Harbour Plaza Hotels and Resorts has three brands – the five-star Harbour Grand, the four-star Harbour Plaza and the three-star Rambler Oasis Hotels.
The new Harbour Grand Hong Kong opened in June 2009 and is located on Hong Kong Island. The Harbour Plaza Hong Kong, by Hung Hom MTR station, is to be rebranded as the Harbour Grand Kowloon in January 2010.
What’s it like?
The hotel makes its ambitions very clear with its soaring lobby, which features three giant Swarovski crystal chandeliers and a waterfall illuminated in golden light. A harpist plays here in the evening from the landing of a sweeping double staircase.
Where is it?
In North Point, two minutes’ walk from Fortress Hill MTR station. Every half an hour the hotel runs shuttle buses eastward to Quarry Bay and westward into Central. The area isn’t well known to many visitors in Hong Kong, but already has the offices of the Association of International Accountants (AIA) and Manulife. It has good connections via the MTR.
The 828 rooms, which include 202 Harbour Club rooms on floors 33-40 and 86 suites, all have harbour views, and from the upper floors these are impressive. There was a giant sepia print of a harbour scene over my bed, adding to the spectacle. An entry-level Superior Harbour View room is 31 sqm and has views of the eastern side of the harbour. There are tea and coffee-making facilities, 24-hour room service, flatscreen TVs, dual-line phones including a cordless handset, fast wired and wireless internet access (HK$130/£10 for 24 hours), a DVD player, iPod connection, free water, bathrobes, slippers and a laptop safe. The bathroom had a good rainshower and L’Occitane toiletries. Guests in Harbour Club rooms have access to the 41st-floor Harbour Club executive lounge at the top of the tower, which has good views through floor-to-ceiling windows and offers breakfast, afternoon drinks, evening cocktails and a private concierge.
Restaurants and bars
Harbour Grand café on the third floor has an excellent buffet breakfast, as well as an all-day self-service food selection. Kwan Cheuk Heen Chinese restaurant, on the fifth level, has views over a private garden and the harbour. Nagomi, a Japanese restaurant on the ground floor, was not open when I was there, but is a lovely intimate place with only 17 seats, while the lobby lounge, tucked away in the far right-hand corner, also allows you to eat in a discreet setting. In addition, it has an alfresco dining area but this can be a little noisy as it is next to the overpass.
Most spectacular is the oyster bar and restaurant, Le 188, on the 41st floor, which has incredible views of the harbour. It has an outdoor seating area where people can smoke and there’s a good selection of cigars. For private functions there is a roof terrace, and from here you can see a huge fibre-optic screen on top of the hotel that can be used for corporate messages – visible right across the harbour in Kowloon.
Business and meeting facilities
There is a small business centre in the far right of the lobby with computers, printers and fax machines. The hotel has 1,178 sqm of meeting and banquet space, and the Grand ballroom is able to seat 540 for a dinner under a seven-metre high ceiling with waterside views at one end. The technology is impressive, with luminous lighting creating some 250 colour schemes, and more giant Swarovski chandeliers provide a centrepiece to the room.
The hotel has a 27-metre heated outdoor pool (closed for maintenance from December 28 to January 19, 2010). There is also a spa bath and children’s pool on the third floor, although these are overlooked by the restaurant, and a large fitness centre.
An excellent property, and it’s good news that Hong Kong Island now has a five-star hotel away from the usual Admiralty and Central areas.
- How many rooms? There are 828 rooms, including 86 suites and 202 Harbour Club rooms.
- Room highlights The rooms are spacious and modern with attractive art and good technology, but it’s the views that are most impressive.
- Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in February started from HK$1,188 (£92) for a Superior Harbour View room.
- Contact Harbour Grand Hong Kong, MTR Fortress Hill Station, Exit A, 23 Oil Street, North Point; tel +852 2121 2688; harbour-grand.com