Review – Our Experience at The W Hong Kong – Fantastic Suite Upgrade

Hong Kong is an incredible city and anyone who enjoys city vacations should definitely make it a point to come here at least once. Not only is Hong Kong absolutely massive–it seemingly goes on forever–but it is home to the best subway system I have ever used, has plenty of delicious restaurants, countless rooftop bars with amazing views, and offers extremely easy access to the city via train from the airport. And if for some reason you find yourself sick of the city you can find beaches and hiking nearby. Plus, there is a reason Hong Kong is currently home to the hottest real estate market in the world.

fullsizeoutput_65bThe iconic “W” welcoming guests to the first floor entrance of The W Hong Kong

Since this was my second time visiting Hong Kong I was somewhat familiar with the possible locations to stay and eventually settled on The W, which is a Starwood member. I wanted to take advantage of my spg platinum status and the convenient hotel location.

Location

The W Hong Kong is located in Kowloon and has direct access to both the orange subway line and the airport express line. The location gives excellent views across Victoria Harbor towards Hong Kong island and is perfect for anyone looking for easy access to both the island and the airport during a quick stay.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 10.06.04 PM.png

The airport is located on the island Chek Lap Kok, which can be seen in the screenshot above. To reach the hotel I would recommend making your way towards the airport express and purchasing a ticket to Kowloon station–group rates offer discounts–and the ride takes approximately 20 minutes.

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The Kowloon station is connected to Elements, a high-end shopping mall, which in turn is also connected to The W. So technically, you could step off the plane and make it to your room without ever having to go outside. Fore more details on the airport express visit the MTR website here. Also located within the Elements shopping mall is the Ritz Carlton, which is home to the highest bar in the world, Ozone. This bar offers amazing views of Hong Kong and is a great spot to watch the city come alive at sunset.

Check-in Process

Our flight arrived in Hong Kong slightly before 8 a.m. and with a relatively short customs line and quick ride on the airport express we found ourselves arriving at the hotel around 9 a.m. The hotel has a main welcome area on the 1st floor that is connected to the Elements mall where you will find a series of three elevators for taking guests up to the main lobby on the 6th floor.

fullsizeoutput_67cWelcome desk for The W Hong Kong located in the lobby on the 6th floor

After stepping off the elevator we found a short wait before being able to check-in. As soon as there was an opening they welcomed us to The W Hong Kong and asked how our flight was before inquiring upon how long we plan to be in Asia–they were surprised to hear we were only staying four days–but they gave us tips to make the most of it! Being a platinum member they told me we could check-in to a regular room with a harbor view or if we were willing to wait they could confirm an upgrade to a Fantastic Suite. Since we weren’t trying to sleep at the moment we decided to wait until 4 pm to check-in to confirm the complimentary upgrade. I also selected the free breakfast at KITCHEN as the platinum arrival gift.

fullsizeoutput_65dSinks with a view in the mens locker room near the Bliss Spa

Since our decision left us without a room for the morning they gave us the option to hold our bags in the meantime and let us use the pool and mens locker room at the Bliss Spa to shower. This was an excellent way to rejuvenate after the long flight and we were able to use the sauna, the hot tub, and the showers to freshen up. They also had toothbrushes, water bottles, cold towels, robes, hair gel, and deodorant available in the locker room. It was the perfect way to knock back the jet lag and get ready for our first day of exploring Hong Kong. And after our afternoon of exploring–complete with some tasty dim sum–we returned to get the keys and they had already placed our bags in the room for us.

The Fantastic Suite

The Fantastic Suites are at the end of the hallway on the corner and open into another hallway with the bathroom to the right and sitting area with L-couch, desk, and a flat screen television straight ahead. The wall was lined with a mirror that helped reflect natural light and made the area feel a little larger.

fullsizeoutput_67aEntrance hallway to the Fantastic Suite of the W Hong Kong

fullsizeoutput_676L-couch with a harbor view in the sitting area of the Fantastic Suite at the W Hong Kong

We were extremely excited to be upgraded and have all kinds of room to stretch out during our stay but unfortunately noticed that the couch wasn’t great for relaxing unless you wanted to lay down on it. While the design is very stylish–a key part of the W brand–there isn’t any support for the back, making it difficult to actually sit and relax while watching tv. Fortunately this wasn’t an issue at all for us since we didn’t even turn on the television during our stay, but more so wanted to note it for anyone who might intend to use it in that fashion. For us we simply used it to hangout and research our activities each day so it ended up working out perfectly fine.

fullsizeoutput_678Television in the sitting area of the Fantastic Suite at the W Hong Kong

The room also had a selection of goodies that could be consumed for a listed price. They included things such as nuts, candy, juice, Grey Goose, and champagne.

fullsizeoutput_674View of the television from the bedroom in the Fantastic Suite at the W Hong Kong

In the bedroom there was also a flat screen television and a set of speakers that could be paired with to play music. Since the hotel also had free Wi-Fi for guests–with premium Wi-Fi for elite members–it worked out well to stay connected.. once we got past the hurdle of being 13 hours ahead of everyone back home. Another great feature was that the Elements shopping mall also had complimentary Wi-Fi so it was possible to go from the hotel and down to the mall to walk around without having to disconnect. The two doorways also featured sliding pocket doors that could be used to close off the bedroom from the living area.

fullsizeoutput_66eKing bed in the bedroom area of the Fantastic Suite at the W Hong Kong

Another one of the awesome features in the room was the blackout curtains and time of day adjusted lighting. Both the bedroom and living area had blackout curtains that could be controlled with the touch of a button and lights could be dimmed in the same fashion.

On to the bathroom, which was pretty awesome–and possibly the best overall feature of the room–which one can enter from either the hallway or the bedroom. It consisted of a large tub with a tv in the wall! Then a rainfall shower head, dual sinks, and a separate toilet area with sliding door. There were also multiple lighting options to help with anyone having to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night

Overall it was great to have the suite to come back to every day, and the space to spread out, but we ultimately spent the majority of our time out exploring the city or at the Wet Deck on the 76th floor.

Wet Deck & Gym

Even though we were in Hong Kong near the end of November it was still just barely warm enough to use the pool. Hong Kong is categorized as a sub tropical climate–meaning they have pool weather most of the year with mild winters–but I wouldn’t recommend going between December-February if you are hoping for pool weather. However, that doesn’t at all mean its a bad time to visit since it’s not monsoon season and you’ll experience mild temperatures perfect for exploring.

fullsizeoutput_68aThe carpet let us know we had arrived to the Wet Deck as we stepped off the elevator

Luckily during our visit we had highs in the mid to low 70s °F (approximately 22°C) so we took advantage of the pool and hot tub on the 76th floor every day of our stay. The views were pretty sweet to take in from the highest outdoor pool deck with hot tub in Hong Kong.

fullsizeoutput_68bHot tub with views of Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong island from the Wet Deck

And since we weren’t there during the summer we basically had the entire pool deck to ourselves with the exception of a few other people. It is really an excellent design with the combination of the views and bringing the relaxation factor right into the city. I could see it being an extremely popular spot during the summer.

fullsizeoutput_666The infinity edge pool was great for swimming laps before relaxing in the hot tub

The actual pool itself was the perfect style for both swimming laps and looking over the edge. The water was a very desirable temperature for someone who would be actively swimming laps or if it had been one of the hotter days like Hong Kong sees in the summer. The Wet Deck also had pool attendants that provided towels upon confirmation of a room number and the corner had a bar area that served snacks and drinks. Overall it was a great place to relax.

In addition to the pool area for laps the hotel also had a gym with cardio equipment and weights. It was a decent size and would certainly keep the majority of people in shape during a stay at the W. For more information on the gym and pool visit their website.

Breakfast Spread at KITCHEN

For my platinum benefit I chose the complimentary breakfast for myself and one guest at KITCHEN. This ended up working out really well since the buffet was massive and we were able to load up in the morning before heading out and save money by only needing to get a light lunch to hold us over until dinner. This also allowed us to snack on random food as we were exploring the city and try new things.

fullsizeoutput_5bdGreat view of the shipping container activity in Victoria Harbor from KITCHEN

Most of the tables at KITCHEN had a nice view looking out over the shipping container loading section of Victoria Harbor. The floor to ceiling windows gave a nice vantage point for watching some of the action during breakfast.

The actual buffet itself was absolutely massive! Every morning we were seated at our table and asked if we wanted any coffee or tea before being pointed in the direction of the buffet. The buffet was located behind the seating area and takes up an entire room just for all of the different food selections. They had all kinds of options that included things such as an omelette bar, waffles, stir fry, sushi, fruit, vegetables, donuts, salad, boiled eggs, chicken sausage, ham, bacon, hash browns, fried rice, and steamed dumplings. They also had a selection of fresh squeezed juices and if you are a fan of orange juice then I would highly recommend grabbing one of these.

fullsizeoutput_690Breakfast spread from the buffet featuring waffles, hash browns, eggs benedict, & bacon

fullsizeoutput_68eWas extremely excited to have dim sum as an option for breakfast every morning 🙂

Overall the food options were very good and I was able to easily fill up every morning on an assortment of options. I didn’t enjoy everything but I would mark that down as a personal preference on certain food items and the fact that they had so many options. But in my opinion, the complimentary breakfast option offers a great value over some of the other welcome gift options.

Other Neat Features

fullsizeoutput_66aThey changed out the carpet in the elevator depending upon the time of day

fullsizeoutput_668Each room had a book cut-out showing the room number with a do not disturb light

fullsizeoutput_67eAnd in the lobby they had the Woo Bar, which actually had a nice crowd each night

Additionally, the hotel also offers a complimentary cell phone in the room with data and wireless hotspot capabilities. We didn’t discover this until a little later in our stay but once we started taking it out with us the difference was huge. We were able to look up activities, directions, and restaurants on the go while even turning on the wireless hotspot to use iMessage and order an Uber. I had never seen anything like this before offered as a complimentary amenity but the difference this made will certainly have me inquiring about it in the future.

Pros

  • Convenient location with easy access to the subway line and airport express
  • Excellent recognition for elite status members, giving perks like upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and drink coupons for Woo Bar
  • Smart phone in the room that was free to use within Hong Kong with data, calling, and wireless hot-spot capabilities
  • Amazing rooftop infinity pool and jacuzzi on 76th floor

Cons

  • The hotel does not have an executive lounge but they do try to make up for this with other perks as mentioned above
  • While it’s not a big deal, being located in Kowloon requires a subway ride or Star Ferry ride to get over to Hong Kong Island

Final Thoughts

When it was all said and done I couldn’t have been happier with the way our stay at the W Hong Kong turned out. We had a wonderful time and a lot of that can be attributed to the friendly staff. The service, location, and amenities were all excellent and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate booking a stay here in the future. The hotel is especially convenient for anyone spending a short time in Hong Kong with its easy access to the airport and Hong Kong island. The beds are comfortable, the hotel staff were extremely nice and accommodating with all of our requests, and the pool/spa facilities are top-tier. The biggest thing to keep in mind in terms of location is the subway line closes just before 1 a.m. so if you plan on staying out late on Hong Kong island you will need to plan for a cab or Uber ride back to the hotel. If anyone has stayed here I would be interested to hear your thoughts and if anyone is looking to stay here in the future I hope this review makes that decision just a little bit easier since there is certainly no shortage of hotels to choose from in Hong Kong.

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