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Learning Adventures

 

Her Winning Accommodations in Hong Kong...

 

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to finding suitable female-friendly accommodation in Hong Kong. On the bright side, Hong Kong is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. The down side? To have access to air-conditioning and a washroom en suite, Hong Kong accommodation is rarely inexpensive. While this is not necessarily a problem for the businesswoman with a large travel budget, it can be a challenge for the leisure traveller who chooses to spend a smaller portion of her budget on accommodations. Journeywoman reports on several different categories --five star luxury hotels, YWCA’s, Bed and Breakfasts and hostels. Take your pick, ladies...

P.S. We always welcome your Journeywoman input. Do you have a favorite hotel you’d like to share? Click here and let us know.

Hotels 5 Bags o' money

The Peninsula (Salisbury Road, Kowloon) sitting close to Victoria Harbour is the colonial Grande Dame of Hong Kong hotels. Think elegant European decor, world-class guest service, a fleet of Rolls Royce limousines at the ready, and hotel doormen dressed in immaculate white from head to toe. This is not merely a hotel stay; it is an experience in itself. Leave a request with housekeeping or the front desk ; your wish is their command and the response is immediate. Rooms and suites are large, furniture antique, and the bathroom is wonderfully roomy, equipped with every female-friendly delight one could ask for -- handsoaps by Tiffany, magnifying make-up mirrors and fluffy, thick white bathrobes. One of the highlights of Journeywoman’s stay at the Peninsula Hotel was the ensuite Jacuzzi bathtub overlooking Victoria Harbour. From my 10th floor perch, I watched mesmerized (through floor to ceiling pictureglass window) as the neon lights of Hong Kong lit up the sky and sparkled continuously in the water below. Ah-h-h-h. To learn more about the Peninsula’s rates and their very many amenities, visit their site at http://www.peninsula.com

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong (3 Connaught Road, Central) another of Asia’s premier hotels with choice rooms overlooking Victoria Harbour offers flawless service and a keen interest in the welfare of their guests. This is especially true on their “Club Floors” or what management refers to as their “hotel within a hotel” -- ideal for the woman traveller. Don’t feel like eating or drinking alone? Guests on these floors have access to a private comfortable lounge where complimentary snacks and drinks are offered at any time of the day or evening. The all-female staff to guest ratio is extra large and these women are experts in the art of pampering. One of the many highlights of Journeywoman’s stay was an optional maid-drawn bathing experience. There were many types of soaks to choose from --Journeywoman selected The Post-Workout Reliever with marjoram, lavender and geranium added to the bathwater and it was absolutely wonderful. When I was done a tray of freshly prepared sushi and a pot of Jasmine tea was waiting by my bed. What more could a tired woman ask for after a long hard day of work or play? P.S. I loved the female-friendly three-sided mirror in the marble bathroom -- finally got to see the back of my hair -- that’s important when you’re alone. P.P.S. The Ritz-Carlton has an outdoor swimming pool and the hotel is ideally located -- within walking distance of the famous Star Ferry and Peak Tram, and is literally steps away from the Central MTR. For further information click here


YWCA’S 3 Bags o' money

Summer FunThe Salisbury YMCA (41 Salisbury Road, Kowloon) Forget every other Y you’ve ever experienced. This one is very, very different and that is why you must make your reservations far in advance. Situated at the tip of Kowloon Peninsula, this Y commands magnificent views of Victoria Harbour. There are regular guest rooms, family suites and dormitory rooms (with separate male/female sections) available. All guest rooms include connections for internet, e-mail and fax, color TV (19 channels), telephones with voice mail, mini fridge, A/C, personal in-room safe and coffee making facility. There’s a self-service coin laundry and guests can use the Y pool free of charge. The rooms Journeywoman visited were immaculately clean; the furniture was up-to-the-minute modern. P.S. For businesswomen travelling light -- laptop computers are available for rental at $HK300 per day. For further information or to make on-line reservations visit the Y website at http://www.ymcahk.org.hk/

It’s called the YWCA, Anne Black Guest House but don’t expect a quaint guest house atmosphere. This is a spartan budget high-rise offering small but immaculate rooms with private bath. Each has television, phone and air-conditioning. If you are travelling solo and out for the evening, Journeywoman suggests a taxi as the subway is just a little too far away. By day the location is great fun -- close to the Ladies Market and lower-end shopping and great bargain finds. For further information visit: http://www.ywca.org

The Garden View International House, another member of the YWCA family, is situated only minutes from Central. Rooms overlooking Victoria Harbour and Botanical Gardens are air-conditioned with bathrooms en-suite. There’s color TV, mini fridge and IDD telephone. Bonus -- an outdoor, rooftop swimming pool! Susan Spano, savvy travel columnist for the LA Times calls this “her favorite Hong Kong hotel -- expensive for a Y and nicer than most hotels for the price.” Website: http://www.ywca.org


Student dormitories 2 Bags o' money

GraduateBennie is a freelance guide with DolphinWatch in Hong Kong. She is also a staff member at the University of Hong Kong. We're delighted to have her as a part of the Journeywoman Network. Bennie writes...

Cheap but quality accommodation (US$30 per day) can be available from local universities from April to mid September.
For that price you can have a double room either all for yourself or for sharing with a friend. HK is terrribly hot in the summer, rooms are fully air-conditioned but there may be extra charges for using the air-con.

Facilities include public showers and public fridge. For application and more information, send a letter to the Office of Student Affairs, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. E-mail: osa@www.hku.hk, Website: http://www.hku.hk, tel: (852) 2859-2301, fax: (852) 2546-0184); stating the reason of your visit (vacation or study) and duration of your stay. Do the same for dorms of these other universities:

Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sha Tin New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2609-7000
Fax: (852) 2603-5544
Hong Kong Baptist University
224 Waterloo Road
Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2339-7400
Fax: (852) 2338-9987
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2358-6000
Fax: (852) 2358-0545
Lingnan College
Tune Mun
New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2616-8888
Fax: (852) 2463-8363

Since finding low cost but good accommodation in HK's not easy, here’s another tip. I know there are other cheaper choices in Lamma and probably in other outlying islands too. There are shared apartments available, perfect for backpackers. If you go to Lamma, check the ads on the walls along the way from the pier to the main street. I've lived in Lamma for 2 years and I really like that place. There's no cars, the air is clean, scenery's great, it's very peaceful and quiet during the weekdays, people are friendly, you can buy freshly harvested vegetables direct from the fields, there's a nice beach within walking distance.


Hostels 2 Bags o' money

HikerLucy Izon is a Toronto-based freelance writer, an expert on youth hostels and author of Izon's Backpacker Journal. (http://www.izon.com). Lucy writes:

Lantau Island, which is also the home of the new Chek Lap Kok Airport, is twice the size of Hong Kong Island with much of its land designated as parkland. For budget travellers it offers a youth hostel just a 10-minute walk from the exotic Po Lin Monastery and the world's largest outdoor bronze Buddha.

You can now reach the island by MTR (Mass Transit Railway), but it's also economical to travel there by ferry from the city docks at Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. Ferries arrive at Mui Wo (also known as Silver Mine Bay). The one-way fare ranges from $10 to $20 HK ($2-$4 Cdn) depending on the speed of the service and day of travel (ferry rides cost 50 per cent more on Sundays and pubic holidays.) From Mui WO it's a 45-minute trip on bus No. 2 to Ngong Ping, about a one-minute walk from one of the island’s youth hostels.

The S.G. Davis Hostel, phone: (852) 2985 5610, ( Internet: http://www.yha.org.hk), can accommodate up to 52 travellers and camping is permitted. There's a self-catering kitchen and vegetarian meals are available during the day at the PO Lin Monastery, about a 10-minute walk away. Beds in dormitory rooms start at $35 HK ($6) per night. Using the hostel as a base you can visit the 24-metre high statue of Buddha, climb the Lantau Peak (934 metres) to see the sunrise, hike a section of the Lantau Trail, take a bus to visit Tai O (one of Hong Kong's most picturesque villages with its stilt houses) or try a 90-minute downhill walk to Tung Chung village, known for its historic 19th century fort, which was erected to defend the coast from pirates.


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City of Hong Kong WebsiteThe articles in GIRLTALK Hong Kong have been independently researched by Journeywoman Online. We thank the Hong Kong Tourism Board for sponsoring this female-friendly information. Together it is our aim to inspire women to travel safely and well.

 

 

 

 

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