My wife and I have been to Hong Kong more times than we can count. We love Asia’s World City and know it fairly well. Hong Kong is home to our favorite restaurant, it’s one of our favorite places to spend time, our favorite hotels, and we love connecting through Hong Kong International for its amazing service. However, part of loving this ever-changing city is switching up our hotel choices from time to time. Usually we stay at the Hyatt Regency Sha Tin but for this stay, I decided to try the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui.
The hotel is located in Kowloon in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, not far from Victoria Harbour. For a business person in the city for meetings, they may find the Grand Hyatt across the harbor more convenient with its location in Central. All the same, if you are in town for sightseeing, business, or likely a mixture of the two this location would beat Sha Tin hands down. You are in the heart of everything with excellent transportation links to wherever you would want to go, see or do.
K11, 18 Hanoi Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
+852 2311 1234
Walking in the door (touchless key pad lock) the bathroom is to the immediate right. While it is fitted to a high standard with marble floors and high-end finishes, it’s basic when compared with what you would find at either the Grand Hyatt or the much less expensive Sha Tin.
Specifically, the bathroom is smaller, does not feature a tub, and lacks a charm of the other two Hyatt options in HK. While it seems like a small thing, Sha Tin bathrooms have a huge window over the tub that allows you to enjoy the view if you (or your significant other) are taking a leisurely soak. The toilet does not feature a separate door, which might be the first time I have seen that at a five-star property in Asia. In case you were wondering, the toilet is not Japanese (built-in functions like bidet, heated seat, … bum dryer) – I know that I am getting overly specific and nit-picky here, however, I will explain shortly.
Just after the bathroom the short hall continues into the studio bedroom. There is an open luggage rack conveniently next to the dresser and television. Opposite is the bed (I had a king) which left little room for anything else. There was a small walkway next to the closest side of the bed, on the opposite side there was enough room to place a small sitting chair and ottoman opposite a completely serviceable desk.
The view was gross and I’m not going to include an image of other buildings to demonstrate such. I have stayed here before, the view was the same on the other side of the building as well. In a city of beautiful harbors, mountains, tropical landscapes, and skyscrapers, the window faces a couple of very dated and very gray hotels or apartments. I understand Hong Kong is a concrete jungle but the other two Hyatts have significantly better offerings. The Grand is slightly more expensive but faces one of the most impressive harbors in the world. Sha Tin is far less expensive and has fantastic views on either side of the building (mountain side of the New Territories or a harbor, though not Victoria Harbour).
The view up here is much better. The lounge is located on the 23rd floor. It consists of three rooms, the first being an ante room with seating, newspapers and a computer for easy boarding pass printing. The following room has large, two-story windows facing Victoria Harbour which has a fairly clear view despite the buildings in between the property and the waterfront. There are tables next to the window for two or four person parties, and a long elevated communal table which I found convenient.
While I was not able to join the evening cocktail hour, I did make breakfast on both stays. On this occasion I did not have time to order eggs from the menu but did help myself to cereal and a Chinese breakfast buffet item I have never seen or tried before (rolled egg noodles, pan-fried). The hot buffet items consisted of just congee, the aforementioned noodle dish, baked beans, and sausage (presumably to accompany the made-to-order eggs).
That was it.
In the fridge they offered the Hyatt standard smoked salmon, I did not see a fruit option, but I was in a rush and would have been surprised if they did not offer one at all. There were some cold drink options, though limited. There was also a small salad bar, breads and imported cheeses.
That might seem like a lot if you are used to the Dubuque Holiday Inn Express, but for an international Hyatt, that is a pretty limited offering. By comparison, the Grand Hyatt is lauded for their breakfast buffet both in the lounge and their very popular restaurant downstairs. Service in the lounge was friendly though nothing that exceeded expectations for a hotel of this price point.
At checkin I was processed by a very polite and amenable agent, though there was no one downstairs to greet me and tell me where to go, however there were some boxes that appeared to be awaiting pickup by a delivery service. I could have helped myself if I would have liked, and that worried me. If I was there for business and needed to send something out, perhaps critical documents or to send something home, would my things be left outside unattended for any drifter to pickup and take with them?
I called down to ask about trouble with the internet, was given a very rote response and the call was terminated. In the morning I called ahead to arrange a taxi to be ready for my trip to the airport in about 10-15 minutes. This is pretty standard, and I was told I could get one on the basement floor. I asked if they could call one in advance for me to ensure I would not be late to the airport, I was placed on hold, then told that one had been called for me and would be ready when I got downstairs. When I assembled my things and went downstairs no such cab was waiting, and further, the desk (now staffed) had not received the call. I am not a detective but I would suspect that she put me on hold, never called, and then came back to tell me that it was done to get me off the phone. It’s not like I am going to come back upstairs to complain to her right?
Another case of a bad attitude at this property was the approach to breakfast in the lounge. The minimalist approach could be due to lack of space, that’s fair enough, but making more items available on a menu and made-to-order basis would be a simple solution. And it’s not as though they didn’t have the option, the restaurant on the main floor was huge, featured an open kitchen and was rather impressive. It appeared the issue in the lounge was a matter of gumption. While all the lounge employees were pleasant and helpful, the attitude of the management putting forth such a half-assed effort in the lounge is a slap in the face to Hyatt loyalists like myself who pay a premium to stay at their properties and had much better options even at other Hyatt hotels in the city.
While the price varies based on season and property availability it’s fairly consistently priced at about $180 USD per night. The Grand Hyatt across the Harbour, the flagship for the brand in Hong Kong is between $220-280/night. The Hyatt Regency Sha Tin prices between $110-130/night typically.
While perhaps not exactly double the size of the Hyatt Regency TST room, the Sha Tin room is pretty close to twice the room, features the tub, panoramic views that you actually want to look at, a better lounge, and a staff that is genuinely happy to serve. The Grand also offers fantastic views, a better bathroom, arguably a better location (especially for business people) and an extraordinary lounge and breakfast option in the restaurant.
I am a big value guy. I am not cheap, but I always want a good value for my money. I use a Rimowa suitcase because the quality is impeccable, their warranty is excellent, they will service a broken case at your hotel just about anywhere in the world, and they look gorgeous. That being said, even the least expensive models are hundreds of dollars per piece. It’s not that I hate spending money, I just want to get a good value for what I spend.
When I think about Hyatt hotels in Hong Kong, the Hyatt Regency Sha Tin and the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong are both great values (depending on how expensive the Grand gets and how much time you have). I feel like the value of Sha Tin is better for me because the cost is so affordable and the service is on par with the Grand, it’s the location that suffers (though it has advantages too). The value of the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui is low. The location is of benefit but the room is the size of a matchbox and because I have stayed in other properties in the city, I know that it’s not just a “Hong Kong” thing – it’s a Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui thing. However, it’s not like the hotel can make the rooms larger without an overly expensive and unnecessary renovation. Where they could have brought up the value is staff training and a greater effort on the soft product like the lounge offerings.
For me, it just reinforces that the best deal in Hong Kong might be the Sha Tin, and I headed back there just two days after checking out from TST, never to return.
Have you stayed at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui? Do you have a favorite hotel in Hong Kong?