Most business travellers will find a hotel on the Hong Kong side of Victoria Harbour the most convenient for their HK business trip, but sometimes your event is Kowloon side, or you fancy making the most of your downtime by basing yourself right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Nathan Road.
The Holiday Inn Golden Mile -- smack bang in the middle of Kowloon -- looks to be the perfect spot. But was it noisy? Did it measure up to the competition? That's what I went to find out earlier this year.
Location & Impressions
At 50 Nathan Road in Hong Kong's Kowloon district, the Holiday Inn Golden Mile sits right next to Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, incredibly convenient for just about anywhere you need to get to in Hong Kong.
The hotel itself sits above a shopping centre, so make sure you don't miss it on arrival.
A busy but bright lobby could use a revamp to bring it up to international style -- it's a trifle dated -- but cheerful, friendly and helpful staff had me heading up to my room swiftly.
My Executive Club King Room was a decent size for Hong Kong, although it could have been lit more brightly.
The room was a standard hotel room layout: big rectangle, bathroom on the way to the bedroom, bed, sofa, desk, window.
I'm on record as liking the current batch of Holiday Inn beds, with their squashy mattress topper, but this one was a little firmer than I've found elsewhere -- as one might expect in the Chinese market.
Top marks for a pretty comfy two-seater sofa that I enjoyed curling up on with a book after exploring Nathan Road, with a decent coffee table in front of it.
Extra points for providing a power point on either side of the bed -- it's amazing how many hotels haven't figured out that if you're travelling with your other half you'll both need to charge your phones.
An iHome iPod/iPhone dock-speaker combo was also available and worked well.
Of note was the rather nifty bedhead, an attractively matching set of curtains and standing lamps rather than overhead spots. (The overall light brightness, though, was a bit lacking.)
I also found the large built-in luggage rack useful -- travelling with a hard-sided suitcase can be a balancing act on smaller racks.
The bathroom really needed a refresh, with a shower-over-tub and no detachable hand-held shower wand, but it was clean and had the standard global Holiday Inn toiletries.
A decent desk attached to the wall and a rolling chair are the main options for getting some work done.
They're not especially ergonomic, with the chair unable to be adjusted, so don't plan on working there for the full day, but an evening of getting things done should be relatively comfortable.
Since this is an Executive Club room, the club upstairs is also a decent spot to get some work done -- as well as for breakfast in the mornings and canapé hour in the evenings.
Wifi was just okay, at an eyewatering 140 HKD (A$18) for 24h, and with speeds of 4.2Mbps down and 0.8Mbps up, with a ping of 38ms.
Breakfast in the executive club was wideranging, with both Asian and Western options, and definitely worth your time in the mornings.
I had lunch in the remarkably authentic Osteria Ristorante Italiano -- not quite up to Melbourne standards, but praiseworthily good.
Room service was a little disappointing in terms of the range of dishes on offer, but the quality was fine, if nothing to write home about.
The reason to stay here is to be right on top of everything Kowloon has to offer, so you'll probably be heading out of the hotel once your work day is done, or curling up with a book on your comfy two-seater couch.
No world-beating views here, and it was indeed noisy, with music coming in from outside until late into the evening -- so if you're a light sleeper, this might not be the hotel for you, even on a high floor.
But there's a decent rooftop pool, big enough to get some lengths in to work off Hong Kong's restaurant scene, and a small gym upstairs too, if you're still feeling energetic. But be prepared to vary your workout: the gym frankly isn't big enough for the hotel.
The Holiday Inn Golden Mile is a solid offering in Hong Kong, with an ideal location if you want to be on this side of the harbour.
Its fittings are dated -- the bathroom especially -- but the room layout and furnishings are well thought through, and things are in good condition.
But the noise from outside is a problem, and it's a problem that can be fixed relatively easily with soundproofing. So if you want quiet, a view, something more luxurious, or don't want to feel like you could be in any other Holiday Inn in the world, you might want to think elsewhere.