In what had long been a 'Conrad-only' town for Hilton Honors members, the new Hilton Garden Inn Hong Kong Mongkok hotel provides an affordable alternative to the city's five-star Conrad for cost-conscious business travellers.
Its location also appeals to holidaying high flyers, who may have worked their way up to Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond status on their business travels: unlocking perks such as free daily breakfast and space-available room upgrades, while staying a hotel well-positioned for a spot of market shopping.
Whatever the reason for your visit, here's how Hong Kong's Hilton Garden Inn hotel stacks up.
Location & Impressions
Found on the corner of Soy Street and Tak Cheong Street in Mongkok, the property is six blocks from Kowloon's bustling Nathan Road and a 5- to 10-minute walk from both the Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei MTR stations on the (red) Tsuen Wan line.
That allows access to or from the Airport Express train via Tsing Yi and Lai King for the fastest route (three trains with two changes), or through Hong Kong/Central (two trains with one change, but a long walk in between Hong Kong and Central).
The property is also close to the popular Temple Street Night Market and the Ladies' Market, as well as the Langham Place shopping mall – and the MTR, buses, taxis or Uber can take you anywhere else.
We received a warm greeting at reception on our arrival, and having checked-in for the stay the day prior via the Hilton Honors mobile app where an arrival time was nominated, we were also pleased to find our room keys and other documents pre-prepared and ready to go.
Upstairs, we like that the hallways aren't simply lined with doors on either side – between the lift and our front door, for example, floor-to-ceiling windows afforded views over the city, which avoids the 'copy-paste' feeling some major chain hotels can adopt when you travel regularly...
... while our King Deluxe Harbour View room had a vista as expected, given the hotel's non-waterfront location.
Having stayed here once before under the same Hilton Honors membership number, the small welcome gift and signed card found in the room were also a nice touch.
All major credit cards are accepted, and unlike most Australian hotels, no surcharges apply.
Being a Hilton Garden Inn hotel, the rooms here are somewhat smaller than you'd expect of a higher-tier 'Hilton' property, but offer many of the amenities travellers have come to expect.
For instance, there's a king bed with comfortable pillows atop...
... but just a small walkway between that and the window-side sofa: a great place to sit, put your feet up and read, make phone calls or browse the Web on your smartphone or tablet, while enjoying views of Hong Kong (and a lamp behind your head that doubles as a handy reading light):
In between is a bedside table with a phone, notepad, USB power ports and the lighting controls, which are handy when you're lying in bed...
... but are impossible to see when standing up without crouching down, as your view is obstructed by the large lamp above. The directional bedside reading light is easier to control, of course.
The hotel also provides complimentary in-room bottled water for Hilton Honors Silver, Gold and Diamond members in line with the standard Hilton Honors benefits, plus tea and coffee-making facilities for all guests: although the latter relies on instant coffee as opposed to a pod-type machine like Nespresso.
Other facilities like an in-room safe and an iron (and ironing board) can be found inside the cupboard, while the bathroom is relatively small but still functional, with a walk-in shower, a mirror with forward-facing light and a separate shaving mirror for gents...
... and as in 'regular' Hilton hotels, Peter Thomas Roth amenities are stocked, including separate shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, plus other handy bits like shower caps, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a quick fix mending kit.
Just watch the slight raise in the floor between the bathroom and the bedroom: we found ourselves constantly tripping over it, regardless of how many times we reminded ourselves it was there.
To the room itself, having stayed here once before, I'd previously provided feedback to the hotel (via the post-stay survey) that the bed was uncomfortably hard and would do well with a softer mattress topper – and was pleased to find the bed more comfortable on this visit, as I was able to get a good night's sleep under the covers, rather than having to lie on top of the doona to reduce the firmness of the mattress.
For a productive stay, there's a fixed desk-like space at the end of the bed with a height-adjustable chair...
... and while you might want to move that white lamp to the side for extra working space, there's easy access to power for your own devices: this doubling as a great place to plonk your laptop or tablet and charge it overnight without the cables being in your way, even if you won't be working from the room.
Extra power points can also be found throughout the room, such as besides the bed, near the kettle and under the TV, where an international power adaptor can be loaned from the drawer below...
... with the hotel's complimentary WiFi providing usable download speeds of 6.42Mbps, uploads of 5.98Mbps and ping speeds of 4ms.
However, there's no Executive Lounge here, so plan to work from your room or a space in the common areas.
Breakfast is served daily at Eagle's Garden restaurant and is complimentary for Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond guests regardless of their room or rate type.
We like that there's both a buffet and table service here, and both options are included as part of the one breakfast. You can order fresh eggs, omelettes and waffles from your seat – along with a choice of side dishes, plus tea, coffee and juice...
... the coffee being machine-made rather than barista-crafted, but acceptable for a hotel breakfast. Our custom ham, cheese and tomato omelette was also enjoyable...
... with the buffet itself offering the expected pastries, breads, yoghurts and meats, plus a few somewhat 'random' hot items like chicken nuggets.
Lunch and dinner are also served in the same venue...
... while Garden Bar on the ground floor offers light food and drinks: the latter covered by two complimentary beverage vouchers provided on arrival at the hotel, which we traded in for two glasses red wine:
Being in Asia, we also ordered up some satay chicken skewers from the Western bar menu, but found them quite oily and the sauce rather watery with not much flavour: a significant step below what can commonly be found on the streets of Singapore and Malaysia in much tastier form.
Venture to the hotel's top floor and you'll find a gym equipped with a reasonable range of equipment, including free weights and treadmills...
... plus other cardio gear like exercise bikes, and also pulley weight machines. A swimming pool remains under construction on the same level, with the latest estimate on opening being June 2018.
Further down on the fifth floor are coin-operated washing machines and dryers, with games and a television on standby to help pass the time.
It's a great amenity – particularly compared to paying often-hefty hotel laundry prices – and one we wish more hotels would offer. That said, avoid staying in room 502 if you can, as this laundry is directly next door.
All things considered, this is an acceptable hotel for the modern business traveller: certainly not in the 'high-end luxury' category, but with rooms often selling for A$100-200 per night, it's a friendly choice for the hip pocket: and particularly for Hilton Honors members, a great-value alternative to the more expensive Conrad Hong Kong hotel, without sacrificing those all-important Gold and Diamond perks.
Chris Chamberlin stayed as a guest of the Hilton Garden Inn Hong Kong Mongkok hotel.