The Iconic Hotel Icon Hong Kong with Kids (Hotel Review)
When I learned that Hotel Icon Hong Kong is an independently-owned hotel run by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a sandbox to train future hoteliers, my curiosity prompted me to book our recent stay in Hong Kong with kids at this experimental hotel. So how did it go? Read on to find out!
Hotel Icon Hong Kong is located in the lively Tsim Sha Tsui area in Kowloon, a short walk away from the Victoria Harbour front. If you're looking for a hotel with a view of Hong Kong's iconic Central skyline, Kowloon is the place to be. Shops, restaurants, and convenience stores are all within 5-minute walking distance from the hotel.
The hotel is easily reached by taking Airport Express (the best way to travel to city center in my opinion) from Hong Kong Airport to Kowloon Station, and then by taking the free shuttle service (shuttle K3) that takes you to the hotel in about 15 minutes. This beats taking taxis in both transport time and fees. But if you want a gate-to-door transfer, the hotel also provides airport pick-up service in a Tesla Model S.
Furthermore, the hotel provides a free shuttle service that takes you to the MTR stop, which can come in handy when you're out exploring the city.
As soon as you step in the hotel lobby, you enter an airy urban oasis with a signature scent. The living green wall installation greets your eyes and soothes your spirit. Since we booked a Club Room, we were led directly to the Club Lounge for a seated reception service. We did ask the lobby Concierge for travel tips and I found them to be friendly and knowledgeable.
The height of the lobby level is stunning, and each deco element seemed carefully chosen. For example, when you look down at the lobby floor...
...the table lamps on ground level surprise you by spelling out "ICON". This level of attention to detail is admirable.
Tired of seeing the same generic abstract art in hotels? At Hotel Icon, even the hallways feature stylish, location-specific artworks.
The elevators ressemble Star Trek's Transporter Room, with a circular beam above head ready to transfer us to Above and Beyond... which happens to be the name of the Club Lounge.
The Club Lounge - Above and Beyond
I cannot emphasize enough how the Club Room booking made the stay all the more enjoyable. Not only do you get access to a panoramic sky lounge with top-notch deco elements and a library, you get private reception service, free conference room usage (good for business travelers), furthermore, you are served three meals a day (breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktail canapés) with open bar service, all complimentary.
Afternoon Tea at the Club
Afternoon tea at the club lounge is not just plain old cookies and coffee, they actually serve a decent spread of delicate cakes, salmon savories, finger sandwiches, and local, tropical fruit like the flamboyant dragon fruit.
Upon hearing our comment that our young kids have trouble eating at the low coffee tables at the lounge, they immediately set us up at a table in the adjacent Cantonese restaurant area. We were highly thankful for this accommodating gesture and their friendly service, which was what ultimately sets a place apart from the others.
Cocktail at the Club
After trying a Singapore Sling and some Chardonnay with the canapés, we asked about some red wines from Asia that we saw on the wine menu, as such wines were not often proposed on wine lists.
We were very happy to be introduced to Mr. Ace Lee, the Senior Sommelier of Above and Beyond. Mr. Lee kindly gave us a tour of the cellar and told us fascinating stories of the Asian wineries that he'd visited and chose to feature on the wine list. We learned about Grace Vineyard from China and a Japanese winery from Hokkaido and then tried these very different wines. We sipped wine in front of the jewel-like Hong Kong night view, and this impromptu wine-tasting experience made our stay at the hotel even more memorable.
If you've been reading my blog, you know that I have a weakness for hotels with nice pools. Hotel Icon doesn't disappoint with the outdoor heated pool on the 9th floor overlooking Victoria Harbour and the Central skyline. House music plays from the Bose speakers along poolside, guests work out at the gym and sip cocktails at the pool lounge, and yet in such a trendy atmosphere, they have prepared all sorts of children's floatation devices, so that everyone, young or younger, can have loads of fun.
Oh, and there's an indoor "pool", too.
As you enter a hotel room, you often ask yourself, how are the beds?
This one is perfect, we've tested.
So soft that you want to dive into it.
Even the lounge chair whispers, "I'm very cozy, come sit".
If you have some business to attend to, a Travel Blog perhaps, there's everything ready for you on the desk, including stationery and post cards to send home.
Another great service was the complimentary handy smart phone that came equipped with useful local guides and free calls and data in Hong Kong that proved very useful when we were coordinating to meet up with friends.
Hotel Icon provided one of the sweetest cribs we've seen. The foldable wooden crib came with the cutest Peter Rabbit beddings, guaranteed for a good night's sleep. There were also children's slippers and toothbrush sets as thoughtful touches.
Breakfast at The Market
After a good night's sleep, we discovered an amazing breakfast buffet at The Market on 2nd floor. With a bread selection the size of a bakery, fresh juice bar, every breakfast cuisine imaginable, the hardest part was to know where to start.
Toddlers were provided Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs (a luxury for restaurants) and dining ware. And if they get restless after the meal, there's a central court outdoors where they can play.
The choice of staying at Hotel Icon made our trip to Hong Kong a particularly memorable journey. We felt pampered, well-nourished, and well-rested to go out to explore the city. And when we returned to the hotel, after taking tea at the Peninsula for example, we felt like coming home. The hotel comes at a very reasonable price given all the outstanding features, you get a great view of Central without the Central real estate prices.
Hotel Icon garnered all the elements a great hospitality establishment is supposed to have: location, architecture, interior design, amenities... and they've exceeded our expectations by going the extra mile with the service and thoughtful details. We met and talked to the young hoteliers at Hotel Icon and have learned about the stellar management behind the scenes that made all this possible. I would definitely come back again, and I highly recommend this hotel to anyone who's traveling to Hong Kong.
Address: 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3400 1000
A Word on Hotel Bookings
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