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The first step on my around the world itinerary was visiting my family in Israel and after that, I flew to Hong Kong. This was my first time visiting this great Asian city and it took me a long time to decide where to stay. My husband and I had Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt hotel points and free night certificates, as well as Chase Ultimate Rewards points, so the choices were really overwhelming.
My husband has been to Hong Kong several times before and stayed in different areas of the city so he left the choice to me. The decision was also complicated by the ongoing protests at the time. We were trying to figure out where we would be least likely to encounter any disruptions in case there were additional demonstrations during our stay there. Anyone else becomes really indecisive when faced with a lot of great options, or is it just me?
After a lot of back and forth, we decided to spend two nights at the Conrad Hong Kong. I spent $15,000 last year on my Hilton Honors Business Card and earned a free weekend night award which we used for the first night.
We paid cash, around $250, for the second night. I didn’t use my business Hilton card for the paid night. Instead, I used my husband’s Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card because it earns 14X at Hilton hotels.
Our third, and last, night in Hong Kong, we stayed at the Lanson Place Hotel Hong Kong. The hotel is part of Small Luxury Hotels and could be booked with a Hyatt free night award. That hotel was totally unremarkable, and I am not sure the world luxury should be used here at all. But, I’ll leave that story for another time.
Now, let’s talk about the Conrad Hong Kong!
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The Conrad is located on Hong Kong island, in the area called Central, practically across from the beautiful Hong Kong Park. Because the Conrad occupies the top floors of a huge skyscraper, you can’t go wrong with the views there. You’ll either have a view of the famous Victoria Peak or Victoria Harbour on the other side of the building.
A very upscale mall is located on the lower floors of the same building. The whole area has an upscale vibe and there aren’t a lot of affordable eateries in the immediate vicinity. There are a few upscale restaurants at the mall, and the lively Wan Chai area is about 10-15 minutes walk away. The area is also very hilly, so be prepared to give your calves a good workout.
Check-in was quick and smooth. The staff, from the bellman to the front desk, was uniformly warm, polite and quick to help. We were given a decent size room – an upgrade – because my husband has Diamond status with Hilton, thanks to his American Express Hilton Aspire card.
Everyone I interacted with, from bellman that helped me with my bags on the first and the last day, to the reception staff to a manager I chatted up in the elevator were welcoming and always had a smile for me.
I love traveling during the holidays since everything is so beautifully decorated and Conrad didn’t disappoint!
Our room was on the 60th floor and came with lounge access and free breakfast. The best part was an incredible view of Victoria Harbor, looking all the way across to Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon.
The room came with a desk, a feature we both appreciate, that had several outlets and USB charging ports. Outlets are one of the first things I look for. I hate it when hotels make you crawl behind the desk in order to plug your laptop.
There were more outlets and USB ports almost hidden on the side of each bedside table. The light switches were also there and we didn’t see these right away. It took us a while to figure out how to turn off the lights the first night.
The bathroom was beautiful, with all marble and upscale fixtures. There were lots of towel hooks, a feature I look for at each hotel I stay at. There was even a clothesline! I am too cheap to pay for hotel laundry, so I love it when there’s a place to dry laundered clothes or even just a swimsuit.
However, there were no electrical outlets in the bathroom, except the one for the TV. My husband had to unplug the TV to plug in his electric razor. I’ve stayed at many hotels over the years and I’ve never seen a bathroom that didn’t have an electric outlet.
The shower was on the small side, maybe 3’x3′, and the rest of the bathroom was taken up by a huge soaking tub. Personally, I’d prefer a bigger shower. Does anyone really use soaking tubs in hotels?
The fluffy huge bath towels felt very luxurious and there were two bathrobes and slippers.
Something I didn’t expect to find in the hotel bathroom was the portable stair stepper! The Conrad is located in a very hilly neighborhood so just walk around for a little bit and you’ll see that the stepper is the last thing you need in Hong Kong.
I did love the magnifying mirror, as it’s perfect for applying makeup!
The king bed was huge, with a mattress on the firm side and very comfortable pillows. The blackout curtains blocked the light completely, something that’s really important to me. The air conditioner was a bit loud, so I’ll give the sleep quality 4.5 stars.
The minibar was my favorite old-fashioned variety – a little mini fridge with plenty of room to store your own drinks or snacks. There’s also a Nespresso machine and a tea kettle.
A small outdoor pool is heated to 84F year round. There are two stationary outdoors bikes outside by the pool and a well-equipped gym.
Overall the hotel is showing its age – the furniture appears a bit outdated and has a few dings and scratches.
The lounge served breakfast in the morning, afternoon tea between 3 and 5 P.M and evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres between 5 and 7 P.M. The little cookies and other little nibbles served with afternoon tea looked appetizing and there were enough appetizers served during the cocktail hour to make a light dinner. There were Asian and Western dishes.
One morning I went to the lounge to get a cup of coffee while breakfast was still being served, and it was pretty crowded, so I am glad we went to the main restaurant to eat breakfast. At other times the lounge was pretty empty. It was nice to be able to come up for a cup of coffee or a soft drink throughout the day or just for a little break from sightseeing. The best feature is, of course, the view over Victoria Harbor and Kowloon.
Breakfast at the main restaurant was underwhelming. Maybe my expectations were too high because this is a Conrad, one of Hilton’s luxury brands – the other is the Waldorf Astoria. I must say the breakfast at the far cheaper Hilton Berlin was much more impressive.
There was a decent selection of Japanese and Chinese dishes but we weren’t impressed by the Western options or the quality of the food. While I like Asian food, I don’t want it first thing in the morning.
There was the egg station, and a standard selection of breads, cereals, yogurt and fruit. We didn’t leave hungry, but because of the quality of the food and the mediocre selection, I’d give breakfast just four stars. A high end property like a Conrad could definitely do better.
The included breakfast that comes with Hilton Diamond status is one of the reasons I don’t mind paying the annual fee on the Hilton Aspire card. The annual free night plus the Diamond Status benefits that come with the card help offset the fee.
To get to the hotel from the airport I took the Hong Kong Airport Express Train. This is a comfortable, fast and cheap way to get into the city in just 24 minutes! You can buy a ticket at the airport for around $14. That ticket also includes same day use of public transportation.
I knew I wasn’t going to use public transport that day, so I bought my Hong Kong Airport Express ticket on Klook – an Asian equivalent of Groupon – and has a lot of discounted tours, tickets to attractions and discounted transportation tickets and passes.
I paid just $10.40 for a one-way ride to Hong Kong Station. The Conrad is just a short and cheap cab ride away from the station.
You can also buy and use an RFID-enabled Octopus card at the airport. It’s good for all forms of transportation in Hong Kong. There’s a small non-refundable fee to purchase the card and then you can add as much or as little money as you need. I love these all-transport cards because they are so easy to use, just touch it to the card reader on the subway, bus or ferry and go!
We really enjoyed our stay at the Conrad. I loved the service and the location. Our room was really big and the views were spectacular.
There was a subway stop in the basement of the building, so that was super convenient as well. To get to Kowloon island, you can take the subway or the ferry. One of the best values for Hong Kong’s already cheap public transport is the Star Ferry. For about a quarter, you can go between Hong Kong island and Kowloon.
The boat ride is especially picturesque in the evening when all the skyscrapers are lit up. Don’t miss the free evening light show at 8 P.M. It’s best enjoyed from the Kowloon side. Then take the ferry to Hong Island and enjoy more spectacular views along the way.
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