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SiobhanP Sep 29th, 2008 11:25 AM

Hong Kong Hotel Business trip Advice needed
Hi all and probably cicerone would be the expert here! I need a hotel for the first week Nov for work. I have to look up the addresses again for my visits but fairly central as I will taxi it to several offices. It does not have to be a chain hotel and nothing crummy as work pays. I will be staying myself and pal from China for work and we want to enjoy ourselves in the evening shopping and eating...she is tiny and can eat a horse! I have not been to HK since it joined back with China and really looking forward to seeing it again.

rkkwan Sep 29th, 2008 05:07 PM

Even if you're not paying, there is a budget, right? Or is it unlimited?

Cicerone Sep 29th, 2008 08:18 PM

Well, you certainly will have a huge number of choices (provided you can get a room, start looking now). I assume you will want to be in Central, so you can walk to offices, as in November weather is so great and you will not be sweating. (The humidity has dropped significantly in the last 36 hours after a brutal summer here, and while we may get a spike in the next week, that should be it, and everyone is thrilled that winter is comingÖ). The Admiralty area East of Central may work too. If you donít mind the Star Ferry every day (and who would?) the tip of TST is possible (yes, you can take the subway, but why would you when you can take the ferry?!!) II your company is paying, then consider the Peninsula. However, if you want to eat out most nights in good restaurants, I would stay on the Hong Kong Island side, as IMO there are many more options to choose from.

In sort of a pecking order of poshness, in Central there is the Mandarin Oriental (donít need to say anything there), the Four Seasons (probably the largest rooms in the city and a really nice pool area, still useable in November), the Landmark Mandarin Oriental (quite nice, no views at all, you may look into the office building next door, but excellent location, there is a Harvey Nicks right there, but any of these hotels have shopping in or nearby them), Hotel LKF (get the largest rooms on the highest floors as this is right in the bar district but good for restaurants and night life, walkable to Central offices). The Ritz-Carlton has closed so that is out. The trio of JW Marriott, Conrad and Shangri La at Pacific Place in Admiralty would be fine (JW Marriott has smaller rooms but good harbour views), you would want a taxi or tram to get to Central, but in reality it an easy 10-15 minute walk to most parts of Central from there. The advantage of those three is that you can walk in moments to the Star Street and other areas of Wan Chai which are now chock-a-block with good restaurants (the new trendy area in town) and also has the interesting street fish/veg markets as well during the day. However, the Mandarin and the Four Seasons are well-positioned for Soho and the Peel Street market areas as well.

I am not a huge fan of the Grand Hyatt as I think it is just that bit out of the way, certainly not walkable to Central or Soho, and just that smudge too far from the restaurants of Wan Chai. And there always seems to be a queue for a taxi. There are better choices which are closer IMO. On the Kowloon side, the Penn would really be the first choice, IMO, with the Intercon just behind.

There is a brand new W Hotel in the Elements Mall in Kowloon, I have heard mixed reviews of it (décor is weird from what I hear), but there is a Bliss Spa in it. Would have some nice views (air pollution permitting). Many banks have already moved into the new ICC tower there, so if any of your meetings are there, then the W may make sense, otherwise it a subway ride, bus or taxi over to Hong Kong (or even to the tip of Kowloon), so not really that convenient. There are lots of restaurants in Elements, but not a lot that is special to write home about (or they are branches of ones already on Hong Kong Island).

SiobhanP Oct 1st, 2008 01:44 AM

Hi Cicerone, A few questions...what is TST? Is that on HK island or Kowloon. I love the idea of a ferry in the mornings. Reminds me of NY when i took one from NJ to the Financial svs centre each day.

I would say mandarin Oriental and Four seasons are way too much for our price ranges. Marriott may be about right for prices and will check. Appointments will be all over and so far some in Kowloon. Is Wan Chai on HK island as i think that is what i see from my maps?

KMLoke Oct 1st, 2008 02:55 AM

TST aka Tsim Sha Tsui is in Kowloon.
Wanchai is on HongKong island.

SiobhanP Oct 1st, 2008 05:09 AM

Thanks will do some more research and pricing and come back to you all!

NoFlyZone Oct 1st, 2008 05:28 AM

Cicerone, when I was in HK a few years ago I stayed at the New World Renaissance in TST. Mainly for location and the cost was less than the Intercontinentals and Mandarin Orientals. What is your opinion of that place?

And, as follow ups, what would you recommend on HK Island in the same quality and price range? And, as I may then want to stay on HK Island next year, could you expand on the variety and number of restaurants in the TST (Kowloon tip) and HK Island hotel areas.

TIA for your valuable inputs!

rkkwan Oct 1st, 2008 08:04 AM

Traditionally, Tsimshatsui is the "tourist" district, and it has a lot more 3* to 4* hotels than Central. Central is mostly 5* or several newer "hip" hotels.

In Tsimshatsui, besides the 5* Peninsula, Intercontinental and Kowloon Shangri-La, there are quite a few 4* alternatives are cheaper but still very convenient - the Sheraton, the three Macro Polo hotels, Langham, Holiday Inn Golden Mile, Miramar, the new Rhombus Panorama, etc.

There are also tonnes of restaurants and shops. Some posters here don't like the "touristy" feel of Tsimshatsui, but sometimes you can't beat the convenience and choices.

Cicerone Oct 1st, 2008 06:25 PM

ÉÞ NoFlyZone, the Renaissance Kowloon is scheduled to close shortly, possibly early next year as the owner is going to tear down the hotel to build a bigger tower (the Intercon which is part of the complex is not being torn down). So, first I would check to make sure it would be open on your dates. Secondly, to the best of my knowledge, none of the rooms have harbour views, which to me is the only reason to stay on the Kowloon side. I also believe that the hotel has not had a redo in some years (in anticipation of the closure which has been planned for some time), so may be a little more than worn at the edges, but I have not seen the rooms so really can°¶t comment, you might try tripadvisor.
ÉÞ On the Hong Kong side, in a similar budget range you might try the Metropark Wan Chai. I have not seen the rooms, but have been in the public areas and they are very modern and nice, and the hotel is very new which usually is a good choice. I also just love the location in Wan Chai, easily walkable to the market areas, many good restaurants both cheap and dear, and you can hop the tram, a bus or a cheap and quick taxi ride to Central. It is also very walkable to things like the Peak Tram provided you don°¶t mind a little walk, part of it through Hong Kong Park which is quite nice. Central is also walkable as well, but I can see where most people may not want to make the walk, but it really is not that far, esp in the cool weather months is not at all unpleasant. Siobhan, this may work for you as well.

I have also long recommended the Bishop Lei up in Midlevels, nice location near the escalator and in a residential neighborhood. They have nice views too. Rooms can be small, so get the largest you can, like a junior suite if possible. I am a big fan of the neighborhood of the new Courtyard by Marriott, Very interesting neighborhood, not at all touristy. (Siobhan this would work for you only for going by taxi to Kowloon really, as it is a walk to the nearest MTR, but for a tourist I don°¶t see that as any issue).

For restaurants, I recently posted a thread called something liked °ßCicerone°¶s Updated Hong Kong Restaurants Part I°® which you might look for (I am in an airport lounge now and don°¶t have the full title with me). It contains a lot of reccos, some for Kowloon, mostly for HK Island and other areas.

My issue with Kowloon is not only is it incredibly touristy, has mostly mediocre restaurants, pretty boring and average shopping, is that I just don°¶t think it is all that convenient, as most everything a tourist wants to see is actually on Hong Kong Island or reachable via Hong Kong Island (e.g. outlying ferry piers for trips to outlying islands). Yes, there are a lot of tourist hotels, because it has always been cheaper to stay there as rents have historically been lower there (although that is changing but is still largely true.)

NoFlyZone Oct 2nd, 2008 11:41 AM

Ah, interesting that the Renaissance will be pulled down (before I make this next trip). Two years ago it (and the rooms) was not shabby at all, but a fine "4-star" property. None of the rooms had a harbor view, but the location made up for that as it was convenient to everything without the higher cost of the Peninsula or IC.

Your other recommendations are interesting and are whetting the appetite for staying on the HKI side this time. Will check out Bishop Lei with interest because being in the Midlevels facilitates access to all the wonderful restaurants around there while not being too far from anything else.

I usually have a bad habit of going back to places (like the Renaissance) which I liked without considering better locations. That goes for restaurants and activities, too. So the demolition may force me out of that envelope!


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