Last week I continued my quest to stay at the worlds most amazing hotels for free with a visit to the W in Hong Kong (for previous escapades see W Seoul, Park Hyatt Shanghai, and Hotel Éclat Taipei). The hotel is located alongside the relatively new Elements shopping mall in Kowloon right above the MTR station.
The ground-level entrance is pretty slick with the pulsating W logo on the wall and lifts which whisk you to the 6th floor foyer. As usual you are greeted by good-looking over-polite staff who are always happy to help (how they train these people to be in a constant good mood I don’t know).
W Marvelous Suite – with floor to ceiling views of Victoria Harbour and a fresh modern interior it doesn’t get much better than this. At first I found the lack of light switches a bit perplexing but it turns out that from the bedside table console you can simply select Day, Night or Dream and the lighting adjusts automatically.
The lounge area is extremely comfortable and has a 52″ LCD HDTV with 5.1 surround sound to keep you entertained if the view gets boring (it doesn’t). The sofa can easily double as a bed which is probably a blasphemous thing to say in a 5 star hotel but it was perfectly comfortable for me!
I named this view “fisherman’s prerogative” for reasons I’ll leave you to work out – not a bad view from the bathroom! It was fascinating to watch the container ships being unloaded and the ferries leaving from central piers to the outlying islands. Next to this was an invigorating “rain shower” with nozzles to clean you from just about every angle.
On the 76th floor was probably the best feature of the hotel - one of the world’s highest rooftop infinity pools. With stunning panoramic views of the city below, and the illusion of the water extending to kiss the horizon, it makes for an extremely impressive view.
A beautiful mosaic wall on one side captures the surreal art-deco aesthetic of the hotel. Amazingly both times I visited there were only a handful of people present, hard to believe considering the hotel was fully booked apparently.
I imagine quite a feat of structural engineering was required to support a 25 meter pool this high up. It would have been cooler without the glass screen but then again I doubt the hotels insurance would stretch to drunk party-goers and suicidal business men diving off the side.
We were lucky with the weather – it had been raining almost non-stop the prior week. I dread to imagine how much the apartments opposite must cost. I don’t know any other city in the world which has been built-up so densely and high.
For those looking for something a bit more steamy there was a hot jacuzzi at one end also. Shame about the obstructed view but you can’t have everything I suppose It must be a bit gruelling for workers in the opposite ICC tower.
Above is my favorite photo of the stay – imagine waking up to this view every day. I sat at the desk looking out over the water to watch the sunset that evening. Simply stunning. It was also fun to play with the automatic blackout curtains!
As the light dimmed everything took on a dramatic blue hue. Here you can see the entrance to the road tunnel which leads to Hong Kong Island. Much of the land in West Kowloon here was reclaimed from the sea.
Silence is beautiful.
“Some day son, this will all be yours” – as if surveying my kingdom below I took stock of the view.
As if by magic an early evening snack appeared from nowhere. The chocolate muffin and brownie were morishly good.
In the evening I paid the pool another visit to see how it looked at night. Pretty cool would be the answer.
With everything bathed in a deep purple you could be forgiven for imagining you’d walked onto the set of a sci-fi flick.
I especially liked the glowing fluorescent tree planters. Not a bad place the end a busy Saturday.
To stay at the W Hong Kong is to feel spoiled and privileged. It’s certainly a special experience for those who can afford it (or freeload off friends). It probably has the edge on the W Seoul and if I was a rich man it would certainly get my seal of approval