Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my trip report to SE Asia so far, although thus far it’s only been the two flights. I have to apologize for how long it’s taking me to post it, I’ve had a really busy month in the ER lately, so I guess that’s a reasonable excuse. BTW, I should’ve mentioned this earlier – thank you to my beautiful wife Gayle for all the pictures. I am not a photographer at all, and she is very talented!
When we arrived to Hong Kong it was about 6pm, and as I’m sure all of you who’ve visited HK, it was immediately apparent how their airport and infrastructure make ours look like a third world country’s. The airport and the train to HK island are beautiful, clean, and efficient; the train comes about every 3 minutes without fail!
This post is just about the Hong Kong Intercontinental, but HK is probably my favorite city in the world, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t post some pictures from the gondola to Lantau island to see the giant Buddha, or from High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel, or from the world’s largest floating restaurant. Part of the reason we love HK so much, other than the city itself, and the wooded running paths throughout it, is because we have a bunch of friends that live there, and take us to breathtakingly good Szechuan restaurants that aren’t reviewed anywhere. I would tell you where we ate, but I don’t know the name of the place, and don’t exactly remember where it was (too much wine!).
(the lobby of the Peninsula, packed for High Tea)
(on the gondola to Lantau Island; not good if you’re afraid of heights!)
(on our way to the world’s largest floating restaurant)
(Jumbo Kingdom, the world’s largest floating restaurant)
Of note, there are two Intercontinentals in HK, the Icon HK and the Icon Grand Stanford; we stayed in the former (and the former is only 45k IHG points per night vs 50k for the latter).
The first two nights we booked at the Best Western Harbourview, on discount fares. It was ok, but we were really excited about the Icon, as we’d read great reviews. Plus, rooms there are only 45k IHG points, which to me is a steal, considering the location right on the harbor in Tsim Sha Tsui (totally off topic, check out this hilarious stand-up about Tsim Sha Tsui!). So we packed up early, took the subway (which is I think the best subway in the world), and got there around noon. I’m Platinum Elite thanks to my Chase IHG card, which includes noon check-in.
We arrived in the beautiful open lobby, with views over the harbor, and were greeted warmly by 3-4 different people. There wasn’t much of a line, but they ushered me to other side of the main desk because I’m a Platinum. I’d booked a normal room, but they offered me choices of upgrade – either a normal room albeit with a harbor view, that was available immediately, or a deluxe junior suite, that was on the side and looked over the Eastern Harbor, but that wouldn’t be ready for an hour. We were in no hurry, so we chose the latter.
We hung out in the lobby for an hour, snapping pictures of the harbor, and they gave us complimentary drinks. At almost exactly an hour later, the associate arrived to take our bags (despite our protests) to our room with us. When we walked in, we were VERY pleased:
It was huge, and beautiful, with the windows next to the bed overlooking the harbor. The coffee table had a basket with fresh fruit, there was a huge walk-in closet to store our stuff (which wasn’t much), and the bathroom was huge and had a spacious tub, rainfall shower, and amenities by Salvatore Ferragamo. We had dinner plans that night with one of our friends, but were almost disappointed because we just wanted to stay in the room!
I didn’t check out the spa facilities or gym, and it was slightly too chilly to go in the pool. The next morning, after an early run around a nearly empty Tsim Sha Tsui, we checked out the breakfast buffet, and it was huge, delicious, and fantastic (although expensive – $35 each). They never let my coffee mug go empty either – a big plus! After breakfast we gathered our bags, and headed to the train to go to the airport, for our next leg HKG – SIN – HKT. Although we wanted to stay in HK, we were very excited about hanging out on the beach in Thailand! This hotel stay was, so far, my favorite IHG hotel stay ever!