Hong Kong was the second stop on my crazy 11 day trip around the world, and I was scheduled to be in town for just over 24 hours. Originally I had planned to stay at The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, with sweeping views of the harbour, but Hong Kong weather during during the winter can be foggy, so I thought it might be a wasted opportunity better saved for a future trip in the summer. Also, I had originally planned to be in Hong Kong for a few days, but thanks to Japan Airlines becoming bookable with Alaska Mileage Plan, I cut my trip short to take advantage of some very cheap reward travel to Jakarta. All that said, I decided it might be best to stay near the airport, where I could easily make a trip to the city to take in some of the celebrations for Chinese New Year.
I had researched a lot of hotels in Hong Kong but somehow overlooked the Marriott Skycity, which has been well reviewed by One Mile At A Time, as well as some other bloggers I follow.
At just 30,000 points per night, it was very good value, especially since paid rates were in the $300 range, given the holidays. Marriott Rewards transfer from SPG at a 3:1 ratio, meaning the 25,000 SPG bonus on The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card is enough for a 2 night stay at this property, or any other category 6 Marriott hotel. Furthermore, as Marriott Gold, compliments of my American Express Canada Platinum Card, I was eligible for an upgrade to the executive floor at the time of booking, with lounge access, including free breakfast, evening snacks, complimentary evening cocktails, and enhanced guest services.
I arrived to Hong Kong on my Cathay Pacific Flight just after 4:00pm. There was no line at immigration (it’s always nice to be first off the plane) and I was in the arrivals hall in less than 10 minutes. I had been directed to look for the Marriott SkyCity booth in arrivals, where an associate would arrange for my transfer to the hotel. While the property offers around-the-clock shuttle service for all guests, Marriott Gold and Platinum members get private, on-demand transfer to the hotel, which was nice after a long flight.
I found the desk quite easily amongst all the other hotels and was greeted by a nice associate. She asked me to have a seat while she arranged the car. Within 10 minutes she came and got me and walked me down the stairs to a waiting van just outside the exit. Although certainly not a Mercedes, like the JW Marriott Aerocity New Delhi or The Four Seasons Jakarta, the van was perfectly comfortable for the 5 minute drive and was air conditioned with bottled water and newspapers available.
The hotel is located about 5 minutes by car from the Airport. Although probably walking distance, the roads are windy and confusing and I could easily see myself getting lost. I also didn’t notice a continuous sidewalk the entire route, although I wasn’t paying much attention. The exterior of the hotel is somewhat bland, with nothing around it except a convention centre and a lot of construction sites!
The driver was very friendly but didn’t talk much, which is something I actually appreciate after a long flight. Usually I’m quite tired, and while I appreciate friendly service, sometimes that means a quiet journey. We pulled up beside a standard Hong Kong taxi, with the seatbelt sticking out of the door.
As mentioned earlier, the exterior of the hotel was a bit bland. I will say that the driveway, landscaping and overall cleanliness was top-notch. I went for a short walk around the building and couldn’t find a single piece of trash, cigarette butt, etc.
The hotel is really out of the way from any attractions, so those staying for more than one night should look at other accommodation in the city. For a one-night layover, however, I found the location perfect, with the city easily accessible by taxi or transit.
We pulled up to the front door and I was greeted by one of the guest service representatives. She insisted on taking my luggage (something I always find awkward when I only have one or two pieces) and quickly brought me up to the room, bypassing the front desk for an in-room checkin. The lobby was decorated nicely for Chinese New Year, and I managed to grab a few shots of the lounge and reception area.
I appreciated the in-room check-in as I find airport hotels can have long waits at reception, due to the transient nature, but naturally there was no line-up when I arrived!
the lobby lounge was tastefully decorated and rarely busy. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to sample the offerings as I had full executive lounge access on the 12th floor.
Within a few minutes we were up the elevators to the 12th floor. At this points it had been only about 25 minutes since my plane touched down, which was amazing! I found this property very difficult to photograph due to the glossy, reflective wood and dark colours, so I apologize in advance for the picture quality!
This is still a relatively new hotel, yet I found some of the design elements dated, especially the carpet choice. Otherwise I found the finishes to be of high quality and quite tasteful.
I was assigned room 1257, which was an Executive Deluxe Room with lounge access.
I couldn’t help but notice the carpet upon entering the room, which wasn’t really my taste. Apart from that, I found the room quite standard in design with a small hallway, washroom on the left, closet on the right, opening up into a large room with king bed, small sitting area near the window, large television with minibar and a hybrid desk/eating area in the corner. Marriott announced some time ago they would remove desks from their hotel rooms, citing that millennials didn’t want the space. I couldn’t disagree more, as I like a defined work space in a hotel (keeps me more productive) and they’ve since reconsidered.
The washroom was quite nice, with a large walk-in marble shower, small but functional counter space with single sink and toilet.
Amenities were by Thann, and were high quality, although not as nice as my favourite Le Labo Rose 31 offered at The Fairmont Pacific Rim. There was also a box of essentials including nail kit, dental kit, cotton swabs, etc.
The closet was just opposite the bathroom door and featured the in-room safe, ironing board, slippers, robes, and plenty of storage.
The room felt spacious, and large, although it was a fairly standard layout. There was a large window on the far wall with water views, though it was very foggy for much of my stay. The king bed featured high quality linens and pillows, but the mattress was very firm, bordering on uncomfortable.
The design elements in the room were nice, but not especially my taste. I did like the high gloss wood finish on the headboard, with individual reading lamps built in.
Beside the bed, next to the window, was a comfortable lounge chair. I think the space may have been better served by two smaller armchairs, although I wasn’t bothered since I was travelling alone. The view from the room was of the harbour and a large construction site with a lot of water taxi traffic. As seen by the picture quality, the windows were in need of a clean…
Opposite the seating area was a hybrid desk/eating space, with plenty of electrical outlets and a welcome fruit plate. The chair was extremely comfortable and I found the space quite pleasant to work from.
Beside the desk was a large television and minibar. The TV had a large selection of free programming, with both local and international options.
There was a small luggage rack next to the television, just in front of a connecting door to the neighbouring room. I generally avoid connecting rooms (due to noise) but didn’t hear anyone next door during the stay.
The Executive lounge was located on the 12th floor, about 30 seconds down the hall. Overall I really enjoyed this lounge, with plenty of seating, a nice outdoor space, and friendly staff. Sometimes I find hotel lounges overcrowded, especially at Marriott and Starwood properties where elite status allows entry, but this one seemed constructed to handle a lot of people at once.
Executive Club access comes with daily breakfast buffet, afternoon snacks, complimentary cocktails and snacks in the evening, business services, boardroom use, and dedicated service staff. Although I arrived during evening cocktail hour, I was too full from the huge steak on my Cathay Pacific flight and opted to have a couple of Heinekens and get some work done!
There was also an outdoor patio overlooking Hong Kong Airport with some water views beyond the large convention centre next door. It should be noted that smoking was allowed on the patio, but no residual smell came inside.
The lounge is open daily between 6:00 and 12:00 midnight, with full buffet breakfast served daily between 6:00 and 10:30. The selections were plenty, with a variety of breads, fruit, deli meats, coffee, tea, and both western and Chinese hot items. There was also a made-to-order omelette station. The service in the lounge was fantastic during breakfast service, with many helpful staff clearing plates, replenishing food, etc.
Overall I was very pleased with the food and beverage options, which were much better than most lounge offerings in North America. Having Gold Status with Marriott really saved me a lot of money on this stay, as I didn’t have to pay for any food/beverage while on property. I estimate I saved roughly $75 on this one-night stay alone, which could really help justify the steep fee on The American Express Canada Platinum Card for those who travel frequently or plan to stay at many Marriott Properties.
The hotel also features a beautiful indoor pool with plenty of seating. I went down once to take some photos and once to have a swim, and both times I was the only person there, which made it even better!
This was a great hotel for a short one-night stay in Hong Kong. Not only was it a great use of Marriott points, at 30,000 points per night (inclusive of all tax), but it was also conveniently located to both the airport and public transit to go explore Hong Kong City. For those with longer stays in Hong Kong, it might be better to look at other Marriott properties in the city, as I wouldn’t want to make the commute on a daily basis. Having Marriott Gold Elite status certainly made this is a much nicer stay with lounge access, private airport transfer, daily breakfast, complimentary evening cocktails and a dedicated service team. I would encourage anyone who stays at Marriott properties often to apply for the American Express Platinum Card for the instant status as one of the many card benefits, as the savings could add up quickly on extended stays or for frequent travellers. The Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong certainly served it’s purpose for this trip and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again or recommend it to other travellers with a short stopover in Hong Kong!