The InterContinental Hong Kong’s web site says it is “recognised as one of the world’s top hotels” which is a fairly bold claim to make. It is located directly on Hong Kong Harbour at Kowloon with easy access to the shopping of Nathan Road and close to a MTR station. This is the detailed review of my experience at the hotel and we will see whether the bold claim about being a top hotel is indeed true.
The InterContinental Hotel is one of the hotels available for booking with Rocketmiles and I chose to book through this channel as they offered me 9,000 British Airways Avios for the stay. The option presented was for a standard room so I reserved one and then called the hotel directly and paid extra to upgrade to a Harbour View Room.
During my call with the hotel, I made an appointment for a spa treatment and enquired about the Tai Chi class. More on these later!
Arrival and Check-In
The taxi fare from Hong Kong International Airport to the InterContinental is less than €30 and I found the traffic to be fine until you hit the city proper. Upon arrival, a hotel porter takes your luggage from the vehicle for you while you go and check-in. The lobby is designed to take full advantage of the view.
Check-in took quite some time for all the formalities to be completed. My agent was efficient, offering me a complimentary daily newspaper and enrolling me in IHG Rewards ostensibly to get free Wi-Fi. I was advised to book directly in future to take advantage of the programme. A voucher for a free welcome drink in the bar is also provided.
The person doing your check-in escorts you to your room providing advice along the way to help you remember where you’re going. You are then given a tour of your room and offered a welcome tea which is delivered swiftly. The tea is perfect to sip while you are drinking in the harbour view.
Hong Kong remained generally grey, foggy and wet throughout my stay but that didn’t dampen my spirits! There is plenty to watch from the window as the harbour is a busy working harbour as anyone who has visited Hong Kong will attest.
Harbour View Room
The hotel room I stayed in looked exactly like the photos on the InterContinental web page. This is always pleasing as nothing is worse than arriving in a hotel room that looks nothing like what you were expecting.
The tap water in Hong Kong is not for drinking so each room is provided with bottled water on each bed side table. When you run out you summon a staff member by pressing the “Butler” button beside the bathroom. One of the InterContinental staff will arrive and see to your needs.
The room features a Bose sound system which connects easily to your personal device and the fresh fruit is replenished daily. Fans of the hotel can purchase the tea and coffee set which is probably “for sale” to prevent guests “accidentally” taking them home.
The safe is located in the cabinet under the television and it was very easy to use. The mini-bar is also in this cabinet and features well known brands at prices bordering on extortionate. The cabinet contains a wide selection of drinks, including whiskey, water and wine. There is no need to call the butler service for glasses as the room has these supplied also. It is a shame I was travelling alone as I could have had some room party!
The fridge in the room is like Aladdin’s Cave as it is crammed with all sorts of drinks. The selection is astonishing and the fussiest person is guaranteed to find something drinkable.
The room features a work desk which is a little poorly placed as the light from the window would reflect on a laptop screen when working. The electric blinds would have to be down in order to avoid this. Beside the desk is the chaise longue which I found to be very comfortable for reading a book and drinking in the view outside.
The bed is very comfortable and perfect for a good nights sleep. It is fairly firm which suits me perfectly. I had no difficulty sleeping.
The air conditioning controls are intuitive and easy to use so you are never left too hot or too cold. Everything about the room was pretty much perfect so there were no complaints at all from me.
The bathroom is clean and nicely fitted out with lots of marble and neutral tiles. There are a couple of mirrors which enhance the sense of space.
The first thing you notice is that there are robes and slippers provided. The slippers are laid out beside your bed as part of the turn down service in the evening which is a nice touch. The inclusion of scales was handy as I was able to check how well I was doing after all my pre-trip running. The bathroom features a lovely large walk-in shower. Water pressure is very decent as well, so showering becomes quite a pleasant experience.
The bath is half sunken into the floor which looks great. It is quite deep which makes it a relaxing place to go and have a swim!
On the counter of the bathroom was a small black unit with two drawers that was somewhat mystifying. Closer inspection revealed it was full of essentials that you may have forgotten to pack such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and so on.
A regular business traveller to the hotel would know he or she was well catered for in the event of a lost luggage incident. The bathroom overall is very nice.
The InterContinental Hong Kong has a spa which is called the I-Spa which is located on the same level as the pool and fitness centre. The spa offers treatments for both women and men and the men’s treatment I chose was Recharge & Refresh. This was a ninety minute treatment, described in the spa menu thus –
“It begins with a back massage using hot stones for deep relaxation. Next is a purifying face treatment with natural organic ingredients to improve skin texture and hydration. This is followed by a head massage performed while the face mask is on.”
Guests are given tea to begin with and are when whisked off to a treatment room. The three elements of my treatment – the hot stones, facial and head massage were perfection. I felt like I was floating on a cloud after my treatment. A spa treatment post flight is a great antidote for the effecting of flying.
The Handy Phone
The InterContinental Hotel provides each guest room with a free smart phone for use during your stay. The hotel web site says,
“With the “handy” smartphone, you’ll receive unlimited local calls and international calls (to and from 8 countries), free 3G internet access, interactive maps and a Hong Kong city guide.”
This was the first time I had seen a hotel offer service like this.
The device allows you to call Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom and USA for free. The greatest benefit is 3G data so you can use data services while exploring the city. This is accomplished by turning the handy into a Wi-Fi hot spot and connecting your own phone to it. This works very well and is a welcome addition to the hotel experience.
Tai Chi Class
The InterContinental Hong Kong offers free Tai Chi classes to hotel guests five times a week at 6:30am. These are conducted by Tai Chi Master William Ng outside by the pool.
When it rains the class is conducted inside near the spa and this was the case for me. I met Master Ng and discovered I was his only student that day which was great.
The Tai Chi class lasts for an hour and you copy your instructor. From time to time you are asked to hold a pose and then Master Ng will correct some elements of your positioning. The Master is very encouraging and positive with a great manner so it is very chilled all round. There is a demonstration in the middle which someone has filmed and you can see this below. If you plan to do Tai Chi at the InterContinental, I suggest skipping the video as it’s really best experienced in person.
Don’t let the early hour dissuade you from taking a Tai Chi Class at the InterContinental. Waking for the 6:30am session on your first full day in Hong Kong forces the body clock to adjust quickly!
I indulged in room service four times during my stay at the InterContinental. There are several menus to choose from which provide much temptation. I ordered the spiciest noodles I could find the first night which were hot enough to raise a sweat though this was cooled by the Macaroons it came with. Dessert was a pear tart which to my surprise featured gold leaf!
Breakfast was light and healthy which I prefer though you can choose a much more substantial meal if you prefer.
InterContinental also do a burger and in an attempt to be somewhat healthy I ordered a smoothie with it. I still felt like the guy who ordered a stack of McDonald’s and then asked for a Diet Coke on the side!
Room service delivery was swift and the food was tasty. Prices were reasonable as I chose inexpensive items. You could go to town and spend up big but I was happy to keep it simple – great food consumed with much happiness!
NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong
The InterContinental Hong Kong has amazing restaurants on site. You can dine at Yan Toh Heen which offers contemporary Asian cuisine and happens to have 2 Michelin stars. Perhaps SPOON by Alain Ducasse is more your thing, featuring French cuisine and 1 Michelin star? You can also dine at The Steak House, Harbourside or as I did, at NOBU.
Nobu Matsuhisa is famous for his NOBU restaurants around the world. I love Japanese food and made a point of visiting there for lunch. I chose the Signature Bento Box and I was not disappointed.
The description on the menu did little to prepare me for the awe inspiring presentation and taste I was about to experience. The Sashimi Salad and Sushi was delivered first.
Glorious is the only word to describe it. The second half of the meal was Spring Chicken Pepper Teriyaki, Black Cod Saikyo Yaki and Rock Shrimp Tempura.
I devoured every morsel and was so taken with the food that I accidentally left the restaurant without settling the bill. The experience clearly had me with my head in the clouds!
My stay at the InterContinental Hong Kong was faultless. The staff were all very friendly and clearly superbly trained with an apparently genuine desire to assist in any way possible. This ranged from check-in to the butler service to the fitness centre to the Concierge. Timeliness of service was exceptional. Little details such as being greeted on arrival with a towel and a bottle of water at the fitness centre really enhanced the experience.
The provision of the Handy phone, the butler service and the genuinely delicious room service meant that it was possible to stay in the hotel and never need to leave. The InterContinental is a short walk to an MTR station and from there you can explore Hong Kong with ease.
Hands down this was my favourite hotel stay ever. Make a point of the InterContinental when you are next in Hong Kong. Thank you for reading and please enter any comments or questions below.