Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
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Hi!!!! We've finally succeeded in getting an internet connection - apparently not an easy task in Vietnam. We do have more than 3 photos of Hong Kong ha, hopefully we'll be able to upload all our photos ASAP....
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... In 1841, the bay was used as a base by pirates and caused serious concern to foreign merchant ships trading with China. The pirates were subsequently repulsed by the British Fleet; hence the name.
At our last night in Hong Kong, we went the second time to a Bavarian Restaurant “King Ludwig” and had beer, wiener schnitzel, a plate with German sausages, half grilled chicken, “semmel,” and different types of mustard. Hmm, that was ...
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- Swimming pool
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Historical Traveler Reviews Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
We stayed at the Four Seasons Hong Kong for 5 nights on our way to Singapore.
The trip started well. We were met on the air bridge at HKG by a meet and greet Four Seasons employee who was holding a card with my name on it. She led us to an electric cart and drove us from a distant gate all the way through baggage and passport control to the waiting Bentley Arnage limo, which whisked us quickly to our waiting room.
We got a room on the 43rd floor overlooking the harbor and Kowloon. A beautiful, large Oriental-style room that was on an upper floor, and needless to say, was sparkling clean, fresh and new.
We had the Executive Club Package that included many amenities along with a very nice food service starting with a cooked to order breakfast, a light lunch serving and evening cocktails. We enjoyed it very much and the staff went out of their way to make sure we were happy.
We had Dinner at Caprice and were very impressed with the French food. The Sommelier created a wonderful wine pairing which helped make our meal memorable. After dinner the Maitre D' even walked us out to the front door to bid adieu. It's a very formal and expensive French restaurant that's well worth the price. They really know how to make you feel special.
As other people have mentioned here, as beautiful and wonderful as this hotel is, there is no arrogance or snobbishness by the staff. The people are great. It seems like, in the best Four Seasons tradition, all the staff wants to do is to make your stay as pleasant as possible, which they do.
The location of the hotel is extremely convenient. The Star Ferry to kowloon is a 5 minute walk away. All the outer island ferry boats are across the street from the hotel. The Airport Express and the MTR are in the IFC Mall next to the hotel. Walk two blocks up Victoria or Jubilee Streets and you are at the Mid-level Escalator that leads to SOHO or Lan Kwai Fong. A couple blocks in the other direction is the Peak Tram. Great location.
Over all I would say that the Four Seasons Hong Kong might well be the best hotel in HK now and is definitely a luxurious five star experience. It reminds me of The Four Seasons Marunouchi in Tokyo, which is a wonderful place in it's own right.
I heartily recommend Four Seasons Hong Kong.
A refreshingly young team, but not snobby like other 5 star hotels in Hong Kong
Thank god the new Four Seasons has recruited a younger hipper team for their new hotel in Hong Kong rather than the old 'experienced' but arrogant staff many of the city's luxury hotels won't seem to let go of.
The concierge team seems relatively junior, but as a result, it also appears that they are much more familiar with newer hipper places to eat and drink than pushing the same boring old Mandarin Grill, Gaddi's Felix, Va Bene rubbish.
The Reception is fantastic, very attentive, and very accomodating. They are clearly well trained, and trying very hard to please.
The staff in the Blue Bar are terrific, definitely worth a visit in the evening, (don't go before it gets dark), forget the MO Bar at the new Landmark Mandarin - very cold and totally for posers. The Pool Terrace is great little place to go for a simple breakfast.
The housekeeping maids are very sweet, and while their english is not terrific, they go out of their way to try to help. On that note, the rooms are amazing, much smarter than the old Inter-continental where we usually stay, and the aging Island Shangri-la. Plasma TVs, DVD players, wireless broadband, rain showers, all standard in every single room. Views are not directly of the harbour, but in fact give you a much broader view than most properties can because the hotel in right on the waterfront.
The hotel is right above the Airport Express train service, and have a complimentary shuttle service on call, which is great.
Its our new regular home in Hong Kong. Kudos to the staff though who make this hotel even more impressive than the fancy trappings.
One of the best hotels in Hong Kong
My husband and I spent Christmas at the Four Seasons Hong Kong.
One of the senior managers checked us in on. The fact that a senior manager checked us in made us feel like VIPs.
We then got a room on the 37th floor which overlooked the city. The room was pretty big compared to other hotels in HK (ie., JW Marriott, Grand Hyatt, Inter-Continental). Although the bathtub was a bit small my husband loved the TV in the bathroom. It reminded us of the Peninsula HK/Bangkok.
I visited the spa twice. The service, the reception, the attentiveness, the wonderful sea view... it was excellent. But I think massage therapists in Thailand are better (ie., Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Banyan Tree, etc).
We had lunch at Caprice but didn't know they had a dress code. Fortunately they let us have our lunch but for some strange reason we felt they were rushing us to finish because service was so fast we didn't even get a chance to review the menu! The food was good but the presentation of the food was not impressive. We had dinner at Nicholini's (Conrad HK) at night and enjoyed that much more. However, the decor of the Caprice is definitely tops.
Overall I would say the Four Seasons is one of the best in HK but the Peninsula still tops the Four Seasons.
The Best Spa and Swimming Pool in Asia
The Spa is designed by Deckelmann, same as the Landmark Mandarin Oriental but the Spa at the Four Seasons has so much more natural light, and has much more relaxing atmosphere.
Every room has either a view of Hong Kong harbour or else a private open air garden attached to it.
Their range of treatments is excelent, with their signature treatments and combination proving to be of the best value.
The rest and relaxation areas are phenomenal, there would be no better designed spa in the region, certainly not in a city location.
Staff at the Pool Terrace are terrific, very friendly, but not intrusive, food is great.
Ww will be back again and again, forget the aging Plateau at The Grand Hyatt and the overpriced Landmark Mandarin Oriental - this is the best value, and the most luxurious experience you can find.
Big Hotel, but they know their guests, and always try to do a little extra.
This hotel has only been opened a matter of weeks, but to be fair they are ahead of the game. In my experience, many of the luxury hotels in Hong Kong have become complacent, and almost arrogant about their service, snobby, and mechanical.
The staff at the Four Seasons are much less robotic. While extremely busy (it is big busy hotel), they do seem to have the time to stop and learn about their guests, and follow up with little touches to show they are paying attention. These aren't always amenities (although the welcome tea served to every guest in their room upon arrival is beautifully done), but sometimes notes left in my room, or the concierge catching me on my way in or out to see how the arrangements they've made for us have turned out.
Unlike many luxury hotels, this one has its senior managers out in front, they are in business suits, but you can definately tell them apart, the very sharply dressed individuals greeting everyone that passes them by, grabbing doors, and jumping in to pick up bags and assist you when the bellman and reception are busy - definitely not snobby as you might expect. There is something different here with this hotel(other than a brand new and amazing physical product). A lady who was cleaning the windows intuitively stopped everything to hold open a door and welcome guests when the doorman had to go to manage cars in the driveway suddenly.
The rooms are phenomenal, though my opinion may be slightly biased as I have been staying at the Ritz Carlton and the Mandarin typically, whose rooms are very tired to say the least. these are at least on par with The Peninsula,if not nicer because they are newer.
The pool and the spa is the best in the city, beautifully planned, and with a breath-taking view of the harbour. We had dinner at the pool terrace one evening, staff were terrifically attentive, but not overly. Perfect, very special.
The ladies and gentlemen at Reception always seem fresh, and ready to bend over backwards to make your stay more comfortable. We're looking forward to visiting again.
On a final note...don't expect this all to come cheap, and to not pay for your every whim - but its worth every penny. Don't overlook this nice treat though if you the hotel's Bentley Arnage limousines are out of your budget - they have a complimentary luxury MPV that shuttles guests to and from the Airport Express Station - which is conveniently located right underneath the hotel.
Understated elegance and great location!!
Having stayed the prior two weeks at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok and the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur (read my review), it was a real treat staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. By no means the Grand Hyatt and the Mandarin Oriental are shabby establishments, there're some intangible factors setting this Four Seasons hotel apart from the others. It just opened two months ago, everything is brand new, but that doesn't mean the operation/service is still "wet in the ear" and not up to par. In fact, we found out most of the negative comments someone described on this board were not true. The front desk staff and concierge were very efficient and knowledgeable. There were no hick ups in service. Every time I got assistance from the staff, they always asked repeatedly if they could offer other kind of help. The whole place exudes understated elegance, grace and architectural charm.
One minor incident: we were taking an elevator ride one morning, all of a sudden, our elevator started to free fall from the 35th floor, then slowly stalled at the 6th floor, we were "trapped" inside with the lights on, for a brief 3 minutes. Luckily, a hotel staff was together with us called through the intercom system for help. A short moment later, the elevator came back to life and continues its operation normally. Nobody got harmed during this "thrill" ride and we were lucky to get out without major drama. On second thought, this is the first time I got stuck in an elevator (in a brand new hotel too).
Check-in: During the first half hour after we settled into our harbor view room, we were serviced by no less than three staff members, parading into the room, each with a fruit platter, a plate of chocolate, and then traditional Chinese tea set. A welcome card handwritten by the GM was left on the desk as well. We were very impressed by the service and felt treated like VIPs!!
Breakfast: There's no buffet breakfast, only a la carte, our breakfast tab for two person averages HK$560, which includes tea and coffee, one basket of home baked items, one fruit plate, two scrambled eggs plus 3 pieces of ham, one bowl of plain yogurt and one glass of fruit juice. For sure, this hotel is not for budget minded travelers.
Location: After arriving at the HK International Airport, we took the airport express train to the HK Station, which is located adjacent to the hotel. From there on, we called the hotel for their black color mini-van to pick us up. It was only a short wait, and the driver helped loaded all our bags and offered us bottled water, it was a nice reception and the service is free!! The hotel is also located above the IFC Mall, with Lane Crawford as the anchor tenant, there are a host of boutique designer shops, plus some restaurants and a multi screen cinema complex. Amongst the major designer brands, I did not see Gucci nor Louis Vuitton shops. If you want to venture to other parts of the city, you can take the MTR by walking to the HK MTR station, which is about a short and leisure 15 minutes walk through the underground IFC complex.
Spa: I had the single person spa room, it was quite small just enough for me and the masseur, plus one chair, the bed and counter with washbasin. The room was equipped with a plasma tv, treatment bed, small restroom with shower. It has a terrific harbor view. However, I think the overall furnishing throughout the Spa complex is very stark and badly needs some nice sofas and armchairs.
Room: Our room has a fantastic view of the Kowloon side, including the land reclamation site where the future Culture Center and high-rise residential projects are under development. High speed wired and wireless internet access is available for a fee. There are two comfortable leather armchairs for the work desk, plus a sofa armchair for lounging. We liked the plasma tv and DVD player, which plays cds as well. However, I feel the hotel should install bedside control for the blinds and lighting (a la Peninsula Hotel). The in-room light switches are noisy and do not blend well with the décor. Overall, the lighting ambience is very clever and unique.
Good but not six stars
After all the marketing hype I was expecting that the new Four Seasons Hotel (3IFC) would be out of this world. What I found is a hotel that is on par with some of the other 4-5 star properties in Hong Kong but certainly no better. The standard rooms are nicely appointed, the same space as the Shangri-La although a bit noisier.
The service is not yet up to the level of some of the other hotels (Ritz Carlton, Shangri-La), eg:
- It took over 3 hours for a letter that was waiting for me at the hotel to be brought to my room.
- I arrived at 4:30 pm, tea and some very ordinary pears were brought to the room 10 minutes later, I then worked in the room and went to bed at 8:30. At 9 pm room services rang the door bell and immediately entered into the room.
- At 10 pm (!) room service rang again to ask whether they could turn down the bed.
- At 6 am I gave up calling reception after the phone rang out.
Given the price differential to the Ritz and Shangri-La of around 40% I don't recommend the hotel.
I prefer the Island Shangri-La.
Very smart, Very very attentive
As you would expect from Four Seasons, this hotel is first class. The rooms are wider than average and our "harbour-view room" offered an excellent view of Kowloon from the 31st floor. (Given the position, it is actually quite difficult to get a view of HK Island from the Four Seasons - head to the Intercontinental in Kowloon if this is your priority).
The rooms are beautifully decorated with no shortage of marble in the bathroom. You get a large flatscreen TV on the wall of your main room and a small telly above your smallish bath if you are worried you might miss something. The opaque glass between the WC and the main bathroom might not be completely practical, but it looked good (when empty).
I stayed as part of a business trip, but my wife and baby had come with me for this particular trip. From this I can tell you that it is a great business hotel (excellent location as part of the IFC complex) but can be a bit impractical with a small baby. For example, there is no way of walking out of the hotel with a buggy without encountering steps or an escalator (although hopefully they will finish the external footbridge to IFC1 soon).
The location as part of IFC makes it a good business or shopping stop, although you are at the edge of the island and so a healthy walk or a convulted taxi ride from a lot of the restaurant and entertainment districts. But the way Hong Kong is laid out means that it is possible via footbridges and malls to do this on foot (without a buggy!). It is also very convenient for the Airport Express - a 10 minute walk through the IFC mall.
We found the service to be very good, very prompt room service etc. If anything they are over-attentive. As you cross the lobby in the morning you receive a business-like good morning from three reception staff, the concierges, two doormen and two or three other random people guarding the lifts and escalators to IFC. Initially it makes you feel like you own the place, but after a few days you find yourself trying to get past when they are not looking!
Other facilities: new outdoor pool looked very nice, with a bar/eatery attached to it and a view over the harbour. The IFC2 skyscraper looms over the pool, albeit a few hundred yards away, so you are overlooked by 60+ storeys of office workers. So not for the very shy. But you don't go to HK for the sun, anyway. Didn't get to try the restaurants but room service was good quality. My sense is that some of the staff are quite new (we were once asked if we wanted a glass of Rioja "on the rocks") but they are all very, very keen.
Not well prepared! They should tell the visitors
It seems I am the few people who stayed in this hotel before it is fully open. I stayed at the hotel for one night on Sep 18, after a long journey form South Africa. The location of hotel is very good and convenient. A large shopping mall (IFC) and ferry, bus, metro even fast line to airport station all combined in this building. The room is brand-new, very luxury and modern, beyond Pennisula Hong-Kong (I think coolist currently in Hong Kong). But the house-keeping (very slow, not careful) and front-desk training: I think they had a lot practice to reach the average Four-season standard. By the way, they didn't tell the visitors whether on their website or in check-in that some of their facility are not ready. So I go to the swimming pool and very angry to find that it was closed (They advertised that they have a wonderful open-air heated swimming pool and whirpool to see the millionare night vision of Hong-Kong harbor). I write a opinion letter to the manager before I leave but no response get.
'Pre opening' review !
Four Seasons is opening a property in Hong Kong, so now the Mandarin, Ritz-Carlton and Shangri-La have a new standard to compete against.
The Four Seasons HK opens Thursday 8th September 2005, they claim.
We were staying in HK, at the Shangri-La (just up the road), for a few days just before the opening of the Four Seasons.
Since we have stayed at a couple of the noted Four Seasons, we made a point of visting the about-to-be-opened Four Seasions HK. (So I could write the first review here!)
The Island Shangri-La of course is situated in a very big skycraper incredibly directly above the amazing Pacific Place shopping mall, which is the second best and most luxurious shopping mall on Earth.
However, the Four Seasons is situated adjacent to the new IFC mall (IFC == International Finance Centre) .. and the IFC Mall is THE best and most luxurious shopping mall on Earth, it's really incredible.
The IFC complex also houses one of those amazing new "train station - airport" connection train stations (like at Paddington, London) ... you can check right in to the airlines there at the station.
(The Four Seasons HK touts this as an advantage -- ie, you can take the express train from the airport to the new glamour train station and you are a shortish walk from the hotel. However .. get a life .. anyone who is paying Four Seasons prices will be able to afford the US$60 for a limo, and you should CERTAINLY do that, don't mess with the train.)
The 4 Seas building, and the IFC generally is RIGHT ON the waterfront in HK -- in fact it is adjacent the famous old Star Ferry which will run you across to Kowloon for US$2.
As you would expect, because the Four Seasons is in it, the skyscraper housing the F.S., and indeed the other skyscrapers of the IFC complex, are very high-quality. (If you've stayed at the F.S. Maranouchi in Tokyo, it's the same sort of "your high-end skyscraper" arrangement.)
Thus regarding views ..... the FS HK would have spectacular views of the harbour, but possibly NOT simultaneously of HK itself .... since you are right on the waterfront, you are the "last" hotel as it were. In contrast the views form the unique Shangri-La (which is a few blocks up the hill from the FS), are incredible as you are right "in amongst" the skyscrapers, looking at the harbour, and indeed looking down on the FS and the other skyscrapers.
Regarding the entrance to the new FS. Surprisingly, it is rather Glam, it is NOT understated. It is big and sweeping. Four Seasons properties typically have slightly weirdly understated entrances, no big noise about them. But this one is more drama and theater.
Regarding the rooms! Interestingly we SAW the guts of the rooms, being moved in to the building by the last-minute builders!
We can report that the marble is a good two inches thick and is all in very dark colors. The fittings looked solid, and classic/understated rather than trendy/design (as you'd expect).
We can offer no review of the service, food etc. at this stage - as it has not opened! :) The builders seemed dedicated and energetic!
Regarding location, you are absolutely in the centre of HK - right on the water. Thus if you walk one or two blocks backwards up the hill you are right in "central" shopping area. (Go to the excellent and bustling Chow Tai Fook for some gold chain by the ounce, watches, etc!) Again, the IFC and the FS are directly adjacent the quaint and famous "Star Ferry" terminal. Indeed the Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin are just a few blocks behind and to the left of the IFC complex, and the Shangri-La (and Pacific Place mall) are just a couple more blocks on. The "peak" tramway is again just a couple more blocks past the Shangri-La.
If you nip out the "back" door of the hotel and up the outdoor escalator to the back door of the IFC mall, there is a convenient Ben & Jerry's ice-cream stand. Enjoy!
Regarding service, typically the FS just poach all the very best people from the very best hotels in town...but we did not hear anything about this from the Shangri-La staff anyways. Hopefully someone will soon post the first actual review of staying in the H.K. F.S.!