Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees – Hong Kong
This is a guest post by Diane Downing. Diane is a keen traveller and a brilliant photographer and sometimes I am lucky that she joins me on my travels so I get my own personal photographer which is great. I value her opinions as I know she is a trustworthy source so would like to share her review of the Hong Kong Hotel Harbour Plaza 8 degrees, which she visited with her husband.
We were due to arrive in Hong Kong at 1930hrs. We decided to arrange a private transfer from the airport to the hotel when booking the holiday thus avoiding the hassle of finding our own way to the hotel after a tiring and long journey. After all we had been travelling for the best part of 21 hours, thanks to the unexpected stop off at Bangkok airport.
Well …I know we paid rather a lot for the transfer…. but I still didn’t expect to be picked up in a chauffeur driven Mercedes Limousine with spacious leather seats, and air conditioning!!! Sheer luxury!!! Oh, it was so worth the money to just get into the limousine and sail past all the others lugging cases to humongous queues for buses and taxis. We made good progress in the Hong Kong traffic and within about 40 minutes we were at the hotel which was Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees Located at 199 Kowloon City Road Tokwawan Kowloon.
At first impression, the location of the hotel looked a bit misplaced as it appeared to be down a side street and surrounded by various small business. These small units ranged from small tyre and auto units, to travel agents, food units and a Seven Eleven shop. That said I was too tired to bother and I just wanted to get inside.
OMG as soon as I walked into the reception there was a sensory overload. The whole interior of the building is set on a slope!!!(and the slope is definitely more than 8 degrees!!!) Not only that but they accentuate the slope by angling doorframes, display cases and hanging mirrors at an odd angle. To make matters even worse the floor tiles were in a geometric pattern…. the result of all this messed with my brain making me feel sick!!!
The reception staff were very friendly and soon had us booked into a room on the 10th floor. Bonus was that we had free Wi-Fi for our entire stay.
The room was really nice. First thing was to have a nice cup of tea/coffee using the tea making facilities in the room and a quick catch up on the free Wi-Fi.
Feeling a more refreshed we ventured down for something to eat. As there weren’t any obvious ‘Western traveller’ friendly eateries in sight of the hotel we elected to eat in the hotel restaurant. Now unfortunately the hotel’s evening buffet was a seafood buffet at HK$ 620 (about £64) Needless to say that I made sure that I ate my monies worth of oysters, king crab, king prawns, sushi, mussels and all the other lovely stuff on offer. (Even the glassware in the restaurant sat at an angle!!!)
The hotel did do a buffet breakfast which was HK$106 (about £11) or you could have a coffee and cake in the coffee shop l located in the reception area, but having spent so much on the buffet last night, we decided to save a bit of money and find a McDonald’s which would also cater for hubby’s culinary preference. The concierge staff had given me directions stating it would only take about 5 minutes to get there. Unfortunately, I did a right turn instead of a left turn and we ended up walking for about 15 minutes until we came to a main shopping district and shopping mall which contained the McDonalds and a KFC.
Back at the hotel we took the free shuttle bus into the main City to start our sightseeing. The bus dropped us off by the YMCA behind the Peninsula Hotel within a minutes’ walk to the Star Ferry terminal. The bus timetable is quite frequent.
We got back to the hotel quite late that evening but I wanted to have a walk around and find the nearest McDonalds for morning breakfast. As the staff said it was located only a 2-3 minutes’ walk from the hotel!!! I love wandering around looking at the locals as they go about their day to day business which was something I could do as the hotel wasn’t in an area just full of other hotels.
Suitably refreshed after a good night’s sleep we wandered over to the nearest McDonalds for breakfast again. You can rely on McDonalds for value for money in a country which is quite expensive. A sausage and egg McMuffin, hash brown and coffee came in at $ HK23.30 (£2.40) although it was odd to see it also being served as a sausage and egg pasta dish??
Had a couple of hours to spare before private transfer to the cruise port so I decided to have a wander around outside the hotel where there were food shops and street stalls. I just loved checking out all the different foodstuffs and hygiene standards!!! Shirtless butchers hacking at meat, another smoking whilst serving and foodstuffs just left lying around on the floor…. hygiene nightmare!!!
I was definitely the only non-local in the area but I never felt uneasy or at risk even when I had been out late last night. Very few of the stall holders spoke English (or didn’t admit to speaking it) but some of the shoppers would speak to me. I saw my first durian … which is said to be the smelliest fruit and often banned in hotels and from being carried on public transport and airlines.
Time to leave the hotel for the port. Again, another private transfer in chauffeur driven limousine, but this time a slight tinge of regret at the cost because it would have been so easy to just get a taxi to the port which was only about 20 minutes away.
My overall view of the hotel was good and I would definitely return again (even if I always felt sick when in the lobby area). The hotel might not suit someone who wants to be nearer of the hustle and bustle of a more central location but the free shuttle bus would allow you to get there easily. This location was preferable to me because I was able to wander around in an area where locals shopped, played, and went to school allowing me to get a small snapshot of local life by mingle and interact with those living there.
If you would like to book this hotel check out Hotelscombined for the best price.
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