I’m a Starwood guy. Hong Kong has a few Starwood properties including the W Hong Kong, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers and the Le Méridien Cyberport. I always struggle with the W (anywhere in the world) – I dig them initially, but then get annoyed after a day or two after walking through the Lobby and seeing all the uber-cool people hanging out in the lobby bar/club. I’m no cool kid. The service is often aloof which can be charming initially, but after a couple of days it wears a bit thin too. That being said, I figured the W Hong Kong would be a fun place to hang out. Unfortunately the rate was running about 350USD or 20,000 Starpoints per night. A bit too rich for my blood.
The next option was the Sheraton – which is just feet from my tailor’s shop. A couple friends flat out told me not to stay there. They didn’t add any details to their recommendations, but I trust them. Cross that off the list.
The final option was the Le Méridien Cyberport, which is on Hong Kong Island, but isn’t on a Metro Line and is quite far from the hustle and bustle of the Hong Kong life. I did receive some very positive comments from friends about this hotel and they assured me that even though this property is off the beaten path you were still connected to the City. The rate was about 200USD or 12,000 Starpoints / night. Sold – for that rate, I’ll bite.
We landed in Hong Kong about 20 minutes earlier than our scheduled arrival time, we made a quick visit to my tailor and a dinner a few blocks from his shop – after which we hopped back into a taxi and headed to the hotel. From the Sheraton it was a 20 minute taxi ride (with a fare of about 100HKD or ~12USD). The first taxi ride out here was a little disconcerting — not having any idea where we were going or how much longer we had, made me a little uncomfortable.
We pulled up to the hotel around 22h30 and were greeted by lobby full of hotel employees – all with enormous smiles and very big personalities. We headed to the reception desk and before I even reached the desk, I was greeted by name. I assume, based on my check-in time, I was the only person expected that night who hadn’t already checked-in. In any event, the check-in process was quick and easy: scanned our passports, mentioned some of the hotel amenities (included Platinum breakfast, workout facilities, free wi-fi, etc).
Our rooms were on the 10th floor. Our body clocks were all messed up – even though it was bed time in Hong Kong, it was morning in Chicago. We decided to drop our luggage off in our rooms then head down to the bar for a quick drink. The bar was pretty empty by the time we showed up and the service was a little spotty – I think everyone was ready to shut down and go home. We ordered a couple cocktails then around midnight headed back to the room.
The rooms were very large — the property only has two suites – and my suite upgrades didn’t clear, unfortunately. Luckily we each had a king room which was very sleek and modern. There was a seating area near the large windows with a couch and a chair which got a decent amount of use, considering how little time we actually spent in the rooms.
I had an ocean view room, with amazing views of all the shipping traffic coming in and out of Hong Kong. I’m a big transportation nerd and watching this traffic kept me enthralled while I was in the room…with a glass of wine of course.
Opposite of the bed, there was a large desk and a moderately sized flat screen TV. The desk area is much less blurry in real life than it is in the picture. There was plenty of space to work comfortably at this desk — unfortunately I had to get a few hours of work done while on this little vacation.
The bathroom was surprisingly large (hell, everything in this hotel was surprisingly large – considering the space constraints elsewhere in Hong Kong). A separate shower and a very deep tub were the focal points of the bathroom. The large vanity was topped with a glass counter top, which showed all sorts of finger prints and toothpaste stains once I was done with it – but the housekeeping service did an impeccable job of cleaning up after me. I did not take a bath — the idea of bathing in a hotel tub creeps me out (even though I did take a bath in Paris in November). The shower was HOT and the water pressure great — the issue was the drain. Before you knew it, you were ankle deep in shower run-off. Not good. I complained to the front desk both mornings I was there, but nothing came of it. At least it kept me from wasting water by taking a long shower. EAD did not have the same issue, so it doesn’t appear to be a systemic issue with the building, just my room.
We at breakfast in the hotel each morning and had the buffet. I love breakfast buffets in Asia. We had the option of ordering off the menu, but both decided the buffet made the most sense. While this buffet wasn’t as fantastic as the buffet at the St. Regis Bangkok, it was moderately expansive with traditional Western options (pancakes, bacon, waffles, omelettes) and Asian fare (tons of fruit, porridge, noodle soup). I had mostly fruit, dumplings and bacon — the pork pate sandwich was pretty tasty too. If the buffet hadn’t been included as a Platinum amenity, I wouldn’t have eaten here – I’d rather just grab a pastry and some juice while out exploring the City. It was a nice way to shave off some cost of the trip.
The hotel also offers a shuttle once an hour to the central train station. The complimentary shuttle takes about 15 minutes. The first day we missed the shuttle by about 10 minutes, so took a taxi into the central station. I’d recommend you plan to take the shuttle, it’ll save you a bit of money and the shuttle is more comfortable than the taxis. You can also get picked up by the shuttle at the station, but we failed to make it to the pickup point in time and ended up taking a taxi home each night.
I really liked this hotel. The service was good, the rooms were (relatively) huge. Everything was clean and despite it being 7km from Central Station, I didn’t feel separated from Hong Kong – quite the opposite actually. It felt nice to be away from the busyness of the City – you could relax a bit more, but were still extremely close to all the action. I would definitely stay at this property again.
My biggest complaints are that they have only two suites and that my shower drain was very slow. We are stuck with the former issue, but the latter can easily be fixed.
Where do you stay when visiting Hong Kong? Do you think the Le Méridien Cyberport is too far away from the action to be worthwhile?