Buffets are big in Hong Kong. So big, in fact, that it's hard to find a hotel without one. But this one in the Island Shangri-La was ahead of the craze, raising the bar more than a decade ago with 10 different stations spread throughout the room (no more waiting in an annoyingly slow line). Chefs work busily in open kitchens, food presentations are arranged like artwork, and the cuisine offers the chance to eat your way around the world. Your first stop might be the table of hors d'oeuvres and salads, followed by the seafood counter laden with sushi, fish, and other delights. Next it's on to the noodle station, where a chef cooks everything from Italian pasta and Chinese noodles to order, before heading over to other stations serving Western, Chinese, Indian, and other Asian fare. But whatever you do, save room for the dessert and delectable ice cream temptations (you could select an entire meal here alone). And that view of greenery outside the window? That's Hong Kong Park, where diners can head after their meal to walk off all that food. Although there's an a-la-carte menu here, too, I frankly can't imagine why anyone would bother.
- Beth Reiber