Hotel Review: The Conrad Hong Kong

It’s a 35 minute drive from Hong Kong International Airport to the Conrad Hong Kong at 7 in the morning. Taxi fare from Hong Kong Intl to the Conrad costs between 350-400 HKD (~$44). Since there were four of us and we weren’t carrying too much cash, we took the hotel car for 880 HKD (~$110). I think it was very reasonable because we could charge it to the room and didn’t have to take two taxis. If it were just me and my carry on, I would’ve taken the Airport Express train which costs 100 HKD (~$13)

Introduction: Christmas in Hong Kong, and New Year in New Zealand
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Cathay Pacific Business Class (Reverse Herringbone) SFO-HKG
The Conrad Hong Kong – Harbor View Twin Room
The Intercontinental Hong Kong – Harbor View Room
The Sights and Sounds of Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge HKG Airport
Singapore Airlines Business Class HKG-SIN-AKL
The Rees Queenstown Luxury Hotel Apartments
Great Drives near/around Queenstown (Glenorchy, Milford Sound, Wanaka)
The Hilton Auckland
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Emperor Lounge @ Auckland Airport (via Priority Pass)
The Park Hyatt Sydney – Opera View Deluxe King Room
Virgin Australia Business Class SYD-LAX

The Conrad Hong Kong is located on Hong Kong Island right next to the Shangri-La and right across from the British Consulate. The buildings are one of the taller white structures and are easily recognized from both sides.

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It was around 8:30 am when we pulled up to the Conrad. As soon as we exited the vehicle, we were immediately helped with our bags and ushered into the lobby. Though the interior of the hotel is grand, it does feel a bit past its prime in terms of decor and ambiance. Nevertheless the decor gives the hotel an old world elegance or charm. And it was well decorated for the holiday season with red flowers and of course a christmas tree (not pictured). Everything was as I remembered it on my last visit to the hotel back in 2014.

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Check In: I didn’t expect the hotel to allow us to check in that early especially on Christmas Eve, but with a few clicks on the computer the receptionist had our key cards out. She explained that as Hilton Diamond member (from a recent status match), we had been upgraded to Harbor View Rooms, and would have full access to the Executive Lounge all day. We decided not to press for a suite since checking in that early into both rooms was a huge win. Furthermore, I was famished from having not eaten much in the last 16 hours so I looked forward to getting some breakfast after a quick shower.

The Harborview Room: 

We were assigned a Harbor Twin Room (Room 5707), which was spacious, well toned, and clean. It featured two comfortable twin beds with the signature Conrad teddy bears sitting on them. There were no views to be had at this time of day because the city was experiencing an extraordinary amount of fog. And so we initially saw nothing, not even the building in front of the hotel. This was a bit disappointing for me because I was expecting my sister to be wowed by the view outside as soon as we walked into the room.

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There was a desk overlooking the window, and featured a 120V outlet in a pull out panel next to the clock, which I very much appreciated.  And then there was a decently sized Samsung LCD tv sitting in the center, which featured various British tv channels and some local ones.

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The TV featured a good number of ports for hooking up your own devices.

Right by the entrance to the room was the luxurious bathroom, which featured marble floors, double vanities, a soaking tub, and a separate stand in shower. The water pressure and temperature in the shower were very good and there were more than enough towels to go around for the two of us.

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Luxurious marble bathroom at the Conrad.

There were also two complimentary bottles of water and a coffee maker sitting on the cubby on top of the mini bar. There were also some overpriced snacks there as usual.

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I was really impressed by the space the room offered in a city like Hong Kong where area is at a premium even if it was higher up. And later that day we finally got some of those magnificent views that Hong Kong is famous for. It was really fun just watching the ships sail by through Victoria Harbor.

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The View from the Twin Harbor Room at the Conrad Hong Kong

In case you are wondering, the closer building is the International Finance Center (IFC), which is featured in the Dark Knight with Batman jumping off. The other building is the International Commerce Center (located in Kowloon), which is home to the world’s highest hotel: the Ritz Carlton HKG. I just like to call them the Two Towers smile emoticon.

 

 

And since this was a room on one of the executive floors, the following benefits were given:

In Room Benefits

  • Complimentary local calls
  • Private in-room facsimile with designated line upon request
  • Complimentary Pressing Service (max 4 pieces)
  • Express service for laundry upon request without additional charge
  • Free Wireless Internet (for all HHonor members)

Food & Beverage at the 59th Executive Lounge:

  • Non-alcoholic drinks served from 6:30am-11pm
  • Buffet breakfast from 6:30am-11am
  • Afternoon Tea with our Chef’s sweet temptations from 3-5pm
  • Evening cocktails with canapes from 5pm-7pm

The Breakfast

Breakfast at the Conrad can be had at either the restaurant: Garden Cafe or the lounge for Hilton Diamond and Gold Members. I didn’t know, at the time, that we could’ve had breakfast at the hotel restaurant downstairs, since it wasn’t on the welcome letter, and so we headed up to the 59th floor lounge for breakfast both mornings we were there.

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The hotel restaurant as breakfast is setup. It isn’t the most extensive buffet, but a step up from the Lounge upstairs

As soon as you walk into this lounge, you immediately know that it is a step up from the lounges found in the U.S. I don’t think we missed out on much by having breakfast in the lounge because it featured most of the items we normally eat for breakfast anyway.

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A note about the service: It was prompt, courteous, and very helpful throughout our stay and I was always offered a drink as soon as I sat down. The staff was even able to serve us the food from the buffet when the lounge got so crowded that it was difficult to move around.

The main part of the buffet is located to right of the entryway behind the lounge attendant’s desk, while there is a small outstation with drinks and bread on the left side of the lounge next to the rest of the seating. In the main buffet it featured some cold cut meats, fruits, yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, cereal, toast, hot/cold drinks, and some freshly baked goods from the oven.

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I do wish they would separate the fruits from the meats.

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I loved the fact that they had the croissants and some pastries in the oven where they were kept warm.

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Along with the continental breakfast items were a few hot VEGETARIAN items which included: hash browns, roasted potatoes, vegetable fried noodles, and sauteed mushrooms. So there were plenty of vegetarian items to choose from and it was all of very good quality. Unlike my previous visit though, there were no Indian breakfast items to be seen at the buffet.

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There was a coffee/hot chocolate making machine, which could be self operated or served to you by the waiter. The machine also served hot milk, which I love with my cereal during the winter. RoundtheWorldin8days 014

I had a croissant, a pastry, and orange juice one morning and some really addicting hash browns the next. It was a perfectly nice breakfast with some awesome views to go along with it.

 

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Afternoon Tea/Evening Canapes at the Executive Lounge:

The lounge also serves Afternoon Tea from 3-5pm and Evening Canapes from 5-7pm everyday. The buffet featured a surprisingly good assortment of vegetarian snacks, which included: Vegetable Samosas, Mini-Veggie Pizzas from the oven, and Spring Rolls. It could even substitute for an entire meal depending on how hungry you are. There were some wine,  and other alcoholic drinks on offer along with the usual soft drinks (coke, sprite etc). The sweet temptations part of the buffet had some miniature cheesecakes, and brownies on offer.

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I had the Vegetable Samosas and Green Chutney. The samosas were very good, but the green chutney was ok at best. But the experience was altogether really nice every time I’ve been there on my previous visit and this one. AroundtheWorld2014 255

Location: 

You can’t beat the Conrad Hong Kong in terms of central location because the Admiralty Station is right below the hotel, which provides to most major attractions and sites across the city. The Victoria Peak Tram is actually just a few minutes away, and Hong Kong Park with its many footpaths and wildlife sanctuary is just across the street. Stanley Market is just a 20-30 minute drive away from the Conrad.

Internet Speed/Access: Internet was free for all HHonors members and was pretty fast at 20 MBPS download/upload. I never had trouble logging in with my last name and room number.

About the Symphony of Lights: I know many people love to watch the show from the hotel room and so I thought I would chime in with my experience. Though you can see ICC, and IFC participate in the symphony, you will only see part of the show here. The Avenue of the Stars on the Kowloon side,  and the Intercontinental Hong Kong remain the top spots for viewing the show.

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Here is a time lapse that my brother took on our first visit to the Conrad Hong Kong back in 2014. Enjoy!

 

Bottom Line: The Conrad Hong Kong is perfectly situated right next to the Admiralty MTR Station, Hong Kong Park, and right over Pacific Place shopping center. Most of the nice restaurants in and around Hong Kong Island are very close to the hotel and the ferry terminal to get to Macau is a few blocks away. The hotel has magnificent views of Victoria Harbor and the Hong Kong skyline from half of its rooms and great views of the peak from the other half. If you are a HHonors Gold Member (which can be had with a credit card) the value provided by the Executive Lounge on the 59th floor is unparalleled. At 32k points and around 150 dollars, it really is the best of both worlds in terms of value and location. I am definitely looking forward to my next visit.

Advice: Given that would I pay $400+ for these rooms? I’m not sure because there are many hotel options in Hong Kong at a lower cash rate. Assuming that the cash rates are equal, and considering how easy it is to get HHonors Gold, this should be your go to hotel for the value it presents.