Help! Hotel in Hong Kong

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Oct 26th, 2010, 04:56 PM
  #1
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Help! Hotel in Hong Kong

I am going to Hong Kong for the first time this weekend and I still haven't decided on my hotel. From looking around online, I have found good deals at the following hotels: Royal Plaza Hotel in Mongkok (executive room with lounge access), The Mira in TST and the Panorama Hotel by Rhombus (club room). All three are close to a MTR station. The Royal Plaza has a rooftop pool and is connected to a mall which is convenient for me, but I'm not sure about its location. The Mira is in a good location, but the pool is in the basement which is kind of a downer for me. The Panorama Hotel offers AMAZING views of the harbour from their club rooms, which I like since I can't afford the Intercontinental/Sheraton, but it has no pool and it seems to be very business oriented. Which hotel should I pick? Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
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Oct 26th, 2010, 05:58 PM
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I stayed at the Mira a few months ago and it's quite nice but the rooms are on the small size. Very modern rooms and amenities plus the service was good. Did not use the pool so cannot comment on that.
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Oct 26th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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The Royal Plaza is connected to the Mongkok-East rail station, but it's a very crowded walk to get to the Tsuen Wan (Red) line subway. It is, however, extremely convenient for the various markets in Kowloon.

How bad do you need a pool?
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Oct 26th, 2010, 07:07 PM
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I don't absolutely need a pool but given the weather in Ottawa right now, it sure would be nice to have access to one.
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Oct 26th, 2010, 07:13 PM
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I don’t think you would go horribly wrong with any of these. Of the three, I would probably go with the Rhombus because my general rule is that if you don’t have a harbour view room on the Kowloon side, then stay on the Hong Kong Island side. More to do on that side and better restaurants. The Mira is probably the best and most more luxurious of the three, but no views. But in the end I would not say it is huge deal. But if you haven not looked on the Hong Kong Island side, you might do so.

Temps this weekend will be only in the low to mid 70s F (Autumn has finally arrived), so I am not entirely sure I would bother to pick my hotel based on a pool.

Mongkok is about 2 miles from the waterfront. While it has some interesting areas, I am not sure that they would appeal to a first-time visitor, as they are mostly about looking at pre-war buildings (like the Diocesan Boys School) with few actual sites other than enjoying the contrast from other areas of town. A first-time visitor would probably prefer to go to the Peak, take the Star Ferry, go to Aberdeen or Stanley, walk along the Kowloon Esplanade, etc. The closest sites to the hotel are the Flower Market and Bird Market, which are interesting, but which can be done in about 1 hour. Otherwise, from Mongkok, you are going to be spending time in transit getting to places you want to go. The hotel is also near the Ladies Market, which I consider a negative, but some people like it.

The Rhombus rooms can be on the small side, so check on this first. The silver rooms are pretty small, about 220 square feet. The Gold and Platinum Rooms are 280 square fee which is better. Check which you would be getting on the club floor. The hotel does have very nice views from its higher floor rooms, so again, make sure you get that. While the Rhombus is close to Doors N1 and N3 of the MTR, note that it is a rather long walk underground to get to the trains. You may be better off going via Mody Road or other streets, which are at least more interesting. Signal Hill, a virtually untouristed vantage point over the harbour which is green and quiet, is quite close to the hotel and you may want to take a short walk up there.

The Mira would certainly offer the frisson of being right on Nathan Road amid the neon and the crowds (some good some bad with that, be prepared for touts pestering you). No views as far as I know. It is across the street from Kowloon Park, which has some interesting bits, and is about a 10 minute walk to the waterfront, so certainly doable.
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Oct 27th, 2010, 07:06 PM
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Thanks! I booked a club room at the Panorama Hotel. I really like the location and I am a sucker for a view. I can't wait!
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Oct 28th, 2010, 12:07 AM
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Wow, are you going to be here for some good weather. Sunny, very low humidity, temps in the 70-75 F range. We have been waiting since last winter for this weather! Air pollution is OK, not great but not terrible, views are pretty good during the day, and night views should be very good. See
http://sunnyfortuna.com/fortunacam/s...g/harbor01.htm and
http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/ts/index_e_webcam.htm# for a taste (the latter site will also give you weather forecasts). Make sure you get outside as much as possible. Can’t wait to hit the trails myself.
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Oct 28th, 2010, 04:40 AM
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Great to hear! I think I'll head to the Peak first on my first day. Hopefully the view is clear!
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Oct 28th, 2010, 05:17 AM
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Wow - that weather sounds fabulous Cicerone! Is that supposed to hold through next week? I'll be there Nov 2-7.
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Oct 28th, 2010, 06:52 PM
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Generally from mid-October we have no rain and nice temps. November and December are our 2 best months. However, this has been a weird year, as it was hot until about 4 days ago, and we had a typhoon here last week, which is the only time I remember a typhoon hitting after about the first week in October. I doubt that we would have rain or a typhoon at this point. Temps may drop further or rise slightly again during your visit, that is probably the only difference you will find.
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Oct 29th, 2010, 12:57 AM
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mcbg1,, not sure when your first day here will be, but if you plan to go to the Peak on Sunday morning, you might want to try to see the Sedan Chair race, which is an annual race in aid of Matilda Hospital and local charities. There is also a day-long fair on the grounds of the hospital with food, shopping, games, etc. All proceeds go to local charities. The race is fun to watch as the runners are dressed up and carrying someone in a sedan chair.

I am not sure I would make a special trip to the Peak just for the race, but if you were planning in going, it would be a good thing and a very local event that tourists don’t go to. You could easily combine this with various walks around the Peak (like Severn Road) or to other places like downhill to Aberdeen. See the website at http://www.sedanchairace.org/for info on the race.

To reach the race area from the top of the Peak Tram, facing the Peak Tram building with the brown Galleria Shopping mall and fountain at your back, turn left and walk down the road here a few yards toward the low brick building ahead (The Peak Lookout Restaurant). Turn left at the intersection and stay on the left side of the road (Peak Road). You will pass 2 entrance driveways on your left, after the second one you will come to a wall, look left and you will see a set of stairs going up. Go up the stairs, and turn right. There will be three roads in front of you, take the middle road (Peak Road, not Plunkett’s Road). Walk along this. You will pass a real estate agent and the Dairy Farm building, with the Market Place grocery store. (The two-lane busy Peak Road will also be on your far right, but keep walking along the narrow one-land road and through a traffic light. About 20 yards after the light you will come to an intersection, turn right and walk over the bridge (this is Mt Kellet Road). You will probably see a lot of people at this point as the race route includes the far side of this bridge area. You can go right or left after the bridge, depending on crowds. The walk from the Peak Tram building to this point will take maybe 10-15 minutes. The Matilda hospital grounds themselves are a bit further along on Mt Kellet Road, but you may not be able to get to them until after the race. There is a map on the website of the race route and the area.

The Matilda Hospital grounds have some very good southside water views.

Race starts at 10 am and goes until 11:30 am, and the fair goes on all day.
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Oct 29th, 2010, 02:16 AM
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I am arrive on Saturday evening so I probably will head to the Peak first thing on Sunday morning. Thanks for those instructions. I'll definitely try to see the race.
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Oct 30th, 2010, 05:34 PM
  #13
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I'm here! The view from my room and the club lounge is stunning. A little hazy right now but it's good enough for me. I read there was a building on HK island with a free observation deck. Does anyone know what building it is?
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Oct 30th, 2010, 07:38 PM
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You can go to the Monetary Authority Exhibits on the 55th floor of the ifc2 building, which has the best view, currently.

The Bank of China building has an observation floor on the 43rd.

Central Plaza has a skylobby on 48th.

I don't think the new observation deck in the ICC in West Kowloon is open yet. That's on the 100th floor and will be the highest.
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Oct 31st, 2010, 06:59 PM
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The views from the Bank of China sky lobby and Central Plaza sky lobby are quite good, esp. the Central Plaza as the windows are much larger and there are views in every direction. From BOC you have a Peak view and southwest view, but no eastern harbour views.

The observation deck at ICC is not yet open. Possibly in March, altough they may try to make Lunar New Year.

The views from the Monetary Authority Museum are only of the Peak. They don’t let the public into the library, which has the harbour view. It’s a pretty Peak view, but perhaps not what you were thinking of.

However, all in all it’s hard to beat the view from the Peak. Not sure I would make a special trek to any building just for the views.
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