If you’re from the Northern Hemisphere, staying in Singapore for Christmas can be a time when you get a little homesick (I know I do)! Sometimes you just want to feel that winter chill and wrap up in a snug cashmere jumper, don your favourite skinnies, and slip on those fur-lined ankle boots! At this time of year, one of the many beauties of Hong Kong is that it gives those who live in the tropics (we do love you Singapore) a chance to rock that winter fashion and feel, well… “Christmas-sy”! But where to stay when you get there? On a recent business trip to Hong Kong, Expat Living’s Katie Peace discovers why the Hotel ICON is a ‘hotel unlike any other’!
“Hotel ICON claims to be unlike any other hotel – so what did I think of it? I stayed two nights on a business trip in November and I have to agree, Hotel Icon does a number of things that set it apart from the other chain hotels. To begin with, there is only one Hotel Icon, rather than being part of a hotel group, and that gives it something of an individual feel – from the unique art on the walls, to the free mini-bar (more on this in a moment) to their offer of a Handy Smartphone to each guest – the team here have thought of everything!
The hotel offers three types of room: Standard, Club, and Suite. I stayed in a Club Room on the 26th floor, which offered a panoramic view of the city skyline and Harbour that provided a front row seat for the famous nightly light show. Club Rooms offer a range of benefits, such as a printer and office supplies, as well as free wifi. The free mini-bar came stocked with wine, beer, and juice, as well as M&Ms, crisps, and plenty of fruit. The large bathroom housed a generous bathtub with a TV built in (yes, I did watch TV in the bath…who wouldn’t?), and a separate, luxurious rainforest shower.
Another bonus of the booking a room here, is the Handy Smartphone provided for each guest, not matter which level of room they are staying in. This phone allows guests to make local and international calls, free of charge, as well as 3G roaming to easily explore the city. You no longer need to be concerned about getting lost when you have Internet at your fingertips. Complete with tourist information and all the usual apps, the phones are available for you to use during your stay when you’re out-and-about in Hong Kong. Just don’t lose it, as you’ll incur a HK$3,000 charge!
Club and Suite rooms also offer a range of benefits that make them well worth the extra spend in my opinion, including access to the Club Floor on the 28th floor for express check in, meeting rooms, semi-buffet breakfast in Above & Beyond restaurant with breathtaking views over the city, and complimentary afternoon tea and evening cocktails with hors d’oeuvres. The hotel also offers a complimentary single ride in the Telsa Limousine for those in Club 36 City and harbour view rooms, and a full round trip for guests in Suite rooms. Suites offer a separate lounge area for business guests to have meetings, or for families to have separate space away from the kids.
The hotel houses an Angsana Spa – part of the Banyan Tree group, a heated outdoor pool, fully equipped gym and three excellent restaurants. In fact, The Market restaurant dinner buffet is usually booked three months in advance, as the Malaysian chef is famous for his Durian dessert. The restaurant also provides Asian specialties such as Singaporean Laksa, Fried Crab, and Thai and Indian food. The Timeless Lounge, for guests who need to check-in early or check-out late, is another bonus. It comes complete with free drinks and snacks, fully reclining La-Z-Boy leather seats, and plenty of magazines to read! This really is a hotel that has thought about its guests’ complete stay “.
Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong