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Unread 5 May 19, 03:28 PM  
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Glee Fan
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Mobile Hong Kong - Mini Trip Report February 2019

We travelled to Hong Kong in February 2019 and flew PE with Virgin both ways. It was the longest flight I had ever been on but felt like it went so quickly! I'm not sure if it was because it was the Dreamliner or if I was just shattered (had been very hectic at work in the run up to our trip) but I slept more than I ever have on a flight, and felt really quite refreshed when we got there. The reason for our trip was a treat to celebrate my dh's 50th birthday.



Where we stayed:

Hotel Icon in Tsim Sha Tsui.

As always, I had done lots of research about where to stay and after dithering between the Shangri-La and the Icon, it won in the end! The Icon gets great Tripadvisor reviews and it wasn't overly pricey either. I kept an eye out for special deals and booked directly with the hotel when I was happy with the price. I booked a city view Club Level King room with Tesla transfers to and from the airport included in the price. I tried to keep the Tesla thing a secret from my dh but failed miserably!



About a week before we travelled, I got an e-mail from the hotel asking if I wanted to bid for an upgrade on our room. We discussed it and decided to bid for a harbour view and bigger room. I literally bid the minimum it allowed and about an hour later, I had an e-mail saying I had been successful and to pay the hotel directly when we arrived. Perfect!





Included in Club level is breakfast either a buffet in the Market Place or in the Club lounge. We did the buffet the first two days, then the Club lounge the next two days. Both have a great variety and so much choice but we decided we preferred the lounge as it was a bit more sedate and not as hectic.



Afternoon tea is also included between 3pm and 5pm We got back to the hotel to take advantage of this most days. Again the choice was plentiful.



Also included are cocktails and champagne between 6pm and 8pm along with nibbles. We definitely made the most of this and I think between us we made our way through the menu!



When we arrived there was a member of the Concierge staff waiting at the front door who whisked us up to the 28th floor for a private check in, we were offered cold drinks, hot drinks the service couldn't have been more attentive. I kind of felt we were in the wrong place, we are not used to having a fuss made of us like that! She then took us to our room, where our luggage was already waiting for us, and showed us how everything worked. Amazing view and they had put balloons and treats in there as I had mentioned on the booking it was my dh's birthday.






In the room there is also a Nespresso coffee machine and a fridge/mini-bar but unlike other hotels, everything is included and free there is no charge for anything!





Another plus of this hotel was that there is a shuttle bus that takes you from the hotel down to the harbour near the Peninsula Hotel - it runs every 20 minutes, so location wise, some may say the hotel is a bit out if it, but we preferred to be a bit out of it and it was great for what we wanted. It was about a 10 minute stroll to the nearest MTR station or get the shuttle bus.

We did have a quiet pool afternoon as well, but never made it to the gym





Theres also a lounge called the Timeless Lounge for the day you leave. I think most of the flights are late out, but this was a great place. Comfortable chairs, drinks, snacks and the use of the pool/gym showers and changing room facilities. So we went out for the day, came back and got showered and changed , then had our last evening cocktails then were ready for our Tesla trip back to the airport. A really great idea and none of that hanging around or feeling in limbo while you wait.

I really couldn't fault this hotel at all. It is attached to the HK Polytechnic and a lot of the staff are students, but you would never know. They really couldn't do enough for you, we were made to feel very special indeed. I would highly recommend this hotel and would find it difficult to stay anywhere else in Hong Kong if we were to visit again.



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Unread 5 May 19, 03:54 PM  
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What we did!

Visited the iconic Hotel Peninsula everything everywhere was still decorated from celebrating the Chinese New Year which was really special to see.



Lantern Festival again we were pleased to see this as it is only on at this time of year.







Hong Kong Disneyland we couldn't not visit! My favourite ride was Mystic Manor. It is a really compact park, there were no queues at all, but it absolutely chucked it down. It didn't stop us, but unfortunately rides did close and the parade was cancelled, but we still made the most of it. I booked our tickets in advance online directly with HK Disney.













The MTR is special as well which takes you there.





Aqualuna Harbour Cruise There are lots of different ones to book but I booked the one that coincided with the Symphony of Light display on the buildings in the harbour. We both really enjoyed this. Included in the price was a beer, glass of wine or soft drink and the very traditional junk boat takes you up and down the harbour, then stops for the light display and pipes the music that the lights are in tune with. Again, I booked this online before we went directly with Aqualuna. There are two boats, one with a red sail and one with a white.









Night Markets crazy busy markets, just as you would expect. Everyone trying to sell you their wares! You have to barter but I'm not great with this so I got my dh to do it for me! Still good fun and definitely an experience!



Ngong Ping cables cars and Tian Tan Buddha. Unfortunately the day I had booked this for, the cable cars were suspended due to high winds, but I asked our concierge at the hotel to call and rearrange the booking which she did. I'm not great with heights and was really nervous about this, and had not booked a crystal cabin glass floor! - as I knew I wouldn't be able to cope with that at all! In reality, it was really smooth and I really enjoyed it! When we started out, the weather wasn't great and was dull and wet, but ended up catching the sun and getting red as the weather was so changeable and was bright and sunny a couple of hours later.











Good views of the airport coming back down.



Victoria Peak Tram unfortunately it was super misty on the day we had arranged this for and we didn't really have any other time we could do it, so went anyway, but we missed the spectacular views that we know are there!





Man Mo Temple incredible incense going on here. A bit too much for me as it caught the back of my throat but a lovely place to look at and felt very peaceful.





Happy Valley Races this was a super evening out and so cheap! We took the MTR to the nearest station, then caught a cab to the racecourse but it was nearer than we thought and probably could have walked. We paid extra (1! ) to go up into the stand and have an allocated seat. We didn't win anything but had great fun betting away tiny amounts! - and cheering on the horses. It was a great atmosphere, there were bands playing and other entertainment. The food was really reasonable too.





Shopping at Times Square Mall never seen a mall quite like it with so many escalators!





Trips on the Star Ferry we paid extra (the equivalent of 5p! ) to go onto the upper deck rather than the lower deck. It was $2 for the lower and $2.50 for the upper so 20p and 25p for the crossing. Also, I only realised on our last trip we made that you can move the back of the seat, it flips backwards and forwards, so you can face the way of travel very clever!



Tram ride for the tram, star ferry, MTR you can use the Octopus card. They can also be used in McDonalds, 7/11 and loads of other places too for entry Happy Valley and Victoria Peak too.


Edited at 04:29 PM.
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Unread 5 May 19, 04:17 PM  
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What we ate:

Plenty of cocktails, nibbles and afternoon tea in the Club Lounge at the hotel


















Dim Dim Sum - a dim sum restaurant. I had wanted to go to Tim Ho Wan, but got the timings wrong and it closed quite early on an evening so we went here instead. Great food, but avoid the loo as it is just a whole in the ground! We had to wait for about 20 minutes to get a seat but you get given a menu and a pen and you mark on there what you want while you wait it's in both Chinese and English - when you enter they take it off you and things just start to appear at your table. It cost around 20 for the two of us. Total bargain!













Ozone Bar at the Ritz Carlton - the highest bar in the world apparently! Again it was very misty so we sat inside. I went outside and it felt so damp as you literally are in a cloud! We had the tapas tasting menu here and a couple of cocktails.



















Foodie Tour we had done one of these in Iceland the year before and really enjoyed it so decided to go for one here. There are a couple of different tours, but I went for the more touristy basic one rather than the one that included things like snake soup and chickens feet! We tasted roasted meat, fresh juice, preserved fruits, dim sum, a tart from a local bakery and wonton noodles and broth. They were all places that were frequented by locals and off the beaten track. The tour took about 3 and a half hours and we learned so much about the city, the culture and the people. It was great. We were stuffed afterwards though! No afternoon tea that day!
















All in all we had a super time and would definitely go back, we loved the atmosphere of the place, the people were really friendly and best of all, we didn't have any jet lag going or coming back. If anyone has any questions, please ask as I haven't gone into massive detail but we loved our trip and there are so many more things to see and do that we just didn't get a chance to fit in.





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Unread 5 May 19, 08:13 PM  
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Great trip report. Thank you for sharing. We are staying at the Icon in Oct after Shangri La last time. Nice to read a recent report, it sounds very good.

Happy valley seemed a good evening not something I would have thought of doing!

Shame about the rain but looks like you had a good time anyway. We went in June before and it was very hot, 40+ looking forward to it being a bit cooler.

Was it easy to find the return shuttle to the hotel from the harbourside?

Thank You!

Edited at 08:15 PM.
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Unread 6 May 19, 06:50 PM  
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Looks fantastic, wow so many incredible things you did, and the hotel looks fabulous
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Unread 6 May 19, 09:41 PM  
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I last visited Hong Kong 30 years ago but your report was partly a trip down memory lane for me and enjoyed reading it. Hope to get my DH to agree to go one day but the longer flight puts him off.
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Unread 6 May 19, 10:34 PM  
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What a wonderful trip.
The whole HK experience looks amazing and your hotel upgrade such a fantastic treat. Not sure ho9w much you had to bid but by the looks of it, it was well worth it

Thanks for sharing and a great reminder that HK is such a fantastic place to visit
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Unread 7 May 19, 01:39 PM  
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Originally Posted by Puddle5 View Post
Great trip report. Thank you for sharing. We are staying at the Icon in Oct after Shangri La last time. Nice to read a recent report, it sounds very good.

Happy valley seemed a good evening not something I would have thought of doing!

Shame about the rain but looks like you had a good time anyway. We went in June before and it was very hot, 40+ looking forward to it being a bit cooler.

Was it easy to find the return shuttle to the hotel from the harbourside?

Thank You!
Youll get a little card when you check in with a map of where the stops are and the times they run. Its really easy, they pick up where they drop off.

I also forgot to mention the smart phone that is in the room. You can take it out and about with you and use it as a hot spot for your own phone, so it uses their data and WiFi but you can access your own phone and info. We loved having that when we went out, such a great idea. Its free calls as well so we used that to call the kids a couple of times.
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