Sold on Sheung Wan, Ibis not so much…

My girlfriend and I visit Hong Kong every winter, and for the past few years we’ve been pampered by the amazing service at the T-Hotel in Pok Fu Lam—really, the only knock against that place is its remote location. This year we wanted to stay somewhere on the MTR line, and eventually decided on the Ibis in Sheung Wan.

Sheung Wan is a great home base from which to further explore Hong Kong, and an interesting neighbourhood in its own right. There are lots of restaurants around, reflecting the diversity of the people here. For even more local flavour you can walk  westward to Kennedy Town (or take the Ding Ding), or you can go the other way directly into Central. We’ll definitely be returning to Sheung Wan next year, but probably not to the Ibis.

If you absolutely must have a room with a harbour view then the Ibis will deliver, just know that the room with that view will be small. The shower stall in particular was comically tiny; neither my petite girlfriend nor my not-so-petite self could manoeuvre around in it without banging into the faucet and shutting the water off. There are larger available “studios” in the building but none facing the harbour, which didn’t make sense to us.

As the lobby is on the 5th floor you’ll probably have to change elevators to go from street level to your room and vice versa—some of them go all the way up and down and some don’t, another thing which didn’t make sense. On the 6th floor you’ll find the hotel restaurant; we paid in advance for breakfast through our stay and wish we hadn’t. On our first morning we were literally the first guests present when the restaurant opened, yet somehow the hot food was already cold…? Thankfully there’s a Starbucks in the lobby, with a surprisingly good selection of hot breakfast sandwiches and pastries.

Again, if you need that harbour view the Ibis is probably your only option, at least in Sheung Wan. There’s the Hotel Jen in Kennedy Town but it’s definitely seen better days. If, however, you can do without the view there are other, possibly better options within a stone’s throw of the Ibis. Next year we’re staying at the Ovolo Noho…

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