Sunday, February 28, 2016

Regal Riverside Hotel

During November 30 to December 10, we stayed in Regal Riverside Hotel 麗豪酒店. We knew there's a hotel directly connected to New Town Plaza in Shatin 沙田新城市廣場. We thought it's Regal Riverside Hotel so without hesitation we booked it right away at 8,140 HKD non-refundable price. It was back in May ... let me double check my VISA statement. Yes it is correct with exchange rate of 1 CAD = 6.26 HKD. Now the exchange rate dropped to 1 CAD = 5.70 HKD. CRYING L

Just right after we booked the hotel, I recall there's another hotel in Shatin. Which one is connected to New Town Plaza? When I checked ... "OH MY GOD! It should be Royal Park Hotel 帝都酒店". It was too late, my fault. 唯有將錯就錯住麗豪酒店, 唉!

Looked at the ratings for both hotels. Royal Park had 8.3/10 while Regal had only 7.3/10. A bit disappointed, but Regal was 500 CAD cheaper than Royal Park thou.

We checked in at Regal Riverside Hotel on November 30, 2015 with concerns as the rating was below 8. First impression was actually good ... the bellboy immediately opened the lobby entrance door for us and carried all our luggages. We talked to the front desk and was able to reserve free shuttle to airport. WOW! A big bonus for free shuttle to airport!

We were assigned to live on 7th floor. Once got into corridor, it was like walking through a fridge! 好凍呀!

And then the temperate was back to normal when we entered our guestroom! Here is the floor plan and our room is indicated by the red dot.

Here's the foyer of our guestroom. Left side is closet and beverage table. Right side is the bathroom. I think the fridge was beneath the white table. We never used it since it was not cold.

Let's visit the bathroom first. Yuck! the floor was quite sticky. This hotel is 30 years old so don't expect too much. My mom told me that the janitor did clean the floor just it needed a huge work with special floor cleaner to clean it thoroughly. Never mind then. We got slippers on.

Nothing fancy but we got what we needed. 3 sets of towels, 3 sets of cups, 3 sets of toothbrush + toothpaste. Adequate tissues and body wash/shampoo J

Next to bedroom ... 344 square feet with 3 single beds. Nice, lots of space to put luggages and stuff J Another bonus was free WIFI. Yeah!

Oh! Something on the table. Ah! Restaurant discounts for hotel guests. Couldn't imagine that this middle size hotel already has 8 restaurants, 1 bar and 1 cake shop. Cool!
It has two Chinese restaurants (at least one of them serving dim sum), one Thai-Vietnamese, a Hong Kong style cafe, a Japanese restaurant, also American, Italian and a Singapore-Malaysian restaurant which it claimed has Halal food. I only tried one Chinese restaurant and the Hong Kong style cafe there as my schedule was fully booked with other activities.

How come there was a big Japanese itinerary in front of the restaurant? Am I posting a picture of Okinawa trip?
It was the second floor of Regal Riverside Hotel. The restaurant behind was Dragon Inn 龍門客棧. A Chinese restaurant that I would recommend since I had a nice dinner there. My mom said the food in the other Chinese restaurant Regal Terrace 富豪坊 was not as delicious as Dragon Inn.
Still wonder why there was a Japanese schedule? It was for Kobe City College of Technology. During my stay, I saw Korean tour group, Japanese high school students and Japanese college students accommodated in the hotel. This gave me more confidence with the hotel ... hehe!

Another restaurant I tried and would recommend is Moon River 月光光. It opens from 7 am to 1 am, offering breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, dessert and late night meal. 夜晚眼光光, 不如去月光光, 將消夜食光光 ... haha!

Time to show a real sample! 講咗咁耐都要俾D實物嚟睇吓. My cereal and sandwich breakfast at Moon River, looks simple and good hey!

Our hotel is facing this beautiful Shing Mun River 城門河. We could see the New Town Plaza 新城市廣場 on the other side of the river, the brown buildings in the middle of this photo. Shing Mun River was once heavily polluted during the 80s is now transformed into a clean river since 1993. Here is a better photo of Shing Mun River found on the web J

The shorter brown building is Royal Park Hotel 帝都酒店 which is directly connected to New Town Plaza. New Town Plaza was the biggest shopping mall in the 80s. Now the plaza is still very busy everyday as it is connected to a big indoor bus terminal , an outdoor bus terminal, and a major railway station called Shatin Station.
From Regal Riverside Hotel to New Town Plaza, guess how long it takes by walk? 15 minutes at fast pace, half an hour at slow pace. I never went there by walk thou since there were a few mini buses going to the plaza J


I heard there were guestrooms in the hotel with nice river view. The room we were given was facing a Buddhist elementary school 慈航學校. I don't think there are many Buddhist schools in Hong Kong. 不知是否與佛有緣, 連住酒店都會對住佛教學校. Maybe because I started to study Buddhism in 2015 (currently in kindergarten level... hehe), I become more connected to Buddha J

The view of our room was nice even without river. We saw green mountain on the left.


On the right side from the window of our room, we saw a 一枝獨秀嘅 high rise apartment standing out from other buildings. We could see the sky clearly too!

I mentioned that I saw plenty of trees in Hong Kong on my blog on December 28 last year, this includes the surrounding area of Regal Riverside Hotel in Shatin. See these cute tropical trees adjacent to the hotel J



Now walk to the other side of the hotel, there is a green park across the street! It has a giant Banyan (一棵壯大榕樹), free exercise facilities called green health system. See the old lady enjoyed playing the fitness bike (睇阿婆玩得幾過癮 ) Another one in the picture is taiji pushing/ tai chi pushing (冇對手嘅太極拳推手?) Is better to practice tai chi in a group then. Isn't it great to do tai chi with others under trees in the spacious park? 感覺好正好舒服啊!

I thought this hotel would be less convenient compared to Park Royal Hotel. In fact, it is not completely true. There were bus stops and mini bus stops 巴士和小巴站 in front of the hotel, kind of in between Regal Riverside Hotel and the residential high rise Garden Rivera (河畔花園). More than two months after, I still remember there were bus 182 to Central 中環, 81C to Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀, 85A to Kowloon City Ferry Station 九龍城碼頭. minibuses 65A, 67A, 67K and 809K to Shatin Station or New Town Plaza.
My memory seems good ... hehe J Especially 67A and 67K, one time we were waiting for 67K at New Town Plaza for half an hour while there were three or four 67A stopped by but we didn't know 67A would go to our hotel. When we found it out, we waited for 67A next time since the fee was lower. Then no 67A showed up for 20 minutes. 唔係咁玩我嘛? 要搭邊架邊架就唔來!

 Overall the experience was not bad since the average waiting time was about 10 minutes.

Remember our guestroom was across a Buddhist elementary school. It became our morning call (alarm clock) . Music started at 7:55 am Monday to Friday, must be a school song. Then it was quiet for the rest of the day. Hadn't seen small students for a long time, 突然好想見吓D小學雞. Are they different from my generation? 唔知依家D小學雞同我以前做小學雞有乜分別?
Last day in Hong Kong, I visited the school (just outside the building) before 7:55 am. 走去裝吓先 ... not much difference, lineup in the hall, school bags put beside on the ground floor. I think the students wearing red ribbons must be class leaders/ class monitors cause the class monitors in my elementary school were wearing red ribbons. 都唔係太大分別, 大堂排隊, 書包放隔離, 我諗有紅帶一定係班長 (因為我做小學雞時班長要帶紅帶).

Nowadays, recycling is a big trend. Here I found one in the school. Good practice, I like it, YEAH!