As mentioned in another thread, my wife & I have decided to escape the mainland & take our 5yo daughter to Hong Kong for 4 nights 4/3 - 4/7. I don't really have any specific questions, so I thought I would just lay out my thoughts so far mostly to help me get them organize, but also to see what other people think.
Lodging wise, I think I've narrowed it down to the Courtyard Hong Kong and Renaissance Harbor View. I'm kind of leaning towards doing the first 2 nights in the CY & then the weekend at the Renaissance. Also, up in the air is how to pay and which rates to use (I qualify for US Gov rates so I need to compare those with advance purchase).
I have 1 CAT 1-4 cert & 1 CAT 1-5 cert available. The Courtyard is a CAT 4, so I'm thinking of using the 1-4 cert for one night & saving the other for a Cat 5 when I go to Europe in a few months.
For the other night it looks like I can either do a Garden View for 944HKD (Gov rate) or Harbor View for 1380HKD.
Renaissance is CAT 6, so I can't use a certificate & reward nights are 30k for a Garden View. I don't want to use points for both nights because I want to make sure it counts as a stay & I don't know if it would or not. Gov rate is the best cash option at 2000HKD for Garden View or 2500HKD for Harbor View.
So, is the Harbor view worth an extra 436HKD at Courtyard or 500HKD at Renaissance? Not to mention that using a certificate or points for the other night would give me a Garden View, so if I sprang for the Harbor View on the other night I would most likely have to change rooms unless they upgraded me on the free night. If I decided to do this is it better to start at the nicer room and then downgrade or vice versa?
As for activities we are thinking:
-Surprise our daughter with Disney since I don't think she knows there is one there
-Ocean Park as she saw a picture of it somewhere and is begging for us to take her there so she can see dolphins
I just got my Gold status, so I've never really used concierge services before. Would going to them about getting tickets to Disney etc... be a good idea? Or, is it better to just buy them direct online or pay at the gate?
Also, save GemPrincess the trouble, here are the obligatory more Hong Kong links I copied from an earlier post she made (& am still reading through):
Rank Your Top 5 Asian Cities. (some references to Hong Kong)
I decided to spend the 1st 2 nights in the Courtyard Hong Kong (1 free bonus night + 1 paid @ Gov rate) and then the last 2 nights at the Renaissance Harbor view (1 night paid @ Gov rate & 1 night on points).
Of course, you can't mix gov rate & rewards in 1 reservation online, so I went ahead and did multiple reservations & then sent an email to customer support requesting they adjust the reservations and combine them. A little while later I got an email back and they had done exactly what I wanted. I love good email customer service!
I am also going to try & find a prepaid SIM for my iPhone while I'm there. Reading online, it seems that there is a "One2Free" $88HKD one available. Supposedly you can find them at the airport, but you have to leave the restricted arrivals area & go upstairs to the departure check in hall to find the stores where they are.
I thought I would update as I we will be heading to Hong Kong tomorrow morning. The Courtyard has already upgraded me to a Harbor View Executive Lounge Level room.
My friend gave us 3 "Oyster Cards" for the MRT that he had left over from previous trips. However, it looks as if taking the Airport Express is cheaper if you buy a one way group ticket. Regular one way fare on oyster card is 100HKD for adults and 50HKD for kids for a total of 250. It seems that they have a one way group fare for 3 people for 210, so that would be the cheaper way to go. Plus, I guess to get the child discount I would have to buy a separate child oyster card so that is probably more trouble than it's worth.
That will get us to Hong Kong Station which is still 2km away, so I guess we will take a taxi from there.
Forecast seems to be for lots of rain, so I'm reconsidering the idea of Disney. My daughter really wants to go to Ocean Park though so we are still planning to do that. I'm guessing that Thursday being a holiday with all the kids out of school is probably not the ideal time to go. Debating whether to try to do it in the half day tomorrow after we arrive or if we will need a full day.
I'll be sure to post pictures and reviews of both hotels.
Ok, I will see if anyone I meet there has tried it. Since I live in China, Chinese food is not high on my list of dining priorities.
While searching for the name I did see there were 2 Michelin starred steak houses there. I might actually try one of those as I love a good steak and so rarely get one now that when I have the opportunity I don't mind splurging a little.
Doing some more last minute research I think instead of taking the Airport Express + taxi to get to the Courtyard we will take the A12 bus. It will cost much less, drop us off right outside the hotel, and though it will take a little longer we will have a better view during the trip.
I'm pretty sure that to get my daughter the child fare I will have to get Child Octopus card for her. It shouldn't be a big deal as long as I can find an ATM when I arrive so that I can get cash to load onto the cards.
Looks like I'll be staying at the same hotel at the same time. Check in April 4, check out April 7. First time staying here.
Currently in HK now (at the new Sha Tin Courtyard... fantastic place). Weather has been damp and rainy the last few days, but possibly better toward the end of the week. Maybe not the best for Disneyland. Note that Thursday is a public holiday and many people will take off Friday. I would expect Disneyland to be a zoo since its small. I think people will still go regardless of the weather.
I'm hearing that the Sai Wan HK Courtyard on Connaught Road is nice, but has a small lobby and is far away from the MTR. A taxi or a tram ride is required to get to the MTR.
Have a safe trip and enjoy your stay in HK!
The lobby is small & it is a pretty fair distance from the MTR. However, they have a few different shuttles and one runs to/from the Hong Kong Station MRT stop almost hourly from 11:00AM to 10:00PM and then back on the following half hour.
Taking the A12 bus worked perfectly and it dropped us off right across the street.
We decided to go ahead and do Ocean Park this afternoon and had a good time there and it wasn't crowded at all. My daughter previously didn't really care if we went to Disney, but my wife kept bringing it up and now she's adamant that we should go there on Thursday. We will see, I guess.