Hong Kong hotels

Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 06:40 AM
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Hong Kong hotels

We're deciding between the New World Renaissance and Harbor Plaza hotels in Hong Kong. Can anyone give me info about them? How inconvenient is the Harbor Plaza hotel? Also, what is the weather like in Hong Kong in mid to late February? Thank you!
ronnie_s is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 07:15 AM
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The weather in February in Hong Kong is great, average temps will be in the mid 6os F to low 70s. Not especially rainy. Take a look at weatherbase.com for historical temps and rainfall. February is much better for touring than the hot and humid summer which last 7 months. . . February is a good month for hiking either on Hong Kong Island or in the New Territories.

The New World Renaissance has a nice location behind the Intercontinental Hotel (attached by a common shopping mall.) Drawbacks here are smallish rooms and I don't think any of the rooms have a harbour view. Of course you can go next door and see the great view of the lobby of the Intercontinental or walk the Esplanade in front of the hotel. It is about a 10-15 minute walk to the Star Ferry and about the same to the closest MTR stop.

The Harbour Plaza is in Hung Hom, as you probably know. This is further along the water away from the main tourist areas. It would have good views. I have only been in the public areas, which are very nice. The location of the New World Renaissance is better in terms of being able to walk to sights and being close to the Star Ferry which goes to Central on Hong Kong Island. The Star Ferry going to Central would not be walkable from the Harbour Plaza, IMO. I don't know where the closest metro is. Not sure if the Star Ferry pier for boats heading towards Causeway Bay is close, if it is this would be good for shopping in Causeway Bay.

On the Fodor's listing above, the New World Renaissance got a 3.4 and the Harbour View got a 3.8. Take a look at some of the reviews.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 06:24 PM
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Harbour plaza hotel is a great plce to stay. We had a corner room over looking the Harbour and part of the old Hongkong airport. Nice pool area on the roof. A little bit out of the way, but there bus service to Nathan Road and other areas is very good. We would not hesitate to go back there. It's a relief of the hussle of Nathan Rd. and the surrounding area. Enjoy your stay in Hongkong.
casyn2 is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 09:22 PM
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As a resident of HongKong, I have often wondered why people would not stay on the Hong Kong island itself? Agreed that the hotels on Kowloon side would have a great view of the island but all the main action (central, peak tram, stanley, Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai pub districts, the Escalator..) is on the Hong Kong side which is also far more cosmopplitan, cleaner and safer.
Deepa is offline  
Old Oct 3rd, 2003, 04:40 AM
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re Deepa & where to stay:

If I were living in HK, I'd surely choose to live on the island. But as a tourist, I enjoy the Kowloon side as much, if not more, than Central/Admiralty.

First of all there's the view. I've been fortunate to enjoy harbour-view rooms that leave me breathless: some evenings I've sat and stared for hours.

Maybe more important for me, though, is the sense of the city's heartbeat, where an untold number of sights and sounds and smells infuse every block. Somehow Kowloon encapsulates that for me.

Make no mistake: I enjoy staying in Central or Admiralty as well (not a fan of Causeway Bay). It's a joy to step outside the hotel and hop on a tram, then wander around and explore Wan Chai or Hollywood Rd or Mid-levels.

So, for those visiting HK, I can make a decent case for either place. For 1st-timers, I'd recommend Kowloon if you're accustomed to and enjoy cities. For those seeking a less intense environment, HK island might be the better choice.
DonTopaz is offline  
Old Oct 3rd, 2003, 05:56 AM
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First if all, as a former resident of Hong Kong for 5 years, I can tell you that all parts of Hong Kong are very safe, and the tourist hotel area of Kowloon are not less safe than Hong Kong Island. Ronnie S, don't be put off by Deepa's comments about Hong Kong Island being safer (or cleaner; let's face it the whole city is dirty), I don't think any Hong Kong residents would agree with them.

The debate of the relative merits of staying on Hong Kong Island vs the tip of Kowloon are reminiscent of the Positano/Amalfi/Sorrento discussions on the Europe board. . .both have their merits. The Kowloon side does have the view, the walk along the Esplanade, the Chinese Arts and Craft Emporium, the huge shopping center at Ocean Terminal, the Ladies/Temple Street market, the (now tiny) bird market, the Wong Tai Sin Temple where you can get your forturne told, and hundreds of tailors and electronic shops.

I actually think Hong Kong Island is more "intense" as the business center is there, the stock market, etc. Be sure to stand at the intersection of Pedder Road and Queen's Road at about Noon on a weekday, the number of people will amaze you. . . Kowloon has more tourists. Kowloon also simply has more hotels in a concentrated area than Hong Kong Island, where they are rather spread out other than Pacific Place. Either side is fine.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Oct 3rd, 2003, 07:27 PM
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For Cicerone - I have been a resident of Hong Kong for over 7 years and have recently been thru the Sars crisis here. It is a well established fact that the Kowloon side is far, far dirtier than the island and the crime rate on the Kowloon side is also much higher. Almost all residents recognise and it has been in the newspapers several about shopping scams esp. for electronics on Kowloon side (esp. Nathan road). Please read the archives of the local SCMP newspaper on the net.

Kowloon is a fine place to visit (and it is very well connected by MTR and ferry) and definately offers some good tourist spots like the night markets, jade market and flower market etc., but as I base I definately think the island is the place to be.
Deepa is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2003, 02:24 AM
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As a native born and raised in HK, I can tell you definitively that HK island is safer. There are certainly areas in Kowloon that I would not be comfortable walking around by myself at 3 am. But don't let that scare you since overall, HK is a very safe place. Just read from somewhere that a citizen in NY is 13 times more likely to be murdered than a HK citizen. That's pretty good odds. And for the kind of places that tourists, or even expats for that matter, visit, you will not have any problems.

For the question at hand, the Harbour Plaza does have a good view and an awesome robatayaki japanese restaurant downstairs. But it is really out of the way. It is located in a residential district called Whampoa which has limited access to the MTR (subway). The Renaissance, on the other hand, is in Tsim Sha Tsui. Much more convenient. If I were you, I would recommend staying in the New World Hotel in Wanchai, the Excelsior or Park Lane in Causewaybay. You can visit the Intercontinental Hotel for the harbour view, but it is probably better to be close to the MTR since it is an inexpensive and most convenient way to get around.
HKTraveler is offline  
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