Michael Taylor, publisher of the Accidental Travel Writer, is invited on a press trip to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Michael books a room at the Novotel Hong Kong CityGate the night before departure because it is an early morning flight.
After Michael arrives at the hotel, he regrets that he didn't arrive early enough to enjoy the many facilities that the hotel has to offer.
I was leaving on a press trip, and I had an early morning departure.
As a night owl, I didn't relish the thought of arising before dawn and rushing to Hong Kong International Airport by taxi.
The trip from my home in the Northeastern New Territories to Chek Lap Kok takes about 40 minutes – assuming there are no traffic jams at the border crossing with China at Lok Ma Chau. And then there is the issue of not knowing how long it will take for the taxi to arrive – and if it will arrive.
So I really have to figure on at least an hour – and if any problems arise, I still might be late.
How to De-Stress Early Morning Departures
So I arranged to stay at the Novotel Hong Kong CityGate. The hotel is located near Hong Kong International Airport (pictured, above), and it has a shuffle bus that leaves the hotel for the airport every 15 minutes.
Not knowing how nice the hotel was going to be, I stupidly arrived rather late the night before departure – before 11 pm to be exact. What I didn't realize was that the Novotel Hong Kong CityGate is more resort than hotel. With 440 rooms and suites, it has four food and beverage outlets, and one of them has entertainment. Because my room was on the Premier Floor, I had access to the Premier Lounge, with complimentary afternoon tea and cocktails in the evening.
The hotel also has direct access to a fabulous shopping mall with lots of famous brand factory outlets selling designer goods at bargain basement prices.
In addition to an excellent fitness centre, which I didn't have time to use, there is a wonderful outdoor swimming pool set in extensive gardens, with jogging paths, which I also didn't have time to use. And then there are those fabulous views
It gets worse. Because it was a Sunday, there had been a poolside barbecue in the afternoon, which I didn't get to enjoy.
The moral of this story is, if you ever book yourself into a hotel near an airport the night before an early morning flight, arrive early enough to enjoy the facilities!