The ‘T’ stands for training: this unusual hotel consists of one floor within the Vocational Training Council’s complex in Pokfulam, on the western side of Hong Kong island, overlooking the South China Sea. It’s such a bargain that guests beg visiting journalists to keep it a secret…
It’s not suitable for businessmen, for example, but if you’re visiting Hong Kong as a tourist and don’t want to be in thick of everything, it’s ideal. The one downside is that it’s not close to an MTR station (although since the MTR Island Line was extended in 2014, the nearest station is now HKU, about 10 minutes by taxi). It’s about 25 minutes by taxi to Central. The hotel runs a limited shuttle-bus service into the city and there are plenty of public buses on the doorstep. Offsetting any inconvenience is the fact that there are great walks up to the Peak and the views over the sea are fantastic.
Style & character
This is a school building, the sixth-floor of which happens to be a hotel with 30 rooms and suites. At certain times of the day during term, hundreds of students flock in and out of the complex from the bus stops. Once you reach reception, though, you’re in a pleasant, perfectly professional environment.
Service & facilities
You’ll need a little patience with the students, who are overseen by trainers. They want to do their best – you won’t encounter more willing staff anywhere else in the city – but that’s a two-way process. You are there to help them. And although Hong Kong is a former British colony, don’t expect perfect English. There’s a gym and a training spa (offering both Chinese and, unexpectedly, Hawaiian massages) but no pool.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
The impeccably clean rooms and bathrooms are far bigger than those in most Central hotels. Those facing the sea have magnificent views, especially at sunset, and the mountain rooms look towards the Peak. There are also astonishingly spacious corner suites but you’ll have to book far ahead to grab them.
Food & drink
The training restaurants are run by The English Speaking Dining Society, whose aim is self-explanatory. One serves Western food, one Chinese, and both are good value. The Lounge, which offers all-day dining and bar, has a lovely balcony overlooking the sea and if you ask to eat outside, the obliging staff will set up a table. This is also the bar area – it mightn’t be the most chic one in the city but the views are wonderful. There’s also in-room dining. Apart from that, the nearest places to eat and drink are in Kennedy Town, 10 minutes by taxi, which has sprouted new restaurants and bars in recent years and is now one of the hottest dining areas on the island.
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