During my 10 day trip to Hong Kong, I stayed in a crazy four different places. The first place, an Airbnb, was fine and relatively cheap. However, the neighborhood was dead so I decided to move to the center of all the life: Kowloon (and as close to Mongkok as possible). First I stayed two nights at the Royal Plaza Hotel, then received one night complimentary at The Mira, before moving further away to the Pentahotel for my lasts few night. I’ll be posting about all three hotel experiences.
The Royal Plaza Hotel is one of the cheapest five star hotels I’ve ever seen in a metropolis so naturally, I was intrigued when I saw it on TripAdvisor. The rates start at $140 per night, which is a low rate for any hotel in Hong Kong. I ended up paying $155 per night, which was a fantastic deal to me.
I figured it would be an easy walk to the hotel from Mongkok station, which is part Hong Kong’s world famous metro. The problem was that all the signage pointed me one direction while my phone pointed me another. It turned out the metro signs were rotated – sucks I chose to trust those over my phone.
After walking around Mongkok, arguably the craziest and most neighborhood area in Hong Kong, for 45 minutes in 100% humidity with two suitcases, I finally found the mall which was connected to the hotel.
After walking around the mall, I still had no idea where the lobby was. It took another 15 minutes before I made it to the second floor of the hotel. From there I took the elevator down to the first floor and the lobby. An hour after getting off the metro, at 12:30pm, I had arrived!
The lobby was beautiful with a high ceiling and classic decor. However, it was crowded, and there were 15 people in front of me to check in who sort of merged with the line of people waiting to check out.
It ended up taking a good 20 minutes to check in – not quite 5-star service yet.
One thing that drives me crazy is hotels with excessive paperwork. I signed three different papers, received at least six sheets of paper with miscellaneous information that I was supposed to keep and I saw additional piles of paper behind the desk. The employees were nice and courteous, but almost too much so. Personally, I would have preferred if they could cut the formalities and focus on improving efficiency.
Anyhow, soon enough I took my keys and headed to the elevator. I had asked for a good view from my room and was told that I could either have one king bed on a lower floor or two queens on the 13th floor. I chose the latter and only just realized the novelty of having stayed on the 13th floor – that’s a rare floor number in the west.
Leaving the lobby and heading to my room, I liked the look of the elevators and hallways. This aesthetic turned out to be common at all my Hong Kong hotels.
The view when exiting the elevator was stunning!
Upon entering the room, I noticed that there was a lot of wood detailing. Its dark color looked quite sleek with the dark grey finishes.
There were large wardrobes all along the right wall along with a full body mirror. I was thrilled to see there was already an ironing board and iron in the closet – if only that was more common. The closet also contained some slippers, a safe box and some hangers.
To the left of the hallway was the bathroom. It was large and beautifully designed – probably my favorite part of the room.
The sink was huge and stood on a relatively large bathroom counter. Next to that was a rather basic toilet.
There was a standard sized bathtub that doubled as a shower.
All the toiletries were non-branded, but still great given that they provided a very impressive amount of them, and they were restocked every day.
There is an electronic curtain that can be lowered or raised at the push of a button which exposes the bathtub/shower to the rest of the room. It gave an incredible sense of space when raised, making the entire room feel like it was part of the bathroom.
As for the two beds themselves, they were definitely big enough to comfortably sleep four people. The pillows were fluffy and just firm enough for my taste. I had an amazing night’s sleep and didn’t want to get up in the morning. I loved the beds!
There was a large desk across from the beds, although there was only space for one person to work there due to the design. The four complimentary water bottles were appreciated and also restocked daily. Additional bottles could be purchased for a cheap HKD$5.
A refrigerator and tea assortment was located in the desk cupboard.
On the desk was also some hotel information and of course, a Handy.
This was the first time I used such a device and I thought it was brilliant (until I stayed at another Hong Kong hotel with an even better amenity). Essentially, you get to borrow an Android phone with unlimited data and calls to select countries during your stay at the hotel. It ended up being really helpful with finding directions and restaurants, but for some reason I couldn’t set up a personal hotspot from the device, which somewhat limited its practicality.
Finally, my favorite part about the room besides the bathroom was the windowsill. The view truly captured the diversity of Hong Kong, with dirty skyscrapers in the foreground against a backdrop of breathtaking mountains.
I also had breakfast after my first night, but completely forgot to take pictures. There is a reasonable HKD$122 charge per person if you pre-book the day before. The buffet was packed with western and oriental options, as well as a dangerously good pancake machine.
The hotel also has a massage center, judging by this treatment menu from the room.
Lastly, check-out was just as tedious as check-in two days before. It’s a shame they don’t optimize that process a little more, because that can really be the difference between 3- or 5-star service!
While my stay might not have been so 5-star in general, it was certainly 5-starish for this pricepoint. My stay wasn’t as seamless as it could have been when arriving and departing. However, the location is excellent and the room was large, clean and smelled good. I slept incredibly well, loved the bathroom and had a nice view. Breakfast was also nice for the price. Given that I couldn’t even find many 4-star hotels at these prices, I’m deeply impressed by what the Royal Plaza offers.