When we began planning our stay in Hong Kong finding a hotel was the first task. Of the several we looked into, the intriguing Panda Hotel was our top choice - mainly because Veronica is crazy nuts about animals.
Though Panda Hotel is one of the largest hotels in Hong Kong, with nearly a thousand guest rooms, they most certainly managed to keep a personal touch to their friendly service, starting with our jet-lagged arrival.
We were greeted warmly and the check-in was fast, efficient and personalized. VERY welcome after a sixteen hour flight.
That first night we basically collapsed into bed, but the next day we got to know the Panda. The iconic namesake "bears" are everywhere... one might even call it Panda-monium! Actually, quite fittingly, Pandamonium is the name of the gift shop.
The lighthearted atmosphere continued in our Transformer-themed suite. Based on the movie series and the Hasbro toys, the room was sleek, shiny and futuristic. We felt like we were sleeping on a movie set - a REALLY comfortable movie set. Like the rest of the hotel, every need we had was met - and then some.
We had a high-tech coffee machine at the waiting in the mornings and fluffy terry cloth robes and towels were most appreciated at night after running around Hong Kong like maniacs.
But as fun as the whimsical decor of the lobby area and our Transformer suite was, the service was serious. The Panda staff went out of their way to be sure our stay in Hong Kong was perfect - we tapped into their vast knowledge of the city, receiving sightseeing tips, restaurant suggestions and transportation hints. When we needed a taxi, we were given cards with tailor-made, handwritten Chinese translations to give to our drivers, insuring worry-free travels about the city.
Our days began in the Panda Café, where we poured over our guidebooks and maps, charting out our upcoming adventures.
Breakfast was served buffet-style and included dim sum, a ramen station, as well as western world favorites. When we came "home" exhausted from our sightseeing, the buffets offered a sensational selection of appetizers, soups, main entrées and desserts well into the night. The seafood was amazing - carefully prepared works of art, each morsel.
As suited as the Panda Café was for exhausted-GypsyNester, casual dining, we wanted a special night on the town on our final evening in Hong Kong. That's where the fabulous YinYue filled the bill.
On the top of the high-rise hotel, YinYue commands dazzling panoramic view of the world's most vertical city through floor-to-ceiling windows.
We were more than happy to let the chef decide our culinary fate, so we ordered the special menu. Each course arrived at the table with flair and elegance. We even got to try jellyfish!
On our way out of Hong Kong the only complaint we had was that none of the hotel guests were actual pandas.
Thanks to Panda Hotel for providing a three-night stay! As always, all opinions are our own.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
See all of our antics in Hong Kong!
Explore the enormity (and beauty) of Big Buddha
Check out the celebrated Jumbo Kingdom in Aberdeen Harbor
View the wares on the Tonic Food & Dried Seafood Streets
Learn our tips on how (and how NOT to) fly to Asia
Continue along with us on our Amazing Asian Cruise though China, South Korea and Japan!
YOUR TURN: We found this place wonderfully whimsical. Would YOU stay at the Panda Hotel?
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