Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong

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When the Kowloon Shangri-La opened in 1981, Tsim Sha Tsui East was an outpost requiring plenty of bling to lure in the five-star punters. Now there’s an MTR exit by the entrance and the hotel’s looking a little…vintage. But it’s still got reliably good service, and excellent views across the harbour.

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Location

Tsim Sha Tsui East is where the museums of History and Science are located. There isn’t much shopping nearby, unless you want to purchase milk formula, but the hotel has shuttle buses – or free rides in a Smart car – to the consumer heart of Tsim Sha Tsui. Its mezzanine floor also has a useful walkway across the major road that separates it from the harbour promenade, from where it’s a pleasant stroll (or jog) to the Star Ferry. East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station is one minute away (exit P1).

Shang Palace restaurant via Shangri-La.com

Style & character

This is a hotel that’s still cheerfully of its blinging 1980s era. The two-storey lobby has a big indoor fountain, massive Austrian chandeliers and two dominating murals of Shangri-La (by a British artist, Malcolm Golding). There’s a constant bustle of people checking in and out, plus a lively Filipino band in the evenings.

Service & facilities

The young staff are noticeably attentive to children, and there’s a general air of cheerful engagement with every guest. You get the feeling that people are going the extra mile to be helpful. If you’d like to have your hair done, use a solarium or have a sudden urge to buy jewellery, you need never leave the premises. Given that everything feels slightly larger than life, the indoor pool is tiny although it has water-jets to create resistance. There’s also a small, 24-hour gym.

  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Spa
Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong via Kuoni

Rooms

The standard rooms are amongst the biggest in the city and if you get a harbour-view one (strongly advised) you’ll be entertained by life beyond your floor-to-ceiling window, both on the water and the promenade. Having said that, the décor is unremarkable and – ironically enough, given the hotel name’s promise of eternal youth – slightly old-fashioned. It’s not cutting-edge but it’s comfy.

Food & drink

There are six outlets, which include the two Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Shang Palace and a popular tapas bar that serves 66 wines by the glass. You can also try good Italian at Angelini or Japanese at Nadaman. The breakfast buffet at Café Kool has to be one of the most diverse in Hong Kong: as well as the usual fare, it serves delicious South Indian dosas, sushi, dim sum, bespoke vegetable and fruit juices. For children, there’s a chocolate fountain with marshmallows and ice-cream.

Access for guests with disabilities?

Yes, the hotel has eight disabled-access rooms.

Family-friendly?

Definitely in terms of service although the pool-size isn’t ideal.

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