It’s fair to say that we were pretty underwhelmed when it came to Hong Kong Airport hotels. Everything was highly priced compared to other worldwide airport hotels- prices were at around $1600 HKD for a basic room with a bed, which is all we were after with a very late arrival and early departure.
To be honest, we were sceptical when the website promised that the hotel was “the only airport hotel with city access” but it turns out that they were spot on. The airport shuttle is a great service (although a clear and easy to find bay number on arrival at Hong Kong would be a huge help and/or more instructions on what signs to follow) and you can easily get to the MTR from the Novotel Citygate- it’s a short walk to the other side of the Citygate centre, without needing to pay more for the airport line. The actual Citygate outlets offered great shopping and a range of dining and coffee options, so there was always plenty to do at the Novotel Citygate even without going all the way into the city. Sure, it’s not a short run into the city by rail but don’t worry about forking out for a taxi when for 20 HKD you can jump on the train and enjoy and easy run to where you need to be.
The room was a reasonable size- quite a bit larger than its counterpart in Nathan Road. This was an entry level room- the design was very nice and everything was generally well maintained. The vase-style sculpture in the centre of the room was a really nice focal point and broke up the room well.
The room featured an open-plan bathroom which was fine for one person, but for people sharing a room who are not comfortable with each other this may be an issue. The shower had two types of showerheads which was a really good offering. The in-room power points were not universal, but an adapter was provided. A real bonus would be having all power points as universal not requiring an adapter to allow charging for multiple devices, and to avoid a potentially confusing process of determining how to work the adapter to convert to your country.
The bed was really comfortable and I was fast asleep within minutes of getting to the room.
The WiFi was quite expensive- around $120 HKD or $15 USD for just a few hours use. This was not really acceptable for Hong Kong standards- especially as the WiFi was free in the hotel lobby. I ended up paying as I was too exhausted to drag my electrical devices down to the lobby. Another thing was that the payment was per device- meaning to get all devices connected would be a small fortune. Hopefully this charge and the one-device limit will be reviewed in the future.
Lastly, the lighting system was a little confusing with one bathroom light that took some time to turn off. A master switch would be a real help especially when tired. Also, the shower knob which changed between rain showerhead and the handheld option wasn’t working during my second stay.
For my second stay, I got an offer for a discounted upgrade to the premier floor. It was tempting but I didn’t go with it in the end. This turned out to be the correct call as I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep when I arrived (not up for drinks and canapés) and was able to have a decent breakfast in the business class lounge at Hong Kong Airport, but if I had more time there I would have gone for the Premier Floor.