Hotel recommendations in Hong Kong

Mar 20th, 2010, 10:53 AM
  #1  
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Hotel recommendations in Hong Kong

Hi Guys: we are stopping in HK for one day in transit to Delhi from Chicago and then plan to stay for in HK for 3-4 days on the return. Can anyone recommend a nice hotel near the airport for the one night stay? Also what area would you recommend for the longer stay on the way back. I've been told Kowloon is good due to the location. Thanks, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Mar 20th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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There are only 3 hotels in the vicinity of the airport - Regal, Novotel Citygate and Marriott SkyCity. The Regal is the oldest but attached to the terminal. The Marriott is newest and should be nicest, but it's next to nothing but an exhibition center.

For the longer stays there are many posts about hotels in HK in the forum. What's your budget and when are you staying?
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 20th, 2010, 01:34 PM
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It's so easy to get into Hong Kong that it doesn't really matter whether or not you stay near the airport for your one night. Lots of good hotels to choose from. I stayed in the dirt-cheap Salisbury YMCA and had a very nice room with a great view of the harbor. Nothing fancy, but quite comfortable.

If you want luxury, there are plenty of hotels to choose from.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 20th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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The Salisbury YMCA is good value for Hong Kong, but I won't call it "dirt-cheap". Hotel costs in Hong Kong is relatively high, compared to other services/goods there.
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Mar 20th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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Thanks for the replies. what we are looking for is a good area to stay in for a few days on our way back. Is Kowloon a good choice in terms of location to activities, shopping, etc? Thanks again. Larry
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Mar 20th, 2010, 04:37 PM
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There are some here who prefer staying on HK Island, some on Kowloon side. I am agnostic. If you want the million-dollar harbor view, then get a hotel in Tsimshatsui with harbor view room, like the Intercontinental, Peninsula, Sheraton, etc.

Otherwise, here's a new way I'll recommend locations. Stay at a hotel that's within short walking distance of any of the following MTR stops:

Mongkok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, Tsim Sha Tsui on Kolwoon side;
Sheung Wan, Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tin Hau on HK Island.
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Mar 21st, 2010, 10:13 AM
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Thanks again. The Marriott you mentioned looks good and I'll strongly consider that. I've read about some good shopping places or stores in Mongkok though it appears getting around HK should not be too difficult. I do like the idea of a hotel overlooking the harbor, esp. to see the light show. I'm getting really stoked about this place.
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Mar 22nd, 2010, 08:06 AM
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>>>I'm getting really stoked about this place.<<<

(I recently completed ~ three days of meetings - and occasional pleasure - in sweet HK and yes, she is a rather special locale.)


Now, warm greetings Larry, and if it's not too late for this thread, would kindly propose the budget busting Island Shangri-La hotel! (The scene of my recent work.) If so inclined, my review of the property has just been posted on this family friendly fodor's forum.

Re other properties, I've stayed at all of two HK hotels, The Island SL (work), the Peninsula (pleasure, very special, and the rather extended family's HK holiday favourite), a couple of private residences, and a 'few' hours in various SQ/TG/UA (and even CX -- please don't tell 'the better half') HKG lounges.

Wherever you stay, have fun, don't forget a massage (or two), and in future, do kindly consider flying SQ -- thank you.

Sweet dreams from a warm and special part of the world.

macintosh (robert)


... Singapore Airlines, You're a Great Way to Fly ...
AskOksena is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2010, 09:18 AM
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Well you got me curious so I checked the Shangri La. The advance purchase price is OK but I don't like the terms. You have to pay in full at the time of booking and get no refund for a cancellation. Its too far off to do that. I don't mind losing say one nights fare but not all of it. Maybe I'll check closer to the time of departure. Thank you. Larry .
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Mar 22nd, 2010, 11:28 AM
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The Shangri-La is no different from any other (chain) hotel: the very least expensive rate is non-changeable/non-cancelable. And, like virtually every other hotel, you can get a fully-cancelable reservation for only a small amount more.

I am sort of ho-hum about the Island Shang. The service is impeccable, but something about the hotel just strikes me as being off. The atrium and mural are gorgeous ... but you sometimes have to wait forever for an elevator. (The Shang has fewer elevators than its twin, the Conrad, to accommodate the atrium/mural). Especially if you're traveling solo, the buffet dinner at the Shangri-La is terrific.
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Mar 22nd, 2010, 04:09 PM
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I usually stay in Kowloon, but this time I only stayed out near the airport both coming and going. The City gate Novotel is really nice. There is a free shuttle running frequently and it is only 10 minutes from the airport. The area around Novotel is filled with a large shopping complex, and a kind of ski-lift gondola ride up into the mountains. There is a nice walking path. For me, it was really nice after an inbound 14 hr flight, and handy for an early morning outbound flt. Plus you don't have to deal with the nasty cab drivers after getting off the train.
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Mar 22nd, 2010, 08:01 PM
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Jackewatch, for some reason I thought you had been to Hong Kong before. In any event, below are my thoughts:

1. For your one night layover, if your flight arrives after about 9 pm and departs before about 10 am the next day, then I can see that it would be perhaps more convenient to stay out at the airport. By the time you get through Immigration and collect bags, it will be close to 10 pm, and by then you may not feel like doing much beyond dinner at the hotel and getting to bed, especially coming off a long-haul flight.

Otherwise, you can get to/from the airport and a hotel in Central or Kowloon areas in Hong Kong by train or taxi in less than 45 minutes, so it is actually quite easy and almost just as convenient to stay in Hong Kong. This also lets you see the city skyline at night and possibly have a nice dinner depending on your time. Suggestions for Hong Kong hotels are below. I would esp recco that you go into Hong Kong if your flight from the US arrives early in the afternoon or your flight to India does not depart until later in the day the next day.

If you decide to stay at the airport, as noted above there are only three hotels. The Regal is the oldest and is attached to the terminal so is quite convenient. The Marriott just opened about 6 months ago (if you have reward points to use or collect, this may be a good choice). The Novotel is part of a shopping mall, which may be closed by the time you get there, but if it is open, there is a good food hall plus a number of restaurants in the hotel (as would be the case with the others). I believe the Regal has a spa, not sure about the others, but check websites. http://www.regalairport.com, http://www.novotel.com, or Marriott.com.

2. For the one night layover, I would suggest that when you land, that you try to check in for your next-day flight before you leave the airport. Most airlines allow early check-in up to 18 hours before departure. Take a look at the website for the Hong Kong Airport at www.hongkongairport.com which has info on early check-in, or check with your carrier. Check-in counters are upstairs from arrivals, just take the elevator. (If you are flying to India on Jet Airways or Kingfisher, their check-in area is in Terminal 2, you have to walk over to Terminal 2, its about 5 minutes, follow signs. All flights take off and depart from Terminal 1, but some airlines have check-in areas in Terminal 2. Cathay Pacific check-in is in Terminal 1.)

If you can check-in early, you will save a lot of time and hassle the next day in terms of waiting in line at the check-in counter. This also means you could check in your heavy luggage and just keep an overnight bag as a carry-on. If you check-in the night before, then IMO you only need to be at the airport about an 1 hour before departure, perhaps 1.5 hours to play it safe in case there are lines at Immigration. If you can’t or don’t want to early check-in for your flight to Bangkok, you could just store your heavier bags at the airport and collect them the next day when you go to check-in for your flight. This will save your having to lug them into town for one night. You can check your luggage for about US$8 per piece, go to http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/a...gage.html#left for info. The "Meeters and Greeters Hall" is the main arrivals area, the Left Luggage area is on the far right of the hall which you will enter after passing through two sets of glass doors from the baggage claim/Customs areas.

3. For your longer stay in Hong Kong when you return, as far as location, other than hotels on the tip of Kowloon like the Peninsula, the Salisbury YMCA or the Intercontinental I really am not a fan of staying on the Kowloon side. Other than the view, it is not, IMO, a good location for sightseeing, restaurants or shopping. My opinion is that you will spend a good bit of time in transit going over to the Hong Kong side where most of the sights and better restaurants are located. If you have that great harbour view from your room, then those daily treks are worth it. If you don’t have the view, I don’t think the location is worth the inconvenience. The Hong Kong side has the Peak and the Peak Tram, Central, Stanley, Aberdeen, Wan Chai (“Suzie Wong”), Causeway Bay (for serious shoppers) the Hollywood Road antique area, some great local “wet” markets, and the bar and restaurant areas of Lan Kwai Fong, Soho, Hollywood Road and Star Street. It is also the starting point for ferries to outlying islands like Lamma an Lantau. Finally, there are also some spectacular and easily-accessible walks, including several from the Peak and in the Stanley area. The Kowloon side has The View, the bird market, the flower market, the Hong Kong History Museum and a few other assorted sights, loads of tourist hotels and loads of tourists. However, other than the View, none of them are any reason to stay on the Kowloon side, as you can easily go over by the very scenic and pleasant Star Ferry.

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 stay on the Hong Kong side. I would go over to Kowloon for a walk along the Esplanade during the day and night, a visit to the Jade Market and/or Flower Market and possibly a meal at one of the view restaurants.

Without knowing your budget, its hard to make reccos for hotels. Certainly the Salisbury YMCA, which is mentioned above, is one to consider if you can get a booking and don’t want to pay for the Penn next door. http://www.asiatravel.com/hongkong/y...ury/index.html.

For luxury hotels, try the Peninsula, Mandarin-Oriental, Four Seasons or the Intercontinental. The Penn and Intercon have The View (although The Four Seasons is not too shabby, just a different side of the harbour). The Mandarin has the service and unbeatable location. You really could not go wrong with any of those if you are willing to spend the money. I am a huge fan of the Upper House, which I think has the most luxurious and certainly the largest rooms in Hong Kong. It opened about 6 months ago. It is in a good location for sightseeing and shopping. See http://www.upperhouse.com/

I have to note that there is one potential issue with the Intercon, which is that the hotel and shopping mall next door to the hotel are in the process of being demolished and rebuilt. These are physically attached to the Intercon, and so you could potentially have a good bit of noise from the construction.

The complex of the JW Marriott, Island Shangri-La and Conrad at Pacific Place a few blocks east of Central is a great location in my opinion and all three hotels are very nice. It is a quick walk to the Peak Tram, is on a subway line, the tram line, several major bus lines, and is walkable to some great restaurants in Wan Chai. The Upper House is located in the same complex (it’s on top of the Marriott).

There is a new Crowne Plaza in the Happy Valley/Causeway Bay area. This would be a fun location for markets, restaurants, and just the buzz of Hong Kong, and the higher floor rooms should offer some interesting views. It is not really near a subway line, but is near the tram line and also easy for taxis and some sightseeing would be walkable. I have not seen the rooms or the hotel, so can’t comment, but as it is brand new, chances are it is nice and has all the most modern features. They may also be offering the best rates. Take a look at http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/...elcome?start=1

Bishop Lei International House is a nice modest hotel in mid-levels which makes it very convenient for things like dinner, exploring Soho and Hollywood Road, etc. Their room rates are very good. The rooms tend to be very small, so I would go for a suite. It is just above the zoo in the botanical gardens and you can hear the orang utans in the morning, quite unusual in the middle of the city. . . Many of the rooms have great views over the city and the harbor. They have a pool and restaurant, and there are other restaurants in the neighborhood. http://www.bishopleihtl.com.hk

The Metropark Wan Chai is one to consider. I have not been inside, but the location is very good. (There is also a Metropark in Causeway Bay that is popular on this board, I would very much prefer the Wan Chai location.). See http://www.metroparkhotels.com/index.php for all their hotels. Again, ask about room size. The Metropark Wanchai would be walkable to and from the interesting market areas of Wan Chai, as well as the bars and restaurants in Wan Chai in the Star Street. In addition, the cab fares to Central or Hollywood Road/Soho to the Metropark Wanchai would run you about HK$35 and take about 5 minutes or a bit longer at rush hours, so overall the Metropark Wanchai’s location would be quite good, IMO.

You might consider Hotel LKF 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, about 10 minutes to the Star Ferry. It is quite funky and modern. 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 with yards or close walking distance. Take a look at http://www.hotel-lkf.com.hk/

A new Courtyard by Marriott has opened in Sheung Wan to the west of Central on Hong Kong Island. I like this interesting quite local neighborhood (Chinese medicine shops and dried fish), it is on a tram line and taxis are easy to get, it is a bit of a walk to the nearest Metro, but there is interesting stuff in the neighborhood, you can get am bus over to Stanley from here (a very pretty ride, not quite the thrill of the mountain ride of the #6 but you can take that back), and you can walk to Soho and Hollywood Road from here with a little effort (and maybe combined with the tram). This area, IMO, is closer and a lot easier to navigate around that Causeway Bay, and is more interesting (as mentioned, Causeway Bay is fast becoming all mobile phone shops and large chain stores). I recently took a tour of the rooms, and the views are really good, the corner rooms or suites especially so. The hotel is right on the waterfront, so offers unobstructed water views. (As with the Four Seasons, these are not the traditional harbour view you see in the postcards, but still quite something.)

On the Kowloon side, beside the “View” hotels mentioned above, you might consider the Hyatt Regency . It is set back from the harbour a few blocks, and I have not seen the rooms, so can’t vouch that they have good views, but should be high enough above the surrounding buildings to have that possibility. (Note that the hotel does not currently have a gym and it won’t be completed until June or July.) The Sheraton Hotel and Towers also has a nice location and some, but not all, of the rooms have harbour views. My one current issue with that hotel is that the views are a bit marred currently by the construction/demolition of the hotel and shopping mall attached to the Intecon. (And, alas I believe this hotel will lose much of its view when that complex is built.)

Finally, I feel compelled to mention that if your trip is after November or December, then consider the Ritz-Carlton Kowloon ICC, as it is schedule to open by the end of this year. The lobby is on the 102 floor, and rooms go up to the 117th. Views will be absolutely unbelievable, like being in a helicopter over Hong Kong. I did a construction tour of the hotel last week, and just stood at the windows stunned by the views most of the time. (I have some grainy photos through the dirty windows if anyone is interested.)

I see from your profile that your are a fan of WWII history. There is a good bit of it here. There are several WWII cemeteries. There are gun batteries in many places, including the Pinewood Battery on the Peak. Pitched battles were fought in several areas of Hong Kong Island, including Black’s Link and Middle Gap Road just east of the Peak, which offer lovely views (and some fantastic real estate). I personally can feel the ghosts on Middle Gap. You can get to this area via a very nice (easy) walk from the Peak, or a bus from Central. If you are interested, re-post or send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I can send you details for getting to this area. (The very interesting Police Museum is also located in this area, although it is currently closed for renovations until May or June.) You might consider doing a walking tour with Jason Wordie, a local historian who has an interest in WW II history. See www.jasonswalks.com for info on his walks. He has written a couple of books on walks in Hong Kong which you can use for self-guided walks, including WWII cemetery walks.
Cicerone is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2010, 11:27 AM
  #13  
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Cicerone: 1st of all thank you so very much for all the effort you put into this response with all this wealth of information. I truely appreciate all the effort you have put into this, especially the part inre to checking my profile for points of personal interest. I really had not considered staying on HK island B4 but now that you have mentioned all its advantages I will have to consider that. The part about checking in early for he flight the next and/or storing our bags at the airport is very useful. We are thinking about a JA flight in fact. Do you live in HK? Thanks again. I fell like I really don't need a guidebook now. . Larry
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Mar 23rd, 2010, 09:26 PM
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I have lived in Hong Kong for about 10 years, and also travel to India about 1-2 times on month, usually on Jet Airways; so I know Terminal 1 and 2 pretty well at this point. As you may know, Jet is an excellent airline, best airline food anywhere IMO, esp. their veg options (sorry, Singapore Airlines).

I looked up your profile because I like to know about the posters I am responding to so I can give complete answers. Also, there is so much more to Hong Kong than shopping and skyscrapers, so understanding what might interest a poster is also a good chance to highlight the lesser-known aspects of the city as well. I would say you still need a guidebook for info, but don’t be a slave to what they write. (For example, if you take the Peak Tram up to the last stop, you are not on Victoria Peak, which is another 400 feet or so above you. You are at Victoria Gap. This is something which most guidebooks either do not mention, or mention in vague passing. So people who say they have “been to the Peak” in most cases have never been there at all! It’s quite possible to go the Peak, by the way, and it’s a lovely place for sunset.)

You might search this board for my list of personal Hong Kong reccos called “Cicerone’s Reccos for What the Locals Do for Fun in Hong Kong (Hint: We DON’T Go to those Awful Night Markets....)” this should give you some ideas for what to do, including some walks, of which there are many on both Hong Kong Island and outlying areas. For a quick photo of one walk, click on my name above and see my profile. For a description of another of my favourite very easy walks on Hong Kong Island, see my posts called “Cicerone’s Favourite Hong Kong Walks II: Paradise Found! From Happy Valley to Stanley in High Heels! (Almost) The Tsz Lo Lan Shan Path” and “Cicerone's Favourite Hong Kong Walks III: The Dragon's Back” and “Cicerone's Favourite Hong Kong Walks: Severn Road, The Peak “. You can find all of these posts by clicking on these links:
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...l-night-ma.cfm http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...eels-alm-1.cfm
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...agons-back.cfm and at http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...d-the-peak.cfm. Also check the Hong Kong Tourism Board website at discoverhongkong.com for other ideas as well as the Leisure and Cultural Services Department website at http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/home.php to see all city museums and events. I have a list of restaurant recommendations for Hong Kong which is about 40-pages, which I would also be happy to e-mail it to you. It is broken down by view, no view, area, price and food type/region.

The thing to me about Kowloon is that it is like Times Square: no native New Yorker would go there to shop or for a meal, but might pass through it on the way to someplace else. It is for the tourists. And tourists may think they are seeing a slice of the “real” New York, when they are mostly seeing other tourists. That is how I feel about Kowloon. The view is undoubtedly sublime. Unlike New York, local Hong Kongers do go there for the view, esp on evenings and Sundays, and of course it is “real” Hong Kong (I don’t subscribe to the theory of authenticity in places, only in art and antiques), but there are many other parts of the city where you could stay where you can see daily life as it more typically lived here. (But as I said, if you have a hotel room with The View, then it certainly is worth the hordes of tourists and the touts you will encounter.) I also simply don’t think it is that convenient a place to stay. It’s like staying in Hoboken when on a vacation to New York City; however, Hong Kong is small and public transport is excellent, so that is less of an issue to me, although I imagine it would get tiring making trips twice a day to and from Kowloon, even on the charming and scenic Star Ferry.

With regard to your flight to India, if you decide to store luggage rather than checking in for your JA flight when you arrive from the US, there are storage lockers in Terminal 2. (These are actually cheaper than the manned luggage room on Terminal 1.) You can take the luggage cart all the way from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, and it is all indoors. It’s about a 5 minute walk.

To reach Terminal 2 from Terminal 1, after you have been through Immigration and collected your bags, you will go through 2 sets of glass doors and will come into a huge arrivals hall. Walk to the center of the opposite side, where you will see signs for the Airport Express trains, taxis and should see signs for Terminal 1. The Airport Express Station is straight ahead up a slight ramp with stairs on either side. Turn right here and go down a sloping hallway. (You can also go left to get to Terminal 1, but turning right will get you closer to the locker area. Just at the turn, there are ATM machines near the stairs leading up to the Airport Express entrance.). Once you get to the bottom of the ramp, turn left (there should be a sign which says Terminal 2) and enter an underground passageway. After about 200-300 yards you will enter another huge open hall area. This is Terminal 2. You on standing on Level 3. The luggage lockers should be just off to the right, look for signs. If you want to check-in for the flight, check-in is on Level 5, there is a lift on the right. (Or take the escalator, but you can’t take luggage carts on the escalators.) A better link for info on baggage storage than I gave you yesterday is http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/p...t-baggage.html

After you have checked your bags, if you want to take the Airport Express train into the city, then follow signs for the Airport Express. If you want to take a taxi, follow signs for Taxi. If you are staying at the Regal, go back to Terminal 1, the entrance is on the far right as you re-enter the main arrivals hall in Terminal 1.

The next day, if you have not already checked-in for your flight, or if you have bags to check for the flight, then you have to go to Terminal 2 to do so. After that, you can walk to Terminal 1 as noted above (in reverse), then in Terminal 1 take the escalator or elevators up 2 floors to the departure hall, and go through Immigration at that point. (It makes no difference to the Immigration people whether you checked-in in Terminal 1 or 2.) You also have the option of staying in Terminal 2, going down to the basement, going through Immigration there, and then taking an underground train to Terminal 1. (In Terminal 1, you may also need to take another train to your gate if you depart from a gate higher than 32). I usually walk to Terminal 1 as I go through the local immigration channel, which has no lines. For you as a foreigner, the lines at Terminal 2 immigration may be shorter (as the terminal is not as heavily used); however I find the trek down to the basement in Terminal 2 and the underground train to be a slog. (You cannot use this option when you arrive from Chicago, as there are no arrival or luggage claim facilities in Terminal 2, everyone arrives into Terminal 1. You have to walk yourself and baggage over to Terminal 1.)
Cicerone is offline  
Mar 24th, 2010, 08:33 AM
  #15  
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Again thank you for this wealth of info. I would like to get that restaurant guide from you. My email is: [email protected]. I am pretty sure we will take JA to Delhi. We have used that airlin B4 and have been quite satisfied. By contrast we have used Iniian airlines, the local or domestic arm of Air India and were disappointed. I was very surprised to see the huge disparity in rates to Delhi from JA and Cathay Pacific. The former was around $570.00 R/T vs. about $1400.00 on CP. I will check out all the links you gave and I dod look atthe hotels you mentioned. The Bishop Lei looks like a nice choice BTW. We'll see. Cheers, Larry
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Mar 25th, 2010, 08:21 PM
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Jacketwatch, one more thing I wanted to mention given your interest in WWII is that you might want to make time to visit the Museum of Coastal Defense. While not specifically related to WWII, the museum has really wonderful displays of all the naval history of Hong Kong, and includes lots of outdoor gun emplacements and other areas, as the site is a former defensive fort. I have about zero interest in naval history, and I was fascinated by this place. It is also is in a really lovely seaside setting with great views of the western end of Hong Kong. See http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/Coastal/. It is reachable by MTR and then a short walk, and there are two interesting temples nearby.

From the musuem, you can walk in a few minutes along the waterfront to the Sai Wan Ho area which has some nice restaurants with outdoor space along the waterfront. From the Sai Wan Ho area you can take the #14 bus to (or from) Stanley where there is the famous WW II cemetery on the site of the camp where most British men were interned by the Japanese during their occupation of the island. (The guidebooks all talk about Stanely as there is a good market here for gifts, trinkets, "pashiminas", etc. It is a good place for souvenir shopping, and some inexpensive local handicrafts/artwork. There is also a very nice waterfront esplanade with many restuarants. A very pleasant place for a lunch or brunch outdoors. Then you take the fantastic #6 double-decker bus ride up and over the hills back to Central.)

There is also a WWI cemetery at Chai Wan at the eastern tip of the island, which would be quite easy to reach by taxi from the museum, or going one more stop on the MTR.

I have sent you an e-mail with the restaurant list.
Cicerone is offline  
Mar 27th, 2010, 07:45 AM
  #17  
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Cool advice. I do like DD buses. Also a gal at work really likes pashminas as does my wife so maybe I can get some there. We are very much looking f/w to going, maybe as much as seeing our niece's wedding in Rajasthan. I got the restaurant list and will let you know if we find something not on there that we like. Cheers, Larry
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Mar 27th, 2010, 04:40 PM
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Wow, I am really curious to see those Ritz Carlton Kowloon photos if they are available.
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Mar 28th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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OK the decision has been made. My "better half" and I were looking at hotels and her eyes popped out when we looked at the Harbour Grand on HKI so thats the choice we made. Cheers and thanks for all the input. Larry
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Mar 31st, 2010, 05:46 AM
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OK here is all the good stuff about the Harbour Grand: good size rooms which appear to be luxurious and the water view ones will offer some quite nice city/water views, the hotel is in and/or near interesting more traditional neighborhoods (and there are unlikely to be many tourists there). Your fellow guests will most likely be business people with corporate head or regional offices in the area rather than tourists (Amex and others have their offices in this area). The North Point area, especially, which is quite close, is worth a stroll and offers many traditional small shops and restaurants, tea bars, and the Sunbeam Theatre for Chinese opera and music . It’s a part of Hong Kong that most visitors staying in Kowloon or Central would not see. The street tram runs quite close to the hotel and is a very scenic, albeit slow way, to see Hong Kong Island. One of the best walks on the island, Mt Butler/Jardine’s Lookout, ends/begins not too far from the hotel. The Museum of Coastal Defense is just a few minutes ride on the subway.

The down side is that the hotel is rather isolated in terms of the “major” sights for tourists in Hong Kong which appear in all the guidebooks. You will spend a fair bit of time on the subway or in a taxi getting to Central and other parts of the town. The time and money you spend in taxi or subway fares may make a bargain at the Grand Harbour appear otherwise after a while. Other than the truly splendid Tung Po Seafood (dinner only, bring money and possibly your own napkins; yes you pay for no ambience but great food) there are no restaurants at all of note in the area. You will of course find plenty of small local noodle places, but if you want Michelin stars or good Western fare, you will have to go further. (Good Japanese is available at the various malls at the Taikoo Shing MTR stop, as that is a popular area for Japanese expatriates). The map on the hotel’s website is not to scale and can be a bit misleading: what looks like 2-3 block walk to Victoria Park will take close to 15 minutes; getting to the Causeway Bay area on the other side of Victoria Park will take you 20-30 minutes on foot. Getting to something like Wan Chai on foot would take you close to an hour. The area fronting the water along the harbour by the hotel is actually a 6-lane highway and is not pedestrian.

A bit further east but in the same general area, you might look at the East Hotel. This is in Taikoo Shing. I have not seen that hotel, but their sister hotel, the Upper House, in Central opened only a few months ago and is very impressive, as it the Opposite House in Beijing. I would expect that the East Hotel would be similar. As they just opened a few months ago, they are offering very good rates for this class of hotel. See http://www.swirehotels.com. Not sure how it compares price wise to the Grand Harbour view. The East Hotel is even further east than the Harbour Grand, so has the same location issues.
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