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This is an installment in my March 2012 Asia Trip Series which includes: A Birthday Present To Myself: Business Class on the World’s Longest Flight for $2.50, Help Me Plan My Asia Trip Starting With Singapore, Flight Review: Singapore Airlines All Business Class Flight From Newark To Singapore, Hotel Review: Intercontinental Singapore, Video Trip Report: Singapore, Hotel Review: Le Meridien Bangkok Avantec Suite, Video Trip Report: Bangkok, Hotel Review: Le Meridien Angkor, Video Trip Report: Siem Reap, Hotel Review: Intercontinental Phnom Penh, Video Trip Report: Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, Hotel Review: W Hong Kong.
For the final leg of my Southeast Asia itinerary, I decided to spend the weekend in Hong Kong, where I stayed at the W in Kowloon.
I had reserved a non-smoking, city view “Wonderful Room” with a king-size bed for two nights at a rate of about $280. The hotel is 20,000 points for a free-night redemption, and there was no Cash & Points option available, so I paid instead since most of the other nice hotels were around the same price point. The Wonderful Room is the hotel’s standard room category. It is over 400 square feet (a premium in space-conscious Hong Kong!) with a king-size W Signature Bed, a 42-inch plasma flat-screen TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock, and a big bathroom with a rainforest shower, a separate bathtub (with its own little plasma TV on the wall, and Bliss spa products.
When I got to the hotel, I was told at reception that the only available upgrade was to a Cool Corner Room, one category higher. The catch? It was a smoking room. Against my better judgment, I decided to take it, and as soon as I got to the room itself, I realized my mistake–the stench was horrendous and had seeped into everything. I sent out a couple Tweets asking readers what they thought I should do as well as voicing my displeasure with the reek of the room, and in the meantime, I called back down to the desk to see if I could either change back to a Wonderful Room or if there was any chance of finding a Cool Corner room on a non-smoking floor. Lo and behold, in the 10 minutes since I’d gotten up to the room , they had somehow managed to find a Cool Corner Room on a non-smoking floor for me.
The Cool Corner Room was indeed cool, with views of other Kowloon skyscrapers from the main room and the tunnel under Victoria Harbour from the bathroom. It wasn’t too much larger than the Wonderful Room, maybe 50 square feet, but it did have a little sitting area by the window and more of a work desk area, and all the same amenities. All in all, it was very…W-ish, with dark wood furniture, creamy/taupey fabrics and upholstery, and dim lighting, but I enjoyed my two nights there.
The hotel is actually in Kowloon rather than Central, but I actually liked the area a lot, it was right near the harbor, there was plenty of shopping and restaurants nearby, and it only took 15 minutes to get to Central in the evenings via the tunnel/metro, so I thought it was in a good spot.
To be honest, my Hong Kong weekend was a whirlwind, so I didn’t spend much time in the hotel and check out the amenities like the pool (which I hear is pretty chic), but overall I had a very nice stay and the staff was more than helpful in guiding me around and making reservations when needed.
Meanwhile, to all you non-smokers out there- what would you have done in my upgrade situation? Take my poll!
[poll id=”13″] Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.