The number of visitors to Hong Kong is in a growth mode. According to Hong Kong Tourism Board, Overnight arrivals recorded an 11.1 per cent year-on-year increase last year to hit 22,316,073, with average hotel occupancy rate having risen 2 per cent to reach 89 per cent. Accommodation is getting more expensive: average achieved hotel room rate was HK$1,356 (US$175), a 16.4 per cent bump. And judging from these visitors’ per capita spending, which has gone up by 9 per cent to hit HK$7,333 (US$945), there is no shortage of tourists willing to spend on luxury. But for others who look for value, there seems to be a need for quality and affordable options. Luckily, both international and local brands are opening new properties in Hong Kong to welcome travellers on different budgets, and below is a lineup of home-grown players worth checking out.
Butterfly on Victoria
Where it is: Situated in Tin Hau, an eastern district of Hong Kong Island, the hotel is within walking distance to the MTR station, the commercial and retail hub of Causeway Bay and Victoria Park, the city’s largest urban green space.
How it feels: The hotel presents a blend of Western art and contemporary décor. The lobby has an LED wall that changes colour overtime and a wall inscribed with poems written in Western calligraphy.
How many rooms: 132 rooms starting at 16 sqm, some rooms on 17th to 26th floor offer views of the Victoria Harbour.
Room highlights: Free wifi and cabled internet, 40-inch LCD TV with cable and satellite channels, iPod/iPhone dock, a master switch for lights and four British-type sockets with an adapter provided, with extra ones available upon request. Nespresso coffee machines and capsules available in executive rooms. The bathroom provides a full range of amenities such as a hairdryer, toiletries and slippers.
Other facilities: Free wifi and two iMac computers at the lobby.
Other highlights: Express laundry and pressing starts at US$7 and US$13 per item. Printing starts from US$0.4 per page. Currency exchange is also available at the lobby.
Rates: Start from US$103
Where it is: Located in the up-and-coming business hub of Kwun Tong, formerly an industrial area on the east side of Kowloon, across the harbour from Hong Kong Island. As the manufacturing industry has moved across the border, factories have closed and office blocks are taking over; and now there is a hotel as well.
How it feels: Contemporary, chic, sleek and artistic.
How many rooms: 254 rooms starting at 32 sqm.
Room highlights: Herman Miller ergonomic desk chair, in-room recycling bins, complimentary minibar and the eGuest iPad system from which you can order room service, watch TV, check the bill and more.
Other facilities: An outdoor pool, 24-hour gym and reception area located on the top floor, surrounded by a unique Hong Kong harbour-view perspective. Forte restaurant offers Italian and Asian cuisine.
Other highlights: The 13 art pieces dotted around the property, and subtle design touches, that incorporate local materials and tell the story of the area.
Where it is: Conveniently located in the Central District financial hub on Hong Kong Island, the hotel is minutes away from the dining and nightlife hub of Lan Kwai Fong, Airport Express Station and luxury shopping malls.
How it feels: The hotel employs the theme of “lifestyle neighbourhood” to create a home-like atmosphere. The lobby resembles a living room.
How many rooms: 183 rooms starting at 7.4 sqm, some of which offer the view of the Bishop’s House, a Grade 1 historic building.
Room highlights: All rooms have free wifi, a safe under the bed with capacity for a laptop, an LCD TV with 15 international channels and four British-type sockets.
Other facilities: There is free wifi at the lobby, and there two iMac computers, a piano, a work desk, two magazine racks and an entertainment area with board games and card games for guests’ use. Adapters (US$2.6), toothbrush (US$0.1) and slippers (US$0.3) can be purchased from the vending machine.
Other highlights: Each floor has a different theme, decorated with corresponding paintings on the corridor walls.
Rates: Start from US$75
Ovolo 286 QRC
Where it is: The area is called Sheung Wan, which has increasingly become the western extension of Central District, with more and more old blocks bulldozed to make way for flashy new ones.
How it feels: There is only a small reception counter on the ground floor, but once you’re on the second-floor lounge for check-in, you can admire the streamlined and modern décor throughout.
How many rooms: 60 rooms over 20 floors, in 14 sqm and 18 sqm.
Room highlights: Functional, customised furniture; complimentary minibar offering soft drinks, beers, juices and Red Bull; Apple TV and free wifi. An international adaptor is pre-installed to one of the sockets.
Other facilities: A small 24-hour gym; a spacious lounge for all-day refreshments and evening cocktails.
Other highlights: Flexible check-out; a Loot Bag of treats for each guest; five minutes’ walk to the nearest MTR station.
Rates: Starting from US$155
Tai O Heritage Hotel
Where it is: A dramatic contrast to the frenetic activity of urban Hong Kong, this property is in the tranquil Tai O Village on the territory’s largest island, Lantau.
How it feels: This is a heritage property, sensitively restored from a former marine police station.
How many rooms: There are nine in total with four regular guestrooms measuring 24 sqm and five suites between 34.8 sqm and 45 sqm.
Room highlights: Twin double beds and double sofa beds are available in many of the rooms, obviously anticipating the arrival of families with young children. Other handy perks include the two bathrooms in the suites and in all the rooms, HD TVs and DVD players.
Other facilities: The sole dining outlet, Tai O Lookout, lives up to its name of providing panoramic ocean views through wrap-around windows. On the menu are dishes using the famous shrimp paste, produced in the area.
Other highlights: Guests who want to venture out can sign up for a village tour or a sunset cruise.
Rates: An internet rate in mid-August for two nights in a double room with breakfast starts from US$433.
Alex Andersson, Margie T Logarta, Michelle Fong, Reggie Ho