Lodging Planner

Checking In

Typical check-in and checkout times are 2 pm and noon, respectively, although most hotels will be flexible if they are not fully booked and if you make a request in advance. Many major hotel chains have privilege clubs that allow their members to extend their checkout times until the evening, and some hotels now offer completely flexible checkout times, with checkout based on when you check in, rather than a set time. Some hotels also offer you the opportunity to check out online, so you can simply pack up and leave.

Children

Many hotels allow children under a certain age to stay in their parents' room at no extra charge, and most offer a babysitting service. Remember that many Hong Kong hotels have swimming pools, an attraction that in itself can satisfy young travelers.

Executive Privilege

Most high-end hotels have a VIP executive floor or lounge, and these tend to come with sweeping panoramic views. Complimentary breakfast (not a regular feature in most Hong Kong hotels) and cocktails are usually served in these clubs, while business facilities tend to include Wi-Fi, laser printing, special dedicated concierges, and sometimes a mini-conference room. Entry to these clubs and lounges is based on the type of room you book, although some hotels allow guests staying in less expensive rooms to pay an additional fee for executive privileges.

Facilities

Unless stated otherwise in the review, hotels are equipped with elevators and all guest rooms have air-conditioning, TV, telephone, and private bathrooms. Note that bathrooms with showers but no bathtubs are the norm in smaller hotels, so be sure to check if you want a tub. All hotels have designated no-smoking rooms or floors. Many also have designated "special access" rooms for guests in wheelchairs.

Note that the majority of hotels, even the budget ones, now come with in-room Wi-Fi, although some hotels (ironically, often the more expensive ones) charge a fee; almost all hotels now offer free Wi-Fi in public areas. Most moderately priced hotels will offer up-to-date technologies such as plasma screens, entertainment on demand, iPod docks, and sometimes even cell phones. Most hotels are conveniently situated near the MTR subway system, and those that are not will often provide free shuttle services to the nearest station, as well as to popular downtown destinations.

Lodging Strategy

The 60-plus selections here represent the best this city has to offer. Scan "Best Bets" on the following pages for top recommendations by price and experience. Reviews are arranged alphabetically within each neighborhood.

Prices

Prices vary depending on season and occupancy. Most hotels offer their best rates and special offers on their websites—look for long-stay or advanced-purchase discounts, or for that matter, last-minute booking deals. Hong Kong's high seasons are generally May through June and October through November, though rates also go up during certain holiday periods and for events such as the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament in March. While many hotels put on lavish breakfast buffets, breakfast is usually extra and not included in basic room rates.

Reservations

Most hotels have reliable online booking systems, but phone reservations are also accepted, and receptionists speak English.

Specify arrival and departure dates, number of guests, room type (standard, deluxe, suite), and any specific preferences. Make sure to find out what is, and what is not, included in the room rate, such as breakfast, in-room Wi-Fi, and local calls. A credit-card deposit is generally required to secure reservations.

Flights from the United States often arrive in the evening, so it's a good idea to inform the hotel when you plan to arrive. Some hotels will not otherwise hold a booking after 6 pm.

Rooms with a View

It's no secret that the prime waterfront properties have the best views in Hong Kong. On the Kowloon side, hotels in Tsim Sha Tsui and West Kowloon generally have the most compelling skyline views across Victoria Harbour. Because of the curvature of the bay, hotels in Causeway Bay and North Point can also have an equally exhilarating view down the coast of Hong Kong Island as well as of Kowloon. Remember that silence speaks loudly; if the hotel doesn't advertise views, no matter how hip it is, it probably has none. And while more low-profile small hotels are cleverly designing their rooms to optimize limited square footage, nothing opens up a room like a far-reaching view, be it harbor (preferably) or city (high-rise horizons).

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