How to Have a Drink at 1,588 Feet in the Highest Hotel Bar on Earth

Nov 30, 2018

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Even if you can’t afford a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, you can enjoy its top-floor bar. The Ozone bar, one of the highest hotel bars on Earth (at least for now), is located on the 118th floor of the ICC Tower in Hong Kong.

The ICC Tower is Hong Kong’s tallest skyscraper and the world’s 11th tallest building by height at 1,588 feet. The Ritz occupies floors 102 to 118 of the ICC Tower, with the Ozone bar occupying the top 118th floor. As might be expected, the views from the bar’s open-air deck are impressive.

How to Get In

To get to the ICC Tower, either hail a taxi to the Ritz-Carlton or take Hong Kong’s efficient light rail system to Kowloon Station and follow the signs to the Ritz-Carlton’s lobby.

A bank of elevators on the 9th floor entrance lobby — directly across from the entrance you’ll use if arriving by taxi — will whisk you to the Ritz’s 102nd floor lobby. Don’t worry about pushing the wrong floor on this elevator. There are no buttons, since the elevator simply travels back and forth between the entrance and main lobbies. The more than 90-story journey takes about one minute.

Once in the main hotel lobby floor, walk to another elevator bank clearly marked with Ozone branding. This elevator will take you to the 118th floor Ozone bar.

Tables can be reserved, but many tables inside don’t have any notable views. If you happen to be staying at the Ritz, you’ll get priority access and seating.

When to Go

Ozone is open during the following hours:

  • Monday through Thursday from 5pm to 1am
  • Friday from 5pm to 2am
  • Saturday from 3pm to 2am
  • Sunday from 12pm to 12am

If you’re mainly interested in sipping a drink or two while you enjoy the views, I’d recommend arriving when the bar opens. There are only about 20 first-come, first-served chairs along the windows outside — and they go fast.

Window seats are the place to be.
Window seats are the place to be.

If you’re deciding whether to visit during the day or at night, you could try to time your visit to see both. But, if I had to pick one, I’d pick daylight simply because you’ll be able to see the planes flying overhead and your photos will turn out better. The glare on the windows after dark is pretty distracting. The nightly Symphony of Lights is visible from Ozone, but it’s less impressive than I expected and not something to plan your visit around.

Ozone periodically hosts special events or shows that charge a cover or admission fee. If you want to ensure you avoid these events or shows, call Ozone at +852-2263-2270 to check their calendar before you visit.

On Sundays from noon to 3pm, Ozone hosts a Dom Pérignon Ultimate Brunch. This brunch costs HK$1,388 (about $177) per adult with free-flowing Dom Pérignon Champagne, HK$2,268 (about $290) per adult with free-flowing Dom Pérignon Rosé Champagne and HK$590 (about $75) per child ages 3 to 18 with free-flowing juices and soft drinks.

If you’re traveling with anyone under 18 years old, you’ll need to visit between 5pm and 9pm daily or during Sunday Brunch, since these are the only times guests under 18 years of age are allowed. The dress code is a bit more strict after 9pm, too. (No shorts, beach sandals, open-toe shoes or sleeveless shirts on men.)

What to Drink

Cocktails are the drink of choice at Ozone — you can see the current menu on Ozone’s website. On the menu during my October 2018 visit were 16 specialty cocktails. All cocktails except the Ozone Signature HK Skyline drink cost HK$195 (about $25). The HK Skyline, which includes Absinth and Dom Pérignon Foam among other ingredients, is HK$340 ($43).

We tried the Dragon’s Back and Lion’s Head cocktails. The Dragon’s Back had a fruity but not too sweet taste and a purée-like texture. The Lion’s Head packed a punch with bitters and whisky, and was served in a comically large glass. Neither were very large, but were certainly enough to sip while enjoying the views.

Glasses and bottles of various types of single malt whiskey, gin, blended scotch, tequila, cognac, rum, American whiskey, vodka, champagne, white wine, rosé and red wine are also available.

If you’re simply there for the view and want to be as budget-conscious as possible, here are your best options: sodas cost HK$100 (about $13), beers cost HK$120 (about $15) per bottle, a half pint draft costs HK$105 (about $13) and a pint draft costs HK$165 (about $21).

This view is worth the admission fee of a drink or two.
This view is worth the admission fee of a drink or two.

What to Eat at the Bar

Ozone offers à la carte snacks at the bar, too. As we weren’t particularly hungry, we ordered a special maki roll to share. The so-called #FriedPrawn cost HK$175 (about $23) and took about 50 minutes to arrive after we ordered it. After the long wait, we found the five-piece roll to be lacking in taste. Sadly, the decorative fried crispy pieces on the plate were the tastiest part of the dish.

Ozone is a rooftop bar, not a restaurant, so I’d recommend enjoying the bar drinks and skipping the food. After all, drinks are Ozone’s specialty. We paid for our drinks and sushi with the Chase Sapphire Reserve since it earns 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and travel worldwide. So, regardless of whether the Ritz’s Ozone bar classified as dining or hotel, we knew we’d earn 3x on the purchase. It ended up posting as Travel:

The Experience

We arrived 40 minutes after the bar opened on a Wednesday. Although we arrived too late to snag seats by the window, we did get seats on a couch outside. The views from the couch weren’t particularly impressive — parts of the skyline could be seen around the guests at the window — but it was easy to get up and wander over to the window for a view periodically. The window seats are certainly the place to be.

The couches and seats outside felt relaxed, similar to what you might find at a beach bar. It wouldn’t be worth visiting Ozone during rain or inclement weather, as the outdoor area with the views would be closed. Smoking is allowed outside at Ozone, but I didn’t see anyone smoking when I visited.

I enjoyed the open-air design of the bar and, as an AvGeek, I also appreciated being able to watch planes fly over the building. The music was, blissfully, not too loud to have a conversation.

Make sure to visit the restrooms while you’re at Ozone. Seriously. The women’s restroom has four sinks and two stalls, as well as an impressive view over western Victoria Harbour.

Service was solid initially. We’d been kindly greeted by multiple people as we made our way up to Ozone, quickly seated and welcomed by our server, but we struggled to catch his attention when we were ready to order drinks. And then he disappeared.

Over the course of 90 minutes, we saw three different servers help customers in our section and then never be seen again. Our special maki took 50 minutes to be served — when we checked in 40 minutes after we ordered it, we got a brisk and dismissive “it’s coming” response. The bar wasn’t particularly crowded during our visit, so the poor service and slow food didn’t seem justified.

The Bottom Line

Ozone is certainly worth visiting when you’re in Hong Kong. After all, it’s currently one of the loftiest bars on Earth, and has some impressive views. I’d recommend visiting during the week on a day with good weather and arriving when the bar opens to snag a window seat. Then, enjoy a drink or two while you take in the views, but skip the food. There are are many better options for dining in Hong Kong.

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