A new brand from Regal Hotels – best known for its award-winning Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong, but now with properties springing up all over China. iClub hotels are select service rather than five star, and there are currently three in Hong Kong – in Wan Chai, Fortress Hill and this Sheung Wan hotel – with another two to open in 2016, in To Kwa Wan and Soho. The properties have a focus on technology and sustainability. The select service part means there is no restaurant, simply a café area with a coffee-making machine.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The entrance is a small lobby with a lift taking you either straight up to your room (if you have a room key) or to the second floor, where the reception and small café area are located. My check-in was quick, but note the hotel now also offers check-in with your mobile phone if you pre-register on the website. The reception has a clever colour scheme where lights gradually change colour, preventing it from being too white, and the staff were friendly.
WHERE IS IT?
On Bonham Strand, about a three-minute walk from Sheung Wan MTR station (take exit A2) on the Island Line, one stop from Central. A taxi from the Airport Express station takes about 10 minutes, traffic permitting.
The rooms are on floors six to 38. There are 248 rooms in several different categories, ranging from the entry-level iSelect and iPlus (twin bedded), both 16 sqm, up to the two- bedroom suite, iResidence (60 sqm).
All rooms have complimentary water replenished daily, a fridge (empty) in which you can store purchases from the local supermarket or the vending machine on the ground floor (there’s also a good wine shop just round the corner), 42-inch Sony flatscreen TV, complimentary high-speed wifi for up to four devices, a safe box (not large enough for a laptop) and an iron and ironing board.
The rooms are low maintenance and clean because of it – tiled floors, floor-to-ceiling frosted glass screening off the bathroom from the room, and good blackout blinds on all windows. About half of the rooms face the harbour, though to be sure of that view you would want to be on the 20th floor or above.
My room was an iSuite, with two almost identically sized rooms, one with a sofa bed, and with a work desk in each. The double bed was a good size, though it was easily the hardest bed I have encountered in 20 years of staying in hotels – not a problem for me, the firmer the mattress the better it is for my back. On request, feather mattress toppers are provided at no extra charge.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
There is a café area in reception with a coffee and tea machine, and in the morning a simple breakfast of pastries, juices and tea and coffee is offered. In some cities this might be a problem but in Hong Kong there’s really no need to worry, with supermarkets and dozens of restaurants within a two-minute walk. You are also only a short walk from the bars, restaurants and nightlife of Lan Kwai Fong and Hollywood Road.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
There is a small business area behind reception with two computers and a compatible printer.
LEISURE FACILITIES There are a couple of fitness machines on the terrace but it was too warm to work out on them while I was there.
Excellent value. A good, clean, well thought out room and a great location. The lack of a bar and restaurant isn’t a problem with Lan Kwai Fong and Hollywood Road so close.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 72 iSelect rooms (16 sqm); 60 iPlus (17 sqm); 42 iBusiness (18 sqm); seven iSelect Premier (15 sqm); 28 iPlus Premier (17 sqm); 14 iBusiness Premier (16 sqm); 18 iSuites (35 sqm); and seven iResidences (60 sqm).
- HIGHLIGHTS Fast and free wifi in public areas and the room, and an excellent price for a great location.
- PRICE Published rates for an iSuite are HK$5,600/US$720, subject to a 10 per cent service charge and government tax. Rooms start at HK$2,000/US$260.
- CONTACT iClub Sheung Wan Hotel138 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan; tel +852 3963 6100;iclub-hotels.com