Hong Kong: 260-island archipelago and chunk of the Chinese mainland - and one of the most dramatic skylines in the world. From peninsular Kowloon, of course, the view's better.
Every night the sound and light show flashing across Victoria Harbour illuminates Hong Kong Island's jagged skyscraper-scape silhouetted against the Peak. Which is about the only drawback to checking into The Landmark. Hemmed in by high-rises on the island, it can feel a bit claustrophobic. But press a switch and the electronic blinds swish down, shutting out the city and making you feel as though you've checked into a spa rather than a hotel.
In fact, it was the perfect antidote to jet lag after an overnight flight from London. Two giant flat-screen TVs were playing a loop of soothing landscapes to mellow music. The bedroom was L-shaped with a circular glass-walled bathroom in the centre - flooded with natural light. Dark wood floors were scattered with clotted cream toned rugs. A welcoming pot of jasmine tea appeared as I was running a scented bath in the deep stone tub. There was even a yoga mat in the walk-in wardrobe.
The Oriental Spa continues the city retreat theme. As well as Eastern-inspired treatments, you can plunge into a vitality pool with pummelling water jets, rinse off in rainforest cold mist or red tropical rain showers, detox in the amethyst crystal steam room and recline in the dry heat of the mosaic-tiled laconium. And when you're ready to face the world again, slip downstairs to join the throng in the MO Bar.
The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road, Central, Hong Kong (00 852 2132 0188; www.mandarinoriental.com). That's shopping central: Harvey Nichols on one side and hoardings announcing Gucci's opening this winter on the other. The hotel is also joined at the hip to The Landmark shopping mall.
Time to international airport: from Chek Lap Kok airport, the Airport Express whisks you to the centre in 25 minutes. A single costs HK$100 (£7) to the terminus on Hong Kong Island. By taxi it's half an hour and around HK$340 (£22).
There are 113 sleek, contemporary rooms, which lay claim to being the largest in Hong Kong at an average 540 square feet. Marble bathrooms come with circular tubs and separate rainforest showers.
Freebies: Aromatherapy Associates toiletries,tea, newspaper.
Keeping in touch: hi-tech credentials include direct-dial phones, three flat-screen TVs with digital video-on-demand technology, wireless broadband internet with corporate VPN access.
The bottom file
Doubles from HK$4,300 (£283) excluding breakfast.
I'm not paying that: the famous backpacker address is Chungking Mansions, Block A, 4F and 5F, Chungking Mansions, 40 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (00 852 2366 5362) which has doubles from HK$380 (£25).