Thursday, October 10, 2013

Where to stay in Hong Kong : Ibis North Point

Looking at this year's calendar, I suddenly realized that Paul and I haven't had a single trip. Sure we have been flying back and forth Singapore and Manila but to really go somewhere far away from our two homes and to call it a vacation, this has not been done so far. The year isn't over so I'm still feeling a teeny bit optimistic. Oh, how I miss those times wherein we would have a trip abroad or out of town almost once a month. Traveling keeps me sane and it's pretty good that I haven't gone nuts for not going on a vacation this year. Guess I'm still happy exploring this beautiful city to mind.

That said, let me open this overly delayed Hong Kong travel series that I've been meaning to blog about for more than a year already. I'm so sorry as my bloglag is terrible!

Prior to our overnight stay in Macau, Paul and I had a 4 day break in Hong Kong. We both grew up frequenting this lovely cosmopolitan that's just an hour and 45 minutes flight away from Manila and every single time we're there, we try to revisit our childhood favorites (well only those that are still around) while discovering new ones in the process. As we excited share those wonderful memories with one another, there are moments wherein we wonder if there was a time back then that we may have been at the same restaurant, eating the same food, at the same time. Hong Kong is a popular summer destination after all and it is just so cool that we have the same secret food finds amidst the endless food choices that one can find in this city.

Anyway, before I share our food finds with you. Let's talk about the most important concern when traveling -- where to stay. I'll be honest in saying that accommodation in Hong Kong is not cheap. A quick scan at my favorite hotel booking site will show you that a hotel room averages at Php. 5,000 a night. Since we stayed for 3 nights, Paul and I agreed to go for one that's relatively on the cheap side but is still accessible to public transportation. Taking in the reviews posted on Agoda as well as my friends'  recommendations, we decided to book at Ibis North Point.

ibis hotel hong kong 7
We got to Hong Kong past 10PM and after taking the MRT to the North Point station, we were so happy to see that the hotel was located just a few steps away from Exit A. Big points for that! Somehow we were assured that we won't be killing our legs walking to and from the hotel to the nearest MRT station.

ibis hotel hong kong 6
The lobby is located at the second level and checking in was a breeze. All I had to do was to present my confirmation print-out and within minutes, we were on our way up to our room. I'm really happy with this as we both haven't had dinner and we just wanted to drop our bags and head out for a light midnight snack to tame our growling tummies.

ibis hotel hong kong 2
As we got to the room, I will be honest to you. I found it to be extremely small. When I thought our hotel room in Korea was tiny, this one was unbelievably compact. We opened the door and there was the bathroom, a short narrow hallway led us to our bed and beside it was the window. In fact, one side of the bed was pushed against the wall. Paul could even reach out to the side countertop while sitting on the bed. They definitely weren't kidding when they say that everything is within reach. One room is good for 2, there's really no way another person can fit in there without making it feel too cramped. I'm just so glad that there was a big window that overlooks to the sea or I'd feel extremely claustrophobic.

ibis hotel hong kong 5
To be fair though, the room had the basic amenities. A flat screen TV, coffee and tea plus utensils, the basic toiletries and even a water heater. I like that it's very clean too and they always change our sheets and towels every day. I honestly don't mind the tiny space provided their cleanliness is top quality.

ibis hotel hong kong 1
Here's the bathroom, while it was a bit too small for us to freely move around, it was clean, odor-free and complete with all the towels that we want. For that, I'm giving them some brownie points.

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As for the bed, this is probably one thing that I didn't like about Ibis North Point. The bed was HARD. No wonder my friend D complained that she had a hard time sleeping during her stay here. Add to the fact that she was pregnant then. It was very uncomfortable as the mattress was pretty much non-existent. Definitely not a great way to rest your back and legs after a full day walking around Hong Kong. This was a big issue for me as the bed is supposed to be the most important part of every hotel room and sadly Ibis North Point failed miserably in this aspect.

I'd probably give Ibis North Point 7 out of 10 stars. Would only go back if they got the lowest price and only if my trip itinerary would require me to stay at the Hong Kong side more than my old favorite Kowloon. Oh, if they decided to improve on the beds then I might just reconsider.

Ibis North Point is located at 138 Java Rd, Hong Kong. Book via Agoda here.

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