When a chain hotel does so exceedingly well, it accomplishes remarkable: it makes me think twice about only focusing on boutique and family-owned smaller hotels when on the road. That a Holiday Inn Express, natch, would actually inspire forgoing custom details, personal touches and the opportunity to make new friends at the communal dining table is a great feat. And the staff at this hotel, from the front desk to the restaurant for breakfast, can take all the credit for it.
It would get boring for me to list every way that they knocked it out of the park, whether the seamless, efficient and warm check-in to the blink-and-they've-done-it luggage recovery after they'd held it for us on our last day. But that everyone in the hotel makes it a passion point to think two steps ahead of you should not be skimped on. It's like you only had to harbor a thought for a heartbeat before they've gotten it done for you. I was in Hong Kong for an ultra-marathon on Lantau island, which meant I had to leave the hotel by 7.15am on Saturday morning. I popped by the restaurant to see if there was anything I could grab for breakfast, and when I said I was getting stuff to go, immediately I was given a takeaway box and a paper cup (with lid) for a hot beverage. I ended up grabbing just some scrambled eggs (average) and muesli (delicious), but the hot spread of local and Western dishes looked pretty good for a Holiday Inn Express.
Being Hong Kong, and in particular, the Central area of Hong Kong island, the rooms are snug, although not claustrophobic, and some ingenuity in bathroom design made it all work and fit together well, with a corner work table and armchair to boot. The WiFi was super-fast, and each room was decorated with a painting by a disabled artist that captured a scene from the hotel's Sheung Wan district. The building itself is the first hotel building in the world to earn a triple platinum award for its environmental consciousness, complete with blackout drapes that closed at 11pm every night to conserve energy. That, and recycling bins in the lobby, completely won me over.
Finally, the hotel's location cannot be any better. Minutes from hipster central Hollywood Road for great modern dining and minutes the other way from Wellington Road and its decades-old family joints for local noshing, you don't have to go far to experience Hong Kong in all its glory and frenetic thrills. The MTR station is also just minutes away, as are the trams and buses on Des Voeux and Queens Central Road. Even if you were getting drunk in Lan Kwai Fong, you're within stumbling distance. If you can't go very far for food (as I couldn't post-race), La Creperie right next door serves excellent authentic Breton crepes and cider.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Let Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong SoHo be your home away from home for your next visit to Hong Kong. Conveniently located at Sheung Wan, we are close to a number of prosperous areas such as SoHo, Lan Kwai Fong, the Central (the financial hub of Hong Kong), IFC Mall, the Hong Kong & Macau Ferry Terminal as well as the famous Hollywood Road (Antiques Street) and Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street). Travel easily to other parts of the city with 5 mins walk to Sheung Wan MTR station or readily available taxis. All guestrooms are equipped with flat screen TVs, comprehensive TV channels, work desk, complimentary Smart Breakfast & free high-speed Internet access with Wi-Fi. Our Superior Room is located on a high floor & features a Victoria Harbour View. Our hotel has harbour view meeting rooms on the 38 floor and all necessary facilities which serve the needs of commercial clients. Last but not the least, kids under 18 can stay free when sharing a room with their parents. Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong SoHo is the first hotel in the world to achieve four platinum or equivalent of Green awards: (1) LEED new construction by United States Green Building Council (2) BEAM Plus by Hong Kong Green Building Council (3) Green Mark by Singapore Building & Construction Authority (4) Three Star Green Building Label, China - China Green Building Council. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express HONG KONG SOHO