Having spent most of my previous visit to Hong Kong exploring the more-frequented Central business district, this time I opted to stay at the Hotel Madera in colorful Kowloon to experience literally a different side of the city. The Madera is conveniently situated one short block from the Jordan MRT station and mere meters from Nathan Road, making it an ideal sightseeing base. The Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is just one train stop, or a pleasant 20-minute walk, away. Also in walking distance are the Temple Street night market, jade market, Hong Kong Museum of History, Kowloon Park and St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. Little did I know that I’d also have a birds-eye view of all this from Madera’s rooftop bar.
My cozy fifth-floor room was modern and fun with sleek furnishings, zebra-esque carpet and bright pops of orange from the decor. Although located near the elevator, I couldn’t hear any other hotel guests once cocooned inside with the free wifi and comfortable bed. At check-in, I was informed that everything in the mini bar was free (though a refill would cost HK$20).
To my delight, the Madera boasts a bar with rooftop seating affording incredible views of the city. I stopped by to enjoy a drink several times during my stay and usually had the place to myself. Signature cocktails range from HK$88-HK$98; my favorite consisted of fresh kiwi juice, vodka, and Cointreau. BONUS: the wifi works just as well on the roof so you can send those envy-inducing tweets!
At the time of my stay there was an interesting vintage art exhibit on the Maderal’s ground floor that transports visitors to Hong Kong circa 1960. The first two rooms are set up like living quarters, replete with antique television set, radio and sewing machine; old record covers are displayed on a wall in the kids’ bedroom. Further in is a display of children’s toys and ancient telephones, followed by a mock-up of a food market stall and an arrangement of items unique to Chinese weddings.
Other amenities in the hotel include a state-of-the-art gym, game room and quaint cafe serving light refreshments. If you crave a heartier meal, Hulu cafe directly across the street serves a mix of Western and Cantonese dishes. I stopped in one morning and got a generous HK$42 set consisting of a ham and tomato omelet, toast with strawberry jam and cup of milk tea. Go early if you want a pineapple bun with your set; by 9:30am they were all sold out.
Have you been to Hong Kong? Do you prefer to stay in Central or Kowloon?
Let me know in the comments!