This five star property is in a development by Sun Hung Kai Properties, one of Hong Kong’s leading real estate developers.
It also owns the Four Seasons Hotel at IFC, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, W Hong Kong at Kowloon Station, Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East and Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong Kowloon East at Tseung Kwan O Station amongst others.
This development at North Point next to the ferry pier also contains a shopping mall and a large residential element, as well as a waterfront promenade all of which was in the process of being opened when I stayed in October.
What’s it like?
The entrance is very stylish, with a port cochere with colourful lights hanging from the roof.
The arrival lobby has been created by design studio AFSO to capture the idea of ‘Urban Reflections’. The idea is that “the textured glass fittings refract light like shimmering water ripples”.
It’s certainly attractive, as is the art work around the hotel. On arrival, you take a lift up to the second floor lobby reception which can get very busy with over 600 rooms to deal with. Regulars might avoid this by checking in online before arriving via an email sent to you with your reservation and simply picking up your key at one of the self-service kiosks using either the QR code or reservation number.
The hotel has many contemporary artworks including a sculpture by Peruvian sculptor Aldo Chaparro in the lobby. It looks like wrapping paper scrunched up. The hotel has two towers, and the lobby area has a common work area with lots of plugs and USB charging.
The hotel is new and has used several different designers to ensure it is contemporary. The interior design agency AFSO has been used for the three dining venues and some public areas; Hirsch Bedner Associates for rooms and Rocco Design Architects Ltd as project architect. Note that the reception at present has a temporary wall on one side which will be removed to allow access to and from the soon-to-open shopping centre adjoining the hotel.
Where is it?
In North Point, between the MTR station (Island and Tseung Kwan O line) and the North Point Ferry pier. For first time visitors this might seem a little out of the way, but it is a great place for transport connections to other parts of Hong Kong, and you really feel like you are in Hong Kong in this neighbourhood, with its local restaurants and shops. The hotel also has a free shuttle bus to take you to Quarry Bay or TaiKoo Place in the morning and evenings.
The 671 rooms and suites are in two towers – east and west, and they all have harbour views. The interiors are the work of design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates and have a contemporary décor including an attractive mural of the harbor with a sort of Google pinpoint showing where the hotel is in relation to Victoria Harbour (Victoria is obviously where the hotel gets its abbreviated name from).
The west tower has the restaurants in it and the east tower has the outdoor rooftop swimming pool and 24-hour fitness centre at its top. The rooms are consistent between the two towers, as are the views, but the suites are in the east tower. Note that the number of rooms is being slightly lowered as extra suites are created because of demand. The final room count should be 665.
The rooms are in three main categories: Urban Harbour View (31m2), Premium Harbour View (31m2) and Deluxe Harbour View (36m2). All rooms have a free mini bar (on arrival) stocked with soft drinks – and one beer.The rooms have tea and coffee-making, and also very fast wifi – I know all hotels say this, but after extensive testing I am convinced that this is very fast indeed – uploading large files was very swift.
Most rooms have a desk, but not the Deluxe Harbour View rooms (they do have baths, though, while other rooms have showers). I was impressed that the toiletries in the rooms are large dispensers which are refilled (good for the environment), but there were only two hangers for towels. Sound proofing is fairly good, but you will hear road noise from the Island Eastern Corridor Highway which passes by the hotel.
Club rooms are in the west tower and are on floors 19 upwards and gain access to the Hotel Vic lounge on floor 22. Other benefits include early arrival and late check-out, 20 percent discount at the restaurants as well as on laundry and dry-cleaning, complimentary breakfast, soft drinks throughout the day and evening cocktails from 1800-2000 each night. There is also a boardroom which can be used for two hours – strangely this is the only meeting room in the hotel.
Food and drink
The hotel has three restaurants: The Farmhouse which is an all-day international dining restaurant on the lobby level. Breakfast here was good, with plenty of choice, though strangely the cold items for the buffet are in one location and then the hot are around a corner at the other end of the restaurant. There’s a choice of both western and Asian cuisine, and you can have freshly made noodle soup or omelettes or dim sum. Even here the tables have usb charging points. Close to this across the lobby is the 24-hour Farmhouse Deli for pastries, cakes, coffees and teas.
On the top floor is Cruise. In the entrance corridor you’ll find Canadian artist David Sprigg’s modern 3D installation ‘Epoch’ on display. The views from the restaurant of Victoria Harbour are outstanding. If you dine in the evening they dim the lights so you can watch the evening light display, though really you’d have to be on the Kowloon side to get the full effect. The food here is western, with a choice of tapas and then a good choice of dishes, all accessed using iPad menus.
Business and meetings
The only meeting room is in Club Vic – the hotel’s executive lounge.
The hotel has a 24-hour fitness room on the top floor of the east tower with simply amazing views. One morning I was using the rowing machine as dawn broke and it’s a lasting memory of the hotel.
There is also an outdoor swimming pool (0630-2200) which was busy in the evenings with families but empty in the morning for those wanting to swim.
The gym also has a new virtual reality flying machine by Icaros which “combines fitness and virtual reality to create exciting and effective exercise experiences”. You have to make an appointment to use it, but the people I saw having a go seemed to enjoy it. You can see how it works by following this link Icaros Video.
The changing rooms also have a steam room and sauna.
This is a great addition the Hong Kong’s hotel scene, and very well connected at North Point, not only with the ferry but also two MTR lines (the Island and Tseung Kwan O Lines). Rates are very competitive for such a high standard hotel, and when the neighbouring shopping centre and apartments open, the hotel and surrounding area will become better-known.