When the Ritz-Carlton approached me in December 2010 and asked if I wanted to cover their “Countdown” – the 10 days prior to opening a hotel – I enthusiastically said “yes!” Having followed the building of their Hong Kong hotel for nearly  year, and fresh off a tour of the hotel (which was then just a construction site), I was beyond intrigued by the mystique of this hotel. Sure, it would be the highest hotel in the world, but there were so many questions I had about how it would all come together; the idea of being on the inside as the hotel opens would be a dream assignment. I had one condition: It was to be exclusive. Get all the media you want the day of the opening, but for 10 days prior to opening I wanted to be the only media inside the hotel. The deal was agreed upon and I was off to Hong Kong.

Of course, being an exclusive meant I was going to work overtime. And I did. My goal was to bring readers the inside details of how this luxury brand opens its hotels, and an iconic one at that. I’d share everything from employee communications and training sessions to food shows and cocktail tastings. I’d explore every aspect of the hotel – from the 102nd floor to the 118th – and report live from Hong Kong on how the hotel was literally coming to life. I watched as artwork was unveiled from its wrapping and murals were being strategically placed on the ceiling. I ate with the chefs, drank with the bartenders, cleaned with room service, greeted with front of the house, planned with concierge and more, and each night from Hong Kong I filed a story. Deadlines are deadlines, no matter what the time zone.

Below are the links to the series of stories that published from the 10 days inside the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong before it opened.

Huffington Post:
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: Live From The Highest Hotel in the World
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: 7 Days Until Opening
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: Sneak Peak at OZONE, The Highest Bar in the World
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: The Food
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: The Spa & Serenity
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: The Opening

USA Today:
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: Countdown to world’s tallest hotel opening
World’s highest hotel: Employee fashion show teaches ‘what not to wear’
Sneak peek: Dizzying views at world’s highest rooftop pool
World’s highest hotel: Fire drills part of opening sky-high hotel
Photo tour of world’s highest hotel: Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which opens today

Categories: Hotels, Luxury Travel

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