Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: TPA-ORD on United
Part 3: ORD-ZRH on Swiss
Part 4: ZRH-LHR on Swiss and LHR-IST on Turkish
Part 5: InterContinental Istanbul
Part 6: Istanbul
Part 7: IST-HKG on Turkish
Part 8: InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong
Part 9: InterContinental Hong Kong
Part 10: Hong Kong
Part 11: HKG-BKK-MUC on Thai
Part 12: MUC-ZRH-JFK on Swiss
Part 13: JFK-TPA on Delta
We made the huge mistake of walking from the Grand Stanford to the InterContinental. While it’s only about a 15 minute walk, that’s a long time in the sweltering Hong Kong heat. As we arrived at check-in we were out of breath and sweating, and the check-in agent offered us tissues…. hah! The lobby was modest enough (as opposed to stuff, which I like), although the lofty restaurant and amazing view of the harbor was spectacular!
InterContinental Hong Kong
Entrance to InterContinental Hong Kong
We were escorted up to our room, which was room 1416. I requested a high floor junior suite ending in -16 prior to our arrival, given that they boast the most breathtaking harbor views (as you’ll see shortly). All our benefits were explained to us by the agent, from complimentary drinks in the minibar to club access to free internet due to being a club guest. The process took about 15 minutes, at which point we started admiring the truly spectacular view.
As you can see in the picture below, our room is right in the “bend” of the hotel, so you really have the most panoramic view of the harbor and skyline.
Entrance to room 1416
The room wasn’t all that huge, although it was nicely appointed and well designed. It’s all about the view, though. What can really be said about the view? The InterContinental is typically twice as much as the InterContinental Grand Stanford, so I was wondering whether it would really be worth it before my stay. The answer is a clear YES, assuming you have a harbor view room. You really can sightsee from your room at this hotel.
The minibar was well stocked, and there was a separate drawer with wine, some minis, and Patron.
The welcome gift was fruit, water, and an absolutely delicious box of chocolates. Truly some of the best chocolates I’ve ever consumed (of course they stayed close till I got back home). In the welcome letter there was an offer for a free 15 minutes massage in the Spa weekdays between 5PM and 7PM for being a Royal Ambassador. Ah, now there’s an offer I’d like to see from more hotels!
The bathroom was huge, with a nice sized shower, tub, and separate toilet.
Shower and tub
Once we were settled in I made an appointment for a 15 minute massage, and got an appointment for 6:30PM. The massage was incredible. This really is an offer more hotels should adopt. The economy sucks, and spas are the first to get hit hard. What better way to generate business than to offer “teasers” to their top tier elites? I was almost tempted to book another massage, and if I’m almost tempted, there have gotta be a dozen people that give in. I took a brief look at the spa menu, and was surprised by how reasonable the rates were, given how pricey of a hotel this is.
I just couldn’t get over how awesome the views from the room are. You really can sightsee from your room. I could just sit on the couch all day looking outside. It really is *that* amazing. I almost couldn’t sleep, because I just didn’t want to close the blinds.
View from the room at night
View from the room at night
We also had access to the Club InterContinental throughout our stay, which is located just above the lobby level. This was easily the best Club InterContinental I’ve visited, and in my book beats Paris and Sydney. The staff was truly phenomenal. After one visit they remembered our names and preferred drinks. During the day the lounge really felt overstaffed, especially if we were the only ones, while they had about five or six people working there.
Our first visit was during the day, and I ordered a Diet Coke. Check out the presentation. They also had strawberries with whipped cream and powdered sugar, as well as cookies available even during non-meal/snack times.
The evening cocktails, which ran from 6PM-8PM, easily had the most extensive selection of snacks and drinks I’ve seen at any hotel. The view during this time is just beyond amazing, with the skyline of Victoria Harbor as well as the bustling lobby visible below.
Again, the selection in the evening was amazing. They had a huge variety of stuff available, from cold stuff like cheese, meat, and veggies, to hot stuff like spring rolls, satay, and lamb.
The breakfast selection was also top notch. In addition to a cooked-to-order menu, there was a huge buffet with anything you could possibly want.
Some hotels have “afternoon tea,” which typically is nothing more than that…. tea! The IC HK, however, has all the afternoon tea snacks you could possibly want — scones, clotted cream, a variety of cakes, cookies, breads, etc. Simply top notch.
I don’t remember the last time I went swimming, despite living in Florida. The view from the pool and hot tub at the InterContinental were too much to give up, though. The hot tub is “infinity pool” style, with a glass barrier and about 50 feet being all separating you from the Avenue of Stars and Victoria Harbor. I could literally just sit there for hours admiring the amazing view.
The pool service is also top notch, with the staff giving everyone cold towels, fans, and spray bottles.
Pool at the InterContinental Hong Kong
Talk about a killer view!
I do have one major complaint about the hotel, which bothers me as a tourist — I didn’t want to leave the damn hotel! I felt like I could do all the sightseeing I wanted to from the hotel, given the outrageously ridiculous views.
What else can I say? I think I’ve found a new home in Hong Kong. Screw the Peninsula, the Conrad (although it’s a close second in my book), the JW Marriott, and any other top hotel. As far as I’m concerned the InterContinental is number one. The views are the best in Hong Kong (simply indisputable), the service is fantastic, the amenities are great, the club is top notch, and the rooms are perfect.
What more could we possibly ask for in a hotel?
Oh, and one last thing I should note. My hero, Richard Quest, was staying here the same time we were. Unfortunately our stays only overlapped by a night, and I only found out that he was staying there a couple of hours before he checked out. The way I find out is kind of funny. On his Facebook fan page, they had posted pictures of the Hong Kong filming. I couldn’t help but notice a striking similarity between the view from where I was having breakfast to the view from where he was filming.
So then I had a new quest. We were trying to figure out where they were filming from. The obvious answer seemed to be near the pool based on the view, but we went up there and couldn’t find the same railing. We searched for about 45 minutes, but still didn’t find anything. Later when we went sightseeing and were on the Avenue of Stars we saw a big balcony on a higher floor of the hotel, which seemed to be our answer. Ahhh….
Anyway, check out this month’s CNN Business Traveller, which was partly filmed from the hotel. And you were wondering why the title of my trip report was “Quest to Istanbul and Hong Kong.” 😉