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hong kong hotels mandarin oriental ,Island Shangri-la,JW Marriott, Marriott Courtyard

hong kong hotels mandarin oriental ,Island Shangri-la,JW Marriott, Marriott Courtyard

Old Jan 10th, 2008, 03:00 PM
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hong kong hotels mandarin oriental ,Island Shangri-la,JW Marriott, Marriott Courtyard

I will be in Hong Kong for 3 nights in March. I have been to Hong Kong twice before but this is my wife's first time. I would like to stay in a luxurious hotel with a convenient location (close proximity to MTR station). I narrowed the choices down to JW Marriott, Mandarin Oriental, and Island Shangri La. I probably won't get a harbor view room because I generally don't spend much time inside of my hotel room. But I do want a room that is clean and modern. I see that the Marriott Courtyard is a brand new hotel. Has anyone stayed there recently? Any comments regarding any of these hotels would be appreciated.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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The Courtyard is not close to a MTR stop, and it's definitely not in the same class as your other choices.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 06:24 PM
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I have never understood the attraction of the MTR for the tourist. Where do you guys go? The MTR does not go to the Peak, the Southside (Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, Stanley or Shek O), or any of the good restaurants, antique shops, art galleries and boutique shopping up in Soho/Hollywood Road. If you want to go between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, of course you take the Star Ferry, why else are you here?!! One of the best rides on earth and first class for about US 25 cents (going up soon to like 35 cents). Stunning night and day. If you are in that much of a hurry that you can't take the time for the ferry, perhaps you should not be on a vacation.... The bus system is unbelievably good and very cheap, taxis are plentiful and cheap. I don't view nearness to an MTR as any sort of advantage in Hong Kong. I live here and don't take it that much, and avoid it at rush hours when it is jammed. Yes, it goes to Wan Chai and Causeway Bay and parts of Kowloon side, but you won't be going there several times a day. I get the feeling that if you spend a lot of time on the MTR that perhaps you aren't seeing Hong Kong in the best way you should, which is on foot, IMO, or via surface transport where you can appreciate the street life.

The Courtyard has not opened yet, and is going to be brand new, so will have some nice rooms. It is in a very interesting more traditional neighborhood of Chinese medicine shops and dried fish shops and has more of a neighborhood feel (albeit with lots of high-rises) I agree it is not near an MTR, but as noted above, I don't get the issue with that. It is on a tram line, some major bus lines, an easy taxi ride to Central and other areas, and is on the #973 bus to Aberdeen and then on to Stanley (not quite the thrill of the #6 bus but very pretty ride for the most part). It of course not in the luxury category, but the new rooms may make up for that. The Mandarin of course is superb in all categories of location, rooms, service, really it is hard to beat and is a real "Hong Kong" experience, I surely don't think you can go wrong there. From the JW Marriott, you can walk to Central, the Peak Tram, and to some really great restaurants and interesting market areas of Wan Chai. The JW has some more open views from its room than the Mandarin does, unless you get a straight-on harbour view room at the Mandarin (some are of course going to look into the office buildings next door.) You might also consider the Four Seasons which would certainly be in the luxury class and has some great views, is in a very good location for Central and Soho and great service, spa and pool (not much use in March). If you are going to go the luxury route you have to put the Penn in there, as that has The View, the rooms, service and a great location even if it is in Kowloon. I have never been a fan of the location of the Island Shangri-La, just that too much on the edge to be too far to walk to anything interesting (other than the History Museum and an excellent cheap Indian restaurant). It does have a nice view, but in March you are unlikely to have much of one anyway as fog is more usual than not (quite foggy here today in fact, you can't see across the harbour yet at 10 am, may clear up later). That would be an issue with the Penn too.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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may i suggest that you look also at the rennaissance in kowloon and the shangri-la there also
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 05:30 PM
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It has been a while since the last post on this string. Since then has anyone stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott. It has excellent reviews. I'm just concerned about the location.

Is Cicerone right and I don't need to be near the MTR. I've never been to Hong Kong so I'm trying to figure out if Courtyard is actually better than Renaissance. JW Marriott has gotten not so good reviews.
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 09:46 PM
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I have not stayed at the Courtyard, but have seen it and eaten at the MoMo Cafe. The rooms are on the small side, but other than that, it is very nice. Get the largest room you can or a suite (not sure they have them). The harbour view rooms have some nice views, mountain view would offer some interesting sights too. I love the neighborhood, which is a more traditional Hong Kong one. It was just announced the Ibis is opening a 550-room hotel there in 2012, so the neighborhood will be changing I fear, but for now, it is still quite local.

IMO you do not need to be near a subway to be a tourist in Hong Kong. I am a resident and can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I take it in a month. The various reasons for this are: (i) the main tourist sites are not on the subway, like the Peak, Stanley, Aberdeen, Happy Valley, the Hollywood Road/Soho area and mid-levels, the waterfront in Kowloon and of course things like the Star Ferry, (ii) many areas are walkable, like the Central areas which is quite compact and can only be seen on foot, (iii) there is an excellent bus system (which you will want to take to places like Stanley and Aberdeen for the fun of the ride in addition to the fact that the subway does not go to those parts of Hong Kong) and quite inexpensive taxis for short distances, and (iv) there are far more charming ways to see Hong Kong, e.g. the Star Ferry and ferries to outlying islands --and of course the double-decker street tram --which take you to the same places as the subway just far more scenically (and more cheaply), albeit slower. But if you are in that much of a rush on your vacation, then I don’t get the point. There is no better way to observe the crazy street life of Hong Kong than from your comfortable seat on the second level of the tram, IMO. It’s about the journey as much as it is about the destination.

That being said, the Courtyard is about 2 miles from the nearest subway station, but is entirely on the flat, and would be an interesting walk. It is on the tram line, which you could take to get to the MTR station (also take it in the other direction for more interesting neighborhoods) and on several major bus lines into Central as well as to Aberdeen and Stanley. The hotel also offers a free shuttle service to Central and the to the Sheung Wan MTR, which would be quite convenient I would think and IMO would resolve any issues you might have with “having” to be near a subway stop.

The JW Marriott was just redone, I have not read reviews, but am surprised it would get negative ones. It has an excellent location. If you are thinking of the Renaissance Kowloon, that is closing on December 31 so may not be an option for you, and is looking quite tatty at this point, IMO. The Renaissance Harbour View is not in a good location, IMO, it is a bit of a walk to the MTR itself, and is not on a bus line and taxis are scarce. It sits out on a promontory with the Grand Hyatt and is isolated by several major roads and highways which cut it off from Wan Chai proper. It has nice views and a good pool deck, but I personally think that the Courtyard has a more convenient location if you want to use public transport.
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