WHAT'S IT LIKE? The glass façade of the hotel building gave off stern vibes, a direct contrast to the warm greeting I received from the staff when I arrived. At the time I checked in, the reception, café and Lobby Lounge were undergoing renovation, which was so skilfully handled it caused no inconvenience. The Lobby Lounge has since reopened, a transformed product with a host of special lighting effects.
WHERE IS IT? It’s beside the Hongkong Convention and Exhibition Centre on the Wanchai waterfront and minutes to the Wanchai MTR station and Star Ferry Pier for services to and from Tsim Sha Tsui.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 65 percent of the 860 rooms have a panoramic view of Victoria Harbour, while the rest overlooks a garden and the city.
ROOM FACILITIES: The Superior Room with its harbour view (pictured) – the highlight of my stay – is highly recommended. From my 28th floor aerie, I was occasionally treated to the sight of black-eared kites and helicopters skimming by my window so near that one could almost touch them. Looking below, one is treated to the parade of cruise liners, ferries, speedboats, yacht and junks. The recently installed Marriott Revive Bed with its six fluffy pillows of various sizes, allowed total relaxation, plus the fact that at night, I would dim the lights and enjoy the skyline of Tsim Sha Tsui across the water. Broadband internet connection rates start from US$7.60 for an hour. The fax machine can be used to call up one’s billing status.
RESTAURANTS: Dynasty restaurant serves Cantonese cuisine and delectable dim sum for lunch; The Coffee Shop reopens in mid-October as Café Renaissance offering an all-day buffet; and Scala’s Italian fare exceeded expectations. I still crave for the lobster bisque.
BARS: Drinks and snacks at the Lobby Lounge are served until 1am and live music is performed in the afternoon until evening.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: A private office and two fully equipped conference rooms. Free Wi-Fi in the lower and upper lobbies.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The outdoor heated pool belongs to the adjacent Grand Hyatt, but is open to Renaissance guests. Dynasty Club manages other health facilities.
PRICE: Internet rates start from US$269 for a Superior Room with Garden View.
VERDICT: This winner of the Hotel of the Year Award by Marriott International Lodging in 2006 provides excellent service. A strategic location makes it a superb springboard for work and play.
CONTACT: 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hongkong, tel 852 2802 8888, www.renaissancehotels.com/HKGHV