Urban Expanse

Updated: 2011-05-20 07:18

By Andrea Deng(HK Edition)

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Urban Expanse

Urban Expanse

Urban Expanse

Urban Expanse

Situated alongside the waterfront promenade, the Harbour Grand Kowloon extends its openness into the hotel interior, creating a calming spaciousness.

For those who love Hong Kong's vibrant lifestyle, convenient city transport, tremendous diversity in food and culture, one more thing they crave for is brightness and capaciousness within their living space.

The Harbour Grand Kowloon perfectly strikes a balance, offering a promising and pleasant hotel experience to the pickiest travelers.

Walking into the foyer of the hotel, a 300-square-meter expanse with floor-to-ceiling window showcasing the panorama of the Victoria Harbour, all one can say in front of the stunning view is "wow".

The gentle intrusion of natural daylight - even when it is cloudy outside - makes the space all the more spacious and calming, rather than forbiddingly imposing.

Just besides the window, patisseries and light drinks are served, making the corner one of the most popular areas of the hotel, with guests chit-chatting while relishing the sweets and the scenery.

The hotel's Waterfront Bar & Terrace, a place for casual dining - facing the waterfront promenade - offers a chance to inhale a lungful of fresh air, perfect to enjoy a pleasing and comfortable relaxation with friends or families on a Sunday afternoon.

And indeed, surrounded by the residential area in Hung Hom, there has been frequent visits to the nearby neighborhood - one which is not yet like the hustle and bustle in Tsim Sha Tsui or Causeway Bay glutted with people and shopping centers.

The Harbour Grand Hotel is far away from busy driveways. With only medium or high-end residential properties around, the area is sitting pretty in terms of providing a tranquil urban retreat to chill out and stave off the crowd.

"We're not trying to be too flashy like those in Dubai, but we're making efforts to offer a quality hotel experience with elegance," said Jonathan A. Wilson, General Manager of the hotel.

Owned by the Hutchinson Whampoa Limited, Harbour Grand Kowloon was the first property built by the Harbour Plaza Hotels and Resorts group.

There are 554 guestrooms and serviced suites at the hotel, including two magnificent Presidential Suites, most of which entail spectacular harbor views. Room sizes range from 36 square meters to 309 square meters, together with the simple but elegant in-room facilities, creating open space with comfort and adequate functionality - the entire hotel is equipped with wireless broadband Internet service.

With seven choices of restaurants and bars, dining options abound at the hotel - from European al-fresco, traditional Japanese barbecue, premium grill, to classic Cantonese and continental buffet, attracting nearby residents to occasionally savor food and beverages.

When the hotel was built 15 years ago, an independent pier was built right beside the hotel, adding one more unique feature to the hotel. And for the past years, the pier provides an additional option for the hotel's MICE services.

From a small group of five to six people to a larger group of a hundred people, the hotel can arrange for them to sail on the Victoria Harbour when the weather is fantastic for outdoor entertainment. Light drinks such as orange juice are served on the boat. The hotel can even arrange for the guests to travel to the hotel by boat from Hong Kong International Airport.

With the abundance of open space, the hotel has seen good business in event catering as well as weddings, offering multiple choices which feature open air for relaxation.

There are around 200 weddings being held in the hotel year-round. The rooftop Pool Deck, an open space with a swimming pool where a cocktail party can be arranged, becomes a popular venue for guests to relax before a wedding ceremony.

Harbour Grand Kowloon has venues that can accommodate groups from six to six hundred people.

But aside from all the hardware of the hotel, Mr Wilson, the soft-spoken General Manager, said what is truly irreplaceable is the staff's personal encounters with the hotel guests.

Having been working in the industry for more than a decade, Mr Wilson still remains to meet the hotel guests a couple of times per day, greeting guests when they check in, introducing what the hotel can offer, chatting with the guests in the hotel's club lounge in the morning, asking for feedback and ways the hotel can improve.

"Luckily, we're in Hong Kong, where in general work ethics are highly valued, and our staff are both sincere and efficient, always go out of their way to provide extra service to our guests," said Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson is also positive about the potential of the hotel. With the nearby Kai Tak Cruise Terminal expected to open in 2013, there is a decent chance that the hotel will see a greater influx of guests.

China Daily

(HK Edition 05/20/2011 page1)