The Mira describes itself as an ‘urban retreat’ from the perpetually crowded streets of Tsim Sha Tsui. Everything’s relative in Hong Kong, however, and the lobby and restaurants can be pretty busy, but the rooms do have a pleasant, almost Scandinavian, minimalism.
Perfect if you’re here to shop or eat, as it’s just off the main drag of Nathan Road. The entrance is actually in Kimberley Road, a few minutes’ walk from Tsimshatsui MTR station (exit B1) and across the street from the surprising leafiness of Kowloon Park, where locals practice early morning tai chi in the open air as a mindful respite from the area’s consumer bedlam. Even if you’re not into exercise, try and book a high-floor, park-view room.
Style & character
The 492-room hotel received some unexpected publicity when Edward Snowden retreated there in 2013 and proceeded to spill the beans on America’s spy network. (If you want to assess room quality watch Oliver Stone’s Snowden, which was filmed in the hotel). It prides itself on its design elements. Some of these verge on the weirdly cinematic – you can easily imagine Snowden skulking around its dark maze of low-ceilinged, stripy-carpeted and mirrored corridors. Walls that appear to undulate are also a theme.
Service & facilities
The formality of some of Hong Kong’s top-end hotels is deliberately absent – staff aren’t allowed to wear ties. This is good and bad. Overall service is friendly but a little casual and rather harried at busy times. There’s a 25 metre infinity pool and 18,000 sq.ft spa, and as The Mira attracts a lot of business travellers, you’ll have them to yourself on weekdays.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
Clean, simple (no artwork, wooden floors), stylish (the bigger rooms have Arne Jacobsen-style egg chairs), and much more cheerful than the gloom of the corridors might suggest. The bathroom walls are made of glass (blinds are provided) so even the smallest rooms feel surprisingly spacious. Apart from studios, all have baths as well as stand-alone showers. Everything’s very slick including the tech aspect. The Mira was the first hotel in Asia-Pacific to offer guests free use of a smartphone; now it’s been replaced by a more portable Wi-Fi ‘buddy’ with 4G connectivity that can be shared by 10 devices.
Food & drink
There are six restaurants and bars, including Whisk, which has more than 400 wines sold at cost price. All are decent but not particularly remarkable apart from Vibes, located in an outdoor enclosed courtyard on the fifth floor. It’s become very popular in the evenings for shisha; 55 flavours, including chocolate and cappuccino, recommended by Egyptian shisha master Khaleed are available and you can lounge over your water pipe for a couple of hours in a cabana.
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