I’ve been very bad about keeping up with my trip reports from Singapore and Hong Kong last fall. In fact, I haven’t talked at all about anything we did there, just the flights and hotels. To get back into the swing of things, I thought I’d skip ahead to my review of our stay at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Hopefully this will get me motivated again to finish the rest of the trip report, outlined below:
- Hyatt Regency San Francisco
- Singapore Airlines First Class SFO-ICN (SQ 15)
- Singapore Airlines First Class Menu
- Singapore Airlines First Class ICN-SIN (SQ 15)
- Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Historical Sights, Ethnic Neighborhoods, and Raffles Hotel
- Modern Singapore at Marina Bay and Orchard Road
- Birthday at the Night Safari
- Where to Eat in Singapore
- Singapore First Class Departure and The Private Room
- Singapore Airlines First Class SIN-HKG (SQ 866)
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
- Central District Parks and Victoria Peak
- Exploring the Markets of Kowloon and Mong Kok
- Day Trip to Stanley Harbor
- Where to Eat in Hong Kong
- Singapore Airlines Business Class HKG-SFO (SQ 2)
- Concluding Remarks
I cannot emphasize enough how much we enjoyed our stay at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Perhaps this is not surprising given its role as Hyatt’s flagship international property. The property is a large conference hotel adjacent to the Hong Kong Convention Center and with a prime location on the waterfront of Hong Kong Island, looking toward Kowloon. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to get side views of the Hong Kong skyline from the hotel, and the Star Ferry terminal is a very short walk away.
We took a taxi from the airport for 300 HKD, or about $30-40. Many have suggested the airport train as well, which on the return journey allows you to check your bag at the train station so you don’t need to drag it along with you in the passenger car. But on my first trip I felt like trusting someone else to get us there. Taxis in Hong Kong were cheap and plentiful, and we were always able to get one within seconds at our hotel.
Upon arrival, we checked in at the front desk and were handed metal keys (with a coded lock inside) to access our room. The Grand Club is on the 30th floor, and we headed down the hallway to a second, glass elevator with a view of Kowloon as it rises. It goes up another six floors or so where all the Club rooms are located. Despite my Diamond status, I was on an award stay and was only provided a standard Club King room with a view of the pool, albeit from the 33rd floor. In any case, the Grand Club had its own excellent perspective.
(I apologize for so many portrait-style photos. I really don’t know why I did that.)
Our room was not spacious by American standards, and it looked even smaller than some of the pictures I had expected from the hotel’s website (note the absence of a large, curving desk). However, it did not feel especially cramped nor was I planning to spend much time in the room. My impression was that significant thought was put into the design of the room in order to maximize space. The closet, for example, was very small but had his-and-her sides with space in the middle for resting a suitcase. The small dressing table was near the door — out of the way but a good place for a resource used only occasionally.
Although the room was decorated in calm, pale colors, the bathroom was almost as ostentatious as the lobby. Dark marble and gold-toned fixtures were everywhere. It was clear they had worked to fit a shower, separate tub, sink, and toilet into as little space as possible, but it really didn’t feel that small. In fact, had they used lighter colors as in the bedroom, it might even have felt spacious.
At the main entrance to the Club there are several agents willing to help you with anything during your stay. They even have an extensive collection of DVDs you can borrow for free to play on your in-room entertainment system. Some seats and a Nespresso machine are available near the desk. Heading up the grand staircase, you’ll find a large lounge and dining area.
The buffet and drinks were in the center of this space under a large dome. Food was excellent. Although I wouldn’t put it quite on the same level of the Grand Hyatt Singapore’s Club, the differences are minor and personal. The service, decor, and food at Hyatt’s international properties are still in an entirely separate category from what you might be accustomed to in American lounges. You could eat all your meals here, and the pastries each morning were particularly delicious.
The setting was also much nicer than that at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, with high ceilings, fine place settings, and those amazing views of the harbor. Our server remembered us each morning and provided some suggestions on different sights, though I wouldn’t necessarily call him friendly.
A couple times during our stay I headed down to the pool. It was large with plenty of seating area, but the water was a bit cool just like in Singapore. It was plenty warm when I was dry, but it wasn’t really sunny enough to merit a lower temperature. Maybe I just like my water warmer than most. There was also a hot tub nearby, and this one (unlike Singapore’s) was actually warm.
We didn’t really try any of the restaurants during our short stay. We didn’t need to! We also had a short enough stay that we wanted to enjoy the local shops when we had the opportunity. However, we did stop at the Tiffin Lounge twice. Once, on our last night, we enjoyed a few cocktails and a view of the city. The next afternoon we had tea before our ride back to the airport. (Diamond members may also elect to have their breakfast with a waterfront view at The Grand Cafe near the lobby instead of the Grand Club.)
On both occasions the service at Tiffin was excellent. Our cocktails in the evening were well made, and we were seated along the window with a view toward the Central District skyline with plenty of space between the next party and us. When Megan went to bed early, I headed up to get my computer and asked the waiter to have another drink waiting for me. It was delivered as I sat down.
There is an extensive buffet at Tiffin most times of day or night. We would have tried it if not for the Grand Club upstairs. Instead, we only dined here during the afternoon tea service, which is pretty affordable at about $75 per person. This is less than the $100 per person we last paid at The Fairmont in Vancouver, and it came with more and better food. The same hostess was there who took my reservation the previous evening. She recognized me by name and took us directly to our table.
I don’t think the service was nearly as attentive as I’ve had elsewhere — the food was presented all at once, and our tea was refilled only once — but it was still very pleasant and worth the expense. Among the dishes on that tray are oyster shots, fruit tarts, a chocolate mousse cake, creme brulee, cucumber sandwiches, chocolate-covered strawberries, a terrine de foie gras, and the obligatory scones with clotted cream. I am a sucker for clotted cream.
Eventually, it was time to head out. We were very sorry to be leaving Hong Kong as well as the hotel. It was a fabulous stay, and we hope to return to both sometime very soon. In fact, we will be spending another couple nights in Hong Kong during our honeymoon but chose to burn some Hilton points at the Conrad instead. Hyatt has another property across the harbor in the K11 Tower, the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui, but I highly recommend the Grand Hyatt if you have Diamond status. The Grand Club is excellent, and Kowloon is only a short 50-cent ferry ride away. We found it to be an excellent base for our first visit to the city.