This is my review of the InterContinental Hong Kong hotel.
I am going to run a few hotel reviews from our recent Asia trip, although they will be shorter and less detailed than usual. As these were not ‘official’ trips, I didn’t get a guided tour or to see any rooms except my own. I also didn’t check out many of the hotel facilities as we were out and about most of the time.
Here are two key things to know about InterContinental Hong Kong:
The hotels is closing from April 2018 for at least a year for a full refurbishment. This is needed, to be honest, as the rooms are starting to look dated. The emergence of a brand new Rosewood hotel next door has presumably focused minds.
The building work on both sides of the hotel is a pain, ruining the pool area and making entry and exit to the hotel tricky. It was not noticeable from our room.
As I wrote in an article before I went, the real reason to stay at the InterContinental is the view. No other hotel in Hong Kong enjoys the same view over the harbour. The hotel is the brown central building in the photo above, taken from the ferry.
The location is very, very central. The tower to the left of the InterContinental is the The Peninsula hotel. The Star Ferry is just a minute or so further on, as is the h-u-g-e Harbour City mall which contains enough luxury shopping and restaurant options to keep anyone happy. Nathan Road, home of Chungking Mansions etc, starts at The Peninsula.
I wrote in my earlier piece that you should only book a harbour view room at the InterContinental Hong Kong, although other readers felt that a streetside room with Club access – the club lounge overlooks the harbour – was similar money, kept you fed and watered and still let you enjoy the view from the lounge.
We booked for four nights. One night was on an InterContinental Ambassador free weekend night voucher so we only paid for three.
Ambassador members get a guaranteed upgrade. The upgrade path at this hotel is well known. I booked a Deluxe Harbour View Room, knowing that it would be upgraded to a Junior Suite Harbour View. As it happened, we were upgraded even further and given a Harbour View Executive Suite. We had two of these, one for my wife and daughter and one for me and my son. As it turned out, we had been upgraded so far that we could have got the kids into one room.
You will not be upgraded from a street view room to a harbour view room unless you pay a supplement. This is important to know. If you want to book a reward night here – which only books into a street view room – you would need to pay cash if you want to get onto the other side of the building.
We had two of these suites – this is the one my son and I shared. I’ve stayed in worse rooms 🙂
The room was well kept. The curtains and window blinds were automated, the bed was great, there was a decent desk with enough sockets. It did a feel a bit 1990’s, however, and when we moved on to Tokyo the difference was stark.
The suite came with a huge bathroom …..
…. and this slightly odd wardrobe (on the left) and dressing area behind.
This was the view from the room next door – we were on the 14th floor out of, I think, 16 – which my wife and daughter shared.
The InterContinental Hong Kong has some excellent dining options. As well as a Nobu, Alain Ducasse has just opened a new fine dining fish restaurant called (slightly unfortunately) Rech. We didn’t use either given our young children.
This is the main lobby lounge where – just to prove we keep on working 24/7 at HfP – I had a meeting one night with the aviation correspondent from the South China Morning Post. We were given vouchers for 2 free drinks per room – so 4 in total – which my wife and I used here. This was an Ambassador benefit and, with drinks running at the equivalent of £10+ each, quite valuable.
I also receive a £13 food and drink discount voucher for being a Spire Elite member. You’ll need this – food is extortionate here, with a standard margharita pizza costing £30.
One level down is Harbourside, where breakfast is served. This is also expensive (roughly £30 for adults, £23 for children) but also impressive so it is worth booking a B&B rate if you can.
It isn’t that easy to have breakfast somewhere else as the shopping centre next to the hotel has been demolished. You are looking at a walk of at least 6-7 minutes to find a food and beverage venue outside the hotel and the building work outside the entrance makes nipping in and out more than necessary a pretty unpleasant experience.
Here is a sign of how the building work is impacting the InterContinental Hong Kong. This is the ‘brochure’ shot you’d see online of the infinity whirlpool:
…. but this is the other angle:
And the main pool …..
….. and if you look right:
The entrance in and out of the hotel is equally chaotic.
I should say that, from our rooms, we couldn’t hear any construction noise. The workers seemed to finish fairly early. It certainly isn’t a pretty sight though. I don’t know what the view is like at the moment from the street side rooms but you would probably see quite a bit of this mess as it is wrapping around the hotel at the front.
If you want the full Hong Kong harbour view experience, the InterContinental Hong Kong is a good place to stay (in a harbour view room!).
Using an Ambassador free weekend night certificate is also a good way to keep down the cost of your stay in what can be an expensive city. Another option for luxury Hong Kong on a budget would be to use IHG Rewards Club points and then pay to upgrade, either for club lounge access (which I never saw, although it has a good reputation) or for a harbour view.
At the very least, pop in for a pricey coffee in the lobby lounge and enjoy the view!
PS. Ocean Park ….
If you are thinking of taking young children (ours are 9 and 5) to Hong Kong, I can strongly recommend the Ocean Park theme park.
A new subway line literally takes you to the door. And, unlike most theme parks, Ocean Park has something for everyone. As well as rides – many of which are well suited for the 5-10 age group – there are animals (including giant pandas, see below), there are dolphin shows (see below) and, as half the park is at sea level and the other half on a cliff top, a great cable car ride with amazing South China Sea views to get between the two halves.
We had a great day, and I write as someone who usually hate theme parks. I would happily go back to Ocean Park.
I can also recommend the Bird Market and, on the way if you go via the MTR, the Goldfish Market for kids, as well as the usual stuff – the Star Ferry trips across the harbour and a trip up The Peak via the cable car.
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