01. Introduction: One…I mean…two final rides on the United Airlines 747
02. United Airlines 737-800 economy class San Diego to San Francisco
03. United Airlines 747-400 upper deck Polaris business class San Francisco to San Francisco
04. United Airlines 747-400 upper deck Polaris business class San Francisco to Seoul
05. Asiana business class lounge, ICN
06. Asiana Airlines A330-300 business class Seoul to Hong Kong
07. Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers
08. The Bridge – Cathay Pacific business class lounge, HKG
09. American Airlines 777-300/ER business class Hong Kong to Los Angeles
10. American Airlines ERJ-175 first class Los Angeles to San Diego
I don’t know why it has taken me so long to figure this out, but I finally decided that I should probably stick to one or two major hotel brands from now on in order to build up points and status balances that will go towards free stays and/or upgrades. For years I’ve been telling myself that I don’t stay in enough hotels to make status worth it, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the growing size of my hotel review section proves otherwise. I also haven’t been a big fan of being limited to a handful of hotels when most of my choices are driven by convenience and not brand name. If I’m a free agent, I can choose any one that I want anywhere at any time without worry missing out on points or other little perks I thought I would never need.
Perhaps I’m getting wiser as I’m getting older, but screw that nonsense. It’s time to get real and go for the biggest bang for my buck whenever possible from now on.
This trip to Hong Kong marks my first big journey since I made the decision to be a lot more serious (and smart) about my hotel stays. I’ve decided to stick primarily with SPG properties from now on, occasionally dipping my toes in the Hilton and Hyatt waters whenever necessary. You would think that I would’ve been more focused all these years, but I guess I just didn’t have enough drive and passion in me to have status with any hotel chain. But when thinking about it from an economic point of view, it makes perfect sense.
So does this make me a legitimate travel blogger now?
I discovered one of the best things about sticking to one hotel brand as I was making my choice for this stay in Hong Kong. You see, there are so many good hotel choices in Hong Kong, and it always been a problem for me to choose just the right one. Of course I’ve only been to Hong Kong twice in my life before this, and both times I stayed at the Hyatt – but believe me, the struggle with that decision was headache-inducing both times and settling on the Hyatt was simply the easy way out.
This time, it was super easy. I simply went to Starwood.com and made a selection from the beautifully abbreviated list compared to what I would normally see over on hotels.com. And once I saw at the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers was available during the days that I would be there, it was a no-brainer to book it. This hotel just happens to be right on the water overlooking that beautiful Hong Kong skyline and all the mesmerizing activity happening in Victoria Harbour. Hotel locations don’t get much better than this!
I didn’t think for a minute that this hotel would be a bad choice, mostly because I’m very familiar with the area and I knew it was in a prime spot right in the middle of everything. The room that I booked was advertised as having a “harbor view”, so it wasn’t hard for me to imagine that I would have one hell of a view – even better than what I had at my last stay at the Hyatt.
My first impressions of the place once I was actually there weren’t all that great quite honestly. The main lobby was actually kind of dark and dated looking, which wasn’t what I was expecting at all – especially for a major hotel located right on the water such as this. It was clean and nice though, and I was happy as hell to finally be in Hong Kong, so I didn’t dwell on the negatives. There were plenty of positives to focus on instead, most importantly being very friendly staff who checked me in quickly without skipping a beat. I will admit that I was a little bit nervous about this check in process due to the fact that I missed the first night of my three night stay here due to missing my original flight from Seoul to Hong Kong. Thankfully they didn’t give my room away, and was ready and waiting for me – as it should’ve been, since I prepaid the entire amount at the time of booking.
Unfortunately, this was one of my more disappointing hotel stays in recent times. The room was small and dark, and worst of all there was no view to be had. I guess I really lucked out during my last stay here in Hong Kong, as the room I had at the Hyatt had an incredible view that I’ll never forget. The view from this room, unfortunately, was highly forgettable and it’s a good thing I took pictures because I think it’s already been erased from my memory.
In conclusion, I don’t think I would be very quick to recommend the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers as much as I would the Hyatt. On one hand, the location just simply can’t be beat. This hotel is located right smack dab in the middle of everything, and is just a hop skip and away from the Star Ferry Terminal. On the other hand, the interior of this place leaves a lot to be desired. It is a bit dated, and my room was very cheap feeling – most certainly not worth the price I paid. This is a slightly more expensive hotel compared to others immediately nearby, but I don’t think I would ever stay here again voluntarily. And that’s OK – because there are so many other great hotels in Hong Kong that won’t make me miss this place.
But hey – at least I’m on my way to obtaining SPG status, right?