New York-style lobby bar and a lounge serving afternoon tea with infusions by tea specialist Jing.
Still to come are Guo Fu Lou, a one Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant that will relocate from its current location in Wan Chai, and Popinjays, a rooftop venue with expert mixologists and international DJs. The Murray is Wharf Holdings' third luxury property under the Niccolo brand. With existing hotels in Chengdu and Chongqing, and two more in development in Changsha and Suzhou, it's a name to look out for. Rooms from $HK4400. See niccolohotels.com