Kowloon Is The Secret To Hong Kong's Luxury Shopping Scene

By Leyda Hernández

Home to three luxury shopping malls & just across the bay from Hong Kong, discover Kowloon's shopping scene

If Hong Kong could win an award, it would be for Best Newcomer. After several days of scouring the city for the latest in skin care and spa treatments, I could see why Hong Kong wasn't just the luxury capital of the East but a major cultural player as well. 

Today, luxury goods are bought (and often resold) for their cultural capital, and Hong Kong's bustling streets bridge a much-needed gap between the east and west. In 2017, 4.7% of all global luxury store openings happened in Hong Kong (Savills).  Tourism numbers are also working in their favor. This August, the city's hotel room occupancy was an astonishing 95 percent (Hong Kong Tourism Board).

Kowloon's Luxury Shopping Malls

As Hong Kong culture continues to spread, a new luxury shopping mecca in this popular and modern city attracts the diversity of today's affluent class. Moreover, you don't have to be on Hong Kong Island to feel the energy of the city. Kowloon, Hong Kong's largest city, sits across the bay from Central Hong Kong, with views opposite downtown Central where the iconic bamboo-inspired Bank of China skyscraper, Hong Kong's most recognizable landmark, lays its claim. 

The Kowloon waterfront shows a softer side to the busy city. A heritage and culture district makes it the perfect place to explore the diversity of Hong Kong. Home to three of the area's most opulent shopping malls, 1881 Heritage, Harbour City, and Elements, all within walking distance of each other, makes Kowloon one of the best luxury shopping destinations in the world.

1881 HERITAGE, Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon)

Just steps away from the ferry to Central Hong Kong, the 1881 Heritage complex features a global sampling of luxury shops and fine dining. At 1881 Heritage, the eclectic offering of luxury brands takes us to opposite ends of the globe. We visit Paris with Cartier, New York with Tiffany & Co, Tokyo with Mikimoto, and return to Hong Kong with a pioneer of Chinese Chic, Shanghai Tang. If you plan on spending over US$12,750 here a year, membership for 1881 VIPs gives you access to exclusive offers, in-store services, collection previews, and private invitations.

As the former headquarters for the marine police, the impressive 120-year-old landmark has rich cultural and historical significance, welcoming visitors with open courtyards, staircases, and staggering waterfalls; making it a favorite among local couples for engagement and wedding photos. The diverse selection here makes it a primary location for luxury shoppers with a global perspective.

Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon)

Just a five-minute walk away from 1881 Heritage lives the next shopping mall on our list, Harbour City. True to its name, Harbour City sits on an original colonial wharf terminal making it a unique waterfront experience for shoppers and tourists. 

The all-in-one dining, entertainment, and sightseeing destination is also home to three hotels. Boasting brands like Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Louis Vuitton, and more, the Harbour City complex takes you through an endless world of luxury and experience. With roadshows (and even car shows) for brands like Shu Uemura, Burberry, and Givenchy, Harbour City is the ultimate shopping destination under one roof.  

Elements, West Kowloon

If you're not exhausted yet, head over to Kowloon Park, a gorgeous botanical garden in the heart of Kowloon's luxury shopping district, with twisting trails leading to hidden ponds with sunbathing turtles, maze gardens and pavilions, it's the perfect bridge uniting Tsim Sha Tsui and West Kowloon; and a twenty-minute walk through it takes you to Elements.

Complete with an indoor skating rink and Porsche and Bentley car displays in the main halls, Elements takes novelty to new heights. This large shopping mall's constantly changing interiors bring shoppers back again and again. The cosmos-inspired floor plan celebrates the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, featuring seasonal interiors and public art exhibitions. Directly accessible via the Airport Express, it's the perfect shopping destination if you're only in town for a quick visit or find yourself with a long layover at Hong Kong International Airport. 

Kowloon is an absolute must-see, a memorial to today's affluent and rising classes who are redefining the rules and desires of today's economic and cultural sophistication.