Review: Pentahotel Hong Kong, Kowloon
Pentahotel Hong Kong, Kowloon is the first hotel that we stayed in on our Christmas and New Year holiday. The hotel is part of a chain of 28 Pentahotels across the world, with most located in Europe, so they will be familiar to any European travellers who are visiting the far east.
The hotel is located near the Diamond Hill MTR station in Kowloon, in what appears to be old manufacturing district. An interesting fact about Hong Kong is that instead of big sprawling industrial complexes and office parks like you get in most western countries, their factories go up. The area does appear to be rapidly gentrifying however there is still a lingering smell of diesel as you walk to and from the hotel and the MTR (although this could be contributed to by the pollution problem from nearby China).
We stayed here for four nights as our interim stop before we travelled onwards to Taipei. We arrived early in the evening, and were checked in by the lovely Carrie Yeung, who just so happens to be the Hotel Guest Services Manager. She provided us with a map to show us the best route to get back and forth from the MTR station (we had actually walked a longer way en route to the hotel which took us through some roadworks, the route she provided was much quicker), and offered to help us out if we had any questions or wanted to know more about what to do around the city. I travel to Hong Kong frequently so didn't need to take her up on this offer, but it was great to know that it was there - she showed a genuine interest in our stay and what our plans were. To top it off, she gave us her business card, which had her personal phone number and email address - impeccable customer service, especially for a couple who have never stayed at the hotel before.
The hotel is very modern, with hip decor and artwork both in the rooms and within the common areas. The check in area is called 'pentalounge' – a single area that combines lobby, reception area, bar and café together. The cafe is called 'eatstreet@pentalounge' and their website says that it offers local Hong Kong dishes and a variety of comfort foods and all-day drinks - check out the menu here. We didn't try out the cafe but it was very busy at the time we checked in - because it is a combined area, we were worried that it was a tourist group and we were going to have to wait some time before we could check in. Thankfully Carrie called us over to the desk. They could perhaps look at better delineating the area so guests checking in don't feel intimidated by the crowd!
The hotel has two Games Rooms, where you can play Wii, a game of pool, or foosball. You can surf the web in the Internet Corners, or browse music playlists in the 'pentafun' Music Stations. They offer free wi-fi in the rooms so we didn't need to use any communal computers, but these would definitely be useful if you are not travelling with a laptop (although most people have a tablet these days, so airprint would be a great feature that all hotels could introduce, something that Hilton Garden Inn have already implemented in some of their hotels). The downstairs area where you enter the hotel also has a pizza bar.
We checked out the gym and outdoor swimming pool on our first night. The pool is seasonal so wasn't open, but it looks like it would be a lovely area during the summer months. The gym is very well equipped, better than many chain hotels that I stayed at.
The hotel offers a free minibus transfer to the K11 Art Mall (in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui - schedule here) however we didn't utilise this as it was easy enough to just walk and use the train. However upon reflection, this would have saved us a little bit of money, albeit it would have been slower than the train if the bus is caught in traffic. Pentahotel offer citywide and airport transfer at a charge (details here), but I still definitely think you should just slum it and catch the Airport Express (buying tickets through Klook of course) and MTR.
When using the lifts to get to your room, or anywhere else in the hotel, it is a guessing game as to which of the six doors will open. I think they need to have a louder door opening sound, or a light next to each door. We almost missed the lift a couple of times!
We stayed in a twin room with a fairly decent view of other Hong Kong high rises!
The beds are pushed very close together, which kind of ruins the point of them being separate. So keep this in mind when picking a room if you're travelling with a friend or business colleague! The beds in the rooms are very comfy - the pillows are a bit hard when you first lie on them, but they get softer.
Unlike other hotels I have stayed at in Hong Kong, this one does not offer a free smartphone for use around the city, which I have found very useful during past stays. There is however an iPhone clock radio dock next to one of the beds, which makes for convenient charging, especially if you have forgotten a universal power converter like we did (and the rooms did not have these built in, like a lot of others do, including many of the hotels we stayed at in Taiwan).
The room and bathroom come with amenities that are standard with most Asian hotels - two free bottles of water per day, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, and toothbrushes/toothpaste. If you're like me and have travelled through Asia a lot and have got used to not needing to pay for spring water in hotels, it'll frustrate you a tonne when you visit a western hotel and have to pay AU$4-6 per 600mL bottle - it comes out of the sky for goodness sake! In this hotel, the housekeeper even offered us two extra bottles when we left the room one morning.
We had a bit of a problem with hallway noise, but I took care of this myself (there was a lady and man yelling outside our door at about 6am on one morning, I got up, opened the door and said really loudly that people are still trying to sleep... I am not sure whether they understood me, but my body language obviously had an effect, as they disappeared shortly thereafter.) The taps in the shower are difficult to work, and you either get too hot, or too cold.
There are also no tissues in the actual room itself, only in the bathroom. We moved them into the main room and then they replaced the bathroom box the next day.
Overall, our stay was very comfortable. The rooms were clean, service from hotel staff was excellent, and the modern ambience of the building really detracted from the raw industrial nature of the area that the building is located in (insert wink face here). Will definitely stay here again for my future Hong Kong travels.
Pentahotel Hong Kong, Kowloon is located at 19 Luk Hop Street, San Po Kong
Kowloon, Hong Kong. You can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +852 3112 1922.
Need help getting to the hotel? Download this address card onto your smartphone or tablet for reference once you arrive!