Hong Kong Hotel, which side?

Old Feb 9th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Hong Kong Hotel, which side?

Will be in Hong Kong in Oct.07 for 5 nights & trying to decide which side to stay. I know this topic has been discussed in this forum extensively but can't find the information needed to make my final decision, so please one more time give some input. Looking for a 4* not to exceed USD350, preferibly w/ breakfast included, nice & clean in a safe area & close to all major sights. It could be a "chain or boutique" hotel. Depending on the side I guess the views will be different. Disclosure of PROS & CONS of either side will be appreciated. Cicerone, please add your five cents of wisdom to my request.
DorisG is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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we always stay on the kowloon side as there just seems more going on all the time there....plus there seems to be more variety in the hotels offered...
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Old Feb 9th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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At that budget, you should be looking the for best hotel you can get on those dates, and not which side of the harbor.
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Old Feb 9th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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If you want the best harborview, you want something in Tsimshatsui on the Kowloon side. The Peninsula and Intercontinental will be best, but cheapest harborview room in October may be just above your budget. [Prices vary date to date, just like in the US.]

Alternatives are

- Macro Polo Hong Kong (large, nice rooms, but the view is angled towards the Western District)

- YMCA Salisbury (it's almost like a 4* hotel), and your budget can get you their Harbour View Suite with money to spare.

- Sheraton. Make sure you specify a harborview "Tower" room.

- Kowloon Shangri-La. A little less convenient and the view is angled towards Wanchai and Causeway Bay. Your budget should just cover it.

- InterContinental Grand Stanford. Even further from the Shang. Long walk from MTR.

- Harbour Plaza. It also has nice view, right on the harbor in Hunghom. But you need a taxi/shuttle to get to the MTR. There's a Star Ferry service to Central, though.

On Hong Kong Island, the nicest hotels with the best views are in Central. But I don't think your budget can get you the Four Seasons or the recently remodeled Mandarin Oriental with harborview. But perhaps the Ritz Carlton, Conrad or Island Shangri-La. Their city or mountain view rooms should be within your budget. Also the JW Marriott.
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Old Feb 9th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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Here is my five cents: other than the view, you are going to do most of your sightseeing, most of your shopping and, if you know good food, most of your eating on the Hong Kong side. The Peak Tram, Central, Stanley, Wan Chai (Suzie Wong), the lanes for shopping, Lan Kwai Fong, Soho, Hollywood Road, etc are all on Hong Kong Island. Taking the Star Ferry is extremely fun and beautiful and cheap, but for 5 days do you want to do this twice or more a day? (There is a subway but that is the same question and worse as there is no view and involves long walks to and from in most cases.)

However, the Kowloon side does have the million dollar view everyone sees from the post cards. It’s stunning both day and night. Of course, you have to balance that against being constantly assaulted on the street by touts approaching you with “copy watch?” “copy bag” “have a suit made sir?” I don’t know how tourists stand this going back and forth to their hotel twice or more a day. So what it comes down to for me would be this: if you don’t have a harbour view room on the Kowloon side, then I would not stay on the Kowloon side. I would stay on the Hong Kong side, and go over to Kolwoon for a meal at night at one of the harbour view restaurants, during the day for a walk along the Esplanade and for the Jade Market or Flower Market, and a visit to one of the temples and to have lunch at the Quarterdeck or at the Intercon, and I would take the Star Ferry whenever I get the chance just for the fun of it and the views.

While I am not a huge advocate of moving hotels within a city, you DO have 5 nights which is a nice long time, so you could actually do it if you wanted to get the benefit of both views and the convenience of being of the Hong Kong Island side.

Also as you have 5 nights and in October, you can do some of the great walks here and get to see some really different views like the Dragon’s Back or the Severn Road walk that will give you views of the south side of Hong Kong Island, or go out to Lantau or the New Territories and see some very isolated and wild parts of Hong Kong.

I agree on the YMCA if you can get it and the US$350 should get you a very big harbour view room (probably a suite) there. I believe the Sheraton is going to close shortly, so check your dates. I don’t like the views or the locations of the other Kowloon hotels mentioned although they certainly have their fans. Agree on the JW Marriott and try the Shangri-La and Conrad in the same complex, although I have my doubts that you will find rooms in the $350 range there, the mountain view rooms are actually interesting I think. Location of those hotels is very good. I don’t think the Ritz will be in the budget.

A boutique hotel I recently toured is the Hotel Lan Kwai Fong on Hong Kong Island. It has a great location in the heart of the bar/restaurant district and Hollywood Road area, and is about 5 minute walk from the main area of Central. It is quite funky and modern, but your budget would get you a Deluxe Harbour View suite, which is what you would want as many of the other room types are quite small. Views are good, not great, but interesting city and some harbour because it is such a tall tower. It is next door a funky restaurant and dim sum place called Dragon-I and several of my other favorite Hong Kong restaurants are within very close walking distance. Take a look at http://www.lankwaifonghotel.com.hk/index.asp.

A hotel which is not a boutique hotel, but is a nice 4 star is the Bishop Lei, it is up in mid-levels in a residential neighborhood. It has some very good views being so high up the hill, and is near the escalator and some good restaurants. It is on a bus line, and taxis down to central would be quite cheap. There is access to some good walking from here as well. For $350 you could get a large suite, which is good because rooms can be small. Take a look at http://www.bishopleihtl.com.hk

I am not a huge fan of staying in the Causeway Bay area as I think it is a bit out of the way for most tourist activities except some shopping, but the Excelsior and the Park Lane are nice hotels and would certainly be within the budget, so you might consider them, go to http://www.mandarinoriental for the Excelsior (its operated by the Mandarin group) and go to http://www.parklane.com.hk for the Park Lane. There are some boutique hotels in this area too, try the Jia (http://www.jiahongkong.com ), and Rosedale (http://www.rosedale.com.hk ). There is also a hotel called Metropark in this area, I don't have a website for that. Definitely check on room size at the latter three hotels, as rooms are small. The Excelsior would have good views as it fronts the harbour, albeit of the “wrong” side of the harbour.

Crime is very rare here. There are very few unsafe areas of Hong Kong, and not really anywhere where there are tourist hotels or where tourists generally go, so I would not worry on that point. There are some pickpockets in some crowded areas, but they target Hong Kongers as well as tourists, you aren’t going to be especially singled out, just watch your purse and wallet as you would in any big city.



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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Thanks rhkkmk & cicerone for all the info. I"m not a big fan of changing hotels, (have done it few times & is not the best thing to do). I do my homework very thoroughly for the best choice available & with these forum you get a lot of feedback. If I tell my husband to change hotels at mid - stay he is not going to be very happy. This is a post - cruise stay, lots of bags & we will be a bit tired. A nice, relax stay of 5 days will be appropiate before a total of 21 hours flight before getting home. We were in HK in 1985 & stayed in the Kowloon side, which we enjoyed a lot, but as we were on an organized tour we were taken everywhere. This time we will be in our own, but have some friends in HK. Definitely a "room with a view" is a must. My budget could be increased a bit so I"ll do some research for prices on recommended hotels. I'm famous for finding incredible deals in hotels. One last question. How is the Harbor Plaza Hotel? A friend recommended it. Is is above my budget?
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Harbour Plaza is a very nice 5* hotel. All the Chinese Communist Party leaders stay there when visiting Hong Kong.

The reason it's cheap is because it's in Hunghom in eastern Kowloon. It's mostly a residential area with some new offices. There's no MTR service. The hotel provides a shuttle to Tsimshatsui, or you can take a taxi.

There's also a Star Ferry service from Hunghom (very close to the hotel) to Central and Wan Chai, but it's less frequent than the Tsimshatsui - Central service. About once every 20 minutes and last sailing at 8pm. [Tsimshatsu - Central runs every 6-8 minutes, till 11:30pm]. The trip is also about twice as long.

It's just not as convenient as most other hotels in Central or Tsimshatsui; say for an afternoon break, or to put stuff back to hotel room after shopping.

That's why it's cheaper.

Another cheaper 5* that's in your budget is Langham Place in Mongkok. It's not on the harbor, but this building is the tallest in central Kowloon (apart from the office building next to it, in the same complex); so it has a great view of the whole Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island in the distance.

The area it is located is a lot more downscale, but you can taste the "real Hong Kong" there. MTR is steps from the hotel, which also has a large shopping mall in the complex.
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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We really liked the Salisbury YMCA. We did not have a harbor view and the room was about USD 125 a night, but without breakfast. Very clean and with helpful staff, great location just a few minutes walk from the Star Ferry.
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Another vote in favour of Salisbury Y. Got bumped up to full harbour view room, which allowed me to enjoy the laser beam light up show at 8pm from my own room. Very convenient to both TST MRT station and Star ferry. Room was not luxurious, esp bathroom, but definitely clean and comfortable.
I didn't use but a cafeteria on the ground floor, anyway plenty of breakfast options around the hotel, including Serenade for early morning dim sum.
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