Sunday, January 24, 2016

TRAVEL | Kowloon Harbourfront Hotel (Hong Kong)

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Our living room for two nights at Kowloon Harbourfront Hotel.

Most budget-friendly hotels in Hong Kong can be, well, small. You get what you pay for after all. But on a trip there last month, we got a very spacious room at the Kowloon Harbourfront Hotel at a steal. We booked what was described as a two-bedroom suite through Expedia and which also already included airfare. But my, when we saw the breakdown, more than 80% of the amount went to the airline! That makes our hotel quite an inexpensive find so to speak.

Kowloon Harbourfront is a hotel although I'd liken it more to a serviced apartment--and a really big one at that. It's a cluster of several buildings, one of which houses the lobby and front desk. They've got the usual facilities: pool, gym, but unfortunately the lone restaurant was closed for renovation. That's the rather inconvenient part because the hotel's location isn't exactly near any commercial establishment. There are no immediately accessible restaurants or convenience stores, so your best bet is the row of vending machines at the hotel's ground floor.

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Kowloon Harbourfront is a cluster of buildings.

However, if you've stocked up on food before returning to the hotel, you'll be just fine because the rooms--which are all two-bedroom suites, by the way--have a fridge, an electric teapot, a microwave, and a conduction stove. Yup, you can pretty much cook here as there's also a kitchen sink. The biggest surprise for me, though, was the washing machine. Yes, a frigging washing machine!

The suite has a living area with windows facing the Victoria Harbour. It isn't exactly the same fantastic view I enjoyed from our room at Hotel Icon a few years back but it's still Victoria Harbour nonetheless. There's a four-seater dining area, a TV in the living area, a common bathroom with bathtub, and two bedrooms: one by the harbor side and a smaller one next to the bathroom. Each room has its own closet and dresser. And there's complimentary WiFi, of course.

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The view that greeted us after opening the door.

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The kitchen. I kid you not about the washing machine. It's the one next to the fridge.

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Dining area.

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Bathroom.

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The larger of the two bedrooms.

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Not bad, eh?

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Our morning view. For whatever it's worth, it's still Victoria Harbour.

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There's a promenade down below. Haven't checked it out up close, though. Let the joggers have it.

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Skyscrapers as viewed from the elevator lobby on our floor. If you'll notice, none of the windows here open up completely.

I think I can safely say that Kowloon Harbourfront is mindful of security. For one, there's a secondary door at the lobby of each tower that you need to open before getting to the elevators, and you'll need your key card to unlock it. Also, none of the windows here open up completely. I guess it's to prevent people from just jumping out of the building.

The hotel also has a shuttle service to and from the Tsim Sha Tsui area. We tried it once and much like opening doors, each guest has to swipe his key card before boarding.

Except maybe for the location and the lack of an operational place to dine, our stay at Kowloon Harbourfront Hotel was a fairly good one. It wasn't spectacularly nice but it wasn't bad at all.

For more info, check out harbour-plaza.com/KowloonHarbourfront.

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