Hong Kong is a fantastic city, vibrant, lots to do and if you want the latest high tech gadgets its the place to go. This is a list of some key items to add to your ‘What to Do in Hong Kong’ list.
Landing at Chek Lap Kok airport you are about 20 miles from the city and you can get a high speed train which takes between 12-25 minutes to get to you the city or a coach transfer which will drop you to your hotel door. The coach transfer is recommended as Hong Kong temperatures can reach high 30’s and lugging a case around in that heat from the train station is not fun when you can relax in the air-con of a coach and get dropped to the lobby of your hotel.
One thing not to miss in Hong Kong is the celebration of lights which happens each evening at 8:15. Get yourself a Star Ferry around this time to enjoy the skyscrapers in the bay lighting up in a type of choreography to be witnessed. We got a star ferry cruise which I think was about €30 and this included refreshments and 1 hour cruising around the bay with nice music as you enjoyed the lights.
If you want to go on a trip, the Big Buddha trip to Ngong Ping is not to be missed. This involves a 25 minute cable car ride which runs from near the airport to the Ngong Ping area. The Big Buddha is elevated on a hill and you can climb up to it for stunning views. Inside the Budda there is a museum all about the history of the Buddha. The trip also includes a vegetarian meal cooked by the monks where you can taste traditional cuisine – this included delicacies such as Lotus Flower which I had never tasted but was delicious. On the trip you also get taken to a traditional fishing village … a thousand miles away from the hussle and bussel of down town Hong Kong.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay, I would recommend the Novatel Century on Jaffa Road. It is very clean, rooms are excellent and very well serviced, the staff go 10 times further to make you happy. The breakfasts are fantastic – I never had Dim Sum for breakfast before ! There is more than enough choice for breakfast. Don’t miss the roof top swimming pool which is best experienced in the late evening when you can hear the busy streets but you are enjoying a swim outdoors in the city with jets flying low overhead – Magic !
Hong Kong has a lot to offer and will be somewhere I continue to return to – however next time we will upgrade to Business Class as our Cathay Pacific flight was just too long to be stuck in economy class, as my legs kept falling asleep from the seats on the Boeing 747-400 which were not all that comfortable.
Shanes Recommended Links for Hong Kong
Ngong Ping : http://www.np360.com.hk/
Novotel Century : http://www.novotel.com/
Grayline Tours : http://www.grayline.com/Grayline/destinations/asia/hongkong.go
A recent report on Hotel prices has found that Ireland now has the cheapest hotel rooms in all of western Europe. The Hotel Price Index, compiled by hotel booking website Hotels.com, found that while worldwide hotel prices have now stabilised in the first 6 months of 2010, Irish hotel room rates have continued to fall.
The average Irish room rate is €79 a night, down 4% from hotel room rates of 2009. The Irish room rate of €79 is the cheapest in western Europe and the 4th cheapest in the EuroZone – ahead of only the Czech Republic, Poland & Hungary. Switzerland is now Europe’s most expensive destination for hotels with an average of €138. Iceland recorded the biggest fall of 20%.
Some of the best value to be seen on hotel rooms is in offers such as 3 nights for the price of 2. For example this great offer from Mount Juliet Hotel Kilkenny – 3 Nights for the Price of 2 in Kilkenny.
Related Links : Santa Train
Modern and Impressive Hotel in Cavan with excellent service and great restaurants.
Having won a trip to the Cavan Crystal Hotel on Pigsback, I was dreading such a long trip. It took over 5 hours (including a stop off for lunch) to get to the hotel. When we arrived the girl on reception, Orlaith, actually remembered speaking to me on the phone earlier (very impressed with service at the hotel in general).
The hotel foyer is bright and nicely decorated in modern clean designs.
The rooms are large with bigger than standard bathrooms, fruit basket and robes were in the room (not sure if these were standard) but overall the room was very nice. Newspapers were left outside your door next morning and a turndown service was provided around 7pm which was not availed of. (nice touch though)
The Opus One restaurant has a wide selection of quality dishes, from duck and venison to seabass and vegetarian options. The starter and main courses were excellent with 2 small complementary intermediate offerings between starter and main and also main and dessert.
One criticism however, the menu does not change, so if you are staying here for more than one night you may run out of options. We only ate here once as a result.
The leisure centre and gym is good, with a large pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and steam room – however it can get crowded at times (especially if there are lots of children). However there is very little privacy from the gents dressing area and when the pool door opens, make sure you are not getting changed nearby otherwise … oops!
There is a Spa but strangely this is not open on Sundays, probably the main day people will be relaxing and will avail of such a service.
Pros: Great service, great food, attentive staff and nice rooms
Cons: Evening Menu in Restaurant does not change, Spa not open on Sundays, Bar area can lack a bit of atmosphere.
Overall : 8½/10
Cavan Crystal Hotel, Cavan, Ireland
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Cavan Crystal Hotel