Hotel review – Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott

Total stay:

1 night

Method:

Points redemption of 30,000 Marriott points for a standard room.

Getting there:

During our 6 days visit to Hong Kong (trip report here), we spent our first night at the SkyCity Marriott. The SkyCity Marriott is located on Lantau Island, less than 10 mins of shuttle ride from Hong Kong international airport. The proximity to the airport and it being on Lantau Island was the main reason I chose this property. It is also located next to a convention center with access to the airport express train. After arriving to the Hong Kong int’l airport around 4pm, we followed the signage to ground transportation, which was the building across from the arrival terminal 2. There were various shuttle pick up bays, the bay for SkyCity was 29 and 30. We waited for around 20-30 minutes before the Marriott shuttle arrived.

Experience:

Upon arriving at the hotel, we were greeted by a friendly receptionist. Our room was a standard guest room with airport building and the South China Sea in a distance. The room itself was inviting, modern, and clean. The amenities provided were the Thann Aromatherapy line. Since I’m a mid-tier Marriott Gold member (I think it was mostly because of my previous year’s work stays), we had free breakfast as well as access to the executive lounge. I’d never been to a hotel lounge before so that was pretty exciting.

Right before we left for Hong Kong, the Skycity Marriott guest service emailed to confirm our reservation. In my response I mentioned that this was our first time visiting Hong Kong, and if there was anything they could do to help make our stay more enjoyable. Soon after we got settled into the room, there was a knock on the door and we were greeted with a nice dessert tray and a hand written note complimentary of the hotel. Talk about customer service :))))

One of the really nice service from the hotel is its complimentary shuttle to/from the airport, the Tung Chung Terminal (it’s a hub to various bus lines and the MTR), and Disney Land. We used the shuttle service to get to Tung Chung Terminal the next morning for our visit to the Big Buddha. Taxi fare between the hotel and Tung Chung terminal costs around 65 HKD each way (a little over $8). It was definitely a saving.

Before we headed to see the Big Buddha in the morning, we had a huge meal at the hotel restaurant. There were eastern and western style options, everything was super delicious. Since there weren’t convenient meal options near the hotel, and breakfast being complimentary, this was definitely much welcomed. We also stopped by the executive lounge just to see what was offered there. Breakfast at the lounge had less variety, but it was less crowded and more private.

We were also able to exchange some USD’s to local currency. The exchange rate was reasonable (better than the airport FX desk) and there were no additional fees.

Final thoughts:

I’d recommend this property for its service and location. Customer service at this hotel was superb and everyone we interacted with was helpful and friendly. The retail cost for a night could range from $150 and up. For a category 6 hotel and 30,000 Marriott points, this is a pretty decent bargain. 

 

Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport

I stayed at the Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport in 4/2016 at the start of my 9-day Japan adventure. After 12 hours of flight from DFW to Narita, I wasn’t about to hop on the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto for another 2 hours without a bit of a R&R. I chose this hotel due to the close proximity to the airport. My flight arrived around 4pm and I was planning on taking the JR Narita Express into Tokyo (Shinagawa Station) the following morning for bullet train ride to Kyoto.

Total stay:

1 night

Method:

Points redemption for 20,000 hilton honors for a standard room. This is a category 3 property. The retail price fluctuated between US$100 to $200 based on a few months of observation prior to my trip.

Getting there:

There is a complimentary Hilton shuttle bus that picks up and drops off passengers between the airport and the hotel. The signs at the airport are really easy to follow. At the international terminal (terminal 2), the bus picks up at #26. I was lucky that as soon as I found the sign to the shuttle bus, there was one just arriving. It took about 15 minutes from the airport to the property.

Positives:

This is a decent size hotel which is frequented by crew members as a transit point. As mentioned earlier, the main reason I chose this place was due to the close proximity to the airport. The room itself is nothing to write home about; however it is nevertheless comfortable and very much welcomed after a long flight. Give me a hot shower, comfy bed, and I’m a happy camper. I had a room facing the green fields and was really quiet. My Citi Hilton Reserve card was active at the time which provided gold hhonors status for cardholders. Gold hhonors status = free breakfast. I totally had a ball the next morning. The breakfast spread had a wide variety of options ranging from the continental style breakfast (cereals, yogurt, oatmeal breads, croissants, scrambled eggs, fruit, etc) to Japanese style hot plates (congees, noodles, etc).

The amenity was the standard PeterThomasRoth brand! Can’t complain. 🙂

(Me staring out the window for a good 30 minutes watching cargo planes fly by)

Not so positives:

The room could use some modern touches. It felt like it was stuck in the 80’s. But all good! I wish they didn’t have all those in-room-for-purchase snacks/drinks laying out on the counter. It took up space and I didn’t want to accidentally eat them.

Final thoughts:

I’d recommend staying here for the location. The staff were all very friendly and the shuttle service was convenient. I didn’t use the gym or dine at the restaurant other than breakfast so can’t really speak to those. If I could get a room at $100/night in Japan in a major chain hotel I wouldn’t mind paying it. But hey at 20,000 points a night I say it’s a steal. Lastly, it’s always a good idea to sign up for the hotel rewards program, even though it might not be a chain that you frequent. Some properties only offer free wi-fi to their members so why not take advantage of that. 🙂

***Check out my Japan trip report for some ideas on things to do and places to go***

Hotel review – Park Hyatt Sydney

So I’m trying something new here, going to incorporate hotel reviews into the blog. Although I’m no road warrior, I’ve had my share of hotel stays due to work and personal travel. So here it goes~

My visit to the Park Hyatt Sidney was back in 9/2015, it’s not terribly recent, but it may still be of interest for those who may want to check out this property.

Total stay:

3 nights

Method:

2 free nights earned via the Chase Hyatt credit card, plus 30,000 Hyatt Gold passport points (now known as World of Hyatt). The 30k points were transferred from the Chase Ultimate Rewards points (earned via the Chase Sapphire Preferred card). This property could cost an upward of $600/night depending on the time of year.  Continue reading “Hotel review – Park Hyatt Sydney”