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Kowloon: Renaissance Kowloon (Marriott)

22 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Phone: 852.23694111
www.marriott.com

Reviewed by: Jeff H from NH, review #2632

When: May 2009

Convenient location; attached to a 5 story shopping mall; close to the walkway along the Harbor; views of Hong Kong and harbor are blocked by the newer Westin.

Eclectic - some newer features, older features, modern looking exterior, less modern interior. With mall entrances from two levels (Lobby and Lower Lobby) it is convenient to shopping for anything from groceries to Gucci handbags, but construction of a new apartment/condo complex attached to the mall and near the main entrance was distracting and caused some traffic confusion out front; not to mention some tracking of dust into the lower lobby.

The rooms here are just a little cramped (not a la European sized, but still small). A smallish desk, a few drawers and a less than adequate sized closet. With two twin beds, there just wasn't much foot room after two adults with luggage had moved in and unpacked.

There are no views of anything to the South except the adjacent Westin Hotel and to the North there's a small in-city park of some sort, which can be spied from front facing rooms only. We overlooked the pool, which is surrounded on four sides by the hotel.

But the Renaissance is in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui on Salisbury Road, so it's within easy walking distance of the Star Ferry, the waterfront museums and theatres, Nathan Road (major shopping), the subway line entrance and the bus stop (right out the front door) and all those side streets off lower Nathan for finding restaurants and pubs and jewelry shops, etc. are 5 minutes away. Basically, you cannot beat the location.

The breakfast buffet on the 4th level, overlooking the pool area was OK, but nothing special in terms of variety. It did have excellent fresh fruits of all kinds, as many hotels in SE Asia do.

The Bar/Lounge on the lobby (second) level was large and well appointed, but extremely expensive (or seemed that way, after Beijing, where a bottle of beer in the hotel was $2). Here they got almost $10 for the same bottle - maybe it was the live entertainment? We stayed clear and did our thing among the many choices in the alleys and small streets of Tsim Sha Tsui - and there's a lot from which to choose.

Didn't try the pool (it looked inviting, we just never got there) or the exercise room/gym, which also looked well appointed with the latest in equipment ... but unused by yours truly.

All in all not particularly memorable and sort of non-descript in a funky modern kinda way, this place survives primarily due to its primo location.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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