Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Published January 14th 2013
Where to lay down flat in between flights
Exciting Hong Kong can be a travel destination in its own right, but it is also a popular transit stop for those flying around the world. The fabulous and spacious Hong Kong airport has lots to entertain those just stopping for a few hours (Imax Cinema, i-Sports sporting games simulations, an aviation discovery centre and even a 9 hole golf course in the grounds). There is also the option to take the airport express train into the Central for a look around or for a trip up to Victoria's Peak.
However, sometimes, after a long haul flight, and faced with the prospect of another one, all you really need is to get horizontal and have a restorative sleep. Unlike many of the other major airport hubs, Hong Kong airport does not have a dedicated transit hotel airside. You do have a couple of options - either to go 'landside' into Hong Kong and try either of the two airport hotels, the Regal Airport Hotel, which apparently has day use rooms available (though not when I enquired) and is connected to the terminal via a landbridge. If you book in advance, promotional rate rooms will cost from HKD$1600 - if you try and book at the airport on arrival, they can be more than double that - I was offered a room rate in excess of HKD$4000! The other option is the reliable Marriott chain - though check in is not before 2pm and you still have to pay a standard 24 hour rate regardless. It is a 5 minute free shuttle bus ride away to their Marriott Sky City Hotel.
Marriott Sky City Hotel, Hong Kong
The other, though not well advertised in the airport itself, is to head to one of the three Plaza Premium Paid Airport Travelers' Lounges, which are between Terminal 1 & 2 in the Arrivals Hall (on the land side) or before Gate 1 and After Gate 35 on the airside. These offer full airport lounge facilities, and you can either purchase an annual pass (they are at 90 locations worldwide) or access them as a casual guest (walk-in). They have free wi-fi, eating (with delicious food served both buffet and a la carte which is included in the access price), shower, bar, office and spa (massage and salon) services. Importantly, they also offer short-stay 'private resting rooms' which are small, but very clean and adequate rooms with single/twin beds, which are paid for on a per person hourly basis.
. You can book online up to 24 hours in advance, which gives you a 5% discount on the various lounge packages, which are again accessed on an hourly rate. 3 hours in a 'private resting area' (room with ensuite), including shower, non alcoholic beverages, snacks and a hot meal is HKD$600 (around AUD/USD$80) and additional hours are HKD$100 (AUD/USD$14). My son and I enjoyed a very restorative sleep here on the way back to Australia, and couldn't have been more appreciative of the helpful, kind hearted staff and the peaceful environment - despite the landside lounge being located directly beneath the inter-transit train! The Lounges are not well promoted nor signed within the airport itself, so you may need to ask for the 'premium paid' lounges to find them, but it's worth persevering.
Have been thinking of staying in the Transit Lounge on the way home from Chicago the price for a six hour stay over is $238 US plus it said we have to get a Hong Kong visa that price is for two,which is the same at the Regal Hotel.
As we are in Transit means we have to get our luggage etc isn't there another way.Perth
On my way home to Perth from the UK, first I was delayed 5 hours in Newcastle by gales and then arrived at Heathrow to be told my flight had closed. They booked me into the hotel at Heathrow along with hundreds of other travellers but with no idea of when I might get another flight home. So sleep did not happen that night. The next day was hours in almost stationery queues at Heathrow, but I finally was booked on a flight home via Hong Kong. To cut the story short I did find this wonderful facility at Hong Kong airport, and after the dreadful time I had had it was a joy to be able to lie down and really sleep. I've never enjoyed a 9 hour lay over quite as much as I enjoyed that one!
Can highly recommend The Novotel Citygate.
10 mins from airport with regular free shuttle buses. The airport lounges are lovely but if you have a bit longer use the Novotel.
It is also connected to their outlet shops so you can get last minute shopping in?