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2 Nov 2021

A Guide to Hong Kong Staycations: Part 2

With travel restrictions still firmly in place in Hong Kong, Chatteris’ own Jonathan Chan sheds light on where you can have a weekend away without straying beyond the bounds of the MTR map.

This post is the second in a two-part series. Click here to check out part 1.

New World Millennium, East Tsim Sha Tsui

Views from the New World Millennium | Image by Jonathan Chan
Views from the New World Millennium | Image by Jonathan Chan

East Tsim Sha Tsui plays host to an overwhelming number of Tsim Sha Tsui’s finest staycation destinations, many of which can be found just left of the Hung Hom bypass. Amongst the likes of the Kowloon Shangri-La and the Intercontinental Grand Stanford (both of which I must review someday) is the elegant yet understated New World Millennium.

My check-in was conducted by a French lady who gave me a complimentary room upgrade to a Harbour View room; suffice to say, c’était magnifique! Thoughtful touches such as a bedside button to control the window blinds left me wondering how I previously ever managed to let in the morning sunshine in any other way. Similarly, why do so many hotels only bring up stainless steel ice buckets when they could bring up the most unnecessarily opulent dragon-themed ice bucket instead?

These little touches are, in my eyes, what truly set the New World Millennium apart from the Gateway and the Hyatt Regency, placing it alongside the Mira as one of my favourite hotels in Hong Kong so far… 9/10

Joni’s Staycation Checklist

  • Bathrobe: Converts you into the softest plush toy of your childhood
  • Bathtub: Lush
  • Rainfall shower: Heavenly
  • Pool: Rooftop – Yes. Closed during my visit – unfortunately, also yes.
  • Breakfast – Will have to return to truly compare and contrast.

The Royal Garden, East Tsim Sha Tsui

Also situated in East Tsim Sha Tsui’s complex of 5-star establishments, the Royal Garden became my home for the Lunar New Year – and what a time to stay! The corridor on each floor overlooks the breathtaking open-air foyer, which was decorated with the most majestic display of red lanterns that put The Peninsula’s outdoor display to shame. Although the room itself was somewhat unspectacular, the price of $360 per night was simply unbeatable for a staycation in what is now one of my favourite areas of Tsim Sha Tsui. 7/10

Joni’s Staycation Checklist

  • Bathrobe: Some fabric softener wouldn’t go amiss
  • Bathtub: A frosted-glass button in lieu of blinds for privacy!
  • Pool: Rooftop – yes. Closed during my visit – once again, also yes.
  • Rainfall shower: No rainfall, just shower
  • Breakfast: Did not opt for their ‘semi-buffet’ option – what does that even mean?

Hyatt Regency, Tsim Sha Tsui

A spacious tub at the Hyatt Regency | Image by Jonathan Chan
A spacious tub at the Hyatt Regency | Image by Jonathan Chan

If you’ve ever gazed across Victoria Harbour towards Kowloon, you may have wondered what is housed in that 64-storey multi-coloured tower illuminated by its iconic Y-shape dominating the Tsim Sha Tsui skyline.

Your answer is the Hyatt Regency, which features spacious guest rooms with a somewhat peculiar wardrobe that can only be described as ‘walk-in’, in the sense that it has doors on either side serving to connect the bathroom and the bedroom. This conveniently allows the wardrobe to be accessed from the bathroom if you have forgotten any given item of clothing, thereby avoiding the awkward interaction of asking your friend to pass you said item via the conventional bathroom door. This is a welcome novelty if I do say so myself. Indeed, even the bathtub-shower configuration can be considered unconventional, with both being separate and yet simultaneously connected, allowing guests to roll from the bathtub directly into the adjacent rainfall shower section without the need to transfer via the main bathroom area – an ingenious solution to that age-old logistical nightmare!

Ramblings aside, the views overlooking Tsim Sha Tsui and Victoria Harbour from the upper-floor rooms are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee; look down and you will be able to check how many sun loungers are available around the outdoor pool, complete with a separate jacuzzi open day and night. Be in the heart of the action as the sunshine pours down upon you, soaking away and losing yourself amidst the bubbles… 8/10

Joni’s Staycation Checklist

  • Bathrobe: Fluffy like a bao
  • Bathtub: Ingenious
  • Rainfall shower: Pluvious
  • Pool: Rooftop haven
  • Breakfast: Substantial – levels of fullness akin to Mr Wolf’s Sunday Roast Dinner buffet

99 Bonham, Sheung Wan

As hidden gems go, there is perhaps none more hidden than 99 Bonham in the eclectic district of Sheung Wan. An uber-modern apart-hotel behind an unassuming entrance offering suites tastefully accented with contemporary artistic fixtures, this Expedia VIP hotel sets new standards for the 4-star market.

Finding space in Sheung Wan is a luxury, but 99 Bonham manages to fit a two-seater sofa, glass dining table, and kitchenette into its rooms, and effectively utilises mirrors in the bathroom to give an even greater illusion of spaciousness (as well as opportunities aplenty for the perfect mirror selfie!). It may be lacking a pool and even a full breakfast service, but I received $200 in vouchers at check-in to use at select eateries in the neighbourhood for breakfast, dinner, or both! 99 Bonham is truly a modern 5-star accommodation option at a 4-star price – how many hotels on HK Island can be described as that? 8/10

Joni’s Staycation Checklist

  • Bathrobe: Mirror-selfie material
  • Bathtub: Replaced by a kitchenette…
  • Rainfall shower: Accessible via the Hall of Mirrors
  • Pool: Rooftop bar – yes. Rooftop pool – why didn’t they add one?
  • Breakfast: Complimentary breakfast served at The Cottage across the road

Keen to indulge in a rainfall shower or two, like Joni? Apply now to become a Chatteris Tutor.

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