After more than fifteen years of travel between Australia and the UK, I finally had my first ever stopover which I did in style at the Shangri-La (Kowloon) in Hong Kong.
You can get an idea of the standard of the hotel from the lobby area, which has a huge area for to cool down from the humidity outside or to listen to live music in the evening while having a drink.
The picture below is the view from our seated check-in and the tea that arrived in our room a few minutes later. It was an uncharacteristically clear day, so it was great to see Hong Kong Island not covered in haze.
You are probably already aware that Hong Kong is very expensive! We were there over my husband’s birthday so decided to splurge on a nice hotel with a great view as we were only there for three days (two nights). I was also worried about options for gluten free in Hong Kong, so felt that gluten free was more likely to be catered for in a luxury hotel.
We opted for the Horizon club at the Shangri-La which has the 21st floor dedicated for members (free to join) and has an exclusive dining and lounge area. This is open all day and into the evening and is where breakfast, snacks and happy hour drinks/food are served all inclusive of the room rate. You have amazing views from all the windows, which is particularly good at night when the island is lit up.
You can’t see the famous evening light show from the hotel, but you just need to cross the road to be able to walk along the harbourside boardwalk.
Breakfast comprises both a large buffet and made to order options and was fairly typical for a hotel breakfast. The view, however, was not typical!
You can see I had an egg (no bread, even though gluten free bread was available) one day and an omelette the next.
There were gluten free muffins there, quite nearby to sugar free muffins. I am pretty sure the muffin signs were switched the other way on the second day (as I had taken a photo on the first day, and the muffin I ate on the first day looked like the one labelled as sugar free on the second day), so I don’t know if I really ate a gluten free muffin or not. I was not sick, but did not tempt fate the next day when I was facing a long flight to Australia!
There was also cheese, cold meats, lettuce, fresh fruit and lovely fresh juices. I always have some cheese biscuits with me to have with cheese.
Horizon Club snacks
The only gluten free options I saw available was fruit or cheese, but I’m sure if I asked they would have prepared something for me. As I’ve always got my own snacks with me, I just had a cold drink from the fridge and ate something I had brought with me. See my ‘emergency travel food’ post for ideas of gluten free food to have with you when travelling.
Happy Hour runs in the Horizon club each night for a couple of hours in the early evening. We only went on one night (which we later regretted) and they automatically brought me some gluten free options without me asking, as it must have been noted in my booking.
You could really fill up during the happy hour (particularly if not gluten free as there was quite a lot of food) and then spend less on dinner! One night we bought food from Marks & Spencer and ate in our room to save a bit of money.
There are a number of restaurants in the hotel and the two that I checked (Tapas Bar and Angelini restaurant) had gluten free marked up on the menu. For a review of Tapas Bar, click here.
I had a gluten free translation card with me, but I did not need to use it at the hotel as everyone spoke good English.
Service & Location
The service at the hotel was exceptional as you would expect for a luxury hotel. As we had a late flight to Australia (just after midnight), we were still able to still use the Horizon Club lounge after checking out. We booked a driver from hotel to the airport and the driver took us all the way to the check-in desk at the airport! If you prefer to save a bit of money, the hotel is close to the Airport Express station.
We thought it was a great spot to stay and a lovely environment for a special occasion, and it was great I could also eat gluten free. I knew nothing about the layout of Hong Kong before my visit, and I think a stay on either Kowloon or Hong Kong Island is fine for a visitor as you will visit both sides regardless. We were very happy with the location of the Shangri-La right on Victoria Harbour and a short walk to trains, the ferry and the shopping and entertainment district of Tsim Sha Tsui East.
If you are looking at other options, this review of the Intercontinental by fellow antipodean blogger ‘Around the World in 80 pairs of shoes’ is really useful.
Shangri-La Kowloon, Hong Kong
64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
For more gluten free travelling options, please check the following links:
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