Holiday Inn Golden Mile
During my 7 day mileage run trip I had only booked one hotel and that was the Holiday Inn Golden Mile on Nathan Road in Hong Kong. Initially I had booked a reward night at the Intercontinental Hong Kong at a rate 50.000 points for a night, but as I would only be spending some hours at the hotel, I thought the number of points would be a waste as I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my stay thoroughly.
So I cancelled my booking at the Intercontinental and then went looking for a different hotel of the IHG loyalty program and eventually decided to stay at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile where I booked a reward night for 35.000 points. Ok still a lot of points of spending a short time in a hotel, but better than spending cash on an expensive hotel in the city while the whole point of the trip was to keep everything as cheap as possible.
I had arrived in Hong Kong airport around 6.30 PM and could go straight to immigration as I had no checked luggage to pick up. I didn’t receive a stamp in my new passport but only received a small stamp size form and and immigration form which I needed to keep on me till I left Hong Kong. My first goal was to find an ATM because, as you may have read in one of my previous posts, my Amex got blocked as it was used for fraude!
With enough cash in hand to pay for a taxi I headed over to the information desk to ask where the taxis were and also asked for directions. I was told by a very friendly man to go to the queue for “Urban Taxi” and just show the address of the hotel there. So I did and soon enough I was in a taxi on my way to the hotel.
The ride took longer than planned due to the traffic being hectic in the city! The taxi driver told me that this was always the case and I wouldn’t need to worry as he knew plenty of shortcuts, but no matter which road he tried, everything was congested… In the end the ride lasted for little over an hour, at least it was the most direct route to the hotel instead of taking the Airport Express to Kowloon and then taking the free shuttle (with multiple stops) from there.
People always say that the first impression is the most important and I have to agree on this, especially when it comes to hotels. Hotel staff here was so friendly and humble! Even though I was staying on a reward night, I had received a room upgrade from a standard room to a king deluxe room. When I was asked for my creditcard I explained him what had happened to it and he made no fuss out of it and accepted cash as deposit. All I had to do was sign a form and in the morning I would get my deposit back minus any costs I would make during my stay.
By the time I had unpacked, settled in and taken a well deserved shower, it was already after 9 PM local time and I still had to eat something for dinner. I checked out the different menus from the 4 restaurants at the hotel and decided to go for the Cantonese restaurant. But first I had to find another ATM to get some more cash… The bank was only 2 streets away but every 5 meters I got asked if I wanted either a massage or buy drugs! I just ignored any request and was quickly and safely back at the hotel where I went down to floor -1 for the restaurant.
I politely waited at the reception desk of the restaurant as it was rather busy and after a couple of minutes I was attended by a waiter who told me they were gonna close in 15 minutes! But if I could quickly make a choice on the menu, they would still serve me a meal… Great cause I was starving! First I asked if they had any dimsum, but got told that those were only served for lunch so I settled for rice noodles with egg and prawns, absolutely delicious!
The so called King Deluxe room seemed pretty basic but it had everything I needed for the short night I was there and the following pictures will give you an idea of what the room looked like…
As soon as you entered the room the bathroom was on the right side, a single sink, toilet and bath & shower combo.
The bed was definitely king size and I had plenty of space to sleep (although I didn’t manage to get any, damn you insomnia!)
Next to the bed there was a comfy sofa on which I crashed as soon as I got into the room!
One cool feature of the room was the controller with which you could control the lights and climate control. Most new and modern hotels come with an iPad these days to control these things, but this thing was reliable and worked spot on!
But the coolest feature of this room was the FREE smartphone! Yes you read that right, my room came with a smartphone which was free to use during the time of my stay, it came with unlimited calls and mobile internet!
After an initial setup, you could use it for example to check out things around the neighborhood.
I found the wifi hotspot functionality to be the best feature on the smartphone because during the night the hotel wifi was acting up, so I created a 3G hotspot on the smartphone and then connected my laptop to it and turned on my VPN connection for additional security. To my surprise the wifi hotspot provided me with a faster connection than the hotel wifi!
During check in I had received a voucher for a 100 HKD (Hong Kong Dollar) discount at any of the hotel restaurants, so I handed this over and afterwards had to sign the bill as it would be charged to my room. Besides the meal voucher I also got a coupon for a free drink which could be used at Hari’s Bar on the 1st floor of the hotel. I didn’t really like the bar, too crowded and it seemed to be a pick up bar for working girls… So I went back to my room and decided to raid my minibar!
Around midnight I decided to go to bed as I would have a taxi back to HKG airport at 6am for my next flight to Jakarta. I went to bed a watched a movie but afterwards I just kept staring at the ceiling cause I just couldn’t fall asleep. During the 16+ hour flight over from Dallas to Hong Kong I slept for more than 10 hours and this caused me to have jet lag… Sh*t! Oh well I got out of bed again, looked at what the minibar still had to offer me and settled on the last 2 tiny bottles of Gordon gin and started writing articles for my blog until I received my wake up call at 5.45 AM!
After receiving the unnecessary wake up call I packed my stuff and headed downstairs to check out of the hotel, paperwork was done in no time and when I was asked if they could do anything else for me, I requested a taxi to take me to the airport. Because there was no traffic, the driver got me to HKG in a record time of 19 minutes!
Would I stay here again? Maybe… I was in such a zone and probably didn’t realize that this was the only bed I would see for an entire week and the stay was so short I didn’t get to enjoy my stay. Next time I hope to spend some more time in Hong Kong and see it during the daylight, cause this time I arrived at night and left before sunrise…