If the opposite of a last minute traveller is a first minute traveller I must surely be one as from the time I confirm my air tickets normally many months in advance I’m scouring the accommodation options looking for that high value, low dollar deal that delivers the best return on my investment in a hotel. Rare is the reservation that survives from first search to check-in but the Courtyard Hong Kong proved one of those anomalies on a Chinese New Year visit to the territory.
Having stayed at the hotel previously I was familiar with its location sandwiched between Des Voeux Road West with its historic trams that snake their way along and the north side of on Hong Kong Island and Connaught Road West that is a busy multi-lane freeway running parallel to Victoria Harbour.
This hotel’s location is a few miles from the main commercial and tourist hub on the island known as Central but the trams which have been serving Hong Kong since 1904 (Hong Kong Tramways) cost pennies to ride and are a fun way to soak up some local colour. An underground subway, or MTR, station is a few blocks away with the new Sai Ying Pun station coming online mid-2015.
In addition to these public transportation options the Courtyard Hong Kong offers a complimentary courtesy bus service with nine stops amongst the main office towers, convention centers and Airport Express terminals in Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Wan Chai. A full timetable for this bus service is here. I did use the free city shuttle one morning and the first stop was at the IFC building which is a short walk to the Star Ferry terminal. The mini-bus left precisely at the stroke of 8:00 AM which was the advertised departure time and was a reminder how efficient Hong Kong can be. I’d arrived from the airport on the Airport Express but at a time in the early afternoon when the next free shuttle wasn’t scheduled for another 90 minutes and rather than wait simply hopped in a cab costing no more than 30HKD or approx. CAD$5 for the short ride to the hotel.
I would recommend taking one of the little business cards the hotel has available as it has the name and address in both English and Cantonese so may be shown to taxi drivers who may not be fluent in speaking English or are unfamiliar with the hotel.
Room 2008 is a non-smoking Deluxe guest room with king bed that had both a city and harbour view. The location at the end of the hallway helped keep the noise from the corridor down to a bare minimum. The room had a nice large ledge to sit and enjoy the water view though the proximity of the adjacent residential tower had me wondering if others were looking at me looking at the view. The power blinds blocked almost all light so were appreciated by this light sensitive sleeper.
The room was nicely equipped and everything worked well. I appreciated the in-room electrical adapter that was in a neat little box beside the desk phone and used it several times to recharge camera batteries and smart phones overnight when not in use. If there is one thing about the room to nitpick it’s the lack of a strong light on above the bathroom mirror making shaving a little more of a challenge. The bathroom is equipped with a shower only but it is a large shower stall with both hand wand and ceiling mounted rainfall shower head.
It should be noted that the bathroom is separated from the bedroom only by a Plexiglas wall though does features blinds should some privacy be desired or required.
There is one dining choice on-site, MoMo Café, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a MoMo To Go in the lobby for smart coffee & light snacks for consuming on the commute. There are ample dining choices within easy access of the hotel in the hip, new areas of Hollywood, SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong or LFK as it’s often abbreviated for additional coolness.
Beyond the hotel’s location and quality of accommodation the human factor is an intangible the Courtyard Hong Kong does so very well with friendly greetings by the lobby staff upon entering the bright modern lobby, a gracious greeting upon check-in and pleasant farewell upon check-out. Staff encountered in the hallways or other public areas always offered a polite hello and this warm hospitality is appreciated and is sadly often missing in North America hotels.
This stay was easily as good if not in some ways better than my first stay and I would happily return to this value four star that keeps delivering a consistently high quality accommodation experience.