Review: Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

The day before we were due to leave Hua Hin, business class award space opened up on Cathay Pacific between Bangkok and Hong Kong. A lot of award space — there were at least nine seats when I booked, and the cabin went out mostly empty, so there were probably more.

Cathay Pacific 777 business class

Moving Heather and her crew to this flight gave them a ~20 hour layover in Hong Kong, which sounded better than an overnight in Bangkok and a 6AM flight. My husband and I booked the same flight to Hong Kong, with a connection to Male the next day, so we could all hang out in Hong Kong together.

While it’s never my first preference, we decided to book a hotel close to the airport. Given the timings of our flights, we figured it would be easier anyway, and hotels in Hong Kong were even more outrageously expensive than usual. The Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel is a Category 6 property, with free night awards starting at 30,000 Marriott Rewards points per room. Given paid rates were over $350 for the night, and as my husband is a Marriott Platinum with a hoard of points we never seem to be able to use, it seemed like a solid choice.

Ben stayed at the SkyCity Marriott back when it first opened, and had a great experience, so I was looking forward to our stay, and seeing how the property had aged.

To start, the Marriott now has a designated shuttle zone at the Hong Kong airport, which was clearly described in our confirmation email, and on the hotel website:

Marriott SkyCity shuttle schedule

The shuttle was easy to find, and incredibly punctual. We got lucky with the timing, so didn’t have to wait long at immigration either, and were at the hotel within about 30 minutes of landing.

The lobby was packed, which is reasonable given how many people were probably traveling over New Years. Check-in was still incredibly efficient and friendly, with the agent acknowledging the Platinum status and explaining the benefits. The agent also noted that he’d like to upgrade our rooms to suites, but that the only one they had available was right next to a chunk of rooms occupied by a large wedding party. I thought that was a stunning level of attention to detail, and we opted for the quieter non-suite rooms.

Our rooms were on the 15th floor, down a very green but impeccably-maintained hallway:

Marriott SkyCity hallway

We had the girls in our room for the night, so it was a bit of a scramble to take pictures before they threw their stuff everywhere, but I was really impressed with the rooms.

While the rooms weren’t that large, the furnishings were simple and appropriately sized. More importantly, everything was tidy and felt “fresh” — the furniture didn’t have any of the scratches and dings you’d generally see in an airport hotel after 8+ years in operation.

Marriott SkyCity room

And the beds were incredibly comfortable, which was a nice change from the Hyatt.

Marriott SkyCity room

The bathrooms were tidy as well, with a very functional layout for a small space.

Marriott SkyCity bathroom

Marriott SkyCity bathroom

The bath amenities were “Thann” — I don’t know if this is standard for Marriott or not nowadays, but I liked the packaging.

Marriott SkyCity toiletries

As we were getting settled, housekeeping delivered a fruit and cheese plate (which was promptly devoured by a hungry toddler), and a bottle of wine (which was promptly commandeered by his mother).

Marriott SkyCity welcome amenity remnants

The girls were hungry as well, so we went down to the executive lounge, which was on the 12th floor.

(As a side-note, how did 18-year-old-Lucky not comment on the elevator plates at this hotel? The teenagers I was with thought this was hilarious.)

Or maybe we were just over-tired?

Despite the very vibrant carpeting, I really liked this lounge. The city was fogged in during our stay, so the views weren’t great, but the windows were large, the space was well thought out, and there were a variety of seating options.

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge

The evening spread was decent as well, and has been significantly improved since 2009.

A selection of wines were on offer, along with a variety of hard liquors:

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge happy hour

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge happy hour

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge happy hour

A variety of hot items were on offer, including a pasta dish, dumplings, and steamed pork buns:

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge happy hour

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge happy hour

There was also a salad bar set up, with a few different kinds of veggies and dressings.

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge happy hour

And then there were several different sweet items, along with a selection of cheeses.

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge happy hour

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge happy hour

I felt this was a generous spread, particularly for an airport hotel. The lounge was pretty busy in the evening, but the staff did a great job of keeping the buffet topped up, which was appreciated.

Breakfast the next morning was a similar affair, with an assortment of continental items, and a chef preparing made-to-order egg dishes.

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

Marriott SkyCity executive lounge breakfast

A great spread, and an impressive assortment for an airport hotel.

Ngong Ping

We’d all slept late, and the weather was pretty uninspiring, so rather than doing any significant sightseeing we decided to take the cable car up to Ngong Ping. This is obviously more popular when the weather is clear, but the station was just a few minutes taxi ride from the hotel, and we were all interested in spending as much time outside before our flights as possible.

Besides, it was Hello Kitty time on the cable car.

How cute are these banners?

And despite (or maybe because of) the weather, we really enjoyed the ride.

Ngong Ping cablecar views

Ngong Ping “village” itself is incredibly touristy, and it was a bit jarring after spending so much time in less popular places. But we had a nice time walking around, and seeing the Buddha.

Ngong Ping village

Tian Tan Buddha

After a hike and some lunch we took the cable car back down the hill, and the views were just as fun.

Ngong Ping cablecar views

A quick taxi back to the Marriott, a very efficient check-out, and we were on our way to the airport for the next leg of our adventure.

Bottom line

While I don’t typically prefer airport hotels, I was a huge fan of the Marriott SkyCity.

The property was perfectly maintained, and the service was flawless. This still felt like a new hotel, which is incredible given the traffic that generally goes through airport properties. The location and shuttle made it convenient enough for some quick sightseeing, so I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again on a layover.

Has anyone else stayed at the Marriott SkyCity? What was your experience?

  1. I stayed there last year, on a 14 hour layover. Agree with all your points. The staff were super-efficient and friendly, even though they were checking a load of crew in. The room was very comfy and well-maintained, and though it was pretty booked, the room and halls were very quiet. I’ve recommended this place a few times since, and everyone I know who has stayed there liked it a lot as well. Thumbs up.

  2. My partner and I stayed here two years ago, and frankly this property blew me away.

    Upon entering (I usually go directly inside to check in, while the other half manages luggage), the man at the luggage desk realized I was a plat. and then escorted me up to the lounge to check in. Incredibly polite and fast check in, and we were upgraded to a suite on the top floor. Oh, also, when my partner entered the hotel he was escorted to the lounge to meet me as well. Nice touch from a service standpoint. The suite was nicely sized, though we only used the living room for luggage and the bedroom for sleeping, as we were also on an afternoon arrival from BKK with an a.m. departure for JFK.

    Dinner at the restaurant was terrific as well, and I loved the lounge. Especially the balcony, as while it’s the “smoking area” it’s also great for watching departing aircraft out of HKG.

    From a service standpoint, this hotel so blew me away that I asked to see the manager, and when she came down I told her how impressed I was from check in to the lounge and lounge attendants to housekeeping (I asked for extra pillows) to the restaurant. I would go so far as to say the service level here is on par with some of the “best” luxury hotels.

    Expensive? Yes, for a Marriott. I used points as well, which was one of the best redemptions I’ve ever made. I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

  3. On a side note, Man Ho is Cantonese for Marriott. Though I’m not sure why they don’t just say Marriott instead…

  4. Hi Tiffany. We stayed at the Sky City Marriott twice in the last two years and agree with your review that it is an excellent hotel. As a Marriott Gold (from my United Gold status) we were given access to the Executive Lounge and had the option to have breakfast in the restaurant as well. On one of the occasions our stay coincided with my birthday and we were given champagne and upgraded to a suite which we appreciated. When this hotel is unavailable, we also have stayed at the Regal Hotel which is attached to the airport so you can be there with a short walk.

  5. Why would anyone eat any meal, even if it’s complimentary, at the chain hotel when they are in Hong Kong? It is a mecca of Cantonese cuisine which, in my opinion, is the best Chinese ethnic food compared to all other Chinese local or regional foods and the world. I eat Cantonese food in LA, SF, Toronto and Vancouver, BC and love it. I haven’t been to HK but cannot wait to do so in near future. I just have other off the beaten path destinations to explore first.

  6. @ globetrotter – With family in tow and only a 20 hour layover, going into town to eat seems like a waste of time. The express train is fast but that would be quite a few tickets. I’m not familiar with the area around HKG but I’m guessing food options aren’t anything close to what you’d get in Hong Kong proper so free hotel food is the way to go, at least for breakfast.

  7. My wife and I stayed there 2 nights last month before the holidays and enjoyed it as well, we got published rates that were half the price of Hong Kong with a room twice the size. Airport Express from the next door Expo was less than 30 minutes to Hong Kong station, too easy.

    I would add that the free hotel shuttle also goes to the MTR station next to the Ngong Ping cable car station.

    Yes, you were over-tired.

  8. Love this hotel. Breakfast in the restaurant is excellent, and free for Plats. My favorite airport hotel in the world.

  9. The brown-beige-silver color scheme in the room is an easy and really effective way to make the room look more expensive. It looks great. And it’s nice that Marriott’s are using higher-end marble in their baths, although expensive up-front I think in the long run it saves money and pretty much never looks out of date, unlike ceramic tiles.

  10. We also stayed at this Marriott last year on our way to Bali. Shockingly good use of MR points may I say! Rare that you ever get a redemption for over 1 cpp.

  11. I agree that this is a very good airport hotel especially if arriving late in HKG or taking an early morning flight. I like the convenience of checking in at the airport desk and then driven by private car to the hotel. The hotel breakfast is far superior to the club breakfast and is free for Gold and Platinum members.

  12. My wife & I loved this hotel. I wanted to go into Hong Kong as well, but like others here that have replied, we needed a close hotel because of a late arrival & morning departure. I used points as well & we skipped the long line at check in and was surprised that we were escorted straight to our room for check in. We didn’t even go to the lounge. The breakfast buffet in the main resteraunt is at least equal to the best breakfast buffet I’ve seen & I have seen my fair share. The numerous variety of cuisines was impressive & we tried most & were very pleased.

  13. Tiffany,

    Awesome review. Here’s something I’ve been wondering, and this probably differs by hotel chain, but maybe you have a general answer. Because most hotels are not owned by the chain, but the loyalty programs are, who covers the cost for elite benefits? Obviously there’s not much extra cost to a hotel for, say, a suite upgrade if it otherwise would be empty, but what about breakfast or the food/drinks from the lounge? Does the loyalty program provide any sort of reimbursement for these costs? Or does the hotel have to cover the cost assuming that the elite will return and “pay them back” in profit? If the latter’s the case, I can understand why some hotels have a VERY conservative definition of continental breakfast.

    And same thing with the My Elite Rate discount Hyatt had a few years ago. If a hotel wasn’t reimbursed, it’s not like they knew about it when they signed their management contract. Almost seems like “taxation without representation.”

  14. @ Oops — Hmm, this is probably a question for @ Lucky. I assume there is some kind of arrangement, but I don’t know how it works in practice.

  15. I love this hotel. I’ve stayed at it 3 times-either on an overnight layover or when i arrive late at night. I am Marriott Gold and have always had a room on a high floor, with a runway view as I request. They are so accommodating. I’ve always been told I should take my complimentary breakfast in the restaurant as it is “so much better”. I absolutely love the breakfast–with all the noodle bowl and other Asian choices. As an aside, Tiffany–your posts are a joy to read. I love your perspective. (Maybe just getting a female perspective is nice for a change as most of the travel bloggers I read a male.)

  16. So glad I found this post we have a 14 hour lay over in Hong Kong tomorrow and we’re debating what to do. How long before your departure time did you have to go back to the airport the next morning?

  17. Nice review Tiff. BTW Cathy has a so so “arrivals” lounge in terminal 2 on the lower level thats tricky to find. Couldn’t agree more about the hotel – great hotel on Lantau Island and much better value than some of the downtown hotels, like the over priced dinosaur the Intercontinental. MTR Airport Express is awesome too (bundled with the 3 day full access metro pass) always take to Expo City stop to just take a covered walk to the Marriott. Free shuttle bus to metro also allows access to the Big Buddha and local fishing villages – both worth seeing.

  18. just fyi regarding “Thann”. For example, I see that toiletries whenever I go to Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, but (old) Marriott Doha (near airport) provides usual marriott toiletries (yellow label) that I find at most of other marriott hotels.

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