WHAT’S IT LIKE? An extensive HK$188 million (US$24 million) refurbishment gave the former Majestic Hotel – re-opened in April as the Novotel Nathan Road Kowloon – more than just a facelift. French hotel group Accor took over the property and with its management expertise and growing presence in Asia, repositioned the property as the region’s newest, most modern four-star property, showcasing the hotel’s unique “design for natural living”.
Jointly created by French and Taiwanese designers, the hotel’s interiors evoke a chic and futuristic feel, a contrast with the Old-World Hongkong neighbourhood just outside of its brightly lit entrance located in the bustling Jordan district.
Upon arrival, guests are relieved of their luggage on the ground floor before proceeding to the reception one level up. For my stay, I was accorded a special check in on the 15th floor, privacy designed only for Executive Floor guests.
WHERE IS IT? The hotel is a mere three-minute walk to the nearest MTR (Jordan), close to shopping and banks and accessible to many places of commerce. A stone’s throw away are the famous Jade Market and Temple Street Night Market.
From the Kowloon Airport Express, a taxi ride is usually between 10 and 15 minutes.
HOW MANY ROOMS? All 389 rooms are categorised into three main types – Standard (pictured), Premier and Superior with room size hovering around 28sqm. The hotel has three suites available for guests needing more space, while Executive Floors are on levels 13 to 15.
ROOM FACILITIES: The adjective “spacious” was not top of mind as I enjoyed the comfort on my room on level 13. However, its simplicity and boutique ambience certainly came through, and you couldn’t help appreciating the designers’ attention to detail. Besides being fascinated by the bedside table that could be turned into a multipurpose table-top (doubling as a coffee table), I was also convinced the king-size bed was larger than average to provide for heftier guests. What I liked, too, was the Artemide lamp shade in the room, which could be tilted to every angle for projection, even upwards towards the ceiling, changing the mood and ambience of the room with every new position.
All rooms also provide high-speed internet connection and a 32-inch Sony Bravia LCD TV with 17 channels, which can be connected to the laptop for large-screen projection.
There is an iPod dock and player, which in addition to providing in-room entertainment, allows guests to set alarm at their convenience. International adaptors are also provided for guests’ use, a most considerate thought.
RESTAURANTS: The Square provides all-day dining for as many as 230 guests, featuring a show kitchen and an extensive à la carte menu, which also boasts fragrant specials straight from the tandoor oven. Seating is also available in the western-preferred long-table style, or in round-table configuration pleasing Asian guests.
BARS: Tasca is perfect for drinks or a tête-à-tête.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: A small meeting room for six persons on the Executive Floor. In the lobby, there are four iMacs which guests can use for free for 15 minutes, after which payment will be required. Wi-Fi is available in public areas.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The small workout room is open 24/7.
PRICE: Internet rates from HK$800 (US$102) nightly in early August.
VERDICT: Thumbs up for the refreshing new look, lively ambience, simple uncluttered style with attention to detail, retaining its functionality for guests. Combined with a great location, this is perfect for business travellers zipping through Hongkong, who are in search for a fuss-free stay. Absolutely value for money.
CONTACT: 348 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hongkong, tel 852 3965 8888, www.novotel.com/asia