BACKGROUND These serviced apartments were established in 1999 as part of The Gateway integrated complex of office towers and shopping arcade, which in turn is part of the enormous Harbour City site. A three-year project has seen 300 of the almost 500 apartments renovated.
WHERE IS IT? Located above the labyrinthine Harbour City shopping mall and commercial complex that stretches from the Kowloon Star Ferry terminal up Canton Road to the Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal. Arriving by taxi the main ground floor entrances are on the waterfront side of the building. The Star Ferry and Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station are both five minutes’ walk away.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? There’s an entrance lobby within the shopping mall on the ground floor which you will likely use most frequently; it’s small and discreet, a few friendly staff manning the door and a desk, a couple of sofas and the lift area. It’s pleasant but low key, giving little indication of the luxury above.
There are 499 apartments split between two towers – Hampton Court and Sutton Court. Seven apartment types range from studio to three-bedroom and penthouse units, in various configurations, some with harbour views and others facing the city. The view across Victoria Harbour towards Hong Kong Island’s IFC building is superb – only the Intercontinental and Marco Polo hotels have comparable panoramas.
All guests at Gateway have full access to the Pacific Club – an exclusive private club situated on its own pier just a few minutes’ walk through Harbour City from the lobby.
ROOM FACILITIES I was in a two-bedroom harbour view apartment with my family (sizes range from 151 sqm to 162 sqm). The entrance corridor, with a small washroom on one side and the kitchen on the other, led into a spacious living area with two sofas facing a massive TV, a mini hi-fi system and a round dinner table in the bay window area. Floor-to-ceiling windows provided a stunning vista.
The en-suite bedrooms are on opposite sides of the living room, both with king-size beds and attractive bathrooms housing Bulgari amenities (only the main bathroom has a separate walk-in shower and bathtub). The décor uses neutral colours – oatmeal sofas and walls, grey laminate floor – to create a blank canvas for guests to decorate in their own style, thus making them feel more at home during long stays.
The fully fitted and stocked kitchen provides Noritake chinaware and Bosch kitchenware, a Nespresso machine, a washer/dryer and, laudably, environmentally friendly washing and cleaning products throughout.
The work tables in both bedrooms are bench-like – not the best for extended work or study, but useable (bedroom + study apartment types have better work desk areas). Wifi speed was excellent, the TV has cable and satellite connections, and a DVD player allows you to make use of the Pacific Club’s movie library.
Staff clean your apartment six days a week (not Sundays), with bed linen changed three times a week; the cleaning staff introduce themselves to you and the same staff member acts as your regular room cleaner for your entire stay, an excellent way to build trust and add to the sense of “home”.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS In-room dining is catered by Gateway Hotel, but the comprehensive F&B options at Pacific Club are a big draw. The Island View buffet restaurant is where breakfast is served – it’s at the end of the Club’s pier so views are panoramic looking west down the harbour; Cantonese cuisine is available at Bauhinia; Pier 6 offers international cuisine; Capricci is a popular Italian restaurant; and there’s the Club Bar and bowling alley, as well as a Poolside Café. An Oyster & Wine Bar and Ramen Bar complete the diverse offerings.
MEETING FACILITIES The Pacific Club offers a handful of mid-sized private meeting/dining rooms for events, and puts on activities such as cooking classes and wine appreciation programmes.
LEISURE FACILITIES The Pacific Club houses a large swimming pool that is well used by club members, and an enormous, modern gym with yoga/pilates rooms – the most extensive facilities I’ve ever seen in a club or hotel setting. In addition, on the rooftop are five tennis courts (two indoors with air-conditioning under an inflatable dome) and a golf driving range.
The club’s extensive spa feels like a gentleman’s club – there are separate male/female areas. Finally, a huge, well-stocked indoor kids’ play area is a major boon for long-term guests with young children.
VERDICT A superb Kowloon-side location and spacious apartments furnished to the highest level of quality make this a very desirable option for long-term visitors, and it’s made all the more attractive by access to the exceptional facilities of the Pacific Club. Among the very best serviced apartment offerings in Hong Kong. Jeremy Tredinnick
PRICE Monthly rates for a two-bedroom apartment in 2016 start from HK$98,500 (US$12,705).
CONTACT Harbour City, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; tel +852 2119 3000; gatewayapartments.com.hk