Hotel Icon is, without question, one of the very best hotels I've had the pleasure of staying in, over my past 15 years of business and personal travel globally. I put it right up there with The Hudson in NYC, but actually it's a whole lot better than that: much more spacious, far superior service, carefully appointed and 1,000 times cleaner and more considerate of guests in almost every way...
The focus is wholly on customer service and all staff deliver on this commitment (except in the area of beverage service). All staff were attentive, charming and flawless frankly, but the stand-out individual for us was 'Cody' on concierge. He was friendly, helpful, upbeat, respectful, knowledgeable and just perfectly helpful.
This is a hotel and educational enterprise that sets the bar very high, and shows all of us how it should be done. We loved every moment. Its sophistication is heavenly, as is the discretion and polish. Room service here is the best quality food I've ever experienced in all my years of hotel stays (and 5 star industry experience). You can order the very best from the in-room dining menu and they do not drop the standard at all - I applaud them for this, and have waited 15 years to experience this sort of quality continuity. We also dined at the ground floor restaurant and the design of that space is a knock-out. So hip, yet still welcoming and comfortable. Exquisite food.
Our room and view was to die for - The interior design and appointments are hip and contemporary with a warm and personalised feel. I loved the bathroom so much, I’d like to recreate it at home one day: it was a dream. The King sized bed was soft and lovely and there was plenty of room for the 3 of us (my hub, myself and our daughter). The leather chair by the window was a fave spot for my husband to sit and relax. There was ample room for all our luggage and purchases to be laid out and inspected too.The pool, bar and gym on the 9th floor are divine. The whole place is a sanctuary.
The location is fine – The courtesy mini-bus leaves every 20 mins on the dot and efficiently whizzes you about on a loop to TST station and Harbour City. It’s so easy and pleasant to wait for the return pick up at the end of a day of sight-seeing. Taxi fairs to the Kowloon night markets nearby are very cheap, and we would highly recommend Hotel Icon. We can’t imagine why you’d want to stay anywhere else, unless you specifically wanted to stay on HK Island, of course.
The only big weak spot is beverage service. The rant I'm about to go on here is put forth with good intention. While I recognise that this is a training hotel, they really do need to lift their game in the critical area of bevvie service. So, here I go...
When we had dinner on The (absolutely gorgeous) Green, having just arrived, happy but highly jet-lagged, I was made to feel 'weird' for asking for a glass of wine with my meal, and thereafter they simply forgot all about my wine order. So well after my meal arrived I had to hassle politely for the wine. I wondered if there was something implicitly wrong or taboo about asking for a glass of wine. Their behaviour around the topic of wine was really odd. It eventually arrived, after I'd finished my meal (and I'd waited so long for it that my meal went cold in the meantime), so then I was stuck with a very small quantity of wine (by Australian glass size standards) that I'd paid AUD$11 for, and my daughter and myself just wanted to go to bed. If this sort of slackness occurred in an Australian restaurant we would not have been charged for the insanely late and therefore irrelevant glass of wine. I still feel they should have removed it from our bill. They obviously knew they'd done wrong, as they gave me a feedback form to fill in - after a 9.5 hour flight and about 3 hours commuting either side, with a child, I really did not feel like filling out a feedback form, but when I did, they still had the opportunity to offer me that irrelevant and tiny glass of standard wine gratis, but did not.
When I ordered a glass of red wine with room service the following night, they made the decision to switch my choice to a white wine without consultation, and then when I queried this they informed me that as I had a fish based meal I really should have ordered a white wine. Excuse me? Who is the customer here? How knowledgeable do you assume that I am not? I know my own tastes and needs, especially given that my husband is a fine wine professional. How dare staff decide to switch my drink and then charge me for it? Difficult situation, but I decided to accept it as I was weary from a day of sight-seeing, and did not want to ruin what should otherwise have been a lovely relaxed ‘in room’ meal after a long day out.
Another annoying slow bevvie experience occurred on our last afternoon, prior to leaving for the airport, which caused us a bit of anxiety. We thought the idea was to chill out before heading off to the airport. It took the staff 35 minutes (no kidding!) to make our 3 drinks (for 3 people), yet there was no-one else in the pool side or bar area at all. The beverage service and capacity at Hotel Icon is sub-standard and stands in stark contrast to every other aspect of the hotel staff conduct, which is outstanding in ALL other areas. I began to think that maybe the hotel management and supporting school actually disapprove of alcoholic bev service - Can that be true? So bizarre... In most cases, the biggest profit margins are in bev service, but here it is definitely the lowest priority. I even began to wonder if there was some cultural norm we were breaking by even requesting a drink from the menu - Very 'Twilight Zone'.
That BIG hospitality blunder aside, it is still a great place to stay. Were it not for this inexplicable objection they have to delivering a simple drink order to a stone cold sober adult customer, I would like to say that in all other respects this is the most gorgeous hotel we've ever stayed in. I guess this whole thing illustrates that there's no such thing as a perfect place to stay - Alas.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A hotel unlike any other. Welcome to a different world. Hotel ICON is a unique hotel designed by celebrated architects Terence Conran, Rocco Yim and William Lim. Breathtaking open public spaces, a striking vertical garden by Patrick Blanc, a grand sweeping staircase, innovative guest rooms and three vibrant dining spaces radiate contemporary style. We offer our guests traditional Asian hospitality, with all its courteous and attentive qualities – but in a refreshingly modern, stylish and international environment. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel ICON Hong Kong