L’une des adresses préférées de Josephine ? l’ Hotel ICON
What about an affordable hotel with a rooftop pool overlooking Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong? I managed to find one in my last trip!
Hotel ICON is located on the Kowloon side, about 5 minutes work to the Hung Hom station, and very close to the Polytechnic University.
I did enjoy my stay there very much. Luckily I had good weather, so was chilling out by the pool all the time, it was fantastic!
Here about the hotel –
A) Location: Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, a bit off the central touristic spots, but there are shuttle buses every 20 minutes to TST metro station and Harbour city (major shopping centre of HK), so actually very convenient. And the neighbourhood has enough to offer – shops, restaurants, a DFS opposite the hotel etc., and is nicely set away from main tourist flows.
B) Facilities: the hotel opened in 2011, and building is designed by the leading local architect and interior designer. The 3 restaurants – a lobby café, a buffet restaurant and a Chinese restaurant are all very popular, and can be difficult to book at times. However I tried their famous breakfast buffet once, was not bad, but I was not that impressed to be honest. On the other hand, I personally don’t like to eat at buffets.
The pool (and pool bar) with harbour view is on the 9th floor, about 25 – 30m long, heated. The size is reasonable for real swimming, which is great. There’s also a well- equipped gym facing the pool and the harbour, and a SPA. Everything is perfect in this area, very nice changing room and shower with sauna too, providing everything you need from hair dryer to swimming suits.
C) The room: spacious for Hong Kong, nicely decorated, nice bathroom with separated bathtub and shower.
D) The view: the view was OK, for harbour view rooms you still only get part of the harbour, and the building is not so high so you’re view also largely consists of rooftops of surrounding buildings. But for what you pay, this hotel is really more than fine enough.
So, highly recommended!
Hong Kong: In the Mood for Love
Opened in 1962, the Goldfinch restaurant is a typical ‘west meets east’ type of mixture of western restaurant and Hong Kong style café, where in the old times the locals went for a western style set meal (a soup, a main course, and a desert), or a few cocktails too.
Apparently the interior didn’t change since the day it opened its door, this restaurant also got famous from the popular Hong Kong film ‘In the Mood for Love’ of director Wong Kar‐wai, in which the story took place in Hong Kong 1962.
Hong Kong: The Blue Butcher
It’s a NYC style steak house, with ‘antiques and old dark railway decor’, and a ‘walk-in pink salt dry aging room’; in addition, it claims to ‘prepare, bake, age, and hang everything in- house’, aiming to bring back the atmosphere of the ‘Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1920s’.
Quite some statement, but well, it’s Hong Kong, to do better than surviving, you’ve got to play big!
Truth is, I’m not the easiest person on earth to please in terms of steaks; that said, we went to the Blue Butch and had their ’32 Oz Wagyu Bone In Rib Eye, Australian Mann River Farm’ for two (HKD 1360).
It’s called Feather Boa – a tiny little place at the end of Staunton Street, soho; private, no sign, not even a 100% fixed open schedule, but can be so full at weekends that you hardly get in. Once an antique store, now with a sense of vintage Europe, this place has got some magic and charm…
The drinks here can be quite strong; try their chocolate martini or the infamous strawberry chocolate daiquiri, indulge yourself and get lost in this timeless place…
If they ask for membership card, just hand them your ID card, that usually will do.
Price: HKD 80-150 per drink.
Address: Shama Soho, 9-11 Staunton St, Hong Kong
Phone: (00852) 2857 2586
Hong Kong: Under Bridge Spicy Crab, the Crab-way to Heaven
You’ve got to go local if you want to know your destination well; and I LOVE to go local in
Knowing that I’m no huge fan of crabs, nor of spicy foods, my gourmet loving friend – an
American investment banker who’s been living in Hong Kong for years – insisted on taking
me to this famous crab restaurant: Under Bridge Spicy Crab.
Well, it’s famous, but a lot of other things too, and I tend to not give fame too much faith as
learnt from past disappointments; plus, the amount of crabs I’ve eaten so far is quite enough
Hong Kong: Amber – that Wild Kid on the Playground
I’m currently reading a book called ‘Decisive’ by Chip & Dan Heath, quite interesting read with lots of practical advices on how to make better decisions, and has surprising insights on how often people make wrong decisions.
However, that’s how indecisive I am; and probably the reason I always go for tasting menus if I see them…
The tasting menu of Amber – or, the ‘9th degustation menu’ – is made of 8 signature dishes (incl. two deserts); and that, became a strange experience…
Humid, dense, busy, intense… Hong Kong overwhelms all human senses with her cloying existence; as if she puts her warm tongue on the back of your neck, cold fingers sliding down your chest, and the scent of her perfume is all over you – like a dream in a tropical garden in the Far East, with some cool fog tasting wet and bitter… And her jewellery shines behind you, making star-like refractions in her foggy embrace…
You are sitting there, do not even raise a question…
Moderne. Hutong. La cuisine cantonaise revue façon contemporaine elliptique et servie divinement face à une vue d’enfer avec la pénombre millimétrée : asperges avec poissons séchés, crabe mous rolls de crabe et poisson… pour prolonger le plaisir, un étage au-dessus (au 29 eme), un bar trendy, Aqua. 1 Peking Road, Kowloon (3428.8342). Comptez 600$. (photos F.Simon)
Brillant. Lung King Heen. Trois étoiles pour ce restaurant donnant sur la baie de Victoria, et, bien entendu, les avis sont partagés sur l’excellence de ce restaurant travaillant la simplicité et l’authenticité.
Pour notre repart repas brillant dans son dépouillé avec des dimsums impeccables, un buns de barbecue pork remarquable et des fragments de cochon de lait laqué… 4F, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance street (3196.8880). Comptez 1300$.
Canard laqué. Il serait tentant de se la faire inoubliable en allant dans un grand hôtel (Shangri La, Mandarin, Grand Hyatt) et ne pas louper l’expérience.On peut également, se la jouer <roots> dans de vraies cantines tonitruantes. Certes, les découpes se font à la hache, mais au moins, vous êtes vraiment à Hong Kong avec marmailles galopantes, poussettes, et familles exténuées comme au Peking Garden, disposant d’une jolie vue accessoire ;
Star House, Tsimshtasui (2735.8211). Comptez 400$. (photos F.Simon).