WHAT’S IT LIKE? Open since September 2012, the Crowne Plaza is a five-star hotel in a 47-storey tower opposite fellow IHG brand Holiday Inn Express (300 rooms in its own 27-storey tower). The lobby entrance is impressive with a spiral staircase up to the first floor function rooms, though it’s a relatively small lobby for a hotel with so many rooms – proof that it’s aimed at business travellers, who tend not to hang around in lobbies. The interior design by Richards Basmajian emphasises the modern with lots of different – almost clashing – colours, textures and patterns, but it all works and feels corporate without being boring.
The artwork is ever present without being overwhelming, and emphasises the transition of the area from rural fishing village to modern metropolitan area, remembering the old and introducing the new. The hotel lobby ceiling artwork “symbolises the dancing rhythm of livelihood, representing Tseung Kwan O dancing into the future”. Luckily check-in was too quick for me to spend very long working this out or the backdrop of the reception which is “…the concept of night time water motion, while the hanging sculpture symbolises fishing boat ropes and the guest lift lobby has wooden and metal artwork representing fishing posts of the sea”.
The hotel had only been open a few months when I was there, and they were dealing with a few issues with the lifts; they made strange noises like rushing wind when you were in them, and were also quite slow in coming at busy times of the day, but I’m told these will be fixed.
The hotel makes the most of its location away from the centre of Hong Kong, and as well as a garden area on the third floor it has a “Sky Garden” on the 31st floor for smokers or those who want to look out at the view without a pane of glass getting in the way.
Service is very good – from the food and beverage staff to the guy looking after the hotel’s gym at 6.30 in the morning, who would bring headphones for the running machine and explain how the TV system worked, there was a sense of a motivated and knowledgeable staff throughout the hotel.
WHERE IS IT? Practically on top of Tseung Kwan O MTR Station – use Exit C, next to the Popcorn shopping mall. It is a long way east of the normal Kowloon haunts, but the presence of the MTR means you are only seven stops from Causeway Bay, and only three from the businesses across the water in Quarry Bay and Tai Koo Shing.
ROOM FACILITIES The 359 rooms and suites range from 30 sqm for the superior rooms through to club deluxe suites at 90 sqm. Each room has an abstract graphic of nature on the wall behind the bed – mine was of hills reflected in a lake and was quite mesmerising when viewed from the work desk. All rooms have a 40-inch Sharp LED TV, iHome docking station with Bluetooth speaker, alarm clock and radio and an ergonomic chair by Herman Miller – these are very comfortable, useful if you are doing a lot of work in your room. Internet is chargeable at HK$100 (US$13) per day. There are only 11 rooms on each floor, and the smoking floors are 7, 15, 16, 25, 26, 35, 36, 40 and 43. The top five floors are Club Floors (free internet access in these) and have access to the Club Lounge on the 47th top floor, which is shared with the Italian restaurant Cielo.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS There are four: on the 47th floor is Cielo, the Italian restaurant; a Chinese restaurant is located on the second floor, and The Chef’s Table buffet restaurant and the lobby lounge provide all-day dining and snacks.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES There is a business centre on the third floor, and on the first floor there’s a huge 1,030 sqm pillarless ballroom with a 6.75-metre-high ceiling, which can be divided into three and in total accommodates 1,600 people for theatre meetings and 2,000 people for cocktail receptions.
LEISURE FACILITIES There’s a spa on the third floor, and a small gym and 25-metre swimming pool on the fifth, though since I visited in March this was closed – it was due to open at the beginning of April.
VERDICT A great addition to the hong kong hotel scene, and with easy access via the mtr it’s perfect for those with businesses to visit on the east side of hong kong island.
HOW MANY ROOMS?
359, comprising 120 superior rooms (30 sqm), 160 deluxe rooms (30 sqm), 43 club rooms (30 sqm), 28 corner city view rooms (34 sqm), three balcony rooms (55 sqm), three club suites (60 sqm) and two club deluxe suites (90 sqm).
The convenient location with easy access to the MTR for getting around both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and the comfortable rooms, though wifi should be free.
Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in August start from HK$1,200 (US$155) for a superior room.
3 Tong Tak Street, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong; tel +852 3983 0328;