Monday, 3 September 2012

Hotel Review: Conrad Hong Kong

I've been to Hong Kong countless times in the last 5 years, and usually it didn't happen by choice like "Oh yay I'm heading to Hong Kong!", but more like work, or circumstances, just brought me there, more than anywhere else in the world. And though it's not really a place I loved initially, it grew on me, slowly but steadily. I can now safely proclaim Hong Kong as one of the top places in my list of short getaway venues. 

One thing that I didn't really enjoy about Hong Kong though, were the size of the hotel rooms. Most hotel rooms I have stayed in (and they were nice at least 4-star ones) were teeny-tiny, with barely enough space to land my suitcase, let alone an extra hand-carry cabin bag. Travelling with a partner? Good luck. Most times suitcases have to go into the wardrobe to make space to move about the room, and this is unique only in Hong Kong. 

Other than that, I like the fact that because Hong Kong is so compact, most hotels are in very close proximity with civilization (by that I mean good food, and shopping). I remember staying in Mongkok and all I had to do after doing some shopping was to bring up my shopping bags and chuck them in the room before continuing, just so I didn't have to carry those around. Convenient? Very. 

If you're looking for a place where you can retreat to after some crazy shopping in town, and want nice big comfortable rooms with an amazing view, trust me, Conrad is the place to go. I'll bet many of you do not know this (I didn't!), but Conrad is Hilton Worldwide's global luxury brand. So if you're staying at Conrad, it's akin to staying at a luxury hotel. Thanks to *Asia Travel Exclusives and Conrad Hong Kong, I'm in for a treat!

*Asia Travel Exclusives is a one-stop deal-finder for the most discerning traveller who wants nothing but the best (yet still want to remain kiasu at the same time). If you want find luxury travel options for a fraction of its price, then check out Asiatravelexclusives.com. I also find it a nice travel read for the wanderlusts to find out what's happening where, who's launching what... ;)



Situated strategically above Pacific Place and fully sheltered from Admiralty MTR Station (Singaporeans do not be confused. We have an Admiralty MRT Station, but I'm talking about Hong Kong now), so you don't have to worry about getting caught in the rain or walking under the hot sun. Just get out at Admiralty (which is the same line as, and just a few stops away from Mongkok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Central), and follow the signs. 

Sign at the top of an escalator coming out of Admiralty Station inside Pacific Place.
The signs aren't dummy-proof though, and if there's one thing they have to improve on, it's signage leading to the hotel. I had such a hard time finding Conrad after this sign above that I overshot and had to detour a few times. 

The clue: Look for this beautiful glass elevator.

When you see it, you've got it. Take the elevator to Level 5, and turn left. Walk down the passageway and take the Hotel lift to Level L to check in. Alternatively, walk along level 3 of Pacific Place. When you see Dior and Celine, look for the lift lobby between them, and take that lift to Level L. That's the only lift that takes you straight from Pacific Place to the Lobby. I like the fact that Conrad Hong Kong links directly to the shopping mall. 

And if you are into luxury branded shopping, you're in for a treat. Pacific Place has all the major brands, from LV to Dior to Ferragamo and Bally. In case you didn't know, Hong Kong is a tax-free place. Meaning, there is no 7% GST, no 10% VAT, none of those goods taxes that we normally have to pay and then claim at the airport. So shop away at your favorite brands, minus the taxes and the hassle of claiming tax returns. Yay~!!!

I was so washed out after my early morning flight, I was floating all the way to the hotel. What I didn't know but should have when I picked up the airport shuttle brochure from the airport was that there was also a free shuttle from Hong Kong Station DIRECT TO THE HOTEL! 

*facepalm*

So basically, take the airport express from airport to Hong Kong station, get out, and go to the street level and ask for directions leading to the shuttle bus stop. Conrad is on the 3rd stop so it saves you some walking and dragging your luggage from the MTR station across Pacific Place to the hotel. Brilliant~! Never too late to find out though, as I used that service for my return. ;)


The executive rooms were full, so I didn't get one. BUT! I was privileged to be given access to the Executive Lounge on the 59th floor. N there were complimentary beverages and snacks, couple that with the fact that I was hungry like crazy...



 This should keep me happy until after my nap. Heh~

Time to check out the room...



 If this is the size of a deluxe room, I am really curious how the executive rooms and the suites look like... I'm so ready to jump in.

 It might not look it in the picture, but it was a huge bed. Plenty of space for 2, 3 even. Not that I'm suggesting, of course. *coughs*


 Even the bathtub is made for 2. Tried. Tested. Pass. 


A rubber duckie toy is provided for amusement and pleasure...
Your kid's, of course. What were you thinking? Hmmmm?

Apart from that bathtub, there is a separate shower, and a separate toilet, so you can poop while someone showers and no one will be hogging the bathroom. Smart! 

Bathroom amenities



With His & Hers double sinks so really, both can prepare to go out together without waiting around. Holiday time is precious, and they know that! 


This trip to Hong Kong, I decided it would be a R&R trip. No work. I didn't even bring my laptop. Nope. I shall enjoy it fully~ Plus I was actually coming down with a flu or a fever or something, so work is not high on my priority list. But if you need to get work done, all executive floors have free wifi and LAN connection. The nice work area helps too. Oh, and they have lovingly provided mobile phone and laptop rental should you require. 

Rooms start from *40/F to 61/F, so you can be assured that all 470 rooms and 44 suites command a panoramic view of Hong Kong, either of Victoria Harbour, The Peak or the city skyline. Just what we need on a relaxing holiday. 

*From level 9 to 39 are serviced apartments. 


Interested to check out how the other rooms look like? 

Let's do it from the bottom up (and even the bottom is really good I must say):

The superior room. 
Mine's a deluxe room I think, with a king bed. =)

Executive rooms and suites are from 57/F to 61/F.

This is the Peak View Suite Living Room...

with the Peak View Suite bedroom itself.

I love the mountains, but I love water views more...

The Harbour View Suite Living Room.

with its bedroom. Pretty impressive!!!

And the next one...get ready for this, is the Chairman's Suite. 



Okay the Chairman's Suite isn't the largest. There is a PRESIDENTIAL SUITE, twice the size of the Chairman's Suite. With its own separate living room, dining room, pantry, powder room and bedroom. (1 suite only!) Meant only for the Presidents and Superstars. And of course, those wanting a special treat for themselves or that special someone in their lives...

Each guest room is equipped with Nespresso machine, a CD player, iPod player, dual-line telephones, an electronic safe, bathrobes, iron and ironing board, satellite and cable TV, equipped with Bose systems, and oh, I can't get enough of this - their bedroom slippers are the most comfortable ever ever ever.


Executive Floor guests (57-61/F) are entitled to exclusive check-in, access to Executive Lounge, butler service and complimentary full breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails. The view from the Executive Lounge? Need I say more? Nothing less than a panoramic view of Hong Kong's skyline.


 My room's big enough for me. I'm just in Hong Kong for the weekend to play, explore, and wander. If I'm gonna be staying in a lot, or if I'm traveling with 5 other mates, I would consider an executive suite. Just so we can have space for fun and pretty photoshoots. ^.^ And maybe play hide and seek. Heh.


Ooooo so inviting... this was where I drop deep into my slumber before I wake up, rejuvenated, to enjoy everything Conrad has to offer...

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5 hours, dinner, drinks & Shisha at Lan Kwai Fong later, I came back to find this at my door...

At that moment, though I didn't show it, I wanted to cry. Simply because I felt so special then. 
There's nothing like a good handwritten note to warm the heart. Thanks Bonnie!


I went to bed very happy that night... #LikeAChild


Sunday, 26th May
I woke up raring to go for the much raved about and very popular Sunday Brunch at the Brasserie at Level 8. 

Soon after I was seated, the waiter came and offered me Champagne. I was blown. 
This is what I call exceptional service. 



It was full house that day, and amidst all that chattering, I picked up a familiar accent - the Singaporean one! It's so comforting to hear it when one is overseas. Makes me feel like I don't know, there's a a sense of pride there. Like, hey! That's my people! Hahaha okay weird I know. 

Get ready for the food. I SO totally understand why it is popular!


 My weakness. See those legs at the top? The long sexy legs? Yeaaahhhhh thoooose..... *drools*









Curry and Briyani

 There's a whole bunch of stuff which I didn't even feature, like tim sum, braised noodles, fried rice......


Bacon and beef cheek lasagne..

There's something for the kids too! (Or the young at heart, still.)

Even dessert!

See the third cheese in the front row from the front? The one that looks like a backside? That's my favorite - Saint Albray. Apart from blue, Saint Albray is one cheese I can never resist.



 U hungry yet? I want to eat them all. But I don't have the stomach capacity to. So what I do at a buffet. Always? Go for what I want THE MOST. The favorite. The most worthwhile stuff. Not bread. Not rice. Not noodles. Make a guess.....



I stuff myself silly on seafood. Especially prawns and crab and lobster and mussels. Okay maybe not mussels, but crab. They take a long time to eat so you can slowly enjoy. And when your companion is crying for help cos they ate too much too quickly you can still calmly go for second, third, fourth rounds of salad, tim sum, dessert... Haha~ 


 There is a special menu at each table if you want to order any freshly cooked stuff. Like teriyaki cod....

Oooo the good life. This is how all holiday meals should be. 
Okay maybe not. I'll be so stuffed all the time. Still, an occasional vacation treat should be this good. ^.^

One thing you should know - Brasserie on the Eighth has been awarded "Hong Kong and Macau's Best Restaurant" by Hong Kong Tatler for 17 consecutive years. That is a quite something, & I felt really honored to be able to eat there!

OTHER RESTAURANTS

Lobby Lounge

Lobby Lounge
This is where they have a live band performance daily, and is where you can just go for a relaxed drink with friends. Wind down baby~

Afternoon teas are also served daily, for those who love the tai tai life, chatting with friends over small bites and a nice cuppa.




Pacific Bar


Another R&R chill out bar in Conrad Hong Kong, this is great if you want a more quiet, less populated spot to wind down. After all, it has just a cosy maximum of 40 seats. ;)

Nicholini's


Specialising in Northern Italian cuisine and homemade pastas, this is the restaurant to go to if you're craving for good Italian food. Having been awarded "Hong Kong & Macau's Best Restaurant" for 20 consecutive years by the Hong Kong Tatler, as well as the Italian Hospitality Award "Ospitalita' Italiana" and acknowledged with Micheline Four Forks, this will definitely be one to delight your tastebuds.

 


 The entire hotel was designed by leading international hotel designer Glenn Texeira, and to infuse traditional Chinese elements into modern contemporary design, he has included Chinese motifs like gold leaves and lush silks into his creations.


 
Private dining rooms are available for almost all their restaurants should guests want a more private, intimate setting with their family, friends or clients.


Golden Leaf


Another award-winning restaurant ("Hong Kong & Macau's Best Restaurant"for 20 consecutive years by Hong Kong Tatler, Golden Leaf serves exquisite Cantonese cuisine, perfect for those craving for good dim sum. After all, you're in Hong Kong!


Garden Cafe
They have such a superb evening buffet selection that I had to kick myself for just being in Hong Kong for 3 days (not enough stomach capacity for the  limited number of meals I can have in 3 days!) They specialize in South-East Asian and traditional Western dishes, and offers barbecue and al fresco dining by the pool as well.


There's just something about eating by the pool when it's all nicely lit. So romantic, so relaxing, so....ahhh~~~~ (Couldn't find the right vocal, but you get what I mean.)


Cake Shop

They have it all covered. For some of you, a pampering hotel stay usually means a special occasion - Mother's Day, Anniversaries, Birthdays... And what is a celebration without the cake?



I want one of these for my special occasion (whatever it may be, cos it looks so good)!!!!



BUSINESS

Conrad is also renowned for it's business facilities, with 11 function rooms, 7 of them with floor-to-ceiling windows and all equipped with satellite, videoconferencing and simultaneous translation services. Cool huh? That's how you have a Hong Kong movie business meeting.

 Function rooms can be set up banquet-style or meeting style, depending on what clients might require.
All function rooms, as well as the column-less Grand Ballroom, are all situated on the same level, so it's great for conventions and easy for networking purposes.

The favorite spot of all couples holding their wedding dinners at the Grand Ballroom - walking down this giant spiral staircase with the bride's gown train flowing behind her on the steps. I can see why this is a great photo spot. =)

Alright, back to my activities at the hotel. What is a hotel stay without a relaxing swim by their pool? Especially if it offers you a breathtaking view of the city's skyline?







#ANTM. FAIL. 

One more before I dive in!



Interested to see their full list of awards? Be prepared...here comes...

  • Conde Nast Traveler – Gold List, World’s Best Places To Stay 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007; 
  • Top 100 The Best in the World’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2009, 2008; 
  • Travel & Leisure SEA – 500 Best Hotels in the World Award – 2010, 2008, 2007; 
  • Travel & Leisure US – World Best Awards – Top 50 Hotels in Asia  2009, 2008; 
  • Travel & Leisure China – China’s Top Hotels 2010, 2009, 2007; 
  • Smart Travel Asia – Top 25 Best Business Hotels in Asia 2010, 2008, 2007; 
  • Voyage, China Best Business Hotel – Hotel and Resort Best Value Award 2010; 
  • TripAdvisor – Travellers’ Choice Top 25 Hotels in Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan 2011, 2010; 
  • Travolaa.com – “Double A”s seal of approval 2010; Hurun Report – Executive Suite, Presidential Suite Award 2010; 
  • Expedia – Insiders’ Select Award 2010; 
  • Forbes Travel Guide – The Forbes Four Star Award 2011, 2010; 
  • Institutional Investor – The World Best’s Hotels 2009, 2008, 2007; 
  • Forbes Traveller.com 400 – The World’s Very Best Hotels & Resorts 2008

 And for their restaurants...
  • The Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau – One Michelin Star 2011, 2010, 2009 – Golden Leaf; 
  • The Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau – Four Michelin Forks – Nicholini’s; 
  • Hong Kong Tatler and Asia Tatler Dining – Hong Kong’s & Macau’s Best Restaurants Award 1992 to 2011 - Nicholini’s & Golden Leaf; 
  • Hong Kong Tatler and Asia Tatler Dining – Hong Kong’s & Macau’s Best Restaurant Award 1995 to 2011 – Brasserie on the Eighth; 
  • Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong & Macau – “Ospitalita’ Italiana” (Italian Hospitality Award) 2011 – Nicholini’s
Overall, I think Conrad gave me just what I needed - personalized service with that extra flair for me to go "Ooooo~!" Service was remarkable, I felt really comfortable, food was delicious. Other than the signage problems leading to the hotel, everything was what it should be - 5-stars. 

Wanna impress a client? Pamper a parent? Or give your significant other that much-deserved holiday? You know where to bring them. 

Click to visit Conrad Hong Kong's website. They have attractive packages like booking a suite for 2 nights for the price of one. ;) Do check out their "Exclusive Offers" page for more info.


Conrad Hong Kong is at
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2521 3838

2 comments:

  1. I just returned home to Tokyo after a stay at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong this week, and your blog post really captured the luxury of the entire experience. The attention to detail and service were spectacular, and the food was very memorable! Your photo of the chilled seafood bar captures one of the more unique cuisine offerings, and the new chef at Nicholini's (Alex Bignotti) created some fantastic dishes. Thank you for the well-documented photo journey through the hotel!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just returned home to Tokyo after a stay at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong this week, and your blog post really captured the luxury of the entire experience. The attention to detail and service were spectacular, and the food was very memorable! Your photo of the chilled seafood bar captures one of the more unique cuisine offerings, and the new chef at Nicholini's (Alex Bignotti) created some fantastic dishes. Thank you for the well-documented photo journey through the hotel!

    ReplyDelete