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REVIEW – Intercontinental Hong Kong – Revisited

Intercontinental Hong Kong

Intercontinental

  • Location: Singapore
  • Room Type: Harbour View Room
  • Loyalty Program: IHG Rewards Club
  • Status During Stay: Spire Elite
  • Cost: 45,000 IHG Points + 600 HKD to upgrade


Intro


I was not overly impressed with my previous stay at the IC Hong Kong (also booked using points) as I ended up in a room facing towards a building site and away from the harbour. So much of what makes this hotel special is the privileged location on the water’s edge.

I really wanted to experience the spectacular views from my room upon my return. During check-out last time I asked if it would be possible to guarantee an upgrade for my future visit. I was told that as a Spire Elite, I could do this for a discounted rate of 600HKD. I thought that this seemed very reasonable and loved the fact that there would be no messing around during this, our first hotel stay of the new year. We could be safe in the knowledge that we would definitely get a jaw dropping view of one of the great cities of the world.

We took a taxi from the Airport Express Station and arrived at the IC within 15 minutes. The nearest metro station to the hotel is East Tsim Sha Tsui but isn’t directly served from either the Kowloon or Central Airport Express stations, given how cheap taxis are I would always recommend taking one over dealing with line changes underground.

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An impressive, illuminated fountain dominates the entrance of the Intercontinental Hong Kong.

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The view from the lobby is spectacular, we were really looking forward to having this all to ourselves!

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Tasteful festive decorations in the lobby.

The check-in process was friendly and efficient. I was welcomed back as a return guest and was informed that our room was particularly good and had one of the fuller harbour views within this particular category. We were escorted to the room by the person processing our check-in, which made for a pleasant and seamless experience. Most other hotels will hand you over to a different member of staff during check-in.

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Very elegant, neutral tones in the hallways.

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Marble and orchids, I love the Asian luxury aesthetic.

 


Harbour View Room


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The shutter style doors are quite charming and old-school. They evoke a nostalgic feeling of a bygone era, similar to the likes of the Pen in Bangkok and Raffles in Singapore…

Bedroom

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Despite being quite a small room, the view was so amazing that our jaws nearly hit the floor.

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As we arrived later in the evening, turndown was already in place, with bottled water left on the bedside tables, slippers left out on linen cloths by the bed and a laundry bag and breakfast menus left on the bed.

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My one major issue with this hotel and one which I feel is extremely poor for any 5* establishment. Our room did not have a coffee machine. Instant coffee is not acceptable in a luxury hotel. I would never drink it at home and don’t like the idea that I’m actively downgrading a basic aspect of my life, whilst staying at a top calibre establishment.

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Fresh fruit as a welcome amenity. It’s nice to see the IC doing this for guests on points stays.

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The room as viewed from the desk. Not an enormous space by any means.

Bathroom

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The bathrooms at the IC are decidedly old school with tons of marble everywhere. Whilst the shower head doesn’t look particularly modern or large, the pressure is probably enough to peel paint off a car 🙂

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I really like the contrast of the dark green marble with the rest of the room as well as numerous small touches like the illuminated magnifying mirror, leather drawers filled with amenities, lacquered tissue box and fresh flowers.

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If that’s not a man that really does love all the little bathroom details, I don’t know who is.

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Bathroom amenities.

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Bathroom amenities.

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As I mentioned in my previous review, I’m not really a fan of the bathtubs at this hotel. They aren’t particularly big and only face the sinks. It would be way better if they had arranged the bathrooms so that you could enjoy the harbour view whilst having a soak.

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Bathroom phone: for when you just have to order your next meal, whilst dispatching the remnants of the last one.

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After quickly unpacking and freshening up, we spent some time just soaking up the atmospheric harbour views.

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It’s one thing seeing the harbour from the lobby, with all the other guests around and the glass windows twenty feet away form you. It is quite another to be able to relax on a chaise longue, in your dressing gown, sitting right up against the glass, feeling as though you’re actually floating on the water.

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What a view.


Lobby Bar


One great perk that comes with IHG status at the IC Hong Kong, is that each guest is given drinks voucher for use at the lobby bar. We spent the evening hanging out with friends and decided to make use of our vouchers to have a final nightcap before bed. The downside is that we missed most of the live music and the bustling atmosphere. The upside was that we pretty much had the entire place to ourselves!

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The IHG free drinks menu is quite extensive. I like that the hotel has gone out of its way to very clearly define what the free drink benefit entails.

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I asked for a glass of the white Bordeaux, which was served with a selection of olives and almonds. Whilst Kamara went for a mint tea, which was served with almond biscuits.

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The band finishing up their final song.

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All of this to ourselves!

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Earlier in the evening you’d be very hard pressed to find an empty seat here.


Conclusion


The IC isn’t located near to a lot of bars and restaurants, it isn’t conveniently located for public transport and the rooms and common areas are a little dated. If you are in one of the rooms facing the surrounding building sites you’d be forgiven for not understanding what all the fuss was about (that is certainly how I felt when I was allocated one of those rooms in the past).

However, I’m glad I returned and experienced the amazing serenity of the harbour view from my own room.  Night time was amazing for sure, however for me the defining memory was that magical moment as the curtains peeled back in the morning, revealing that beautiful glistening water before me. That is one hell of a way to start the day.

If you are staying here, don’t leave it to chance, pay for the view, it is totally worth it. However, my other comments still hold, if you want something more modern and luxurious go with the Ritz Carlton or The Upper House. If you want to be able to walk straight out of your front door and into the action, stay at the Mandarin. When it comes to getting value for money though, a points redemption with a cash upgrade at the IC is hard to argue with.


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