As for hotels, we tend to go for the mid-range hotels, not the 5 star resorts. I have a price point that I typically shoot for with an eye for a hotel nearby the place we will be visiting. Also like to find a chain that throws in some "freebies" along with the room rate (WiFi, breakfast, parking, airport shuttle, manager's happy hour, etc.). Eating a continental breakfast at the hotel will typically save I found a great La Quinta in Paso Robles that had its own wine store in the lobby and every afternoon they would have wine tastings from local vineyards.
Normally, when I plan these road trips, I am the one making the travel arrangements. Flights, hotels, cars, etc. That way I have an idea on the total costs of these road shows. This trek to China was run by the Engineering Director who is in charge of the new program. Since he has been over to Hong Kong/China before, I left all the details up to him. Of course, being in the R&D group, they have a bigger budget, so their idea of "comfortable accomodations" is a bit different from mine.
We stayed at three hotels while in China last week. The first one was the Hyatt Regency in Hong Kong located near the University. Very nice hotel. Rooms were exceptional, food great, excellent work out room, great pool. As I mentioned earlier, it was a bit on the upper end for our normal digs, but given the location and convenience to the company we were auditing, it was well worth it. Usually I take pictures of the rooms so I can post comments/observations on TripAdvisor later(regular contributor). I find that site is a pretty good source to get an honest, unvarnished assessment on a place to stay.
The restaurants in the hotel were great, just a wee bit pricey. Ate the breakfast buffet twice and dinner once at the hotel. I normally don't go for buffets (always eat too much) but we weren't near any McDonald's and I didn't discover the pastry shop until the last day. 285 HKD ($27.50) for breakfast is a bit more than I normally expect.
With that level of accommodations, I felt we had pretty much hit the pinnacle for our trip. Au contraire. We caught a company car to take us across the border into China for our next round of audits. Very interesting crossing into China - the whole border security is tight coming and going. We headed to our company for the audit first before heading to our new hotel. This one was a bit further up the scale from the HR in Hong Kong. This was a Grand Hyatt in Shenzhen. It is located in the downtown section of Shenzhen attached to the upscale shopping mall. We thought of this as the "Galleria" style area after the local high end shopping mall in Houston. You know that things might get a wee bit pricey when the first stores you see next to the hotel are Prada, Versace, Cartier, Hugo Boss, Georgio Armani, just to name a few. Stepped out of the van to be met by two doormen and escorted to the express elevator to whisk us to the 33 floor where the check in desk is located. Stunning views from the receptionist desk. My room was on the 10th floor and you had to take a second bank of elevators just to get to the hotel rooms.
The room itself was, simply put, amazing. You enter from the hallway directly through the bathroom. The bathroom splits to the left and right to enter into the room. To the left is the vanity/sink/closet/shower area, to the right is the toilet and back side of the shower and the room. The shower/tub area is a six foot glass box with a wall mounted shower head and another monsoon shower head in the ceiling along with a fixed tub. The rest of the room was very nice as well. Decorations and fixtures just smelled expensive.
|Imagine showering or taking a bath in a six foot glass box|
|Great place to get ready|
|Now you see me|
|Now you don't|
|Monsoon shower head|
Even with the smart glass, it still felt weird showering in a six foot glass box.
The view from my window overlooked part of the city and the Hong Kong countryside across the river. Electronic window shades would cover the window at night. I thought it was a bit over the top until nighttime. On one of the downtown buildings there is one of those obscenely large electronic billboards that is 10 stories tall. That thing would light up the sky until well past 10 pm. My room faced away from that sign, but it lit up all the adjacent buildings and area at night like Vegas.
|Looking out over Shenzhen|
|Even 10 stories up, I could hear the traffic|
Well, I think I have rambled on long enough for one day.
I'll save the food report and our last hotel next.