As part of my Round-the-World trip, I reached out to the JW Marriott to provide some travel details associated with my trip as well as a couple simple request. To my delight, the staff at the JW reached out and offered me a tour of the hotel while I was there.
I, of course, jumped at the opportunity and was provided some insights into the world of JW and got to know this beautiful hotel much better than I had as a normal guest. The following is an interview that I conducted with Jerri Ho, Senior Communications Officer at the JW Marriott Hong Kong. I was also provided a tour by the lovely Clavel Mui, Assistant Communications Manger.
First, thank you so very much for taking the time to answer some of my questions about the JW Marriott Hong Kong. As you know, we are on a round-the-world luxury vacation and our first stop outside of North America is in Hong Kong, one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world. I’ve read some amazing reviews of the hotel but I’m curious about what you believe really sets the JW apart in Hong Kong.
I’ve been to Hong Kong once before but to be honest, I’m still a novice when it comes to the city. There are so many seemingly great neighborhoods in Hong Kong but what makes JW’s neighborhood of Admiralty a perfect home base for visitors?
JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong (JWHK), is the flagship hotel of JW Marriott brand in Asia Pacific and has received numerous accolades such as Top 5 Best Overseas Business Hotels and World’s Top 100 by Condé Nast Traveller, 10 Best Hotels In Hong Kong in World’s Best Awards in Travel + Leisure, to name but a few.
Besides the reputable brand, the hotel’s iconic location also makes us the perfect choice for visitors. Being in the heart of the city’s CBD, our guests enjoy hassle-free and easy access to different parts of Hong Kong via Mass Transit Railway (MTR). The Starstreet Precinct, comprising Star Street, Moon Street and Sun Street, is just a stone throw away and lets you discover the passion of the city in a modern way from food and drink to the latest lifestyle, fashion and accessories.
Or take a 10-minute walk to the neighbouring Hong Kong Park that includes a greenhouse, aviary and the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, an elegant historical house where you can enjoy a selection of more than a hundred teas and learn China’s tea drinking culture.
Lan Kwai Fong, one of Hong Kong’s most popular nightlife hotspots, is just one stop away on the MTR. You can also find a host of world-class attractions and cultural landmarks nearby ranging from Ocean Park, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui.
As a Platinum Marriott Rewards Member, I base a lot of my stay decisions on the quality of the lounge. I’ve heard great things about the Executive Lounge at the JW. Can you tell me about some of the things that elite members can expect to find in the lounge?
Our Executive Lounge offers a perfect place to Platinum Marriott Rewards members during lunch, after work, dinner, or just anytime. The Executive Lounge provides not only complimentary food & beverage entitlements including breakfast, afternoon and evening cocktails with hors-d’oeuvres, but also a selection of personalized services such as re-confirmation of airline reservations, express check-out, as well as arrangement of China visas and tourist attractions.
Compared to other Executive Lounges in town that serves evening drinks for 2 to 3 hours, we serve cocktails up to 4 hours, making our guests’ evening even more enjoyable.
Members can also take advantage of the complimentary daily 2-hour use of the Executive Lounge conference room, for small meetings with business partners in high privacy.
I’m a lover of food and I understand that you have quite a selection of restaurants in the hotel. I’m sure you’ve been to all of them but which one is your favorite and why?
Among eight of our food and beverage venues, I would recommend Man Ho Chinese Restaurant where serves exquisite Chinese specialties and creative dim sum using locally sourced produce and sustainable seafood from all over the world. Your visit to Hong Kong would not be complete if you leave without savouring a Cantonese menu!
Our Executive Chinese Chef, Jayson Tang strives to include only ingredients of the highest quality from the best producers in Hong Kong as he elevates classic Cantonese cuisine with modern, inventive twists. One of the must-try items is the deep-fried Kagoshima pork roll stuffed with foie gras, red onion and ginger, which was awarded the “Best of The Best Culinary Gold Award” by Hong Kong Tourism Board in 2016. The balance of flavours and textures in this dish are perfectly executed, exemplified by the richness of the foie gras contrasted with the tartness of the dried raspberries, both ingredients heightening the crunchiness of the deep-fried pig’s skin.
Also we take pride in our award-winning culinary team including Executive Chef Stephen Doe – JW Marriott Global Chef of the Year 2007, Pastry Chef Andy Yeung – 2 Gold and 1 Silver Awards in IKA Culinary Olympics Competition 2016 and Assistant Beverage Operations Manager Bryson Rivera – Top 25 Bartenders Hong Kong and Macau by Drinks World Asia from 2014 to 2016.
When we went on our tour, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful new ballroom. I must say that it is truly beautiful. How long did the renovations take and how much was spent to bring this idea to life?
The refurbishment of our ballroom took 10 weeks and over HK$64 million, making it one of the largest, newest and pillar-free hotel ballrooms on Hong Kong Island. With state-of-the-art facilities and elegant décor, our new venue is ideal for every special occasion from small meetings to grand wedding receptions, with a new level of luxury. Spanning over 8,000 sq. ft., the massive ballroom is equipped with top-notch facilities, cutting-edge lighting and has the flexibility to be divided into 6 individual salons with private entrances and LCD signage to create innovative events.
With the substantial budget and additional features, JW Marriott Ballroom is unparalleled to any other similar venues in the city, as it strengthens the hotel’s stance in becoming the best venue in town for all kinds of events with style and quality.
Are there any plans to follow up the new ballroom with additional hotel renovations?
We are very excited to have guestroom upgrade and new Executive Lounge in 2018, offering our guests an exceptional accommodation experience. Our Executive Lounge will be relocated to the fifth floor where offers approximately more than double capacity, extended food offerings, a new level of service which redefines luxury.
I noticed that the JW was voted by Conde Nast as one of the Top 5 overseas business hotels. What makes this a great hotel for business travel and does that come at the expense of vacation travelers or families?
Riding on the unique selling points that I shared earlier about our neighbourhood, the prime location of our hotel allows business travelers an opportunity to explore the local and cultural aspects of the city after their busy days.
On the other hand, with direct access to the Admiralty MTR station and prestigious Pacific Place Mall, leisure guests can visit the shopping and entertainment complex with over 140 luxury brands to experience Hong Kong as a shopping paradise.
For both business travelers or vacation visitors, they will be delighted with our distinctive line-up of gastronomical offerings – be it a sumptuous and expansive buffet, a decadent afternoon tea set or exquisite set menu, or a relaxing weekend brunch, our talented culinary team has artfully arranged for you to enjoy our culinary excellence.
What’s one aspect of the hotel that guests may not notice initially but is something that shouldn’t be missed? Put another way, what’s your favorite thing about this hotel? What makes it great?
Tucked away on the lobby level, the hotel’s coffee and cake shop, Dolce 88, offers an array of delicious pastries and desserts as well as specialty cakes to complement any special occasion. Helmed by the award-winning Pastry Chef, Andy Yeung, he is dedicated to creating intricate and innovative pastries, cakes and desserts as well as signature specialty cakes like Hong Kong Opera Cake and New York Cheesecake.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share about the JW Marriott?
We believe true luxury is created by people who love and are passionate about what they do. Our 750 dedicated associates offer distinctive and personal services which are authentic, crafted, intuitive and warm. We also strive to cultivate enriching experienced based on our guests’ passions that deepen and shape their lives. That’s why our guests are able to experience authentically reflects the surroundings with a sense of well-being that delivers lasting memories.