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“Not world-class luxury”

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Island Shangri-La Hong Kong
Ranked #11 of 719 Hotels in Hong Kong
Certificate of Excellence
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Not world-class luxury”
Reviewed 30 January 2006

The Island Shangri-la Hotel is a good hotel - no doubt - but world-class - perhaps some years ago. The room that I received was large and had a spectacular view. But it felt very out-dated and even had the characteristic smell of mill-dew (complaints about it did not help). Otherwise service was good and concierge-staff went out of their way to help. Breakfast buffet was good, but nothing extra-ordinary. The gym was perhaps the best feature of the hotel. The pool-area very average and sterile. When I come to Hong-Kong next and want a world-class luxury treat, I will definitely stay elsewhere. Probably at the Four Seasons which impressed. That is contemporary luxury. Fredrik/Stockholm

6 Thank FredrikL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2006

My wife and I were spending 4 nights in HK so we wanted:
- Total efficency
- An ideal yet peaceful location in this very crowded island
- A quality room
- A quiet room
- A great pool and gym and spa to work off and sweat out the booze from hectic Hong Kong nights-out and dinner parties
- A good bar or 2 to use and to entertain in
- Beautiful surroundings

The hotel managed to meet all of these demands, so USD 600 a night was worth it. Expensive, but worth it.

Oh, just 1 thing - the leaflet in the room promoting a discount of equivalent of USD 150 a night for stays just 1 week after we left was rather irritating...and the Shangri-La Singapore is a better hotel.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16 Thank MattDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taunton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2005

I've just returned from 3 days at this hotel - the booking made on the recommendation of others from this site. It was absolutely fantastic - clearly a 5 star hotel. Here are some of the reasons:
- Superb room with a wonderful view over the harbour (we had an executive king size overlooking the harbour). Very smart decor. Large room. Absolutely fully equipped (did you forget your comb, razor, toothrbrush or toothpaste? - all can be found in the bathroom). There was also a printer/fax(maybe?)/internet connection - which my husband made use of since he was there for over a week on business. Well equipped mini bar. Comfy bed. Plenty of hanging space, iron, shoe trees etc etc etc...
- Helpful concierge staff - very promptly making dinner reservations and recommendations - and then faxing you the confirmation to your room!
- All staff very polite and friendly - as you meet them in the lifts, corridors or wherever
- Beautifully presented laundry - complete with folded and wrapped socks! - in a wicker basket
- You must see the, what is it, 15 floor tapestry in the Atrium - amazing
- Breakfast - wow - served in Cafe Too - where we also had dinner - lovely atmosphere - wonderful food - attentive staff. I think there were 7 different types of food in the restaurant - and the desserts are to die for. I highly recommend the evening buffet!
- My husband enjoyed the Cantonese restaurant also.
- Didn't try the health club - but it looked (and smelt!) good. People were also swimming outside in November.

We had no problems taking the 5th floor lift into the shopping mall below - which was very handy - especially if you oversleep, miss breakfast, and have to go to Starbucks instead!

We found that we were very well located for the trams - and for the park - with a 5-10 min stroll to the Peak Tram Railway. We could walk to the harbour (though finding the route via walkway was not always straightforward).

Other than that - we recommend Victoria Park on a Sunday; the trams on any day; exploring the markets; eating at Vong (Mandarin Oriental) BEFORE CHRISTMAS - when the hotel shuts for reburbishment and Vong closes too (a great shame); Peak Tram; Star Ferry; the History Museum (in Kowloon) - very interesting -we spent 3 hours there - and had no kids with us!

Food-wise, beside Vong, there's also an excellent Dim Sum restaurant which we would highly recommend. It's called Maxim's Palace and is located on the 2nd floor of City Hall, very close to the Star Ferry pier on HK Island. It's a local institution. We were there on a Sunday lunchtime - and loved it. Old ladies wheeling their dim sum trolleys around (between 18 and 29 HKD per dish on average) - and there was even a wedding party there (with bride in white). It felt very authentic and was obviously very popular (they have a ticket-queuing system in operation).

Have fun!

25 Thank Donbon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2005

Just back from a full week in the Island Shangri-La with my wife. I have to say that this is simply the best hotel I have ever stayed in.

Where to start? The decor is superb and immaculate everywhere - from the toilets in the lobby to the bars/restaurants, and bedrooms. The style combines the most beautiful of Chinese design with modern functionality (check out the hand painted scenes in the elevators or the amazing bathrooms equipped with TV above the bath). The rooms are a good size for HK and beds/pillows are sumptuous. The gym, pool and spa are also wonderful, though if you are planning to spend a lot of time at the pool be aware there is some minor construction going on next door. In terms of restaurants we ate in the Summer Palace (Cantonese) twice which was excellent and relatively good value. The French restaurant on the top floor has fantastic views but was very expensive.

What made our stay so special was the service. Much is made of the service in Asian 5 star hotels, but the Shang put US and European hotels in the shade. Everyone seems to know your name, even some people you haven't met direct. The hotel limousine service is worth the HK$700 - nice Merc with water, mints etc. Also means you are checked in from your hotel bedroom, which is great after a long flight.

Nothing is too much trouble...one morning I was ordering breakfast in the hotel coffee shop, and I enquired whether it would be possible to have some of the scones that I saw served for afternoon tea. The Manageress (a wonderful lady called Scarlet) informed me that she would personally arrange for the chef to make some especially for me the next morning (which duly happened). Would I like raisin or plain, hot or cold, with butter or cream?? This was truly awesome service. The staff were so friendly and helpful - unlike some US hotels, were not doing it for tips - they genuinely only seemed interested in making sure you had the best experience possible.

While in HK I dropped in and had a look at the other top hotels - here are my views:

Four Seasons - very modern, minimalist design. Great shopping centre next door.
Landmark Mandarin Oriental - very modern/designer hotel.

For me both the above lacked any real Asian culture or atmosphere - they could have been modern 5 star hotels in any major city in the world.

The Ritz Carlton and Hyatt had real class but perhaps looked a little dated (1980's). We ate in the Italian restaurants in both of these hotels, and the Toscana in the Ritz was one of the best meals we've ever had (superb food, service and surroundings). Great view from Grissinis in the Hyatt, but the food wasn't as good as Toscanas.

The legendary Mandarin Oriental (not to be confused with the newer Landmark MO across the street) is closing shortly for a well needed refurb.

The Peninsula - legendary, classic colonial design, but full of tourists looking for afternoon tea. For me location is poor (located in Kowloon rather than in HK island). We ate in the famous Phillip Starke designed Felix restaurant - great decor but food was just ok.

To be honest, you probably cannot go wrong with any of the 5 star hotels in HK, but in my opinion the Shang tops the lot - great location (walking distance to everything/next door to the fantastic Pacific Place shopping centre), unbelieveable service and beautiful decor. I hope I am lucky enough to stay there again!

  • Stayed November 2005, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
33 Thank Altobelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2005

My goodness me, this is a very, very upmarket hotel with beautiful views over causeway bay. It is pure opulence from start to finish. I stayed overnight on a business visit and I can honestly say it is the best hotel I have ever stayed in. The staff are second to none and I honestly have nothing to say that could ever be bad about this hotel. Stay here if you can afford it! It is SO worth it!

Stayed October 2005
22 Thank BettyCardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2005

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Island Shangri-La from August 20-23, ‘05 during a stop over in Hong Kong while traveling to Bali and other parts of Asia this summer. Although we stayed at a number of other hotels in HK during our travels, the Island Shang set such a high standard that it remains for us the best hotel in Hong Kong.

The service at the Shangri-La was a wonderful introduction to what Asian service can be. We had heard about it, and read about it too, but we were not prepared for the level of service we received. This was White Glove service at its best without making you feel out of place because you weren’t dressed in a suit and tie or khaki pants, a polo shirt and sweater around your neck. Not overbearing, and not making you feel as though you are inconveniencing the staff when asking for something. They will go out of their way to please you – even going the extra mile when sensing you are holding back on a request. It seriously made me never want to travel to Europe again b/c by comparison, European 5-star service is atrocious.

The hotel itself is beautiful. The facilities are all top rate and in particular the gym (which we used every day since we woke at the crack of dawn due to jetlag) was the most complete and spacious hotel gym I have been to. The locker room/steam area is a bit of a design wonder with mosaic tiles, modern finishes and of course the ever present staff-member to cater to your every need.

People can tell me all day that the view of the HK skyline from TST is breathtaking and beautiful and blah blah blah, but you really have not seen Victoria Harbor unless you’ve seen it from the 50th floor on the Island Side. Our rooms were standard Harbor View rooms which means they were on the lower floors. But in the context of the Shangri-La this was really not that bad: we were on the 44th floor. I should mention that we were there during typhoon season and while we were spared nature's furry and the weather was alright during much of our stay, it had been raining when we arrived the at the Shang on the evening of the 20th. It was therefore too foggy to see the nighttime view of Victoria harbor from our hotel room. This was a rather disappointing first impression, but the fog cleared after a day or two and allowed us to enjoy the splendor of Victoria harbor as it was meant to be enjoyed.

The room was quite large with a king size bed and very nicely appointed. But it’s the multifunction printer, copier, fax, scanner that truly made my stay at the Shang amazing.

Part of the reason I decided to fly through HKG during my travels in Asia was that I had some business in the area. A few days before my trip I was told that everything had been pushed back a couple days and I could rearrange my trip to fly directly to Bali and then spend a few days in HK at the end of my trip. Having not gone on a real vacation for nearly 1 year, I was really getting antsy and sort of lied that everything was booked and I couldn’t really change anything. What this meant was that I now had to spend a good bit of time in front of my laptop sending e-mails, printing out reports, and responding to faxes. Of course the presence of a multifunction made this so painless that I felt I was at my office. Now, I have seen multifunction printers in hotel rooms before, and have even sent out a fax or two in the past. Not only was the multifunction easy to set up, but the USB cable and CD with the printer drivers was located in the desk drawer next to the printer. I cant tell you how many hotels I’ve been to where you have to go down to the lobby to get the drivers CD (which the staff has typically misplaced) a USB cable (which they have usually run out of or your of course are expected to provide yourself). In the absence of any of the above, your great little multifunction turns into a basic fax machine – which isn’t all that helpful when all you want to do is print out an e-mail. Sometimes it’s a the little things that give you a true glimpse of a 5-star hotel -– b/c lots of places get the “big stuff” right. The Shang however has these details down too.

The only thing that could have made my business use a little better would have been free internet. Of course, $17 for 24 hrs is not that bad, but I had free high-speed internet access at the Peninsula Hotel and at the Jia hotel in Causeway Bay where I also stayed for a couple nights, so i feel this is an amenity that the Shang could offer if they wanted to.

On the last day of our stay I had some emails I wanted to respond to and not knowing how long I’d need the internet connection for (and not wanting to drop $17 for 2-3 hours of internet use) I called the front desk to ask if there was any free internet connection at the hotel. Thankfully there was free wireless internet in (and around) the business center.

When I walked into the business center my jaw literally dropped. Quite simply the nicest hotel business center I’ve ever seen. It was huge, with what I counted as 8 full size desks each with a computer terminal and they even had two stations with Macintosh computers. (A first for this traveler!) The separate sitting areas with comfortable couches and a spacious conference room to boot. This could not be more different than some of the after-thought, closet-size “business centers” I’ve seen in most hotels that cater to business people. And again, there was the ubiquitus staff member who literally got on her hands and knees to plug my laptop's power adapter into the wall – god forbid I should have to bend down and do it myself! I cannot stress enough how amazing this business center was except to say that I would rent it out in a heartbeat if they decided to go that route. Absolutely incredible. And that’s not even considering the floor to ceiling windows facing central and the rest of HK financial district. (Maybe I should rethink my plans to move into the Shang business center – I’d never get any work done given the view!)

A couple days after having checked out of the Shang we happened to be lazily walking around the mall at Pacific Place when I decided to look for a photo store to take some passport photos for a Vietnamese Visa I was trying to get. I figured why not ask the concierge at the Shang to point us in the right direction. We weren’t staying there, but we’d become friendly with them so I saw no reason not to. Well, you wouldn’t believe it, but – wait for it – they can take passport photos at the Business Center of the Island Shangri-La!

Honestly, is there anything this hotel does not do? I decided to stay at the Peninsula on my return to HKG a few days later but sort of regret this decision. I only booked to stay at the Pen because everyone keeps raving about it. Our annual board of directors meeting last year was in HK and the board members were meant to stay at the Pen but ened up at the Island Shangri-La because one of our board members is part owner of the Shangri-La brand – and everyone kept wondering if this had been the better choice. I figured I’d sample both given the opportunity. Well, I can without question say that the Shang beats out the Pen in almost every way – including the all important “service” aspect. The service at the Pen was great too, but a bit uncomfortable and only rarely as friendly as at the Shang.

And then there is the issue of location. I’ve said it before, but TST is a dump. I would without hesitation pick a hotel on the HK side – and the Pacific Place was a wonderful home-base from which to explore the city – than anything in noisy, dirty, smelly, overcrowded Kowloon. I cannot tell you how happy I was each afternoon to be coming back to the shelter of Pacific Place given the throngs of people one has to deal with on the Kowloon side. It was truly an Oasis set apart from high-energy Hong Kong which was at times overwhelming. (and I’m a New Yorker too!) Even the Pen was not a sanctuary from the throngs as at any given moment there were tons of tourists swarming the lobby trying to get a taste of the afternoon tea. The Island Shangri-La is a much more secluded slice of paradise – not unlike what its namesake suggests.

My only true fault for this hotel (and something I mentioned in the “suggestion card”) was access to the Mall at Pacific Place. There are three elevators that connect directly with the mall but these are almost always, and I mean ALWAYS, occupied to the max making for a tedious 20 minute wait for an available lift on a number of occasions. (and I am not even exaggerating!) When I asked if there was another path to the mall, the front desk told me of an escalator located outside and adjacent to the hotel. When we went outside to look for same we inevitably got lost and were directed back to the crowded elevators by a bell boy who figured we’d rather wait than go off in search of the escalators. It also didn’t help that his English wasn’t the greatest (and we don’t speak Cantonese or Mandarin either). We eventually found this escalator and used it exclusively from that point on (and pardon the pun, but it was a bit like finding the fabled Shangri-La.) Honestly everything was so perfect, but getting down to Pacific Place (where there is an MTR station, for example) was truly a bit of an Odyssey and there was no reason for this. They should have a set of lifts for hotel guest only rather than having the only real option for access to the hotel from the mall be the basic set of lifts that people use to go between the different floors of the mall itself.

I guess I come at this hotel experience not as a tourist, but rather as a reluctant business traveler and this skewes my expectations and my values somewhat. I gather that most of you will have little use of a multifunction printer on your next stay in Hong Kong. Still, in my case it really saved the day. I cannot fault this hotel for anything – and although it is about 15% more expensive than similarly classed hotels on the Kowloon side, the premium is worth every single cent. There are a number of other hotels I’d like to try on my subsequent visits to HK, but they have a tough act to follow after 3 incredible nights at the Island Shangri-La.

  • Stayed August 2005, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
41 Thank cmm.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
54 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2005

The Shangri-La is a very solid 5 star hotel which has its strengths in particular in their service attitude, from the moment you are greeted at the airport until you leave Hongkong, they make you feel at home. The rooms are spacious, with the latest technology, one additonal plus would be if there would be a wireless broadband service. The restaurants are very good, I had dinner at the Lobster bar as well as breakfast and dinner at their all day buffet restaurant Cafe Too, both restaurant proved to be very good. Location of the hotel with their connection to MTR and Pacific place is wonderful. Can only recommend this wonderful hotel

  • Stayed August 2005, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22 Thank ThWilmesi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island Shangri-La Hong Kong

Property: Island Shangri-La Hong Kong
Address: Supreme Court Road, Hong Kong, China
Region: China > Hong Kong
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Hong Kong
#7 Romantic Hotel in Hong Kong
#8 Spa Hotel in Hong Kong
#11 Business Hotel in Hong Kong
#11 Luxury Hotel in Hong Kong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Island Shangri-La Hong Kong 5*
Number of rooms: 565
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Island Shangri-La Hong Kong is a welcoming luxury hotel in the heart of the city. It soars 56 floors above Hong Kong's most prestigious shopping, cultural and business addresses, with memorable views of the Peak and Victoria Harbour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Shangri La Hotel
Hotel Island Shangri La
Shangri La Hotel Hong Kong
Island Shangri-La Hong Kong

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