The InterContinental Hong Kong has a special place in my heart. I remember first staying here in 2003, when I was living in Hong Kong. SARS was severely affecting the tourism business in Hong Kong, and the InterContinental ran a deal for locals, where you’d get your room rate back as a food and beverage credit. It was the most luxurious stay I’ve ever had at that time.
For many Hong Kongers, the InterContinental is also famous as a wedding venue for the ultra-rich. The grand ballroom’s stairs have braced front pages of newspapers covering high-profile weddings. It’s important to note that there are actually InterContinentals in Hong Kong: this one, and the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong.
This trip report/review is part of a series. See also:
- 1. Trip to Southeast Asia – Introduction
- 2. Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia (King Room)
- 3. Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia (Junior Suite)
- 4. EVA Air Royal Laurel (Business Class) “Hello Kitty” Jet Houston-Taipei
- 5. Grand Hyatt Taipei (Haunted?) Grand Suite
- 6. InterContinental Hong Kong Patio Room
- 7. Coral Executive Lounge Bangkok-Don Mueang
- 8. AirAsia “Premium Flex” Chiang Mai to Bangkok-Don Mueang
- 9. Conrad Bangkok (King Room)
- 10. Conrad Bangkok Executive Lounge
- 11. Conrad Bangkok Presidential Suite Bedroom
- 12. Grand Hyatt Bangkok Grand King Room
- 13. Thai Airways 777-300ER Royal Silk Business Class Bangkok to Stockholm
- 14. Park Hyatt Istanbul Park Deluxe Twin Room
- 15. Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul (“July 15 Heroes of Democracy Lounge”)
- 16. Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class Istanbul-Washington DC
There are many hotels in Tsim Sha Tsui, including the famous Peninsula Hong Kong and the Sheraton Hong Kong. However, the InterContinental’s location as a truly harbor front hotel and ability to redeem my IHG Rewards Club Card anniversary free night makes it my choice. IHG bumped this hotel up from 50,000 points to 60,000 points per night in its latest devaluation, so a free night redemption is actually decent value here. In fact, since I visit Hong Kong quite often, I think I have used my IHG free night here three years in a row.
This hotel was recently sold to a group of investors for almost US$ 1 billion. The IHG group maintains a contract to lease the property, but the hotel is set to undergo a much needed renovation.
There is a long driveway that leads up to the hotel, so unless you’re arriving by car, you have to either walk up a hill or some stairs.
I have previously reviewed this hotel, though I was staying in a different room type. I covered the pool in that review, so won’t cover it here.
Check-in is usually at 3 pm, but when I arrived at noon, the staff member told me that my room was ready, and that I had been upgraded to a “Patio Room.”
I am a Platinum member with IHG, a status that comes with the IHG Rewards Club credit card. It’s not a particularly useful status, since it really only gives you bonus points as a guaranteed benefit. The InterContinental Hong Kong, however, has already given two free beverage vouchers for Platinum guests.
The voucher can only be used for drinks from a specific menu, which includes beer, house wine, coffee/tea, and a variety of juices. What makes it special though, is the wonderful view you get to see when enjoying your beverage.
This was quite a generous upgrade, in my opinion. They rarely upgrade guests for free into harbor view rooms, just because they carry a pretty high premium in paid rates. The patio room I was given was extremely spacious, and the patio was nice for summer nights.
The room opens up to an entryway that leads to a work desk.
The desk was large, and I loved the real office chair.
The landline phone was archaic, but gets the job done if you need to call down to the front desk. I really liked that the hotel provides a cell phone for guests. You can use it for free calls and as a mobile hotspot, which was extremely handy. I have seen these in quite a few hotels in Hong Kong—I wish more hotels around the world would do this!
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a suite, since there were no separate rooms for lounging and sleeping. However, a couch opposite the TV made a pretty distinct living space. The TV was itself placed in front of floor-to-ceiling glass looking out to the patio.
On the coffee table was a bowl of welcome fruit. The InterContinental Hong Kong also has a nice welcome tea service, whereby you can order your choice of tea at any time during your stay.
Under the TV was the minibar. The selection was extensive, though of course with the usual unreasonably high prices.
Next to the TV was also a basic coffee and tea set, including an electric kettle.
The TV set was accompanied by a Bose sound system, and the hotel provided an AUX cable whereby you can plug in your phone or music player. There is also a 5-port USB charger resting next to the sound system.
The bedroom featured two twin beds, as well as a chaise lounge chair. The decorative pillows take up about half the bed; while they look nice, sometimes I am a bit grossed out since I know they don’t always change the covers.
For a older hotel, I was impressed by the outlets positioned next to the bed. Housekeeping has provided bottles of water by the bed, and a pillow menu allows guests to select from 5 different pillow options.
Next to the bed were two closets essentially flanking a luggage rack. Since this was a twin room, it was a thoughtful set up, if intentional. Granted, one was a hanging closet, while the other one had shelves. Still, my friend and I were able to each take a closet, and the luggage rack was sufficient for our bags.
Other than the usual laundry and shoe bags, I also found a sturdy plastic shopping bag, as well as a large zip-loc bag. The zip-log back turned out to be perfect for containing wet bathing suits.
The bathroom was large by Hong Kong standards. Peach/pink marble make up the walls and floors, which really show how dated this hotel is.
The green marble, on the other hand, was actually a pretty decent choice for the vanity.
As a standard for InterContinental hotels, I found Agraria products resting on a shelf above the vanity. Two drawers full of toiletries were also available, including dental kits, shower caps, a comb, shaving kits, and cotton buds. I especially appreciated the fact that the shaving kits and toothbrushes were different color, which made it easy to tell which one’s whose.
There were two different sizes for slippers too, and housekeeping was able to send up a pair of extra large upon request.
There was a separate shower and tub. The tub was deep and filled quickly the shower featured a shaving mirror, as well as a separate set of toiletries.
The toilet was in a separate toilet room. However, with no decorations, marbled walls, and a dark wood door, it felt a bit claustrophobic.
I have to give this to the InterContinental Hong Kong though. This pink/peach marbled can make a bathroom look really gross and dirty to begin with, but they kept the bathroom spotless throughout our stay.
A floor-to-ceiling glass wall looks out to the patio, which can be accessed through a sliding door. With tropical weather, the hotel also thoughtfully provided an electrical mosquito incense for the room.
Large bushes and trees separate the pool from the patio, so there is actually a high level of privacy. However, from the patio, you cannot access the pool and fitness center, which are located on the same floor. I understand this is likely for security reasons (so that others can come into your patio), though it was a bit annoying having to walk all around to get to the pool when it’s practically right outside.
The patio featured two beach chairs, and a round table with four chairs.
The InterContinental Hong Kong will always have a special place in my heart. I was happy to redeem my free night certificate on the property, since it would otherwise have cost 60,000 points per night or almost $400 per night. With that kind of a paid rate, there are plenty of options available around the same area.
With my limited interaction with the staff, I have found them to be friendly. The bottom line is, this hotel is in dire need of a renovation, and I am glad they are finally getting it (soon). The harbor view is killer and the hotel is in a massive shopping neighborhood. However, with the underwhelming elite benefits and aging decor, I have often found myself looking at other places to stay in Hong Kong.
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