I last stayed at the Harbour Grand shortly after it opened in 2009. It is one of two Harbour Grand hotels in Hong Kong, the other being the other side of Victoria Harbour – the Harbour Grand Kowloon. Harbour Plaza Hotel Management has 10 hotels under management including Harbour Plaza Hotels (there is a Harbour Plaza North Point nearby) and the three-star Rambler Oasis Hotels. The brand is well known in Asia, but also welcomes many international guests, especially from America, as it is marketed by the Preferred Hotels Group.
Where is it?
In the general area of North Point, though it is closer to the Fortress Hill MTR station rather than North Point station. The hotel has shuttle buses which run regularly eastwards to Quarry Bay and Island East and westward into Central for the connection to the airport shuttle.
What's it like?
Tall and with an imposing lobby with giant Swarovski crystal chandeliers and a waterfall which is illuminated in golden light in the evening along with a harpist playing on the sweeping double staircase at one end of the lobby. The hotel hasn’t changed since opening, but doesn’t look dated. The swathes of marble in the lobby quickly give way to more practical designs in the hotel corridors and rooms, and really it’s the service that stands out, which is friendly and practical.
The 828 rooms, which include 202 Harbour Club rooms on floors 33-40 and 86 suites, all have harbour views, though in the last eight years some of these have become constrained because of the huge amount of construction in the area. Directly across Oil Street (not an attractive name, but this is historical rather than a reference to the current locale) there are apartments being built (and another hotel) so that will interfere with the views from some of the lower floors. Still, from the upper floors the views of Victoria Harbour are still impressive.
Rooms are decorated with minimum fuss. Above my bed was a giant print of skyscrapers from a perspective of the ground looking up, which seemed apposite, since I was on the 38th floor looking down. All rooms have tea and coffee-making facilities, 24-hour room service, flatscreen TVs, dual-line phones including a cordless handset, fast and free wired and wireless internet access (HK$130/US$17 for 24 hours), a DVD player, free water, bathrobes, slippers and a laptop safe. The bathroom had a good rainshower as well as a handheld shower, and my corner suite also had a separate bath. Entry-level Superior Harbour View rooms are 31 sqm and have views of the eastern side of the harbour. Guests in Harbour Club rooms have access to the 41st-floor Harbour Club executive lounge at the top of the tower, which has superb views through floor-to-ceiling windows and offers breakfast, afternoon drinks, evening cocktails (including a good range of complimentary martinis) and a private concierge.
Food and drink
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, is very small with perhaps only 20 seats. The lobby lounge is tucked away in the far right-hand corner of the lobby but opens up to the harbour and also has a terrace area.
Best of all is Le 188 restaurant, on the 41st floor, which has incredible views of the harbour and a new French chef who has revived the menu and offers top class cuisine. Although there are buffet options here at lunchtime and in the evening, it’s worth choosing a la carte. The restaurant also has an outdoor seating area where people can smoke and there’s a good selection of cigars. For private functions and in the early evening (so people can watch the light show on the harbour) there is a roof terrace.
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 providing a centrepiece to the room.
The hotel has a 27-metre heated outdoor pool (though this will be closed for renovation through to March 2018) a spa bath and children’s pool on the third floor, and a decent-sized fitness centre.
An excellent choice for business travellers with a location convenient for getting around yet away from the hustle of other spots on the Island and not well known to tourists with local restaurants and takeaways all around. Great service as well.
Best for A very well connected position only a short MTR ride via the Island line to Causeway Bay and Central.
Room highlights Many rooms have impressive views and are a good size with free wifi.
Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in February start from HK$1,272 (US$163) 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