TRAVELS WITH NINA

is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

OZO WESLEY, HOTEL REVIEW HONG KONG: SMH TRAVELLER
The image is property of Fairfax Media

THE LOCATION
In a city as dynamic as Hong Kong, you want to be staying in the centre of the action, but still get a good night’s sleep. OZO Wesley takes its guests’ rest seriously, so even though the hotel is in Wanchai (a party district filled with restaurants and bars in the heart of Hong Kong Island), it’s on the quieter edge of the area. You’re well connected here; just a seven- minute walk from Admiralty MTR station, so you can get to Central quickly, with trams also stopping near the front of the hotel.

 

THE SPACE
Hong Kong is the land of the high- rise, so it’s not surprising that the OZO is in one of them, with 251 rooms and suites over 21 floors. The design is modern but still warm, with Danish-style seating, low lighting, and a blue and beige colour scheme. Rooms are designed so guests can get quality sleep, and are divided into four categories: Sleep, Dream, Dreamspace and Suites. My humble 20-square-metre Sleep room, which looks out on to the surrounding buildings, isn’t a space I particularly want to linger in, but it is a great base from which to explore the city. Dreamspace rooms have an extra two square metres of space, while suites offer an extra 34.

 

THE KIT
Let’s start with the sleep- enhancing aspects. There are super-soft king-size beds, snug pillow-top mattresses, and specially crafted relaxation teas in the lobby that seem to work. There are no balconies, but the bay window seating in my room has city views (book a Dream room if you want to also see the mountains). There are block-out curtains for when it’s time to hit the sack. My room has a small table and chair that can be wheeled around to make the most of the small space, tea and coffee making facilities, a flat-screen LCD TV and free Wi-Fi. The simple blue-tiled bathroom with its glassed-off shower area suits my needs perfectly, although the frosted glass door doesn’t lock, so if you’re not too familiar with your travelling companion you might want to book separate rooms.

 

COMFORT FACTOR
The tablet-based check-in definitely saves time, and gets me up to my room in just a couple of minutes. There are interactive orientation screens at check-in that show you bars, restaurants and shops around the area, which is probably best for business travellers who haven’t had time for research. There’s also a fitness centre with weights and cardio equipment, if you feel the need to work off all those eggs tarts and dim sum.

 

FOOD
Like the rooms, the food is kept very simple at OZO. Being surrounded by fantastic restaurants, this doesn’t pose a problem. There’s a no-frills breakfast served at its ZAAN restaurant, and it has a cute EAT2GO corner next to check-in that serves Nespresso and light snacks like chips, cereal bars, cup noodles, fruit and yoghurt 24 hours a day, so guests can eat and run.

It’s almost impossible to pick foodie favourites in this city, but Duddell’s, just a 15-minute walk away, is the place to go if you’re after Cantonese fine dining (think super posh yum cha) in moody, tasteful surrounds with a rotating display of artworks. Mott 32 and Lin Heung Tea House are also highly recommended.


STEPPING OUT

OZO is a 15-minute walk from The Peak tram, pretty much a must-do experience for anyone new to the city, which shoots you at an almost 90-degree angle up to The Peak viewing platform, where you can get spectacular views of the mountains and cityscape.

For shopping, the closest option is Pacific Place, which offers everything from Prada and YSL to Zara and Shanghai Tang, and is a five-minute walk away.

For something a bit different, visit Wong Chuk Hang, the up-and- coming industrial district, to check out its trendy shops, cafes and boutique art galleries housed in rezoned factory buildings, including Gallery Exit and Art Statements.


THE VERDICT

This definitely ain’t the Ritz. But OZO is clean, comfortable and connected, and is the perfect place – especially given its central location – to rest your weary bones after a day exploring Hong Kong.

Nina Karnikowski was a guest of the hotel.

ESSENTIALS

More Information

ozohotels.com/Wesley- hongkong/
NEED TO KNOW

Doubles from $230. 22 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.

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