Maximizing Miles in the Maldives: Cathay First, Eating in Singapore, and a Park Hyatt Water Villa – Conrad Hong Kong

  1. Introduction
  2. Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day
  3. Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge
  4. Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong
  5. The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore
  6. A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
  7. Eating in Singapore
  8. Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
  9. Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
  10. Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
  11. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I
  12. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II
  13. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III
  14. Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male
  15. Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore
  16. Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong
  17. Conrad Hong Kong
  18. Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago
  19. American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home

I had done a lot of noodling about my best option for the one night layover I’d have in Hong Kong. Over Thanksgiving when I had an overnight on the way back from Koh Samui, I burned a Marriott MegaBonus free night at the Sky City Marriott at the airport, I was arriving at night and leaving in the morning, just looking at about 12 hours in Hong Kong most of which I’d either be asleep or in the lounge prior to my flight.

For this trip I was looking at more like 21 hours. I didn’t expect to have a ton of energy to be out and about after double-connecting and an overnight flight to get here. But I did want to be comfortable, with the best deal possible. Sure, it would have been nice to try out the new Ritz-Carlton, but that’s too rich for my blood, I’m more inclined to get the best I can leveraging points and elite status.

I considered the two Intercontinental properties, they were pricing quite high and neither made me feel especially welcome with my Royal Ambassador status if I used points. I emailed both properties, the Intercontinental Hong Kong which has probably the best Harbour view in Hong Kong, let me know that I would get nothing at all on points. The Intercontinental Grand Stanford was a bit more reasonable:

Further to your email, please note we will upgrade the room from Deluxe Room to Deluxe Harbourview Room for Royal Ambassador members under Reward Night reservation. However, complimentary in room mini-bar beverage and complimentary pay- movie will not apply under Reward Night reservation. If you would like to include Club Lounge access during your stay (under Reward Night), we pay offer you a special supplement of HKD$700+10% per day to a maximum of 2 pax.

No club lounge, no minibar benefit even, but still an excellent deal and tempting.

What I settled on, though, was the Conrad. Hilton Diamond members generally get a Harbour view room, and they certainly get lounge access. What’s more, the hotel didn’t just have points rooms available but also cash and points reservations making the points go farther. And Hilton was running a promotion that would rebate 30% of the points, to boot. That was hard to resist.

We arrived at the hotel and I walked inside to the check-in desk, where a clerk came out to walk us over to the elevators and up to the club lounge for check-in.

I had emailed ahead specifically noting my preference for the view, over for instance a suite with no view, as the upgrade. And that’s what I got, a lovely room albeit my own design preferences are modern and this isn’t a modern hotel the way you would get staying at the W.

Our room was nice-sized, with a great view of the water.

Sadly, the fog more or less obscured the view.

The bathroom was large, Acca Kappa bath amenities, and the trademark Conrad rubber duck.

Shortly after we arrived in the room there was a knock on the door, they were delivering complimentary tea.

.. that went along with the chocolates and fruit already in the room.

I visited the lounge for tea which runs 5pm – 7pm, though did not have a chance to check out the evening service which follows immediately thereafter.

When I woke up in the morning I ordered coffee to the room, this never appeared on my bill.

Breakfast in the morning was spectacular. It’s a choice between the restaurant and an impressive lounge spread, since I only had a short time before departing for the airport I chose the lounge.

All in all, while not the very best hotel in a city of outstanding hotel properties, it was certainly a value as a Hilton HHonors Diamond on a cash and points stay (and with a promo for 30% of the points back, no less!).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Nice choice with the Conrad Hotel Gary. IC stinginess towards award stays is one of the reasons I didn’t renew my Ambassador membership this year, even though it’s only $99 to renew.

  2. Very timely post for me… I am trying to figure out a place to stay for a similar 21 hour layover in HKG on the way to BKK. I know Lucky has also covered this recently (although the RC is definitely above what I want to spend!), but were there any other properties you considered/have experience with in HKG (as you note there are many outstanding properties)?

  3. Gary- I stayed at the Conrad HKG in Nov. I really liked it. I preferred the peak view over the harbor view. I like harbor view rooms when staying on the Kowloon side. Regarding breakfast, lounge vs the main restaurant. I preferred the main rest. by far. The main rest. had over 75 items on the buffet including Chinese, Japanese, Indian and many Western options as well. It was very good and like you mentioned is free for HH gold and diamond members.

  4. Thanks for the memories Gary. I lived there for a month or so back in 2001 and loved it.

  5. I’m in the same predicament as Andrew. Just booked a stay at the Conrad for 2 nights coming up in October. I really wanted to stay at the IC since there has been such great reviews about it, but 570/night for harbor view vs. 450 at the Conrad doesn’t seem it’s worth the added cost. Especially since being HH Gold you will get some benefits unlike being a PC Platinum since everyone says that they ignore PC status, only Ambassador and above.

  6. For a single overnight, I found the W to be excellent because they are a quick train ride from the airport. The check in service is in the train station which is in the same mall that the W is in. About a half hour from the W through the mall to the airpoirt, mabye 40 minutes including an average waiting time (we lucked out).

    At the time, they didn’t have any breakfast amenity, nor a lounge, but the train made the hotel transfers very relaxing. It gave us an extra hour or two sightseeing, which was great.

  7. Did you take the train and then complimentary shuttle to the Conrad from HKG, Gary? I found that really convenient and it is cool how the British Consulate is across the street.

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