We had a three-night stay at the JW Marriott Hong Kong, which is located in the Admiralty district on Hong Kong Island. It's one of three luxury hotels connected to the massive Pacific Place shopping complex, the other two being the Shangri-La and the Conrad.
After hopping off our Swiss business class flight, we took the Airport Express and MTR to Admiralty Station, which is connected to Pacific Place via an indoor footpath. We didn't have to step outside at all from the jet bridge to our hotel room, which is one of the things I absolutely love about Hong Kong.
The signs inside the mall directing you to the JW Marriott are pretty easy to follow.
Once we were inside the hotel, a porter looked after our luggage for us as we took the escalator up to the Lobby level, which is where the check-in counters are located.
The check-in associate confirmed that we were booked on a points stay (at a cost of 45,000 Marriott Rewards points/night). He explained that since I was a Marriott Rewards Gold Elite member, we had been upgraded to an Executive Room with a view of Victoria Harbour, on the 35th and top floor of the hotel. We also had access to the Executive Lounge, where we could enjoy a daily breakfast buffet, afternoon tea, and evening hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
We took the elevator up to the top floor and settled into Room 3506.
The design of the room (and indeed all rooms in this hotel) was pretty cool, in that there are two window panes that jut outwards and meet at a point, meaning that the room was in the shape of a pentagon.
The magnificent king bed was of course the centrepiece of the room.
There was a widescreen TV, which was mounted on a folding arm, so that you could angle the screen towards you while you relaxed in bed.
Then there was a large glass desk, which was great for meals or getting some work done, as well as a lounge chair.
Several little things in the room stood out to me. The first was the wide variety of power outlets that were available, which really should be a bare minimum in this day and age, yet many hotels still lag behind in this regard.
There was also a delightful "pillow menu" waiting for us on the bedside table, in case we thought the "default" pillows were lacking in comfort. Thankfully, the bed as a whole was extremely comfortable, and we got lots of good sleep on it (perhaps too much sleep, given the toll that round-the-world travel takes on one's circadian rhythms).
The bathroom was bright and spacious, and came well-stocked with all sorts of amenities, as is the norm in Asia.
There was both a walk-in shower and a bathtub, which is my general preference in hotel rooms. I find that shower/tub combos are generally too small for taking a proper bath. (Not that I insist on taking a bath in every hotel room I stay in, though it's nice to enjoy one from time to time.)
There's a minibar in the hallway, as well as a closet with some really nice bathrobes.
You know it's a nice hotel when the bathrobe comes embroidered with the hotel logo.
While the hotel room had a grand and luxurious feel to it, the decor itself might've been a little outdated. It didn't scream stylishness to me, but rather felt like it could've been the pinnacle of interior design maybe 15 to 20 years ago.
Normally as a Gold Elite member there'd be a welcome amenity waiting for us in the room, though on this occasion the hotel had unfortunately forgotten to set one up. Luckily they were proactive in calling us in our room to apologize and offer to deliver the amenity the following day. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
The amenity was pretty lavish if I may say so myself: a huge bowl of fruit and an entire Chinese tea kit with freshly brewed jasmine tea. The gesture was much appreciated – it certainly made me feel like a "somebody", even though in reality I'm just some guy who plays the credit cards game. (Marriott Gold Elite comes automatically with SPG Gold Elite status, which is a perk of the American Express Platinum Card.)
Speaking of stuff that made us feel unduly self-important, the JW Marriott Executive Lounge was just On. Another. Level.
It had been around 8pm when we arrived at the hotel, and we were both despairingly sleepy and ravenously hungry. We decided to hit up the Executive Lounge to grab some "evening hors-d'oeuvres".
Little did we know that hotel club lounges in Asia take things much seriously than their North American counterparts, and that "hors d'oeuvres" might as well have been codespeak for a buffet dinner.
The selection was amazing, with dim sum, finger foods, sushi, skewers, fried rice, salad, snacks, a cheese selection... the whole gamut.
Premium alcoholic drinks were available as well, with beer, wine, and champagne on ice ready for your indulgence.
Free food is free food, so whether intentionally or not, Jessica and I ended up having dinner in the Club Lounge on all three nights of our stay.
While the evening selection is outstanding, breakfast is just as good, if not better. There was your usual extensive spread of fruit, eggs, charcuterie, pastries, dim sum, etc.
In addition, there was a counter with a waffle machine and a poached egg maker. I didn't manage to grab a photo of this area, though you'd walk up to the counter and make your request to the attendant, who'd prepare the food for you.
A few words on the Club Lounge itself: it's spread across two floors (the 33rd and 34th floors) with a staircase inside the Club Lounge allowing access up and down. Your room key provides access through doors on either floor.
The area on the 33rd floor contains the kitchen and buffet area, a "library" with computer workstations, and some seating.
Take the stairs up to the 34th floor and you'll find a much larger seating area and a small self-serve drinks setup.
The hotel is mostly geared towards guests on business, and we saw plenty of business associates in the Club Lounge talking shop over a quick bite and a drink.
I took some time to explore the rest of the premises. The main entrance to the hotel is on ground level and is pretty grandiose.
The similarly ostentatious Conrad and Shangri-La hotels are also nearby, and in fact all three hotels kind of share the same parkways, and this is where you'd enter the hotel if you arrived by car.
The hotel lobby is also a physically stunning space, with "The Lounge", the hotel's signature lobby cafe and lounge, situated on a open-air platform under an airy, lofted atrium. Stairs and escalators lead down to the mall level.
The Health Club is located on the lowest floor of the hotel (confusingly separate from the ground floor, since the whole mall/hotel complex is built into a hilly area), where there's quite a decent selection of cardio and strength equipment. I did find the fitness centre to be a bit grungy for a hotel of the JW Marriott's calibre, though.
Meanwhile, the pool is situated on the sixth floor, with the Fish Bar restaurant serving up delectable seafood dishes poolside. The outdoor terrace is a lovely space with good views of Admiralty and surrounding areas. The pool attendants were also proactive in their service, always ready to bring you a towel or two.
We unfortunately didn't have time to take a dip, though it would have been a lovely spot to spend a few hours, and maybe grab dinner at the Fish Bar. (That's the problem with having such an extensive Club Lounge buffet – it makes trying out the hotel's restaurants seem like a rather unattractive option!)
I'll say a few words about the location of the hotel, though to be honest it's pretty straightforward. The location is unbeatable for any stay in Hong Kong, whether for business or pleasure.
The Central district, home to both towering office blocks by the waterfront and an eclectic nightlife scene in the mountain slopes further behind, is within walking distance, as are important tourist spots like the Peak Tram and Victoria Harbour.
If you're not much of a walker, or you're looking to explore Kowloon or the New Territories across the harbour, Hong Kong's world-class MTR metro system will get you anywhere you need to go, and the JW Marriott is mere steps away from Admiralty Station, where no less than three MTR lines meet.
And if you're in Hong Kong to get your shopping fix, look no further than Pacific Place, the gigantic mall that's located just an elevator ride from your hotel room, where dozens of brand-name storefronts await you.
The JW Marriott Hong Kong is an upscale hotel that makes for a fancy, luxurious stay. With regular rates of $500+ a night, and free nights going for 45,000 Marriott Rewards points a night, it's not the cheapest place to stay; furthermore, the interior decor, while stunning, is definitely a little dated. Having said that, the JW Marriott's stellar location, amazing Executive Lounge, and overall opulence left a lasting impression on me, and I wouldn't hesitate to return on my next visit to the vibrant port city.