Eaton Smart Hotel Hong Kong

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Like just about everyone else who makes a trip anywhere, I checked the reviews on Trip Advisor before booking my accomodation in Hong Kong. I wanted to stay near a MTR station along Nathan Road and there are quite a lot of hotels in that area to choose from. I settled on Eaton Smart, a four-star hotel because the price was within my budget.

Flying into Hong Kong in the wee hours of the morning is not a good idea. I arrived before 5am and was like a zombie when I walked out of the arrival hall as I can’t sleep on flights. How I envy fellow passengers who doze off even before the flight has taken off only to wake up when the plane lands at their destination.

Another reason for not flying into Hong Kong so early is that the most obvious choice of transportation to either HK or Kowloon Station, the Airport Express doesn’t operate until 6.12am so you’d have to hand around the airport if you are taking the Airport Express. The Airport Express is the equivalent of our KLIA Express and it costs HKD140 for 2 passengers. It’s cheaper to purchase it from the desk than the machines surprisingly.

The Airport Express is clean and so comfortable. There were hardly any passengers at that hour. There’s only 1 stop before Kowloon Station so it takes about 28 minutes to arrive at Kowloon Station. The ticket includes the complimentary shuttle bus to certain hotels, for example K1 shuttle bus goes to Jordan Station (Austin Road), Hung Hom Station, Harbour Plaza Metropolis, Whampoa Garden, Harbour Grand Kowloon, Eaton Hotel Kowloon and finally Austin Station. The other shuttle buses to Kowloon hotels are numbered K2-K5. There are 2 shuttle buses to Hong Kong hotels from Hong Kong Station.

If you’re in a hurry to get to your hotel and if your hotel is not among the 1st few stops, then the shuttle bus can be a drag as it took about half an hour before the bus arrived at Eaton Smart’s Pak Hoi Street entrance. Eaton Smart can be accessed via Nathan Road or the side entrance at Pak Hoi Street where the bellhop desk is located. From there, one can either take the lift up to the hotel lobby or the escalator. You have to walk past a cafe if you’re accessing via the Nathan Road entrance.

The hotel lobby isn’t very big and not grand at all but it has a nice, cosy coffee house where guest have their breakfast and al fresco seating in the courtyard. The courtyard is also where a tai chi master gives complimentary classes on certain days. I was tempted to attend one of them but I could never get up in time, the classes are at 8am. The hotel also has complimentary guided tours to the Jade Market and Temple Street Market on certain days.

Actually, the hotel is quite centrally located in between Jordan and Yau Ma Tei MTRs. Jordan Station is a little bit nearer. You’d never have to go far looking for food around that area and there are several malls within walking distance. In fact, it isn’t even far walking to Tsim Sha Tsui as it is just 1 stop from Jordan.

As the hotel has a few glass lifts, there’s a birds’ eye view of Nathan Road as you ascend to your floor. I think that is the best feature of the hotel other than free wi-fi in the rooms. There is virtually no view (unless you can call the stark facade of another building a view) from the Superior Room and as for the room itself, it is only slightly bigger than a Cititel Hotel room. There’s only room for one luggage on the luggage rack. A 2nd piece of luggage would have to be stored in the wardrobe. The washroom is also appallingly small, stick your butt out from the sink and it will touch the bathtub and vice versa. The bathtub is uncomfortably and discomfitingly narrow. It was a tight squeeze for me, never mind someone of an average Caucasian build. Next to the bed is a writing table just big enough for your laptop and a few small items.

Nevertheless, the bathroom is well equipped with the essential toiletries – body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and bath gel for soaking in the tub after a long, tiring day of shopping. Space really is a premium in Hong Kong. Room service is always between 9-10am. Towels are changed daily and everything is neat and tidy. The bed was quite comfortable but during those few days, I was so seriously exhausted that I could  have fallen asleep on the floor if I had to.

Although there is coffee/tea making facilities, only tea cups are provided! How does one drink a proper cup of coffee/tea in such small cups? Well, you’d have to make the coffee/tea in the teapot and pour out in portions. I do wish they’d have provided proper cups as the teacups are good enough for Chinese tea only and there were no Chinese tea sachets/leaves provided.

Overall, it is a decent enough hotel with good facilities and it has the advantage of being in a very convenient location where you can save on taking transport since it’s so close to all the shopping you could possibly want.

Eaton Smart is conveniently situated near a Starbucks (they have a “buy 1, free 1” promo on Friday afternoons), McDonald’s is just opposite the hotel, there is a Sasa and Watsons if you walk towards Jordan and most importantly, there are innumerable eateries just about everywhere you look. Walk towards Tsim Sha Tsui and you’ll soon find yourself at The One Mall and there’s Langham Place/Ladies Market if you walk towards Mong Kok. Locationwise, Eaton Smart scores but only if you don’t mind walking a bit. There are a lot of small boutiques along Nathan Road which may be worth popping in to depending on your style sense.

Catching the shuttle bus to Kowloon Station is so easy as the bus stops right in front of the hotel. There’s no need to pay the driver as it’s a complimentary shuttle bus. Once you arrive at Kowloon Station, you can check in your luggage once you’ve purchased an Airport Express ticket. Very convenient as you can then travel light to the airport.

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