HONG KONG (AFP) – The world's highest hotel opened its doors in Hong Kong on Tuesday, housed in the city's tallest skyscraper and offering unrivalled panoramic views of the world famous Victoria Harbour.
Towering some 490 metres (1,600 feet) above the bustling, chaotic streets of the Southern Chinese city, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel is making a grand comeback after temporarily closing in 2008.
Visitors peered out of the floor-to-ceiling windows of the 118th floor of the International Commerce Centre, which houses the hotel, for a 360 degree view of the glitzy financial hub and the South China Sea.
"We're opening an iconic hotel which took us about 10 years to build," president and chief operations officer Herve Humler told reporters.
"We are taking luxury to new heights in every sense," he added.
The Ritz-Carlton however will likely lose the world's highest hotel title in 2014, according to media reports, when the J-Hotel opens near the top of the over 600-metre Shanghai Tower in mainland China.
"People compete all around the world about everything -- I'm sure someone somewhere is building an even taller building as we speak," Humler said. "We emphasise service."
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong also will be one of the most expensive places to stay in a city already packed with luxury hotels, with the rack rate starting at HK$ 6,000 (US$770) a night for a deluxe room.
A presidential suite is going for HK$100,000.