The Bernier/Eliades gallery
at Art Basel Hong Kong 2013

After Frieze New York and before the Venice Biennale, the tireless and likely jetlagged international art clique has touched down en masse in Hong Kong, where the first Art Basel outpost in Asia opened to the public on Thursday. Here, we've assembled a cognoscenti's guide to where the insiders are eating, partying, and sleeping it off--including picks for both the elegant classicist and those willing to brave sweaty dance floors and no-reservation policies.

The Upper House's lobby


Mandarin Oriental: The Original. Initially known simply as The Mandarin, the hotel was recognized as one of the best in the world when it opened in the 60s. A recent and quite pricey facelift has added some polish to its old glamour. This is actually the official hotel of Art Basel HK, where a slew of events are happening, although expect most of the deal-making to occur over martinis at M Bar or beers at the more casual Captain's Bar.

The Upper House: In a city that can't get enough ostentatious luxury, the newish Upper House has set itself apart with its tasteful and subtle interiors--nary a touch of red or gold in sight. The top floor bar and restaurant, Cafe Gray Deluxe, boasts some of the best views in Hong Kong, and was the venue of an intimate cocktail party that Net-a-Porter threw for the artist Terence Koh.

Amber at The Mandarin Oriental


Amber: Back to The Mandarin. San Pellegrino's highly influential, annual World's 50 Best Restaurants list recently ranked Amber as Hong Kong's number 1--an impressive honor in a city rightly known for its many dining options. In an elegant setting best enjoyed on expense accounts, feast on French fare with a nod towards the east/west crossover culture unique to Hong Kong's history.

Ronin: At the cusp of Hong Kong's culinary scene, Ronin is billed as a Japanese izakaya with a speakeasy feel, but don't roll your eyes--there are no comically elaborate cocktails here. This tiny, no-reservations eatery is located behind an unmarked door on a quiet side street--and it's nearly impossible to score a table there, especially this week. But of course there's also Yardbird, a yakitori in Sheung Wan from the same owners that feels like Ronin's louder and more fun little brother.

The lounge at Kee Club


Kee Club: Picking up where the infamous China Club left off--it's still open, but now irrelevant--this members only-ish club (annual dues aren't exactly required) is Hong Kong's answer to Soho House, and host to a recent Saint Laurent soiree. The upstairs has a dinner-club vibe that subtly turns into a bottle service situation, while downstairs it's dance-y and dark. Appropriately, Kee's chef has concocted a Swiss-themed Basel menu that is available all week.

Salon Number 10: This little gem is quickly shaping up to be Hong Kong's version of Rick's Cafe Americain--minus the fascists, of course. One will encounter distinguished travelers of all nationalities here, and the owners Alec and Ellis (who also run the men's boutique Moustache) are the most gracious of hosts, DJ-ing, suggesting drinks, and generally making you feel like you're at a great house party.