Hong Kong hotel reviews

I am going to review four hotels that I have stayed at in Hong Kong. Often, you can get better room rates, when you reserve the rooms directly on the official websites of the hotels.

One piece of advice I would like to give you, is to write down special requests in the comments area during the online booking or through emailing the hotel. I always request a non-smoking room, because I don't like rooms, in which a bad cigaret smell has gotten into the fabrics and the carpet. Although they cannot always make sure that you get a non-smoking room, at least, they will try their best to help you. This has worked at every hotel I stayed at. They were able to give me a room that is non-smoking or at the very least, they made sure the previous tenant wasn't a heavy smoker and/or aired the room out thoroughly. Some hotels even let you choose the softness of the pillows on your bed, whether you prefer a higher or lower floor, having a garden/city/mountain/sea view, etc. So, always do some research on what the possibilities are by checking out the official hotel website and reading other people's reviews.

Metropark Hotel Kowloon

When: July-August 2009
What I paid: HK$4,216.85 for 8 nights
Room type: Comfort plus room
Good points:
- Large and clean rooms
- Large twin beds of 1m x 2m
- Free and unlimited broadband internet access
- Free shuttle bus to Mongkok shopping area and to Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront
- In close vicinity of many (night) markets, where you can look around for unique finds or cheap deals.
- It takes about a 15 minutes walk to go to the closest mall, the Grand Century Place, 20 minutes to the very big Langham Place mall with a H&M store. The heat in the summer months can make this short walk more tiring than you think.
- Complimentary bottles of water and a piece of chocolate with a weather forecast of the next day on a daily basis.
- I got a converter adapter for loan for my European laptop from the receptionist.
Bad points:
- I was charged about HK$180 a person for the breakfast buffet. This seems a bit too expensive for what I got, even with the 10% off coupon every room guest gets.
- In the direct neighborhood, there are many pet stores and household goods stores that close at around 18:00 in the evening and it can get a bit silent at night.

Empire hotel in Wanchai

When: April 2010
What I paid: HK$1100 for two nights
Room type: City view room

Good points:
- Location: 5 minutes walk to the Wanchai metro station, located in the middle of Wanchai with a lot of restaurants and bars in the direct vicinity, a 7-eleven across the street. A large Welcome supermarket close-by with fresh bread and sandwiches.
- Free breakfast buffet with a diverse selection of cereal, Chinese rice porridge, eggs, sausages, and some dim sum. The food was quite delicious.
- A large queen bed
- A flat-screen TV
Bad points:  
(I heard that the hotel is undergoing or has recently undergone renovation, so some complaints may not be valid anymore)
- Old and squeaky wooden furniture, broken shower-head, dirty bathroom with green mold at the edges.
- I had to pay HK$40 per hour for Internet access and it was not wireless.
- Requested a non-smoking room, but in the middle of the night my room got filled with smoke. It either came from the air vent or from the corridor, but the whole room smelled like I had smoked in there for hours. The smell did not go away until the next afternoon.

My room at Empire hotel

JJ hotel in Wanchai

When: July 2010
What I paid: HK$517 a night
Room type: Superior room

Good points:
- Large and clean rooms with a modern decor.
- A bakery, a Yoshinoya store selling cheap gyudon (Japanese beef strips over rice dish), and a supermarket right next door.
- Good location in the middle of Wanchai. The Wanchai metro station is in close vicinity. A tram-stop across the street, which takes you to many places on Hong Kong Island for the flat rate of HK$2.
- The double superior room has a king-sized bed on which three people can sleep on, while pushing the twin beds together does not make up for the same bed size. The room rates are the same, while the room and the bed size is larger. So when you can sleep in one bed, it is better to take the double room. There is more than enough space between you two.
- A small common lounge area with a comfortable leather couch, magazines and a water dispenser.
- Complimentary bottles of water. 
Bad points:
- The bathroom has glass walls, but it has blinds to cover them. However there are still some small gaps and it can get embarrassing when you are not staying in the room alone.
- Since the hotel consists of several rented floors in a normal building and it does not have a hotel lobby on the ground floor, you might run into some strange people coming from the karaoke bar or Mahjong place in the common elevator. This may make you feel less at ease when you are alone in the small elevator in the late evening. Once while I was staying there the elevator had a strong cleaning detergent smell, I am thinking someone had puked in it. It does however have a security post on the ground floor manned by two friendly men and security cameras placed on all floors. The hotel reception is located on the 9th floor.
- Although it increases the safety by placing an extra door between the lift area and the hallway reaching the rooms, it can get inconvenient when you get out to the lift and find out you forget to take your electronic card. Even when there is still someone in your room, you cannot walk back to the room to knock on the door or ring the door bell. You have to phone them and get them to walk out the hallway to open the door for you.
-There are two rooms on each floor, which are right in the lift area with no extra door to serve as protection against strangers going up from the common lift. It can also get a bit noisy. So try to avoid getting those rooms during reservation.
- Some rooms do not have windows, but this is clearly stated in the room information and comes with a reduced price.

The Harbourview Hotel in Wanchai

When: August 2010
What I paid: HK$800 a night on weekdays and HK$1100-1200 a night on weekends.
Room type: Premier room with harbour view (free upgrade to premier plus room with harbour view)

Good points:
- Spectacular view of the Victoria Harbour and the Symphony of lights, which is the 'World's Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show' according to the Guinness World Records. I strongly recommend staying at least one night of your Hong Kong trip in this hotel to enjoy the harbour view.
- Clean room and bathroom.
- Complimentary bottle of water.
- A good leather lounge chair near the window for you to relax and to enjoy the night view.
Bad points:
- The door of the cabinet, where the small fridge was in, came off all of a sudden. Luckily, they did not blame us for breaking it.
- Relatively small room and bathroom.
- There is a small computer area with one computer and a printer in the hotel lobby. I believe they charged me HK$20 for 15 minutes Internet access. I paid in cash to the hotel employee standing there. A better alternative would be, going to the Pacific Coffee place across the street to get free Internet access after buying a cup of coffee.
- The walking distance to the Wanchai metro station is a lot more than you think from looking at the map. You have to go up and down the large flight of stairs of the walking bridge to cross the highway. This is particularly bad with a lot of luggage or after a shopping spree.
View from the Harbourview hotel at night.

View from the Harbourview hotel at night.
View from the Harbourview hotel during the day.

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