Hotel Indigo helps to fill a gap that’s long existed in this city between the fabulous (and fabulously expensive) hotels right at the top end, and the tour-group hostelries much further down the chain. Its location, size and undeniable style (it has won a major architectural award) make it an excellent choice.
There are some truly fascinating back-streets around here, full of the sort of sights visitors are amazed to realise still exist – old tenement blocks, markets and temples. There are also plenty of excellent restaurants and coffee shops. This is ideal wandering territory, day or night, and an urban photographer’s dream. Certain corners of Wan Chai still have their beckoning-bar-girls-Suzie-Wong aspects but Queen’s Road East is utterly salubrious and a perfect location if you want to combine a vibrant, authentic slice of Hong Kong (a slice that is rapidly disappearing) with access to the city’s Central business district (two stops on the MTR or a HK$40/£4 taxi ride) or the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (about 15 minutes’ stroll).
Style & character
Like the location, the hotel does a good job of combining local flavour with a cheerful slickness. The corridors have Wan Chai-related art works, most of the funky knick-knacks (colourful kung-fu figures, Hong Kong-themed cushions, fish-themed bath-mats and tea sets) are for sale and each room has a directory listing the history of Wan Chai, plus recommended places to visit. The theme is inclusion not exclusion. The aim is that when you step off the street into the small, bright lobby, you don’t feel you’re moving away from what’s outside – you’re just transported into a more comfortable, far less frenetic and aesthetically pleasing version of it.
Service & facilities
As it’s a fairly new hotel, the staff is young and evidently eager to please. They’re probably not the most experienced bunch in the hotel industry but there are enough smiles, warm greetings and proffered advice to keep guests happy.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
The ceiling-to-floor windows, the cool light fittings, the pillow menu, the Nespresso machine – these all create a top-end ambience but certain design features won’t appeal to everyone. The (very) comfortable beds are set in the middle of the room, with the desk behind the headboard; this looks slightly odd, as if Housekeeping has pulled the bed out but forgotten to push it back. The shower and loo are each self-contained behind opaque glass, but the wash-basin is part of the main room so those who like to brush their teeth or apply their make-up in private won’t appreciate being quite so much on public view.
Food & drink
There’s one restaurant, Indicolite, which offers all-day dining and has an outdoor terrace overlooking Wan Chai’s colonial-era post office; the Skybar is on the top i.e. 29th floor, where the glass-bottomed swimming-pool is also located. It’s small but the urban views are worth at least one drink. Breakfast is very good but don’t expect the massive spread offered by some Hong Kong hotels – here it’s quality over quantity (the coffee, for instance, is specially sourced from a local roaster called Rabbithole). In any case, the area is stuffed with restaurants, and the hotel kindly lists some of the best of them in its room directories.
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