News

First Look: Harbour Grand Kowloon's new rooms

1 Sep 2019 by Michael Allen
Harbour Grand Kowloon

Background

Harbour Plaza Hotels and Resorts manages ten hotels in Hong Kong with more than 7,000 guest rooms, suites and serviced suits under three brands: Harbour Grand, Harbour Plaza and Rambler. In August, Hong Kong’s Harbour Grand Kowloon opened 360 new guest rooms in its new “Tower” annex, increasing its total room count to “over 900”.

“As we are planning to start the renovation for our existing rooms in the main building so we don’t have the precise room number to share at the moment,” a hotel spokesperson told me.

You can read our news report about the new rooms here.

The new Tower is connected to the hotel’s main building by a sky bridge, and will bring the number of guest rooms with unobstructed views of Victoria Harbour and the city to over 75% of the hotel’s room inventory.

The Tower has been built atop an existing office building, adding new floors to that building.

Where are they?

To get to the new rooms, you first need to take the lift to the 20th floor.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

From there, you’ll see signs guiding you across a bridge to the new Tower Rooms and Suites.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

This is what the bridge looks like…

Harbour Grand Kowloon

…and from the other angle…

Harbour Grand Kowloon

To the left, on the way to the lift that will take you from the 20th floor up to the floors 23-33 where the new rooms are located, there is a lounge for guests who are checking out, though this is not open yet and was cordoned off when I visited.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

What are they like?

The new rooms are split across 10 floors (23rd to 32nd) and divided into six room types:

  • Tower Cityview Room (26 sqm)
  • Tower Harbourview Room (26 sqm)
  • Tower Superior Cityview Suite (51 sqm)
  • Tower Superior Harbourview Suite (41-47 sqm)
  • Tower Premium Harbourview Suite (56-57 sqm)
  • Tower Premium Cityview Suite (52-58 sqm)

Prices start at HK$1,800+ (US$229+) for a Tower Cityview Room. Guests can add HK$300 (US$38) to upgrade to a Tower Harbourview Room, which has impressive views of Victoria Harbour (more on that later).

The rooms

I first had a look at 26-sqm Tower Harbourview Room. The harbour view is certainly impressive, given the hotel’s location on a choice south-east corner of the Kowloon peninsula facing Hong Kong Island’s Eastern District, as well as Causeway Bay.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The bed has two patterned cushions in addition to the regular pillows. It’s worth noting that its possible to hit a switch and a full-length blind will come down over the window to the bathroom, ensuring privacy for its occupant.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Next to the bed is the telephone, as well as Harbour Grand Kowloon branded writing paper and a pen. A notice to guests says the hotel will only replace towels left on the floor and inside the bathtub. Bed linen will be changed every third day, or upon request.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Next to the bed is a sofa with four cushions of various colours. It looked like a nice place to sit to admire the view.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Here is a look at the in-room switches. The panel in the top left-hand corner has a master switch, as well as switches for the nighlight, ceiling lights, spotlight and foyer. The bottom left-hand panel shows the time and acts as an alarm clock.

There are also two different shapes of USB charging port, as well as one three-pin charging port. The final panel (top middle) will adjust the curtains and blinds.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

There are two bedside lights, one on each side. They look like this…

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Opposite the bed is a television mounted into the wall.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Opposite the bed and sofa is a work desk with a swivel chair. The in-room safe is located on a shelf in the desk, which I thought was an interesting choice, since you often find the hotel safe in the wardrobe. There is a wooden bin underneath the desk.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Here is a closer look at that area. Below the safe, you’ve also got laundry bags, as well as a booklet with information about the hotel. There is a three-pin plug socket, too.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Behind the desk, there are two three-pin sockets (though one is used for the desk lamp), two USB ports of different shapes, as well as a socket for an ethernet cable.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Tea and coffee making facilities are provided. The tea is Twinings English breakfast tea, as well as a Chinese tea. Coffee is instant, which may not be to everyone’s taste, so you’ll probably need to go to the executive lounge or the lobby level Corner Cafe for a “proper” coffee.

There is also a bottle of Evian priced at HK$85 (nearly US$11). You can find complimentary Watson’s bottled water in the bathroom though (see below).

There are also two more three-pin plug sockets here. One is obviously meant for the kettle, but could be used for anything else.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

To the right of the tea and coffee making area, you’ll find the minibar. All items are chargeable. On offer is a Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, California, 2015. For spirits, you can choose from Johnny Walker Red Label, Smirnoff Vodka and Gordon’s gin. For snacks, there are regular flavoured Pringles and Blue Diamond roasted salted almonds.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

If you open the fridge below, you’ll find more drinks, including apple juice, Watson’s tonic water (presumably to go with the Gordon’s gin), Sprite, regular Coca Cola, Tsingtao beer, Heineken and Perrier.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Moving on to the wardrobe, you will find two white bathrobes…

Harbour Grand Kowloon

…as well as two pairs of white slippers and a clothes horse.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The bathroom is not too big, but it’s functional and has everything you would need – unless you like taking a bath, as there is no bathtub.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The shower does have a rainfall shower-head, though.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

While I didn’t have a chance to try it out, the shower looked easy enough to operate.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Amenities are the hotel’s own, rather than being from an outside company. There is conditioning shampoo, body wash and body lotion, as well as a dental kit and other toiletries.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

It’s worth noting that guests in suites can enjoy upgraded in-room toiletries (see below), namely from Elemis: bath and shower gel, hand and body lotion, shampoo and conditioner. These were not available in the non-suite rooms I viewed.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

To the left of the sink and below the toiletries, you find two bottles of complimentary Watson’s water, a box of tissues, a hairdryer, flannels and soap in a clear dish.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

There is also a retractable circular mirror above the switch that controls the lights and the privacy blind.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

And here is a look at the sink. There are two towels hanging below it.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

As mentioned above, it costs HK$300 to upgrade to a Harbourview Room. While it’s difficult to argue against a stunning sea view, I did find that the city views had their own charms. The room I looked at had a view of Whampoa Garden, a housing estate that was completed in 1991. Even as someone who has lived in Hong Kong for over three years, I had never seen this estate from above and enjoyed its Lego-like appearance.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

And if you look out to the left, you do get a sliver of harbour view, as well as a glimpse of both Hong Kong Island’s International Finance Centre and Kowloon’s International Commerce Centre, the second tallest and tallest buildings in Hong Kong, respectively.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

It’s worth showing you also what a twin room looks like. All of the features are basically the same except for the beds, so here is a photo I took of the twin beds.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The hotel’s new suites are divided into two types: Superior and Premium (with either city views or harbour views). I had a look at one of the Superior suites with harbour view.

Here is the living room of the Superior suite I looked at. You will notice that the sofa is an upgraded version from that found in the non-suite rooms. It has back support whereas the one in the non-suite rooms does not.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The sofa faces a television, though with such stunning views behind it, I imagine it would be difficult to keep your eyes on the screen.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

To the left of the television is a work desk, with the same type of swivel chair as can be found in the non-suite rooms. Indeed, the desk appears to be much the same as that found in the non-suite rooms.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

To the right of the TV, you’ll find a table and two chairs. A nice place to sit and enjoy a coffee with your partner, perhaps.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The bedroom is directly behind the living room and has a sliding wooden door.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

There is an additional TV in the bedroom. You’ll also find a similar selection of switches next to the bed that can be found in the non-suite rooms. The top left-hand panel controls the master switch, nightlight, ceiling light, spotlight and foyer light. The bottom left-hand panel shows the time and serves as an alarm clock. There is also a USB socket and a three-pin plug socket.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The other side of the bed has two USB sockets of different shapes, as well as a switch for the nightlight and foyer light. The other panel controls the blinds and curtains. There is also a bedside table with a telephone, as well as Harbour Grand Kowloon branded notepaper and pen.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The tea and coffee making facilities are much the same as in the non-suite rooms. No Nespresso or equivalent machine is provided for making “proper” coffee, which surprised me as some hotels choose to offer these machines as perks in their suites.

There is, however, a sink to the left of the tea and coffee making area. The non-suite rooms do not have sinks.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

The bathroom in this suite also had much the same amenities as in the non-suite rooms, the only exception being the above-mentioned offering of Elemis toiletries. The suite bathroom did feel slightly more spacious though.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

On to the Premium Suite. The furnishings and amenities in this room are similar to the Superior suites, though the Premium suites are bigger (see the top of this article for the exact room sizes).

There are a few differences worth noting, however. Possibly the most notable is that all 50 of these Premium suites have bathtubs and standing showers. If you book the Superior suite, your room will either have a bathtub or a standing shower, so if you want to guarantee that you have a bathtub you should book a Premium Suite.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Another difference is that the Premium suites have a lounge chair.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

You also get a dining table and four chairs, which would be good for in-room dining with your family, colleagues or business associates.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Verdict

Harbour Grand Kowloon’s new guest rooms are well-appointed, as well as being pleasantly designed and furnished. The views from both the harbour view and city view rooms are also enviable.

It would be nice to have bathtubs in more of the rooms, particularly the suites. Also, in-room coffee machines would be appreciated – again, particularly in the suites. It’s not much fun having to go all the way downstairs or call room service to get a decent coffee, especially when you just want to get some work done in your room and sip on a nice coffee to keep you going.

But all in all, the rooms seem to have pretty much everything you need to meet your business travel needs, and I’ll be interested to see the uptake on them, given that the hotel now boasts more than 900 rooms.

kowloon.harbourgrand.com

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