Hello again, Marco Polo Hong Kong!

SEVEN years, that’s how long it has been since I’ve set foot in Hong Kong again. Judging from the territory’s vibe, the same things lure in the tourists — good food, shopping, parties and the attractions for people of all ages. It’s the same components, but changing with the times.

Change is good, but there are things best left as they were. Comfort is one.

If you had the chance to stay at the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel at the center Tsim Sha Tsui, perhaps you will refer to it as your own “must-stay hotel.” I won’t be surprised if it lands on your list of “best hotels in Hong Kong.” I can relate.

Good memories don’t fade away. Back in 2009, we made the hotel our address and last year, when I pinpointed Hong Kong as the destination for my annual birthday escape, I stayed in the same hotel. It was a very wise decision on my part.

Why Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel? It’s situated at the most convenient address, along Canton Road at the heart of the city’s busiest commercial, shopping and business hub.

Just about everything you wish to do in Hong Kong are a few steps away from your doorstep: the must-ride Star Ferry, exclusive shopping across 125 outlets at Harbour City – Hong Kong’s largest shopping complex, just flash your room keycard, and major tourist attractions like Kowloon Park, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

But why would I want to leave the comforts of my room?

You see, before this trip was made, I traveled to Taipei, Japan, and Bangkok. I was really exhausted (but extremely happy) after touring the sights of the cities. The Hong Kong leg was intended for resting.

I was looking forward to a birthday staycation and cocoon myself in the comforts of my room overlooking the famed Victoria Harbour.

That I did. I tinkered with the computer while connected on the complimentary WiFi internet service or caught the latest film on TV and witnessed the splendor of the setting sun while sipping wine and nibbling on cheese, treats that surprised me when I entered my room (the handwritten note is winner!). There were more that came on the succeeding days. I was spoiled.

The indulgence continued at The Continental Club. I was given access to the club offering exclusive comfort and personalized service, which have become hallmarks of the Marco Polo hospitality. This was where I had my daily breakfast (which always started and ended with delicious freshly baked egg tarts), afternoon coffee, and red wine and canapés in the evening.

If you like Italian, then go to Cucina. The chef’s signature dishes will make your day (like it did on my birthday lunch). It will leave a mark that will make you come back for a second bout or try the other offerings.

However, the lure of Hong Kong’s energy got me to step out of the hotel, I must admit. There were just too many Instagram-worthy shots to take, and posting them was never a problem with the hotel’s complimentary handy smartphone with unlimited 3G mobile internet access. Add to it free local and international calls to China, Philippines, Japan, United States, and United Kingdom, dining and city guide and exclusive ticketing offers, how can you not enjoy Hong Kong with this free service?

Thank you, Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel. It was a great birthday escape for me.

The Chinese New Year is a few days ahead and the hotel is dishing out special treats. Why not meet the Year of the Rooster at Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel. It’s going to be a Kung Hei Fat Choy time in Hong Kong for you.

Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com. For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.com & www.jeepneyjinggoy.com.


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