It’s all about where you go…
It’s 2022 and travelling internationally is still something most of us long for but is hesitant about.
I decided to brave it and head to Hong Kong on my first international trip since 2019.
Why Hong Kong?
There were a lot of reasons, some for work, but mostly for family. I’ve been coming back to Hong Kong every year to visit family and with a 3 year gap – seeing family was long overdue.
Unfortunately, Hong Kong still has 7 day quarantine for most of their inbound travellers. Which means I was inside a hotel room for 7 full days! (couldn’t even leave the room to walk around the hotel)
Getting to Hong Kong
The check-in process from Sydney took longer than normal as they check if you have all your needed paperwork at the desk. But the real adventure starts when you get off the plane.
At the time of writing this – Travelling to Hong Kong requires the following to be let in:
- A negative Covid-19 PCR certificate within the 48hrs of departure
- Proof of hotel quarantine booked
- COVID-19 vaccination certificate
The process at Hong Kong airport took about 3 hours and I landed late evening with not that many flights coming in at the same time. I can imagine it might take longer in the afternoon if there were more flights coming at the same time.
However, as long as it was – the whole process was well organized and smooth. It wasn’t long because it was confusing, it was long simply because there was a lot of different steps involved. But once you jump through the hurdles at the airport you find lines to each quarantine hotels in the city where a bus will come pick you up.
Four Points by Sheraton
There are a list of designated hotels you can undergo your 7 day quarantine and the supply of rooms are way below the demand. So I do encourage anyone wanting to come to Hong Kong to plan their trip way in advance.
I actually booked my flight and hotel 4 months in advance to make sure I got a room I wanted.
Because your hotel quarantine experience depends heavily on which hotel you choose. I’ve heard horror stories of cold food, unclean rooms and thin walls forcing you to hear everything around you – to stories of luxury and bliss like a 7 day detox retreat.
I think I’m something on the upper end of the spectrum. Four Points by Sheraton in Tung Chung is a new hotel. The room was very new, clean and a good size. It had enough storage and work space, but the biggest bonus that I think helped during my stay was the open views.
I was appointed to a higher floor facing towards the airport which meant sea views and openness. There were apartment blocks right across the road but I think they’re brand new as no one seems to live in them yet.
I was really nervous about the food before getting on my flight. So nervous I packed snacks, coffee beans, cup noodles, several apples and oranges and canned tuna thinking I’ll “rough” it out. (food alone in my suitcase weighed nearly 5kg!)
I was pleasantly surprised to find the food was really good.
You get three meals a day delivered to your door. The amount of food was sufficient each time. I never felt hungry, but I also never felt overly full. The food was mostly Cantonese-style cooking but at the time of booking you can also note your dietary requirements. Otherwise you don’t get to choose what you eat and you just eat what is given to you.
The photos and the video might make the food looks VERY mediocre but I am being honest when I say the flavours were good. The food was always hot, well seasoned and depending what it was – made fresh at the kitchen.
I never ended up opening my tuna or cup noodles and felt stupid on my last day for needing to pack it back into my suitcase.
I got lucky with my room because it was on a higher floor and facing the sea. My room was flooded with a lot of natural light which made working, filming and the general atmosphere so much better.
I also appreciated the amount of thought placed into the details to make my stay more comfortable. Such as providing a yoga mat, exercise band, a QR code menu that pretty much lets me order amenities and food if I needed.
They even had items to help you hand wash your clothes if you needed in the bathroom and the amenities menu was more extensive than your usual hotel room.
It included stuff like bin bags, cleaning gloves, sanitary napkins and bed sheets.
With the great view, comfortable room and good food – my 7 days actually went by really quickly. I’d definitely consider four points by Sheraton again.