Last month, Kevin and I headed to Asia for 16 fun-filled days. We visited Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok, Phuket, and Singapore and truly had a blast. I’m really excited to start sharing, piecing together, and reliving the trip over the next few days as I post about it on the blog. Our first stop was the W Hong Kong, located at 1 Austin Road West in Kowloon.
After hearing many rave reviews about this property, including its convenient [walking] proximity to Kowloon Station, we decided to give it a go and spend our first night in Hong Kong here. A room at the W Hong Kong usually sells for somewhere in the $380 range, so having the ability to redeem SPG points definitely factored into our decision to stay here. We lucked out and were able to book a room for 12,000 Starpoints literally a day before the property had increased its redemption rate to 20,000 points.
We arrived in Hong Kong a little before 5:00 am. The Airport Express MTR at HKG does not begin service until 5:54 am, so we headed straight to the Cathay Pacific First Class Arrival Lounge to freshen up and grab a bite to eat. Two one-way tickets from HGK Airport to Kowloon station cost us 140.00 HKG (~$18.50), and it was about a 20-minute ride.
Upon arrival at Kowloon Station, getting to the hotel was a breeze. We followed the signs to the W Hong Kong by walking through the upscale Elements Shopping Mall, leading us to the entrance of the hotel. It was so nice to just be able to go straight from the airport to Kowloon Station,and not have to worry about getting a taxi to take us to the hotel, especially after a long flight.
I was really impressed with my first glimpse the hotel; it totally embodied everything you’d expect from the W brand – upscale, trendy, artistic and unique. The lobby had a distinguished artistic flair in its design and decor. Since we obviously arrived at the hotel wayyyy before the standard check-in time, we had to wait about an hour for a room. In the meantime, we used the wait time and free lobby wifi to our advantage by answering emails and making phone calls back home.
Though the W is not exactly walkable to the heart of Kowloon as tourists know it (Tsim Sha Tsui), there is a free shuttle that runs every 30 minutes to the top tourist destinations nearby (Star Ferry Terminal, Avenue of the Stars, Nathan and Canton Roads, etc.). On the plus side, the W is walkable the popular OZONE bar (Ritz Carlton) located on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Centre, the third tallest building in the world. Unfortunately, our unplanned jet-lag naps prevented us from checking it out (next time, for sure).
We were given a room on the 29th floor, and it was absolutely fantastic. The room was bright and modern with great floor-to-ceiling windows. The bathroom featured a European open-floor plan, which I have grown to love in modern hotel design. After about 20 minutes in the room, the jet-lag creeped upon us, and without even knowing it, we slept a solid 7 hours. Whoops.
Once we mustered the energy to get out of bed, we decided to take advantage of the free shuttle service to the Avenue of the Stars and to catch the Symphony of Lights. Do note that there isn’t a return shuttle service available. Once you are dropped off, you have to arrange your own transportation back to the hotel. Don’t fret – our taxi back only cost the equivalence of $5.
We returned back to the hotel at around 10:30 pm, and saw that there was a festive cheese and wine tasting event going on at the lobby bar. Priced at $43 per person, we passed on the tasting and opted to just order a cocktail instead. The ambiance and service of the lobby bar was great and was a perfect way to wind down our first night in Hong Kong. Everything about our stay at the W in Hong Kong was pleasant, and I’d absolutely stay here again in a heart beat!
P.S. I was able to stay at this hotel for free by redeeming points from my Starwood American Express card, which has a 25,000 point sign-up bonus. This card is a staple in my wallet!