I stayed at the Royal Park with my wife for 6 nites in December 2008 for vacation. Overall, we thought the hotel was very nice -- with nice rooms and nice common areas. We were upgraded to a superior room at no cost. As far as I could tell, the only difference between a standard and superior was that the superior had a fridge. My only disappointment (and it is minor) is that there was no IPOD player. The gym and pool looked especially nice, although we didn't use either. Service at the front desk and concierge desk was very good and check-in and check-out both went extremely smoothly. We got an excellent rate ($112US plus tax + service charge) on Orbitz, a great site to use since your credit card is not charged until you show up at the hotel (and cancellation penalties are low and generally don't kick in at all unless you cancel 1 or 2 days before arrival). Also, although our Orbitz reservation did not indicate it, our rate included free shuttle service, which some guests apparently have to pay a small fee for. We did not eat at the hotel restaurants but we did order room service once. I had a burger which was fine but my wife had a beef and noodle dish which she did not like at all.
The hotel is connected to three malls that while nearby are difficult to navigate. I do have a couple of tips that could help to simplify navigation. When approaching the malls, the best way to get there is via the third floor of the hotel. There are covered walkways from there. If you want to go to the Shatin MTR entrance you should follow the walkway to the right. When you reach the mall, go down to the first level to enter the metro. There is a 7-eleven adjacent to the entrance. The metro is not far at all, about a 4-minute walk.
The closest restaurants (outside of the hotel) were McDonald's and DeliFrance which are both extremely close if you know where to go. They are both on the third floor of the Hilton Plaza. As you come out on the third floor walk over the covered walkway to the left. After briefly passing thru New Town Plaza you will come to the Hilton Plaza. Both restaurants are just inside the mall, which is not clearly marked, but very close. We thought DeliFrance had an excellent breakfast at extremely cheap prices. Another benefit, it was not busy. Nor was the McDonald's, compared to the one in New Town Plaza (on the fifth floor).
We also found a Ruby Tuesday in New Town Plaza on the fifth floor which we thought was very good. McDonald's was fine for breakfast, but KFC was not of the same standard as in the US. We also ate at the Spaghetti House and Maxim's in the New Town Mall. We did not enjoy either -- Spaghetti House because of the food and Maxim's because no one in the restaurant spoke English so we had no idea what we were eating. We did splurge for one meal. We went to the Intercontinental's Harbourside Restaurant in TST for dinner. The food was a bit below expectations based on the price of $90US per person, but the setting was out of this world. For me, it was worth the price just for the atmosphere. But be prepared for lines at the buffet if you go. We also made the mistake of getting there early; the buffet does not start until 6:30pm. If you do go, make a reservation and go either right at the start or later on to avoid the lines. It is extremely easy to see why the Intercontinental is the No.1 hotel on tripadvisor. The location and setting are incredible.
The most fun we had (other than possibly Victoria Peak) was at the 10,000 Buddas which is a very short (if not confusing) walk from the hotel. We took a cab ($30HKD) b/c we had no idea how close it was. If you walk thru the mall towards the subway entrance and exit left you will see a bus depot. Walk past the buses, down a hill, and make a left at Ikea. The 10,000 Buddas is just a few steps away. It's about a 10 minute stroll, again if you know where you are going. Once you get there you can literally spend a few hours there if you want. Yes, there are 400 steps there, but there is also an escalator at the end of the small parking lot. The escalator was not working the day we were there. But there is also a funicular - and that was working. There is alot there and the more time you spend the more you will discover. There is much more there than first meets the eye. And it is quite peaceful, far off the tourist path.
One of the main reasons I booked the Royal Park was for its location and because of the convenience from the airport. A word of warning on the bus from the airport. We caught the A41 from the airport, or so we thought. Although we stood at a bus stop that was marked as the A41 stop, and my wife and I both saw "A41" on the front of the bus, we somehow ended up on the "E41" bus. I still believe the bus I got on was marked "A41". Regardless when we got off the back of the bus said E41 and you guessed it, we were way off track and ended up having to take two cabs to get back to the hotel. The first cab was not allowed to go to the New Territories. Most bus drivers do not speak English, but if you do take the bus I would suggest asking if the bus is headed to Shatin. They should at least be able to understand that.
Regarding the location of the hotel, as it turned out, because the mall layout is so confusing I did not find the mall to be a big advantage. Also the distance from downtown is quite far. I thought taking the train would be a breeze based on what I had read about the Hong Kong subway. Unfortunately that was not our experience. We did not find the subway easy to navigate, and I have travelled extensively on other systems, and the distance was farther than I imagined. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Kowloon/TST by train. Also do not underestimate the crowds on the subway, even at off peak hours.
On a positive note, taxis were incredibly cheap and we used those quite a bit. The one way fare to TST from the hotel is $100 HKD, or about $13 US, including a small tip. Well worth the money. We also used the shuttle bus a few times but found that it did not run frequently enough to use all the time. The shuttle leaves the hotel once an hour on the hour and picks up from the Peninsula Hotel in TST at 30 minutes past each hour. There is no shuttle at 5:00pm or pickup at 5:30 from TST. The shuttle runs from 7am to 10pm, I believe. We also took a taxi to the airport for our departing flight. The cost was $300HKD including tip of $50HKD. Based on the amount of luggage we had, it was well worth the expense, and about the same as the hotel shuttle would have cost for two people.
Overall, we were not really impressed with Hong Kong. It was too crowded and too tough to navigate. If we were returning to Hong Kong, which I don't expect to, I would consider staying at either the Eaton in Mong Kong or the Harbour Plaza in Hung Hom, both of which are in a similar price range. I can see why some hotels in Mong Kong are highly rated. The area is very busy, but seems to have real personality and yet is not as crowded and unbearable as downtown TST. We went to the Ladies Market there and enjoyed it for its uniqueness. The shopping was decent too. Central was clearly more of a business district with less personality. Hung Hom might be nice just because it is close to the main downtown but not in the middle of the chaos. Also, if you are facing the harbor, you get the tremendous view of Hong Kong Island. The one big advantage to staying at the Royal Park was the size of the room for the price we paid. You probably would not get a room of this size (and quality) for this price elsewhere.
We would also recommend a day trip to Macau. We left from the China Ferry Terminal in Kowloon (which is closer than the hydrofoil service that leaves from Hong Kong Island). Downtown Macau has a nice colonial feel and interesting architecture. After walking around downtown Macau we took a taxi to the Venetian which is several miles from downtown but worth the trip. From the Venetian you can catch a free shuttle back to the ferry terminal. The Venetian, and apparently some of the other large casinos, are isolated from the rest of the island. You can take a free shuttle to the casinos from the ferry terminal but we would recommend checking out downtown first to see the real Macau. You can get downtown very easily by city bus.
One of my favorite things about staying at the Royal Park was using a local laundry establishment, which a previous commenter suggested. The laundry is a bit hidden, but only about a 3 minute walk if you know where you are going. The laundry is in the Hilton Plaza, at street level on the rear side of the mall, basically at the far end of an alley. If you have laundry, it is a great deal. We had a huge load done for $97 HKD. You get it back in 4 hours. The sign is in Chinese and the woman there speaks no English. She did a nice job and my only regret was that I didn't tip her more. It's open daily at 8:00am except Sundays when it opens at 9:00. Closes early on Fridays at 1:30. Otherwise open every day until at least 6:00pm.
If you have reason to stay in or near Shatin, the Royal Park is a great choice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the center of Shatin district and adjacent to New Town Plaza, the biggest shopping mall in Hong Kong. Five minutes walk from MTR station. Easy access to Central and TST by means of public transport. Hotel runs regular comlimentary shuttle bus service to and from TST to hotel. Regular public bus A41 run between Hong Kong International Airport and hotel. The journey takes around 45 minutes. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, Odigeo and Ctrip TA so you can book your Royal Park Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Royal Park Hong Kong
- Hotel Royal Park
- Royal Park Hotel Hong Kong