I would be remiss if I didn't write about the hotel I stayed at. It gave me my first "wow" moment when I walked into my room on the twentieth floor and saw the Hong Kong skyline lit up like a neon safari. It was also one of the highlights of my entire trip, providing comfort, security and a learning lesson. Hotel Icon is no ordinary hotel; it acts as a research and teaching facility for students of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic. This partially influenced my booking—I am employed in higher education back in Canada and was intrigued to observe our global competition firsthand. Sure enough, my stay offered great insight into post-secondary trends, the international marketplace and where the future is heading for both students and workforce. I got a wake-up call. Being good isn't good enough. I really need to up my game for the world stage and not just my own backyard.
Beyond luxury and an attention to detail and service that I hadn't experienced before, the hotel offered some unique amenities that enhanced my trip. This included a complimentary smart phone with unlimited data and free international calling, as well as a free mini bar. The former was a Godsend that I hope other hotels implement. Using it to navigate the city saved me a small fortune in errant cab rides or hiring a guide, and the personalized advertising - which some may find intrusive - helped me learn about businesses of interest that I may have otherwise missed (and was also an interesting revenue-generating opportunity for the institute).
This hotel provided the base for one of the best holidays of my life. I can't wait to return some day.