I was lucky this last trip to Hong Kong to have experienced two hotels in the time that I was there.
J + Boutique Hotel was a treasure that I unearthed and it was hard to tear myself away from her cocooning embrace.
But I was here for work and was officially booked at the Harbor Grand in Fortress Hill, two subway stops away. So after just one night in Causeway Bay, I reluctantly packed my suitcase and moved ...
It was a complete 180 degree turn. If J + was cool, trendy, hip, small and chic -- well, Harbor Grand was exactly as its name implied -- a grand ... no, a grandiose hotel right along the harbor in the residential North Point area.
Good bye, small and fascinatingly quirky J + Hotel lobby ... look at the sweep of the marble staircase at the lobby of the Harbor Grand. The lobby was huge specially for Hong Kong where hotels tend to maximize every inch of usable space. But I hear the Harbor Grand is owned by Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong billionaire and reputedly the richest man in Asia. He certainly spared no expense for his hotel.
While impressively spacious, I thought it was not as tasteful as it could have been. After all, size doesn't matter every time. The three sparkling chandeliers suspended from the ceiling were pretty but too showy for my taste. The entire lobby of the J + Hotel could have fit under one of these large chandeliers.
The hotel is just four years old and already very popular with conventions, meetings and events.
Thus the red velvet chairs, tacky and odd, that were scattered throughout the lobby were already showing signs of wear and tear.
Our room was every inch a traditional hotel room. Thankfully no red velvet plush chairs here. The decor was muted and quite refined, much more so than the public areas.
The bathroom was well equipped with a glassed off shower and bath area, a rain shower and a deep and spacious tub. I looked forward to long soaks after long meetings.
The best part of the room was the view from the corner windows!
Our room looked out over the harbor and the wharf, with nothing to obstruct the wide expansive view of water, ships and the Kowloon skyline.
The other window looked out on the mainly residential and quiet area of North Point. Harbor Grand is situated on Oil Street and down below was Electric Road -- where I was told there were lots of good, local restaurants to be discovered and enjoyed.
Aside from the view, that was the main attraction and benefit of staying at the Harbor Grand Hotel!