New World Renaissance Hotel Hong Kong
The first time I visited the New World Renaissance Hotel was when I had to meet someone visiting from Taiwan who was staying there. We met in the ground floor hotel lobby and the impression I got was that the hotel was really very small as the ground floor lobby is really tiny, rather dark, and more like an alcove off of the shops next door.
More recently I went there with family who had booked a table at the Panorama restaurant for a Sunday brunch. – this time I went more inside and realized that there is a lot more and that there is even a proper lobby, but it’s upstairs, not on the ground floor. It’s actually a lot nicer than it appeared at first.
On this second visit I realized that the ground floor lobby is small because most of the ground floor space is occupied by the big department store next door. So, they have a small lobby with a Bell Desk for you to leave your luggage when you first arrive, then you will be taken to the main lobby by escalator. It would be nice if they at least made the lower lobby a bit brighter – I’m afraid “mood lighting” just gives me the mood of being “dark”. There is also a Travel or Sightseeing desk in the lower lobby.
In the real or “upper” lobby up and escalator it is bright and very “gold”, the walls and lighting all have a gold glow to them – which could be either tacky or warming depending on how you feel about it. As well as the front desk reception, which is a cube in the middle of the floor, there is also the business center, flower shop a lounge. There are two shops – a flower shop and a hair salon. This is also the entrance into the “Four Seasons Ballroom”; this is the main ballroom of the New World Renaissance, Hong Kong.
I caught the lift to the fourth floor which has the Panorama restaurant. When you first get out of the lift you see the Patio restaurant which provides both indoor and outdoor dining space and is more casual in style. This is the podium level where you can find the raised swimming pool area to give some privacy to the swimmers and sun-bathers. It is well planted around with shrubs and palm trees but doesn’t hide the fact that you are in the middle of a city, raise y our eyes above the trees and you are looking at high rise tower blocks. Get your sunning in the middle of the day because later on I’m sure it would be shaded by the other buildings; but of course that may be an advantage as well.
The pool is small so don’t expect to do laps, but still pleasant enough to relax and play in the water. If you need the exercise and walking through Hong Kong’s many shopping arcades is not enough then the New World Renaissance also has a gym on the 18th floor.
I turned right after I came out from lift, walked along the walkway and past their Chinese restaurant – Dynasty restaurant (see pic). The restaurant has floor to ceiling glass window so if you sit by the window, you will see the walkway with Chinese paintings on the other side of the path.(see pic). I followed the signs until I got to the Panorama Restaurant. It’s quite a long walk actually and though it is outside, you can look up and see the sky, it is between walls of the building and a little enclosed.
The restaurant has very high ceiling – the height of two normal floors. We arrived at the restaurant at 11:30am when the Sunday brunch has just started. Someone who looked like a manager led us to our table by the window. One funny thing about the manager, before we entered the hotel we saw on a wall outside the main road entrance a recruitment notice for staff. They need more waiters, a sous chef as well as a restaurant manager for this restaurant that we were about to dine in, plus some other vacancies of the hotel ……. Luckily we did get served; at first I was worried they wouldn’t have anybody working there.
The Sunday brunch costs HK$188 which is what they called a “semi-buffet”. What that means is that you have to choose your soup and main course from a limited menu but the appetizers, egg dishes and desserts are on buffet counters. Appetizers include cereal, green salad, seafood salad, crab claws, prawns, oysters, sushi and Japanese cold noodle.
On that day they had two choices of soup – asparagus cream soup and a beef consume and they are both a bit salty. The waiter actually described the cream soup as “cream of onion” but when it arrived all I could find in it was asparagus. The beef consume was rather Asian style with thin slices of dried black mushroom which were tender but not heavily flavored.
We all choose the lamb loin with cream potatoes because the other dishes didn’t sound too exciting. There was a duck leg on pasta didn’t sound very appealing and the others are seafood dishes where are not to my taste.
The lamb was nice but not fantastic. There were about 10 small medallions cut from a pan fried loin, cooked medium well, arranged in a fan on a bed of cooked spinach and lentils and framed by a line of sliced potatoes au gratin – not creamed as the menu indicated.
The rather strong gravy detracted from the otherwise nice flavors. But that’s a typical Hong Kong idea; strong gravy is considered the norm by most Chinese people.
We finished up with the deserts from the buffet table which were pleasant but again not extraordinary. We skipped coffee and tea as by this time the air conditioning had come on full power and it was actually getting quite cold and as this was summer we were under dressed for it.
The price of $188 plus 10% service charge was perfectly reasonable. It did not include any drinks though. Juices are $50 / glass but if you choose simple juice rather than a fancy mixed juice, you can buy 1 and get 1 free.
Perhaps next time we’ll try the lunch buffet served in the Harbourside restaurant of the Inter-Continental Hotel, Hong Kong next door which charges HK$398 – more than double so it will be interesting to see if the quality is double as well.
Around the New World Renaissance Hotel, Hong Kong
As for the location, it is in the same building as the New World shopping centre where you can access to shops from fashion boutiques to big supermarket.
It is also at the centre of Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). Sounds like marketing talk? Well… the New World Renaissance hotel is between Star Ferry and Ocean Centre shopping arcades and office buildings on one end of Tsim Sha Tsui and the factory outlets and Tsim Sha Tsui East which again has many office buildings and shopping arcades at the other end of Tsim Sha Tsui.
You can get to the nearest station of the underground train Mass Transit Railway (MTR) within 5 minutes on foot. Right opposite to the hotel is also the brand new East Rail KCR stations which connect to New Territories (north of Hong Kong) and ShenZhen in China.
Attractions near New World Renaissance in walking distance include:
List of hotels in Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong:
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