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Hotels in Hong Kong: Kowloon or Hong Kong side?

Hotels in Hong Kong: Kowloon or Hong Kong side?

Nov 14th, 2009, 02:52 PM
  #1  
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Hotels in Hong Kong: Kowloon or Hong Kong side?

We are looking for a very nice hotel for 4 nights in Hong Kong. We do not need luxury at $400 per night, but we would like something that is upscale. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We were given the suggestion of the Shangri La Hotel Kowloon but are not sure if Kowloon is the best location. Please advise. Thanks!
jewags is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 05:58 PM
  #2  
 
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When I visit Hong Kong I look for hotels that are connected to a shopping center or underground for ease of transportation and convenience. For Kowloon side try checking out the Marco Polo and Prince Marco Polo as both are connected to a new shopping center as well as the Ocean Terminal, both full of shops, restaurant, supermarkets etc. I would classify both hotel as 3 or 4 stars with no view but very clean and comfortable. I've seen the rates go down to as low as US$120 per night so you much look around for the best deal.
Hanuman is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 01:10 AM
  #3  
 
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I have responded to your e-mail questions to me separately, but will give a general response here in case others have a similar question. The debate over whether to stay on the Kowloon side versus Hong Kong Island side seems to be as hot a topic on this board as the Positano versus Amalfi/Ravello/Sorrento debate is on the Europe board.

I live in Hong Kong, and here are my two cents on the subject: when you see a picture of Hong Kong it is invariably taken from the Kowloon side and is that wonderful shot of the harbour, the tall buildings on Hong Kong Island and the backdrop of the mountains behind the buildings. There is no doubt that that view is spectacular, both day and night. However, very few people actually have that view from their hotel room. In addition, you are going to do most of your sightseeing, most of your shopping and probably most of your eating on the Hong Kong side. 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 and 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.

With respect to the Kowloon Shangri-La, it does offer some good harbour views, so it makes the first criteria for choosing to stay in Kowloon. It is quite a nice, luxurious hotel with good service. It is, IMO, just outside that walkable area of the tip of Kowloon (i.e., Tsim Sha Tsui) which makes it a bit inconvenient for getting to Hong Kong Island and other places, and so you may end up taking taxis or a buses more than you want. It’s a longish walk to the MTR, although a good bit of the walk can be done underground. (The East TST station which is near the hotel, is for rail service to the new territories, it is not the subway to Hong Kong Island or even other tourist parts of Kowloon.) The Hotel is quite well located for seeing the Hong Kong History Museum. I should also note that the hotel is across the street and about 100 yards from a hotel/mall complex (the Renaissance Kowloon) which is in the process of being torn down, so there may well be noise issues and the view is somewhat obscured by scaffolding currently. (I was on a boat in the harbour about 2 weeks ago, and from the middle of the harbour I could hear the noise of the cranes pulling down the building, so think that the noise at the Shangri-La hotel could be quite loud, they probably do not work at night, but I can’t say this for sure. They do work Saturdays.)

I can't tell form your message if your budget is US$400 or if that is an example of what you don't want to spend. A harbour view room at the Shangri-La will cost you about US$320. In the US$400 range, you may be able to get a harbour view room at the Intercontinental, which is a bit closer to things and has excellent harbour views. (It may have the same noise issues as the Shangri-La, however, or worse as it is actually attached to the mall/hotel which is being torn down. When they start driving piles for the new building, probably in about 6 months, I would consider avoiding the Intercon for a few months at that point.) The Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers would probably also be in the budget, and would offer good views from high floors (it is unlikely, but possible that there would be noise issues from the Renaissance Kowloon which is across the street, when they tear that hotel down starting in January. They are currently working on the mall and apartments just to the west of this which is closer to the Shangri-La.)

Also for about US$250 you could get a harbour view suite at the Salisbury, which is a YMCA, but really quite a nice 3 / 4 star hotel in a superb location. (other room categories are even less.) It is often booked, but you may want to look at it. It would not be as luxurious as the other hotels, but would offer great views and convenience.

Otherwise, with a US$300-400 budget, which is pretty good, on the Hong Kong Island side I would look at the LKF hotel (which I believe you are), possibly the Four Seasons (which may be just out of the budget but does offer very nice views if you can spring for it; their mountain view rooms offer some interesting peak and city views if you don’t want to pay for a harbour view. But go for a very high floor in any event.) Also the Conrad, JW Marriott and Island Shangri-La should have rooms in that budget, and a harbour view room at any of those would be quite nice; and the hotels are in an excellent location in terms of getting to sights and good restaurants. Finally, as I mentioned in my e-mail, you might look at the Upper House which opened last month (in the same complex as the Conrad/JW Marriott/Island Shangri-La), as they have very large rooms many with harbour views, and are currently offering rooms in your price range as they are so newly opened. I would expect that once they are more established, their room rates will be more in line with the Mandarin and Four Seasons. I think you can find websites for all of the above, but see http://www.upperhouse.com/ for the Upper House and http://www.ymcahk.org.hk/sales/html/hst001e.htm for the Salisbury.

If you search this board for a thread called “Hotel in HKK and BKK” you will see a list of reccos I have put together for budget hotels for Hong Kong, see http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...kg-and-bkk.cfm. Certainly the Salisbury is one to consider if you can get a booking.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 03:50 AM
  #4  
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Thanks! Yes, I received your very helpful email. I definitely get the picture!!! You have been very helpful!
jewags is offline  
Dec 16th, 2009, 12:44 AM
  #5  
 
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I loved the Langham Place Hotel on Kowloon side. IOt's a bit further account, but I guess that maean you get more bang for your buck in terms of luxury. The hotel was superb. I've written a trip report, whcih may be of interest you can find it at http://tripreports.co.uk/2009/12/sev...-in-hong-kong/
serko1 is offline  
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