Hotel Review: Intercontinental Hong Kong

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Last week I posted up my review of the W Hong Kong where we spent the first half of our Staycation in Hong Kong during Easter. In this post I’ll be covering the second half of our stay at the luxurious Intercontinental Hong Kong, which is in a prime location overlooking Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

Intercontinental Hong Kong Hotel Overview

Rating: 7.5/10 – Great food but overall not the best value for money

Location: 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Opening: 1980
Hotel Star Rating: 5
Number of Rooms: 503
Swimming Pool: Yes
Bar / Lounge: Yes
Beach: No
Fitness Centre: Yes
Free High-Speed Internet: No
Free Parking: No
Restaurant: 5 : Nobu, Spoon, The Steakhouse, Yan Toh Heen, Harbourside
Room Service: Yes, great selection and delicious!
Shuttle Bus Service: No
Kids Activities: No
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Massage / Beauty Centre: Yes
Time/Distance from Airport: 40 mins / 34 kms

In terms of location and food, it’s very hard to beat the Intercontinental Hong Kong! It sits right on the edge of Victoria Harbour with dramatic views from the Harbourside rooms and lobby. The hotel also features two of Hong Kong’s culinary treasures: the Michelin star rated Nobu and Spoon restaurants. We didn’t get the time to try out any of these restaurants. Maybe in the future for a very special occasion I’ll take Jhoanna there, but we did eat at their Harbourside Restaurant and had room service – both of which were delicious and very fulfilling!

You can’t live in the past
The brand “Intercontinental” evokes images of opulence, relaxation, prestige and luxury. In the past, hotels could survive quite comfortably with this sort of reputation, alone, for years. But in our day and age, other important factors such as constantly improving customer service and facilities also make a huge difference in one’s stay. I’ll say it candidly now: I wasn’t completely wowed with the Intercontinental like I thought I would be. Doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great time but for the premium that we paid, we were expecting the Intercontinental to be better than the W Hong Kong Hotel. It wasn’t.

Not the warmest welcome
For example, when we entered the hotel, the lobby was chaotic and the staff behind the desk seemed stressed and therefore not at their friendliest best. The doorman barely broke out a smile and greeting. Yes I know it’s the Easter holidays, but when we were at the W Hong Kong for example, things appeared to be more in order and organised. Perhaps it was the location of the reception desk at the Intercontinental being right in the middle of the lobby where there was naturally a lot of traffic from the lobby to the elevators?

In summary, the three biggest factors that the Intercontinental need to work on are service in the lobby, the worn out furniture and fittings and the price they are charging customers (in comparison to other 5 star hotels in the area).

Here are some photos that we took to help describe our stay and the hotel:

The towering water fountain greets guests to the Intercontinental.

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The room was clean and spacious but we found some of the furniture was dated and worn especially things like the curtains and telephone.

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There was a relatively new, decent sized 45″+ LCD TV but the music system featured the old iPhone/iPad connector, which was pretty useless for us.

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Marble bench tops and tiles were features in the bathoom as well as the step down inset bathtub.

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Who doesn’t like getting warm greetings and sweets from the hotel management upon arrival? It sets the mood for a stay doesn’t it? Thank you Intercontinental management for organising this little strawberry and chocolate treat for us.

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While the food is pricey, you have to remember that this is one of the top 5 star hotels in Hong Kong with some of the best chefs in town. We were quite surprised to find their room service food to be presented and created so deliciously. This was the chicken burger on their menu and it is quite simply the best chicken burger I have ever tasted. Kudos to the kitchen.

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Here’s their Prawn and Avocado salad – what beautiful presentation!

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We got a room overlooking the pool and some of the Harbour. Unfortunately there is some construction going on that spoils the view a bit.

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The 1.2m deep pool was a large enough to do a few laps, and not too deep so that the kids enjoyed it too.

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One of the best things we loved about the Intercontinental was their High Tea. For around $500 HKD, you can get an amazing assortment of bit-sized treats as well as one of the most spectacular views of Hong Kong’s bustling Victoria Harbour.

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The Intercontinental has a huge breakfast buffet.

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My only gripe with the food area is that, during busy times, it’s hard to move around and feels very cramped.

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What we liked about the Intercontinental Hong Kong Hotel:

  • Large Inset bathtub
  • Active on social media like Twitter : @interconhk
  • Great service overall from staff, especially at breakfast
  • Huge king size bed
  • Additional single bed for free
  • Excellent variety and offerings at the breakfast buffet at Harbourside
  • Room came with several international adapters
  • Amazing high tea, one of the best in Hong Kong. Got over 1000 likes for my high tea photo
  • Extensive room service menu
  • Even room service food was presented impeccably and was delicious
  • Able to interact with InterconHK Twitter and Instagram
  • Fantastic location right next to Avenue of the Stars and Harbour City
  • Large pool with enough deck chairs to seat everybody
  • Poolside options like reading glasses, drawers to store stuff
  • Attentive staff at Harbourside, room service, poolside and reception

What can be improved at the Intercontinental Hong Kong Hotel:

  • Expensive everything. The Intercontinental is a luxury hotel that features 2 Michelin star restaurants and is situated on prime real estate on Hong Kong Harbour – so expect to see this reflected in the prices!
  • Stressed staff at reception mainly due to Easter crowds, which meant a much less welcoming experience upon arrival
  • Cramped buffet line area at Harbourside
  • Furniture seems a bit stale and dated
  • Still using old iPhone adapters to connect to sound system
  • Children over 6 are charged as adults for the breakfast buffet – my 7 & 10 year-olds do not eat as much as an adult. I’m a Shangri-La Jade, Marriott Gold, and Accor Platinum member and none of these hotel groups and their chains have ever charged us like this.
  • Unfriendly and non-welcoming staff at lobby lounge area while waiting for high tea. Was ignored a few times by a male staff worker in that area – didn’t catch his name. Maybe because I wasn’t wearing Prada or Chanel, and was in my shorts
  • Outdoor spa is a lot smaller than it looks and often crowded so we didn’t even get to try it
  • Poor noise-proofing of rooms – we could hear the neighbours above us walking around

Thank you to the Intercontinental Hong Kong Hotel for having us! Check out their site here.

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