By: Valmai Dhir
Shopping on Orchard Road, with its decedent Christmas lights and endless malls is a treat in itself, but sometimes it’s good to have a change of retail scenery! Expat Living’s Valmai Dhir recently took her family for a weekend shopping break to Hong Kong and road-tested Gateway Hotel, conveniently situated within the shopping haven of Harbour City.
Did she blow her Christmas shopping budget on day one? And just how did the family (husband and two young sons) cope being surrounded by all those shops?
“Hong Kong is less than a four-hour flight from Singapore, so not too many “are we nearly there yets’! As we arrived in good spirits to explore our digs for the next few nights, I kept a constant eye out to spy which department store I was going to tackle first! On arrival, we debated whether to hop on the fast Airport Express train (which takes you straight into Central), but seeing as we were staying on the Kowloon side with two smalls in tow, it made sense to jump in a taxi.
Conveniently, Gateway Hotel is located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. Harbour City shopping mall is right on your doorstep, with easy access to the TST MTR station. This is great, as when the boys got tired of me marching them around the shops, the hotel wasn’t too far from other activities to keep them (and the husband!) happy. The Star Ferry terminal is really close by too, so if you want to hop over to Central for a few hours, it’s super convenient.
Harbour City offers plenty of shopping choices, whether you’re on a big spending spree or a limited budget, there’s definitely plenty on offer. If you’re keen on getting a taste of some authentic dim sum, then Canton Deli is a must, located in Harbour City Shopping Arcade on Level 3. We had a delicious and well-priced meal there.
Hong Kong hotels do have a bit of a reputation for smallish rooms, so we were relieved to find the rooms at Gateway Hotel to be spacious and elegantly designed. A little tip: they do have some connecting rooms, so if you’re travelling with kids, make sure you book early to ensure you get one! The team at Gateway Hotel were really helpful, with friendly and speedy service.
Each room is equipped with a Nespresso machine, as well as your standard coffee and tea making facilities. A couple of special treats are thrown in too; free wifi, a complimentary mini bar, and access to a Handy Smartphone.
A special treat
The Handy goes beyond the traditional smartphone, giving guests not only free wifi to keep connected on the go, but also information about local events and exclusive ticketing offers and discounts. Guests have instant access to complimentary unlimited local calls and international calls to five countries including China, the Philippines, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Now that is handy! The Handy Smartphone perk makes Gateway Hotel an attractive place to stay for the business traveller too. We actually managed to take advantage of their Disneyland offer via the Handy – the process was straight forward and user friendly.
Wine and Dine
To help build our strength for the day’s events, we enjoyed tucking into the buffet breakfast at Three on Canton, which has a vast array of cuisines including, Japanese, Chinese, Western, Indian as well as a small Halal section. We would have loved a few drinks at Be on Canton, but alas, we were zonked by the end of each day and took in early nights. Next time! ‘
The Great Winter Escape package is valid for stays from now until 7 February 2016 and includes: Complimentary breakfast for two, guaranteed room upgrade to the next category, complimentary use of Handy Smartphone plus unlimited local calls.