Ask a concierge: Hong Kong

Expert tips for business travellers to Hong Kong.

At the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, concierge Tony Lo draws on 31 years of experience to guide visitors on what to do and where to dine in this lively and vibrant metropolitan city. And above all, ensures each visitor has a memorable stay. Here’s his expert guidance for business travellers.

What should business travellers have on hand when heading to your city?
The Octopus card, a stored-value smart card, is extremely handy and convenient. You can use it when taking public transport including the MTR and Star Ferry, as well as making purchases at most grocery or convenience stores.

We understand smartphones have become a vital part of our lives, and an Internet connection is extremely helpful in a foreign country. With this in mind, we’ve equipped all guest rooms with a complimentary handy smartphone. It allows unlimited internet access, local calls and international calls to selected countries (U.S., Philippines, China, U.K. and Japan), so there’s no need for guests to purchase local SIM cards or rent pocket-Wi-Fi during their stay. For business travellers, this is a great cost saver.

What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
Hong Kong is a dining paradise with endless unique and exciting options. Cucina (Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, 6/F, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Ph: +852 2113 0808) offers authentic Italian dining with contemporary lifestyle ambience. This fine-dining restaurant features the spectacular view of Victoria Harbour and the famed Hong Kong city skyline – a perfect venue to impress your clients. For an East-meets-West culinary experience, I recommend Three on Canton (Gateway, Hong Kong, 3/F, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Ph: +852 2113 0888), located in our sister hotel that’s within walking distance from Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel. This lifestyle, all-day dining restaurant features a chic setting with a gourmet fare.

What’s something that surprises guests about your city or hotel?
By far, I’ve received most comments from guests who’re pleasantly surprised with Hong Kong’s lush greenery. Hong Kong gives the perception of a hustle and bustle metropolis comparable to New York City. Fortunately the city has its hidden treasures amid an urban landscape, with several city and nature parks.

Guests love the location of Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel because it’s so easy to get around the city. There’re MTR stations, taxis and bus stations in close vicinity. Also, attractions such as the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Kowloon Park, and the Star Ferry – Hong Kong’s most iconic form of transportation are just a short walk from the hotel.

If business travellers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see or do?
Shopping! Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel is located on Canton Road in the heart of commercial, shopping and entertainment district, Tsim Sha Tsui. The hotel is adjacent to Harbour City – Hong Kong’s largest shopping centre with over 450 outlets and over 50 dining options. Our guests are entitled to special privileges when they present their hotel room key at the outlets, inclusive of international luxury brands.

For those who appreciate the Arts, I’d suggest visiting the Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Museum of History, amongst many others. Affordable entrance fees do apply.

If time permits, go for the Big Bus sightseeing tour. It’s an enjoyable way to explore Hong Kong as it passes through the city’s Chinese and Colonial history. The extensive tour routes offer a flexible option for guests to enjoy the city with little rush.

What’s the best option for outdoor exercise?
For running enthusiasts, there is an excellent running track alongside Victoria Harbour. It starts just outside our hotel, stretching four kilometres to-and-fro. If you’d like a more challenging workout, you can run up the Peak in Hong Kong Island. The reward at the top is a breathtaking view over Hong Kong city – sure to leave a lasting impression.

There’re an abundance of excellent hiking trails, perfect if you want prefer to exercise at a slower pace. It lets you discover the beauty of nature away from the metropolis. For the more aqueous type, guests can put in laps at our outdoor pool.

Business know-how

Concierge Tony Lo’s top tips for getting business right in Hong Kong:

Tip 1: It’s always a good idea to bring plenty of business cards for business meetings, even extra cards just in case.

Tip 2:  On seating arrangements during meals, the guest of honour usually sits opposite the host, with the second or third most important people seated next to the host. And the host is usually seated closest to the entrance.

Tip 3: Gift giving is an important part of business etiquette in Hong Kong, especially around Christmas (late December) and Chinese New Year (early February). In the gift pack, avoid items that come in four because the number four is associated as an unlucky number in the East-Asian society.

 BCD_Ask the Concierge-Tony Lo_July2015

 

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