Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Trip To Hong Kong 香港: Panda Hotel 悦来酒店


Photo By: Elin Chow
Official Website: Panda Hotel 悦来酒店
Address: 3 Tsuen Wah Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong 香港荃湾荃华街3号

For our 3 days 2 nights company trip to Hong Kong last December, we were staying at Panda Hotel 悦来酒店, a four-star Panda-themed hotel located in Tsuen Wan 荃湾, New Territories 新界, Hong Kong.

Panda Hotel 悦来酒店


Panda Hotel (formerly known as Kowloon Panda Hotel) is located just a 25 minutes drive away from Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong Disneyland. With a total of 1,026 rooms, it is currently the largest hotel in Tsuen Wan District.

Hong Kong International Airport > Panda Hotel

Panda Hotel is located in the heart of Tsuen Wan, close to the Tsuen Wan and Tai Wo Hau MTR. There are many ways to reach the hotel from the airport, by rail or road.

Transportation
Charges
Approximate Time
Limousine
HKD 550 / Trip
25 Minutes
Airport Shuttle Bus
HKD 150 / Person
30 Minutes
Taxi
Around HKD 250 / Trip
28 Minutes
Airport Express to Tsing Yi Station and Taxi to Hotel
Airport Express – HKD 60 / Person
Taxi – Around HKD 30 / Trip
50 Minutes
Airport Bus A31 to Tsuen Wan (Chung On Street Bus Station)
HKD 19 / Person
60 Minues

Airport shuttle buses depart from the Hong Kong International Airport every hour from 7.00 am to 11.00 pm daily. To take the airport shuttle buses, simply walk through Arrival Hall and approach the airport shuttle counter at B01. For more information about the airport shuttle buses, please visit the Panda hotel's official website.


Surprisingly, the reception is not located at the ground floor of the building. We were dropped off at the side of the road by our tour buses. To reach the reception area, we have make our way through a shopping mall and take the lift up to the third floor. The shopping mall (known as the Panda Place 悦来访) is located the ground floor, second floor and three basement levels beneath Panda Hotel.


Taking the lift up to the third floor, we arrived at a spacious reception area decorated with various Panda related merchandises that is sure to delight any panda lover! Here you will find a variety of Panda plush dolls, bags, key rings, cups, pens and many more. If you are interested in buying any of the merchandises , please approach the hotel concierge at level 3 for assistance.





The spacious reception area offers plenty of comfortable seating for guests to relax. Some of the hotel facilities includes a well-equipped gym, steam and sauna room, swimming pool and a recreation room equipped for table tennis, billiards, air hockey and TV games. The recreation room is a comfortable place for guests to relax with their family and friends and enjoy various games together.

Apart from that, the hotel also offers self-service laundry facilities at an affordable rates. Token-operated wash machine and dryer are available at the laundry pantry. Please purchase token from reception in advance in order to use the wash machine and dryer.


In addition to that, there were also regular, free shuttle buses running from the hotel to Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀 and Mong Kok 旺角 regularly. You may want to check out the shuttle buses schedule on the its official website.

After collecting our room key card, we proceeded straight to our room, which was located on the 12th floor of the building. Access to the room is via the lifts, which can only be accessed by your room card key.

Unfortunately, there are only 4 lifts serving the 1.026 rooms. Do expect short queue at the lifts, which can be very frustrating, especially when you arrived late and tired at the hotel.


Our deluxe room features two single beds with a private en-suite bathroom, a small working desk and a separate seating area. The entire room was warmly lit by yellowish lights, which was actually a little too dim for my liking.

The beds were very clean and comfortable. Between the beds, there was a small cabinet for us to store our belongings in an easy to reach place. However, the room was small, with minimal space to walk after putting our luggage.


Our room is equipped with a flat screen satellite TV, but the TV channel choices were a bit limited compared to many other hotels I have stayed. Furthermore, the hotel does not provide free in room WiFi, which was a big inconvenience for us. We were actually surprised that there are still hotels which does not offer free WiFi, especially in such a modern city like Hong Kong. It was incredibly frustrating to stay in a hotel that does not provide free internet access.

The lack of free WiFi makes the hotel a bad choice for business travelers. I would usually avoid staying in hotels that does not provide WiFi for free.


Our room also features a small seating area with 2 chairs and a round coffee table. The seating area is just perfect for family and friends to gather and sit down together after a tiring day of sightseeing.

Other room amenities also includes individually controlled air-conditioning, in-room safe box and bathroom slippers.


Electric water boiler and basic coffee and tea making facilities are provided in the room as well. Other than that, the hotel also provides complimentary 2 bottles of mineral water (replenished daily) and a mini fridge for us to store our cold drinks and food in the room.

I was surprised that there was a microwave as well, which proved to be a real convenience as we had to heat up some food we brought with us that night. 


The bathroom was small but well furnished and spotlessly clean.


Basic toiletries such as cotton buds, shower cap, comb and disposable toothbrush and toothpaste are provided for guest use.


The bathroom also comes with a spacious bathtub where you can relax with a hot bath after a long and tiring day. There were sufficient towels provided for every guest as well. Each of them were rolled and placed neatly on a shelf above the bathtub.
Other than that, the bathroom is also well-equipped with soap and shampoo mounted on the wall in a dispenser.


A complimentary buffet breakfast served at Panda Cafe (located just next to the reception area) every morning from 6.00 am to 10.00 am.


The cafe was very busy during breakfast hours and it was hard to find a seat. Food were tasty but the choices was a bit limited. It was actually a little disappointing. But I do understand why there was not much choices for breakfast. There are simply too many guests staying at the hotel and there was not enough manpower to offer more choices for breakfast. All the staffs were busily clearing the tables, replenishing the empty dishes and it would be impossible for them to offer more.


Located right next to the Panda Cafe, visitors will find the Children's Playground. The Playground offers a fun and safe environment for children to play while parents can sit, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee in the cafe.


Panda Hotel is situated in the less touristy side of Hong Kong with plenty of convenience stores, local eateries, restaurants and shops located around the area. The area around the hotel is frequented mostly by local people and most likely, you will not see many foreign tourists around. This is where you will get the chance to experience the real Hong Kong culture and way of life.



For our last day in Hong Kong, we decided to enjoy breakfast in Hong Kong like a local. Comparing to many other large cities in Asia, eating in Hong Kong is much more expensive. But we managed to taste some of the delicious food in Hong Kong. I wish we have more time to explore.

Overall, it was a pleasant experience, but not awesome. The only reason why I was staying in this hotel was because this was what the travel agent have booked for our company trip. Certainly, I would not choose to stay in this hotel if I am visiting Hong Kong again. I would not recommend this hotel for business purposes too.

However, Panda Hotel is actually a good choice for budget travelers. I believe this is one of the cheapest 4-star hotels in Hong Kong. You might want to consider this hotel if you have budget constraints.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 3D2N Company Trip Summary + Itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 3 days in Hong Kong. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 3 days adventures in Hong Kong! You might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.

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