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Hong Kong - Hong Kong SAR, PRC
With high property prices in Hong Kong, it comes as no surprise that hotel room rates tend to be on the expensive side. This is compensated, however, by the excellent facilities and high standards of service provided by Hong Kong's modern hotels. The following areas, which are all served by the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), the local underground railway system, are the most recommended for both business and leisure travelers.
Tsim Sha Tsui
This well-known tourist area at the tip of the Kowloon peninsula is bursting with hotels, and there are many swanky five-star establishments to choose from. Hogging the limelight, the Peninsula is the grande dame of Hong Kong hotels, while the Hotel InterContinental, regarded as one of the world's best hotels.
More internationally-recognized hotels include the Sheraton, the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, the Hyatt Regency and the Kowloon Hotel. The Prince and the Marco Polo, as well as the more affordable Salisbury YMCA, are also excellent choices. Why stay in this area? Well, the waterfront has stunning views across the bustling Victoria Harbour towards Hong Kong Island, particularly at night. Then there are the huge shopping complexes, as well as the endless stores along Nathan Road, known as the Golden Mile. The area is also jam-packed with restaurants offering Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Italian cuisine. Fast-food establishments and food courts inside malls are also plentiful.
Located right at the Star Ferry pier is the only Hong Kong Tourist Association information center in Kowloon, and culture vultures will love the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Hong Kong Museum of Art, both situated along the waterfront near the Star Ferry pier.
Tsim Sha Tsui East
This area includes large commercial and office complexes, and smaller shopping arcades. Again, this is a touristy area with several expensive hotels. Choices include the Kowloon Shangri-La, the Royal Garden, the Regal Kowloon Hotel and the Hotel Nikko. This area is less busy than the main Tsim Sha Tsui district, yet it is still well positioned, allowing some respite from the traffic and crowds of Nathan Road. A promenade along the waterfront, extending to Tsim Sha Tsui, provides amazing views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island.
The Hung Hom KCR train station, linking the area with the New Territories and Guangzhou in China, is nearby, while Central is easily reached by seaplane. Also in the area is the Museum of Science.
This busy commercial district on Hong Kong Island is home to the Excelsior Hotel with its panoramic views of the harbor and of Kowloon peninsula, the Park Lane Hotel, which overlooks Victoria Park, and the Regal Hong Kong Hotel. All these hotels are within a few minutes walk of the Causeway Bay MTR station.
Causeway Bay is popular with locals for its Japanese department stores, trendy shopping centers and wide range of restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets.
An interesting mix of old and new buildings, this prosperous business district is only minutes away from Central. Renowned hotels in this area are the deluxe Grand Hyatt and the Renaissance Harbour View, both situated in a prime location adjoining the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre. There are also more moderately-priced hotels, such as the Novotel Century Hong Kong Hotel, Empire Hotel and the Wesley. Other hotels include the Charterhouse, South Pacific and the Luk Kwok.
Wanchai is the nightlife district of Hong Kong with an exciting mixture of pubs, bars and nightclubs. Entertainment for theater enthusiasts is provided by the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
This up-market business and commercial district is nestled between Wanchai and Central. The luxurious Conrad and JW Marriott are situated on top of the Pacific Place complex of shops, restaurants, cinemas and offices. Behind these hotels is Hong Kong Park, which shows off its landscaped gardens and large tropical aviary. Direct access to the Admiralty MTR station is available through Pacific Place. The Tamar site, an outdoor venue for exhibitions, trade fairs, cultural events and festivals, is also close by.
An important center for financial and commercial activities, Central is home to some top-end hotels, including the Four Seasons and the Mandarin Oriental, another one of the world's best hotels. The award winning boutique hotel Central Park Hotel can be found here. These hotels are situated near the waterfront and Star Ferry pier, from which there is regular ferry service to Tsim Sha Tsui. Other transport links are also well represented, with the nearby Airport Express Hong Kong Station providing fast direct access to the airport. The Outlying Islands ferry piers and Peak Tram station are also within walking distance.
Central is quiet after office hours, and shops close earlier compared to Wanchai and Causeway Bay. The narrow streets of Lan Kwai Fong, with their stylish wine bars and trendy restaurants do, however, break this rule, with establishments open until the early hours of the morning. The Hotel Lan Kwai Fang is conveniently within the complex.
Lane Crawford, the "Harrod's of Hong Kong," and The Landmark, a high-priced shopping center with chic local brands and international designer boutiques, provide some of Central's best shopping opportunities.
Further east past Causeway Bay is Fortress Hill, featuring more moderately-priced hotels such as the City Garden and Newton Hotel, both of which are located near the Fortress Hill MTR station. Central is only a 10-minute journey away, and Causeway Bay's shoppers' paradise is even closer. In addition, the restaurants and shops of North Point are only a few minutes' walk away.