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Ovolo Southside, Hong Kong, Design Hotel [Master Thread]

Ovolo Southside, Hong Kong, Design Hotel [Master Thread]

Old Jan 15, 17, 5:46 pm
  #1  
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Ovolo Southside, Hong Kong, Design Hotel [Master Thread]

Wow, this is a nice hotel!

Got a good prepaid rate of HKD 765 for the basic "mini queen" room. Very good value!

This hotel is located on the South side of Hong Kong Island, past the Aberdeen Tunnel and in the Wong Chuk Hang area. The hotel has a very small footprint, but quite a tall building (23 floors, I think). Only nine rooms on my floor, and I assume similar for the other floors.

The hotel is supposedly the first hotel in Hong Kong converted from a warehouse building. The design is quite attractive IMHO, keeping some of the "industrial characteristics" of a warehouse. For example: exposed sprinklers, pipes, and ducts in the ceiling; industrial-type electric sockets; heavy wall tiles instead of marble in the bathroom; stainless steel cabinet in the room; rustic wood accents; concrete flooring; etc. All design elements combined into a very nice feel.

I actually called the hotel while driving there, and confirmed that they had parking space available for overnight parking (@ HKD 200/night). There are only two spaces available, so it is first-come, first-serve. Otherwise, overnight parking is available at the nearby new One Island South complex.

At check-in, it was noted that this was my first time staying at the hotel. Because of this, I would be given a free breakfast, and also an upgrade to a higher-category deluxe room. Turned out that this was a corner room.

The room is small, but perfectly cozy for a short stay. The room had a queen bed, a three-seater sofa with table, a clothes rack, two cabinets with drawers (and the minibar), and a small bathroom.

Many treats in the room:
- a "loot bag", which is complimentary: contained a bag of chips, Impact mints, M&M's chocolates, Haribo gummies, and a bag of almonds.
- complimentary minibar: bottle of coke, bottle of coke zero, two bottles of carlsberg, one can of Schweppes lemon soda, one tetrapack of orange juice, one tetrapack of ice tea, two bottles of still water, and two bottles of sparkling water.
- a cloth "recyclable" bag, which can be used a clothes bag or shoe bag

Bathroom is small, but the EXCELLENT thing is good water pressure and very hot water for a nice shower! Bath amenities are the Australian-made "Biology" brand: bath gel, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, and mouthwash. The room slippers and waffle bathrobe were very comfortable.

Corner room was facing the road, so a bit noisy with the cars passing by. And, my room was on the 19th floor....

The room has an LED TV mounted on the wall opposite the bed. Each room also has an Apple TV, for you to mirror whatever you are doing on your iOS device.

Check-in is on the Lobby floor (you need to take a lift from the G/F). This floor also has a 24-hour gym, and the Lo Lounge. The lounge has a billiard table, bench seating, and also some comfortable armchairs. Saw several guests relaxing there in the daytime. I also did some reading there at night. The Lounge is 24 hours. Has coffee machine and complimentary cookies.

Did not try room service, but some items on the menu looked tempting, and I will definitely try on a future stay.

Breakfast was served in the 4th Floor CIRQLE Restaurant. The basic continental offerings, plus scrambled eggs and congee. You could also order hot items off another menu, but these would need to be paid for, and not part of my free breakfast.

This hotel might seem "out of the way" but with the recent opening of the MTR South Island Line, has become easily-accessible, and IMHO, should be considered even for business travellers who usually stay in the Central, Admiralty, Wanchai, or CWB areas. For example, after I parked my car and checked in, I walked from the hotel to the Wong Chuk Hang MTR Station (a 4-5 min walk). Waited 2 min for the subway and took two stops to Admiralty, which was about a 5 min ride. Had dinner with friends at Pacific Place. After dinner, walked 6 min from the restaurant down to Platform 5 of Admiralty MTR Station, 4 min wait for the next train, 5 min train ride, and 5 min walk back to the hotel. SO CONVENIENT!!!!!

Around the hotel, there are some good choices for dining. At the One Island South Complex, there is:
- Pizza Express (quite crowded when I passed by at 6:30pm in the evening)
- Starbucks (closing up when I passed by at 6:30pm; closing early because of Sunday?)
- a deli (closed)
- a casual restaurant (closed)
- a 7-Eleven
- Lane Crawford Home Store

I am sure more retail establishments will open up on the near future.

Overall, a pleasantly-surprised stay at Ovolo Southside. Kudos to this hotel.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 4:29 am
  #2  
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Holy crap, I recognize this hotel. I went there for the rooftop bar a few months ago… which was ridiculously awesome. I'm very glad to hear it's joined SPG. I wonder if there's any elite recognition here… but considering how stylish the place is and how cheap, I might just give it a go over my usual nice-but-pricey W. And with the brand new MTR line, of course—last time I was stuck in the tunnel traffic a whole hour on my way back.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by helvetic View Post
Holy crap, I recognize this hotel. I went there for the rooftop bar a few months ago… which was ridiculously awesome. I'm very glad to hear it's joined SPG. I wonder if there's any elite recognition here… but considering how stylish the place is and how cheap, I might just give it a go over my usual nice-but-pricey W. And with the brand new MTR line, of course—last time I was stuck in the tunnel traffic a whole hour on my way back.
I mean, it is a Design Hotel, so not really? I stayed last month and while they said at check in that I'd be getting 500 points, that's all you get at any Design Hotel. They did give me free breakfast since it was my first time with Ovolo but they also said that next time, I can only get free breakfast if I book through the hotel's website (not SPG) directly. They promised they'd give me the SPG points anyway if I list my SPG number in the reservation comments, but didn't say whether I'd still get stay/night credit.

I thought it was very interesting that SPG "partner" hotels apparently don't like it when you book through SPG. Sorta makes you wonder what the point of the affiliation is.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 6:49 am
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Originally Posted by matravelguy View Post
I mean, it is a Design Hotel, so not really? I stayed last month and while they said at check in that I'd be getting 500 points, that's all you get at any Design Hotel. They did give me free breakfast since it was my first time with Ovolo but they also said that next time, I can only get free breakfast if I book through the hotel's website (not SPG) directly. They promised they'd give me the SPG points anyway if I list my SPG number in the reservation comments, but didn't say whether I'd still get stay/night credit.

I thought it was very interesting that SPG "partner" hotels apparently don't like it when you book through SPG. Sorta makes you wonder what the point of the affiliation is.
Yes, i have also heard that you can only get SPG points but no stay count. But quite funny their GM replied that you can got all SPG Platinum benefits when you book directly from their own website on Tripadvisor
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Old Jun 26, 17, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by ronaldko View Post
Yes, i have also heard that you can only get SPG points but no stay count. But quite funny their GM replied that you can got all SPG Platinum benefits when you book directly from their own website on Tripadvisor
The problem is that their own website has a much weaker BRG than SPG (allowing only specific sites), and with SPG's BRG, you can get approved rates here of about HKD400++ (EUR70 all-in before 20% discount).
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Old Jun 26, 17, 6:30 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by jpdx View Post
The problem is that their own website has a much weaker BRG than SPG (allowing only specific sites), and with SPG's BRG, you can get approved rates here of about HKD400++ (EUR70 all-in before 20% discount).
Wow, what sites would be able to get an approved BRG? A few examples?
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Old Jun 26, 17, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by matravelguy View Post
I mean, it is a Design Hotel, so not really? I stayed last month and while they said at check in that I'd be getting 500 points, that's all you get at any Design Hotel. They did give me free breakfast since it was my first time with Ovolo but they also said that next time, I can only get free breakfast if I book through the hotel's website (not SPG) directly. They promised they'd give me the SPG points anyway if I list my SPG number in the reservation comments, but didn't say whether I'd still get stay/night credit.

I thought it was very interesting that SPG "partner" hotels apparently don't like it when you book through SPG. Sorta makes you wonder what the point of the affiliation is.
Yeah, I had Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore (part of Design Hotels) urge me one time to book directly with them instead for my next stay with them. No free breakfast at any point sadly, but always got the welcome points. I think they just told me I could "get a better rate" if I booked directly with them, but going off memory when I checked last time their site and SPG app had the same rate.

Regardless, I usually stay with SPG hotels in the first place for their points promotions so I definitely need the stay/night credits running through them.
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Old Aug 11, 17, 12:00 pm
  #8  
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Review from June 2017

After my amazing first class flight on Emirates, I arrived late into Hong Kong for my near 24-hour layover. After deciding which SPG hotel to stay at during my stay, I decided on the Ovolo Southside, a Design Hotel which looked interesting (and cheap!).

Arrival

With a free transfer from Emirates courtesy of my first class cabin (business class oddly does not get free chauffeurs in Hong Kong), I knew I’d save a lot on the taxi or transportation from the airport, as well as time. It was a bit difficult to find the transfer desk, but after finding an Emirates representative, I was pointed in the right direction.

I was escorted the whole way by one of the contract workers, who couldn’t have been nicer. It was raining hard in Hong Kong, and I rushed into the limo van that would drive me to Ovolo.

Ovolo Southside is located on Hong Kong Island, nearly as far away from the airport as you can get. This is where the chauffeur really came in handy, as it was a completely free ride all the way to the hotel.

The hotel’s lobby is located on a mid-level floor. The area around the hotel is pretty dead at night, and the entrance was a bit hard to find. Eventually, though, I found the elevator and went up to the lobby.
The elevator itself set the mood for the hotel- there were 80’s music videos playing on the screen.



In the lobby, I had an easy time checking in. I was interested to see how they treated Platinum SPG members, since there’s no obligation from Design hotels to do much for us. I was upgraded to a bigger room, and given free breakfast. The 500 point amenity posted to my account after my stay with no issues.
There were lots of cool design touches, including a pool table and seating area to relax or work.


The Room

I took the elevator up to the 19th floor. There were only 9 rooms on my floor.


The room itself was tiny, but charmingly functional. There was a living room area (pictured above), and immediately next to it, a sleeping area with king bed.



Beyond that, the small bathroom area.




This isn’t a room you’d want to share with someone close, but for a single traveler, it was perfect.
One cool aspect about the room is that there was a loot bag waiting for me with some snacks.



The mini bar is also completely free, and included beers. Seriously, this is the greatest hotel ever.


I was beat, so I went straight to bed. In the morning, I awoke and checked out some of the hotel’s offerings. There was a gym area, as well as a free laundry.


Finally, I checked out breakfast. While free, which was appreciated, I wasn’t too impressed with the spread. But, they did have made-to-order omelets, if you like those. I’m not an egg eater, so I stick to carbs and protein when I wake up. I did have a bowl of congee, which is my new favorite after my stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives.



I went to explore Hong Kong Disneyland for the day, so I left the hotel pretty early. Since it would be a trek back to the hotel (Disneyland is close to the airport), I instead stored my bags at the park. Check out was quick, and I was able to walk across the street to the MTA station to take a (long) ride to the park.

The value of the Ovolo Southside is absolutely there. With an easy MTA connection, you can get anywhere in the city pretty quickly. It’s not in the thick of the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, but for those wanting to save money, while still earning points and status with SPG, this is a great new option!
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Old Aug 11, 17, 12:18 pm
  #9  
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Too bad you didn't check out the rooftop bar. That's the highlight of the hotel imo.
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Old Aug 12, 17, 3:22 pm
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I'm thinking about staying here in January.

I have a one night layover in HK on my way home. I am arriving around 14:00 and my flight leaves at 9:35 the next morning on CX. Was planning on getting to the airport early enough to have a good breakfast in a CX Lounge.

Anyone have any advice about getting to the airport in the morning? Was planning on Airport Express, either with MTR or taxi to Central.

My other option is the Marriott, but it's twice the price and some of the reviews suggested that the airport shuttle can take almost as long as staying in town and taking Airport Express to HKG.

I have 3 nights in Kowloon on the outbound layover, and I've been to HK before so I'm not planning on rushing to see the sights on this 19 hour stopover.

Love those free stopovers on CX
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Old Aug 12, 17, 3:29 pm
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Thanks for the review. The hotel definitely got put onto my list of hotels "I've to stay at some time"
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Old Aug 12, 17, 7:50 pm
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I'm here right now. My second stay (I live in Shenzhen so it's convenient for a last minute break).

As advised by reception, this time I booked direct by email quoting my SPG number and not on SPG.com. Arriving at 4pm my room wasn't ready so they gave me the accessible room on the 19th floor.

The basic rooms were sold out so I'm paying HK1466+ which is the next category up. Same as on SPG (I checked). I got all the goodies as expected. I'll remind them of my Platinum number when I check out and let's see what posts on SPG (basic points, bonus points, night?).

For people wondering about the Airport... it's quite a trek by car (which translates to $$$ in HK so any room saving you think you're making could be eaten up in extra transport costs) however on the new MTR it's only four stops to Central but you have to transfer MTR trains to get there and it's a lengthy transit so with heavy bags wouldn't be too great.

But I like it here and my sister's staying here in November on my recommendation.
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Old Aug 12, 17, 9:23 pm
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Originally Posted by ftrichard View Post
...For people wondering about the Airport..... on the new MTR it's only four stops to Central but you have to transfer MTR trains to get there and it's a lengthy transit so with heavy bags wouldn't be too great.

How long do you reckon it would take - door to door from the hotel to the airport - to travel by MTR?
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Old Aug 12, 17, 9:28 pm
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Lol! No heavy bags for me. Just taking my B&R carry on (although I might expand it) and a camera backpack that I will wear on the MTR. Not a business trip so I can wear everything a couple of times. I'll study the MTR maps.

How expensive is the 15 minute taxi ride to Central they mention on the hotel's transportation page? Might be a happy compromise.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 12:55 am
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Wong Chuk Hang to the airport is 47 minutes according to the MTR application (download it now - you'll never need to ask a question about HK travel times again).

The issue is not the time. It's undoubtedly the quickest way to the airport. It's the interchange at Admiralty. Hand luggage or similar is fine for lugging. But some people would find the escalators and walkways to be too much. It's quite a distance. Personally I would do it but the old and infirm would not.

Regarding taxi fares... Uber exists in HK and the app can be used to estimate fares point to point.
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