People often say they only need a place to sleep while on a business trip, but that’s only half the story. The other half covers those people who need a whole lot more, and that includes people who travel with their team.
“If you are traveling with a team, it is more convenient and cost effective to have space for discussions, and when you travel for tradeshows you’ll also have a lot more luggage. Sometimes you need to use your space to entertain a few guests. In such scenarios a serviced apartment is good value, you have space for all your needs, and it’s much more cost effective and in many ways much more luxurious,” said Aditya Sanghi, CEO and Co-Founder of Hotelogix – who are big fans of serviced apartments.
For those in agreement, here are my top picks: Lanson Place Causeway Bay and Two Macdonnell Road in Hong Kong; Oakwood Premier OUE in Singapore, and Sherwood Residence in Saigon. Perfect for anyone who travels intensively and needs to set up a meeting, work from their room, take care of some washing, or just really wants to get a sense of home.
Location is Everything
Traveling in big cities can be a challenge. You need to be able to beat rush hour traffic, get around on public transport, or even walk – in my case in heels.
Lanson Place Causeway Bay is only a few steps away from the MTR station, and it’s also right in front of a tram stop. There are department stores all around you, and you’ll never get lonely. Nobody gets lonely in Causeway Bay.
Two Macdonnell Road is in Mid-Levels so walking isn’t an option unless you are really into it. They do offer a shuttle service, though, and it only takes a few minutes to Central by shuttle or taxi. It took me 4 solid minutes on a Monday night from The Hong Kong Club to Two Macdonnell Road. Not a bad choice of address.
While in Singapore, where most people would prefer Orchard, I always find myself at Oakwood Premier OUE in the CBD where I can walk to see clients, or they can come to see me, all within less than 5 minutes. If you don’t want to walk, the MRT station is right behind you. But seriously, you can really walk anywhere from here.
In Saigon, nothing is too far from anywhere else. Sherwood Residence is located in District 3 where all the cool cafes are, and you can always grab cab in front of the hotel and go anywhere you want. There is a cool coffee shop right across the street, and the area is pretty walkable compared to other busy districts.
Meet Me at My Room
“We are small but we have enough for all you need,” say far too many ads. That’s nice but the space isn’t enough for all I need. I will always bite for a bigger room.
At Lanson Place, the standard studio is bigger than other standard rooms in Hong Kong. The one I stayed in has a small living area separated by a TV that can swivel to face the living room or the bedroom. There is a counter bar where you can work and eat your order-in, and I love the little kitchenette.
At Oakwood, my 58 SQM one-bedroom comes with a laundry, kitchen, and Nespresso coffee machine that I failed to operate. Design is minimal, very new, and you get the harbor view right in front of you. The room is surrounded by glass so if you want privacy you might need to keep the curtains drawn. Otherwise it has a great view, especially at night. The bathroom is modern with a big shower, and they’ve got TV and Bluetooth with workstation in both the bedroom and the living room.
You can’t beat the view from Two Macdonnell Road. Being on Mid-Levels has its perks because you get a view over Hong Kong like no other. The one bedroom offers kitchen, dining area and a bathtub.
Sherwood Residence has the advantage of being in a city where space isn’t quite at a premium, and they make sure you get lots of it. The smallest offering is a two-bedroom suite, with kitchen and balcony, all decorated in Italian style using lots of imported Italian marble to give that incredible mansion feeling.
Should hotels be running their own F&B outlets? Tough question, but as a guest, I don’t care who runs them – if I want food it needs to be there.
Although they don’t have their own F&B outlet at Lanson Place, except for the beautiful breakfast you can order-in from restaurants around the hotel, Lanson is sufficiently generous to put a menu of all those options in your room so you can order whatever you like. But, given the location and today’s technology, you can get food whenever you want.
At Oakwood Premier, the food is really good. You can see the place is packed during lunch every day. I tried several dishes and certainly had no complaints. The bartenders make great cocktails and the bar has a good vibe. I enjoy drinking close to home, and this answers my need.
Two Macdonnell Road lets you dine with the view, or if you are in a hurry there’s a grab & go outlet. The breakfast buffet offers a decent selection, with a more extensive menu for lunch and dinner. There’s also a bar for those who need a drink, but unfortunately, I didn’t try it so I wouldn’t be able to go into more detail.
Sherwood Residence provides some enjoyable western cuisine and there’s also a good selection of wine. The breakfast buffet offers many Asian and western favorites for those who love a big breakfast to start the day.
Feels Like Home
Not really. These places are way better than home, and they all have that special something that keeps me coming back. The library and lobby area at Lanson Place is my favorite spot. I’ll happily sit there every night in that cozy and elegant space reading anything from Tom Ford’s biography to the international newspapers.
Oakwood offers a club lounge service by the pool where you can socialize with other guests while savoring food and wine and admiring the sunset. Another Oakwood feature I love is they’ll offer you a ride in their brand-new Jaguar.
Even though I had a big room at Two Macdonnell Road I still wanted to work in an open space, and that’s why I was thankful for their superb co-working space. And the best of Sherwood is the way it takes your mind off work altogether, with a Club House for pool, golf, and video games.
Next time you’re on a business trip around our region, you’ll know where to stay and what to look for.