When I saw a $562 round-trip fare from San Diego to Hong Kong on Flyertalk a couple of months ago, I had to jump on it. Even though I have a gazillion American Airlines miles, this was too good to pass up, even in coach for almost 15 hours. We took the Amtrak from LA to San Diego to position ourselves for the flight to Hong Kong, and it was a quick 3 hour ride.
We spent the night at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, using 10k SPG points and since we had Platinum status, we received a Harbor View room and Club Lounge access (continental breakfast was simple but sufficient). It was an older hotel, but very clean with a nautical theme and with good service and a free shuttle to the San Diego airport across the street. Here are some pics of the room, view from the room, and lounge.:
Sheraton San Diego & Club Lounge photos:
We then boarded our AA/American Eagle flight from the commuter terminal to fly to LAX, then walked to the Tom Bradley international terminal (they are remodeling, but whoa – they completed section looks amazing with upscale restaurants and shopping) and boarded our Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. That was a really long and really full flight, and the food was not great, but the in flight entertainment system and service was good and we got through it in coach class packed like sardines!
We then changed some US dollars to HKD (7.1 HKD to 1 USD at the airport) and then got our tickets for the Airport Express ($10 USD) to go to Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. We took the Airport Express train into Kowloon and then a free shuttle bus provided by Airport Express to our hotel. We couldn’t believe how fast the bus driver was going, whizzing around some smaller streets and driveways so fast we thought we were going to crash. Signs are clearly marked in English and public transportation is very easy in Hong Kong.
We arrived at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon and were taken to the 23rd floor Club Lounge (as Diamond members) to check in and have a drink. The lounge is very nice, with great views of Victoria Harbor and Central Hong Kong. We stayed in King Harbor View Suite ($100 USD and 7,500 points per night) for 2 nights. The hotel provided a smart phone with free internet access and calls to the US – nice! This hotel is also next to the Metro and in the same building as the K11 shopping mall; also walking distance to Nathan Road, the waterfront promenade (8pm skyline light show was cool; took the star ferry across the harbor to Central for about 30 cents), and Kowloon Park (go in the evenings to see martial artists practicing their craft). BTW, changing money at the hotels gave us a better rate (7.5 HKD to 1 USD).
Hyatt TST – Suite and Club Lounge photos:
We then took the TurboJet from the China Ferry Terminal (taxi from hotel to terminal about $8 – looks like you are going into an office building), paying about $23 USD for the 1 hour ride to Macau. We then took the free City of Dreams hotel shuttle to the Grand Hyatt Macau, located on Taipa Island, about 20 minutes from the Macau Ferry Terminal.
The Grant Hyatt Macau is a category 4 hotel, which is an amazing redemption for such a nice hotel. We used one cat 1-4 certificate and 15k points for 2 nights in a grande suite king. The first two suites they put us in smelled of old cigarette smoke (I think people are smoking in the non-smoking rooms), but we finally found one that didn’t have that smell. We had access to the 37th floor library/club themed club lounge and it was gorgeous! They offered dim sum, sliders, made to order breakfast, and fresh pressed orange, watermelon and grapefruit juices and freshly bottled flavored sodas every day. They offered cocktails in the evening and you can definitely make a meal of their freshly cooked offerings. You can also do a Diamond member breakfast at the Mezza9 restaurant on the 3rd floor – another gorgeous restaurant with an open kitchen plan. We did take the free shuttles to the Venetian and Galaxy hotels/casinos and they were pretty crowded and huge. You can also go to the Wynn, Four Seasons, Conrad, Sheraton (the largest I have ever seen), MGM, etc. – there are so many hotels/casinos and I hear that they take in 7 times as much money as Vegas so they are constantly building more. The smog is pretty bad, smelling cigarette smoke everywhere and with the massive crowds at the casinos, I’m not sure I would want to come back.
Hyatt Macau King Suite and Club Lounge photos:
Our last 2 nights were spent in Central at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong (12,500 HGP points plus $150 per night and an upgrade certificate) and were upgraded from a Grand Harbor View Suite to a newly renovated Grand Suite. The views were stunning, but there is a lot of construction going on all over HK so it’s hard to escape the noise during the day. The Club Lounge served a good breakfast and had great views, and we also got to enjoy a Diamond status breakfast in the restaurant on the Lobby floor as well, which had a more extensive buffet.
Hyatt Central HK Grand Suite and Club Lounge photos:
We took the Metro (MTR) to the Langham Place hotel in Mongkok to take a very good Tai Chi class in the Wu Style from Master Cheung (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the hotel pool area. We also got to see where the protests were happening in that area.
Later, we took took the peak tram up to Victoria Peak and the views were amazing, but we made the mistake of going at lunch time, and the lines were ridiculously long.
We enjoyed our trip and loved the energy of HK. Even with the smog, the incredibly crowded MTR trains, and the crowds of Central and Kowloon, I loved it. The service at all the Hyatt’s we stayed at were exceptional, and having Diamond status definitely made the stays quite nice.