17 Science Museum Rd, Kowloon
Hong Kong has some of the highest room rates in Asia, so when Hotel Icon opened its doors in 2011, offering spacious, well-appointed modern rooms for criminally low prices at the time (compared to other five-star properties), hotel insiders and savvy travelers took note. Fast forward several years, and the hotel is still quite a bargain (relatively speaking), and Icon continues to gain fans.
This is a homegrown Hong Kong boutique hotel, with local architects and designers pitching in together with some of the world’s top names in design (Sir Terence Conran for one), to create a truly unique hotel offering. Icon doubles as a training property for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management, which means you have tons of eager young staff dressed like Gap Store employees running around the hotel eager to be of service.
Rooms here are large for Hong Kong (starting at 36sqm), and offer all the bells and whistles of a 5-star hotel, if a bit bland in the design department. Every room features a Finnish-designed Karuselli chair, which sounds nice, but it’s actually not the world’s most comfortable chair. Fortunately, the desk chair is a high-end adjustable ergonomic one, so it’s great for business travelers. Other room features include Bose sound systems, deep-soaking bathtubs and separate walk-in rain showers.
Following the trend in Hong Kong hotels, Hotel Icon offers a free mini-bar (restocked daily), free hi-speed WiFi throughout the property, and use of a smartphone that comes with free data and calls to a long list of countries.
Even though the hotel is a 5min walk to the nearest MTR station, and offers free shuttle bus service to Kowloon’s main shopping hub and ferry terminal, many guests still squawk about Icon’s location. But this is minor, and you can easily catch one of Hong Kong’s cheap and convenient taxis to anywhere you need to go.
We at The List tend to skip hotel breakfasts—not being a fan of runny eggs and limp bacon— but the Icon serves up a very decent buffet breakfast, and is worth the extra cost.
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