BACKGROUND The Park Lane is well known in Hong Kong, having first opened in 1974. In January 2015 it became a Pullman property and underwent an extensive renovation, which at the time of my stay in November 2015 was still continuing, though the majority of the guestrooms had been completed. So far HK$2 billion (US$258 million) has been spent with another HK$3 billion (US$387 million) to come. In fact the hotel is so well known that the branding is unusual for Pullman, being The Park Lane a Pullman Hotel. WHERE IS IT? In Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. The property has two entrances, on Gloucester Road and also Great George Street. It is a two-minute walk from Causeway Bay MTR station (exit/entrance E) and is well signposted. The hotel has a first floor connection into the Style House shopping centre. WHAT’S IT LIKE? The lobby has been renovated and is very stylish, with a 9.5-metre-long video wall behind reception showing modern art by Paul Kolp, a dark mirrored ceiling and backlit columns, some of which have video screens giving information about events or attractions in the hotel. Staff are smartly dressed and check-in counters are staggered around the area. This is a large hotel – 834 rooms, yet doesn’t seem that way, partly because the relatively small lobby rarely seems very busy, and because the elevators seem to work very well. ROOM FACILITIES Among the 834 rooms that stretch from floors 7 to 26 there are a number of different categories. Entry-level classic rooms are 34 sqm, while the newly refurbished deluxe rooms have, according to the website, a large size range from 24 sqm to 34 sqm – although the majority are 34 sqm. My own on the 15th floor must have been to the larger end of that and had a smart and functional design, with an arresting large painting of an orchid over the bed and a large window, with blind, separating out the bathroom and main room. The bathrooms have both a bath and a shower (separate, but in the same wet area). The room has free wifi, lots of power points hidden in small cupboards and by the bed, which also has a USB charging point and HDMI point, allowing you to play your own content over the flatscreen TV. You can also play music from your personal device via Bluetooth over the TV system. All rooms have a 40-inch TV (except Family rooms which get 47 inches), satellite channels, a yoga mat in the wardrobe, tea and coffee making facilities (Nespresso machines in the refurbished rooms), and “floating” beds in the new rooms, meaning you can put your bags out of the way under them. Rooms with “Premium” in the title indicate a view over the park and harbour and are worth the extra cost if staying a few days or wanting a memorable view. Executive rooms are on the 21st and 22nd floors, though these had yet to be renovated during my stay (work will begin in June). The Executive lounge is a quiet place for morning breakfast and evening drinks, with excellent service, but it will be much better after renovation. All rooms have a double maid service including evening turndown. Be aware that contrary to most brands, Pullman has a strange system where there is a card that you have to place on the bed if you do not want your sheets changed. Since I forgot, it meant my sheets were laundered after only one night, despite my protestations (I was in the room working at the time). Since I imagine the majority of guests either don’t read the card or don’t realise, it’s a lot of unnecessary washing, cost to the hotel and cost to the environment. On the eighth and ninth floors there are family rooms with Nintendo Wii machines on request. Smoking rooms are on the 12th, 18th and 24th floors. BARS AND RESTAURANTS These are in the midst of being changed. New is the lobby café Ebb and Flow, which is a fashionable place with modern art on the walls and electronic menus. On the first floor in the shopping arcade is Café One – this will be renovated in the coming months, while on the 27th floor is Riva, which is also awaiting renovation. BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel isn’t a big banqueting facility, though it has a total of 20 meeting rooms most of which are on the 27th and 28th floors. This last floor is accessible only by stairs, which lead up to both indoor meeting rooms and the Sky garden with spectacular views across the park and harbour. The largest meeting room covers 613 sqm, but these areas are also due for renovation. LEISURE FACILITIES The fitness room is small, well equipped but with a low ceiling – forget doing pull ups, you have to duck to get into some of the corners to retrieve equipment. VERDICT A great refresh for an excellently located hotel. Once the Executive floor is completed rooms with access to it will represent good value for the extra spend. FACT FILE
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 834: 176 Classic, 217 Deluxe, 269 Premium Deluxe, 45 Family, 40 Premium Family, 41 Deluxe Executive, 32 Premium Executive, 13 Park Lane suites and one Presidential suite
- HIGHLIGHTS In the renovated rooms the high degree of technology, from free wifi to being able to easily and wirelessly play your own content through the room’s sound system. The park- and harbour-view Premium rooms are outstanding.
- PRICE Internet rates for a Premium Deluxe room in mid-April start from HK$2,369 (US$305) per night.
- CONTACT 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; tel +852 2293 8888; parklane.com.hk