Le Meridien Cyberport in Hong Kong was a pleasant surprise. I stayed seven nights and I didn't have one bad experience. It was a pleasurable stay from the day I checked in and all throughout. As a matter of fact, I felt sorry to be leaving on my last day, and not only because I had a really good holiday, but also because I really enjoyed staying in the hotel.
Photo courtesy of Le Meridien Cyberport
Le Meridien Cyberport isn't located closest to the CBD. It is in Telegraph Bay, which is in the southern district of Hong Kong Island. If the name Cyberport sounds like a futuristic, terminator movie-inspired place, that's because it is. It was planned with computers and their related-technologies in mind.
Cyberport is owned by the Cyberport Companies and was developed in the early 2000s to help the Hong Kong economy bounce back from the Asian financial crisis of the late nineties. It was designed to help local businesses benefit from the growing internet technologies. Cyberport is a community cluster of residential houses and units, office buildings and other buildings, including Le Meridien Hotel.
Telegraph Bay is only a fifteen-minute drive to Hong Kong CBD. It felt miles away from Hong Kong's hustle and bustle. Cyberport's streets are almost devoid of people. Hard to imagine for a place like Hong Kong, I know. That is what made it surprising too.
I expected to be bustling about with multitudes of people. Anyone who knows Hong Kong and Kowloon will know what I'm talking about. These places are quintessentially Asian – modern, avant-garde, lots of glass and steel – with throngs of people everywhere. Telegraph Bay is different and it's beautiful. The combination of mountains, valleys, bays, and the South China Sea makes some breath-taking sights and spectacular views.
Aberdeen, Repulse Bay and Stanley are three very beautiful coastal areas with some of the most exclusive houses. Some of Hong Kong's richest live in these areas. To me, some parts of them looked and felt more Mediterranean than Asian. I almost expected to sit along piazzas and hear Italian being spoken.
My room overlooked the ocean and what a view it was to wake up to. Large glass windows gave me an uninterrupted view of the surroundings. Sunset was elusive from my part of the building; still it was great to watch dusk come over the sea and the nearby mountains.
The room was large with a divine shower in the bathroom that is glass-enclosed. Electric blinds are a touch away for privacy. The shower and the ocean view were my two favourite things in the room. The rest, although very good, was comparable.
Service was exemplary, and again, to me it was surprising for Hong Kong. I remember Hong Kong in the nineties as an impersonal, indifferent, phlegmatic, and dispassionate city. Entered the new millennium and China's world-class distinction in capitalism, and Hong Kong's parameters for service escalate tenfold.
Le Meridien Cyberport has a gorgeous pool. Not Olympic-sized, but still long and wide. Water spouts from openings as one leans on the tile walls, spa-like - good for those shopped-out muscles. There is a separate good-sized spa next to the pool. The hotel has a rest area close to the pool, where there is a sauna, a steam room and shower rooms. The gym isn't bad with a few treadmills and weight-training equipment.
The Podium, Bar Umami and the Psi Bar serve cocktails and other alcoholic drinks, high-end food and snacks. They're relaxing places to unwind and listen to music. Bar Umami is set outdoors and serves unique temaki and a creative cocktail called saketini (an infusion of sake, distilled spirits, liqueurs, juices, and garnishes). Prompt is a modern restaurant and serves high-end cuisine prepared by chefs in the open-gallery kitchen. Nam Fong tops dining in the hotel. Here you can have exquisitely delectable Cantonese specialties in a South China Sea view setting. And what's a Hong Kong holiday without excellently superb Cantonese food, South China Sea view notwithstanding?
Adjacent to the hotel is a bus terminal, where buses arrive and leave in fifteen to thirty-minute intervals to various destinations, including Hong Kong Central station and lovely Repulse Bay. Fares are as low as the equivalent of two Australian dollars. Around the corner from the hotel are a shopping arcade and a grocery shop. The arcade has a mixture of banks, clothing shops, shoe shops, art gallery type shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The grocery shop is a surprise in itself. It has a wide collection of food items and wines from all over the world. What is hard to find in Australia is placed as sales items here and a bargain isn't hard to find. I came back with a cartful of stuff and food from this shop alone. I'm sure the cashier wondered at why I shopped like I wasn't coming back. And of course, I wasn't. Not until the next time anyway, and I hope that that isn't too long away.