A Food Obsessive's First Time Hong Kong

Jun 7th, 2016, 04:11 AM
  #41  
 
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I usually get the best price from a booking agent and then call the hotel directly to,price match. They usually do and in one case beat it.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 05:23 AM
  #42  
 
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Hi Kavey, I'll be following your posts, too. We hope to be in HK around the same time as you if I ever bite the bullet and buy the tickets. It'll be my second trip; my husband's first.

As you know, I've had good luck contacting hotels directly. I'm not sure where I'd stay this time. Last time, I stayed on HK Island, but I had a free room piggybacking onto my cousin who was there for business. This time it's on my own dime.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 08:15 AM
  #43  
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Jacketwatch, I guess I could do that, though I like the protection of using booking.com - I don't have to worry about being incorrectly charged a cancellation fee because a hotel loses my notice to cancel or some such. And I feel secure in sharing my payment card data there, as much as one can on the internet anyway! I think maybe once I narrow down my choice, I could give that a try just to see how much the saving might be.

Internetwiz, oddly for some kinds of trips I do contact hotels directly, but I found booking.com such a boon for travel to Japan that I'm kind of gravitated towards it for other East Asian destinations too.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 09:04 AM
  #44  
 
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Actually there is very little chance of a hotel losing your booking if you book directly with them. Just keep a copy for your records. Conversely it's easy to deny booking thru a third party. All they have to do is say they never received the record.

Hotels need a CC deposit to hold the room but you can cancel 24 hrs. in advance with no penalty and no matter what you are not responsible for fraud on your CC.

However this may be too much to ask to go out of your comfort zone.

You can always email the hotel directly after your booking to confirm. I think booking with the hotel is just fine and as safe but then again it's your trip, your money. Perhaps peace of mind is key.

Cheers, Larry. .
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Jun 7th, 2016, 09:42 AM
  #45  
 
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Kavey, I find booking.com very convenient too, and so far I've had not problems with hotels losing their bookings, etc.

for our trip to Sicily in September I've been able to print off not only the confirmations but a very handy list of all our reservations so that I can made sure that all the dates are correct, and all the bookings that I needed to cancel have been dealt with.

The one place that is not booked through booking,com I have booked direct because it was cheaper [though not much]; otherwise the process were the same or better through booking.com
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Jun 7th, 2016, 10:01 AM
  #46  
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It's not about my comfort zone Larry, I've been travelling independently for decades, long before internet booking and was arranging my bookings without Agents in an era when most friends still used them. I have no problem booking directly with hotels, as I said, I still do this for the majority of my travel.

I'm not worried about a hotel losing my booking, more about the *potential* to lose my cancellation and therefore charge my card, without any intermediary to go back to if needed. However in that case I could of course contest payment via my card provider, that's enormously tedious though - I've had to do that before, though not for a hotel, just to be clear.

I've no reason whatsoever to worry about cancellations made via booking.com and I've not personally heard of anyone who has arrived at a confirmed hotel only to find no booking exists.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 10:03 AM
  #47  
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Ann, yes likewise!
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Jun 7th, 2016, 11:17 AM
  #48  
 
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Maybe we have a different frame of reference here. What is it like to protest a CC charge in the UK? Here in the US I've done it many times and it's been a breeze. I once got stiffed by a TA on airfare. He booked the ticket and sometime later he canceled it and kept the money. Visa refunded me and upon investigation upheld my claim. This was for about 1k USD. Another time we got stiffed by a shady moving company. Visa took the fight to them when they stopped responding to me and though they were as wrong as the serpent in Eden they refused to refund a penny! Visa generously gave my $100.00 though I am sure partly because of being a good customer for decades. So basically for me protesting thru my CC has been very easy.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 11:50 AM
  #49  
 
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I've only challenged a credit card charge once and the mere fact that i was doing so caused the trader to refund my money.

it's not so much that for me, jacket watch as the convenience of not having to keep all the details of different cancellation terms, not needing to enter my personal and c/card details each time I make a booking and having just one place to go to to make a cancellation if i need to.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 12:11 PM
  #50  
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Yes exactly, Annhig. It's convenient and reliable and very easy to use the interface.

I feel we've veered rather off the topic of which hotel may suit us best, onto people's preferences on how they make and cancel bookings, which doesn't really belong in this thread really, though I appreciate the intention to help.

Hong Kong recommendations still sought. Thank you!
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Jun 7th, 2016, 01:45 PM
  #51  
 
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Kavey: you did participate in the discussion.

If you don't want to ok though for me discussions can and do diverge. It's natural I think.

Good luck in your search.

Larry.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 03:24 PM
  #52  
 
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Back on track: For breakfast go to Honolulu Cafe in Wan Chai and order egg tarts and macaroni soup, really. You'll see the locals doing just that.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 06:08 PM
  #53  
 
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...order egg tarts

We did this every day for breakfast at Tai Cheong bakery on Lyndhurst (Central) a couple of years ago. Just had some really good egg tarts at a Macanese restaurant in Chicago this past weekend, so this subject is kind of top of mind.

Of the hotels on your list, we've only stayed at the Intercontinental. Agree that if you can get a room with view at an acceptable price, it is worth it (we reserved a standard king but were fortunate to be upgraded to a suite).

While I'd not call us foodies, we used this food blog (among other sources) when selecting places to eat in Hong Kong. There were a few hits and some so-so choices (several of which I see are no longer on the blog). If nothing else, the photography may provide a few hours of distraction

http://hungryhongkong.net/
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Jun 7th, 2016, 07:40 PM
  #54  
 
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I'm not usually a fan of large western hotel chains, but the Intercontinental delivered on every level - location, restaurants, room decor and especially the view. Still dreaming of that view.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 11:09 PM
  #55  
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Larry, I did participate, hence my use of "we", but was simply trying to steer the discussion back to what I am needing help with.

HappyTrvlr, brilliant. That was my thoughts, that we could have breakfast out, giving us several more meals through which to explore and try local places!

Ms Go, thank you, I'll explore the blog. If you have any particular recommendations that were hits for you, I'd love to know about those.

Crosscheck, Ms Go thank you for your comments on the Intercontinental. It certainly looks good, I guess my question is whether a regular King room there is better than an exec suite at Salisbury, which is also a little cheaper as well. Happy to pay the extra for the Intercontinental, if that is the better option.
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Aug 25th, 2016, 05:47 PM
  #56  
 
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Just wondering what you booked?
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Aug 26th, 2016, 07:48 AM
  #57  
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Hi Yes
I still have the five places held, though I'm hoping to narrow down and make a final choice in next few weeks, so I can release the others. It's for next year, so I'm not feeling too guilty at this stage though I'd planned to have sorted it all by now. I got sidetracked on to some other projects, not least an upcoming trip to Canada next month!

I'm leaning most strongly towards:

YMCA Salisbury
Executive suite harbour view

But also have:

Kowloon Shangri-La
Deluxe King with harbour view

Hotel Icon
King room with harbour view

Intercontintental HK
King room with harbour view

Hotel Indigo HK Island
Deluxe King

Kavey
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Aug 28th, 2016, 09:15 AM
  #58  
 
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Regarding your love of food, I have a suggestion. I believe Hong Kong is a place where it can pay to venture off the tourist path for the best experiences and one of the best meals of my life was as a result of just that. Stick with me here.

I'm a longtime "member" of a free online organization called Hospitality Club hospitalityclub.org. There are thousands of members all over the world and I've had the pleasure of staying (free) with a number, including in Asia. On a trip to Hong Kong I was more interested in simply making the acquaintance of a resident or 2 (I love staying at the Salisbury) and after making inquiries, my companion and I were invited to join a member for dinner.

Without a guide we would never have found the place, on a side street in Sai Wan, upstairs. It was crowded and, if I'm not mistaken, we were the only non-Asians in the large room. Our hostess ordered for us and it was an experience unlike any other, really the reason we travel, I think.

My suggestion: Sign up on the HC website immediately. It's run entirely by volunteers and can sometimes take a while to complete registration. As soon as you can begin sifting through the member profiles in HK, find likely residents and contact them. You'll find there are a number of members who may be less appropriate than others for a variety of reasons (age, etc.) but others will stand out as interesting possibilities. Contact them and explain you'd like to meet and you'll likely have new friends in Hong Kong who will take you on a food adventure, as we had. And maybe other adventures that you didn't know you wanted. It's fun and more than worth the effort.
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Aug 28th, 2016, 12:07 PM
  #59  
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Brilliant! I'll do that straight away!! Thank you so much!
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Aug 28th, 2016, 12:13 PM
  #60  
 
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Thanks for the suggestion! I will sign up too.
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