Today I want to introduce a bar that’s definitely far from being “around the corner” (at least from my home place), but certainly sets solid standards in terms of atmosphere and style: The Ozone Bar. Visiting the Ozone Bar requires, however, not less than a trip to the Cantonese metropolis of Hong Kong.
The Ozone Bar at the Ritz Carlton Hotel is situated on the top floor of the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon directly above the subway station MTR Kowloon. The location offers several superlatives: for one, it is located in the tallest building in the city (currently the eighth tallest building in the world) and on the other hand the Ozone Bar is the highest bar in the world. The view from there is also not to describe below the term of “superlative”, but more on that later.
During our visit we did some research about the bar scene of the city, which of course leads you to this bar. Surely the Ozone Bar is no small niche bar and also no charming Speak Easy, if you look for something like that this is the wrong place to go. Instead, you will find a glossy design and sophisticated internationalism. But that’s no tragedy; on the contrary: spending your evening at such an establishment can be great amusement.
So our visit began with a ferry ride from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon in order to go for a walk through the pleasant evening air of the Cantonese October. You can’t of course overlook The International Commerce Centre, which houses the Ritz Carlton Hotel in its upper 15 floors. The building overtops all other skyscrapers of the city and missing it is simply impossible. However, we somehow managed to miss the way to the main entrance and entered an underground garage for goods deliveries. Most guests anyway arrive by taxi, which we had decided not to do because of our evening walk. So after we wandered through the catacombs of the huge building between some sweeping trucks, we finally found our way to a Shopping Mall and from there to the main entrance of the hotel.
Once at the top we were welcomed by the very friendly staff and we were led to an open seat right by the window overlooking Hong Kong Island. And what can I say? The view is so breathtaking that I could not really pay attention to the interior of the bar in the first place. I would even say to this day that the Ozone Bar definitely has to offer the best view I have ever enjoyed in a bar or restaurant. This is of course strongly connected to the skyline of the city. Every evening at 8 o’clock an absolutely worth seeing light and laser show is performed: Skyscrapers are illuminated, flashing in all sorts of colors and irradiate in turn surrounding houses with varicolored light. Since we planned to arrive there when the show starts, we initially felt like just having entered an opulent science fiction film. You could easily sit there while just staring out of the window without becoming bored.
But now I also want to say a few words about the actual bar. The interior is based on recurring, bold and modern designed honeycomb patterns that are illuminated in numerous facets of light. You will find stools at the marble bar, cozy couches inviting to relax and also tables and stools at the windows. The bar has an indoor part and also a semi-open outdoor area. If you sit directly on the windows in the semi-open area, you should under certain circumstances choose a slightly warmer clothing depending on the season, as the outdoor area is open at the top. This of course has real charm, as you may sit there in good weather under the night sky of Hong Kong while enjoying one of the world’s most spectacular urban panoramas.
Apart from some Asian tapas and desserts the Ozone Bar of course offers a cocktail menu. This includes many classics and some Asian interpretations. The selection of signature drinks at the time of our visit was rather small and some spirits, which were featured in the menu, were no longer available. Nonetheless the staff was substantially preparing our orders and so we have quickly been provided with our drinks by the extremely polite and courteous waiter. My wife chose a classic Cosmopolitan cocktail, while I opted for a 12-year-old Yamazaki. The Cosmopolitan was solidly made, Yamazaki, however, was served in a tumbler instead of a nosing glass (though at least without ice). We would have loved to remain a little longer in the Ozone bar so we could try some more drinks from the menu, but that night we had an appointment at the “Marco Polo German Bierfest” and we were afraid that a few more cocktails would definitely be a bad base for drinking beer out of Bavarian jugs (the “Marco Polo German Bierfest”, as a German-born, is an absolutely bizarre event; just as a footnote)
All in all, the Ozone Bar is definitely worth a visit! Interiors and views are spectacular, the cocktails solid and the culinary offer very tempting. While I would not call it a revelation in terms of “Mixed Drinks”, the overall package is absolutely harmonious.
(Since we did not want to disturb other guests we restrained from taking photos in the bar. The copyright of the images shown here is held by the Ozone Bar of the Hong Kong Ritz Carlton Hotel and the use was provided to me with friendly permission.)