By Carolynne Dear for Southside & The Peak
Southside’s much-anticipated Marriott hotel has now opened, boasting no less than four resort pools and dining spaces.
Something of a game-changer for the local area, the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott is the territory’s first true ‘resort’ hotel. Surrounded by mountains and described by management as “a green, urban retreat”, it is nevertheless well-connected with the rest of Hong Kong via the Ocean Park MTR stop, which is directly connected to the hotel via a footbridge.
The three hotel ‘towers’ offer 471 guest rooms, including 130 club rooms. This is the only hotel in Hong Kong, possibly in Asia, with an entire tower designated to ‘club’ facilities.
The hotel has been built around a central, resort pool area, which boasts a fun-looking aqua playground for younger guests. The four restaurants all have al fresco dining areas overlooking the pool deck. They include the American-style grill house and cocktail bar Prohibition, Canton Bistro, the Pier Lounge and bar, and the all-day, buffet-style dining Marina Kitchen, with an adjacent fully-staffed tots play area. All four hotel restaurant outlets are open to walk-in guests.
As you would expect, the hotel is very much family-oriented – panda-themed twin-bed rooms include Ocean Park children’s gifts, junior robes and slippers and views over the park. The hotel will also be running various resort activities such as seashell art, scavenger hunts and special dining. But whether the ‘Meet the Animal’ hotel packages – including encounters with captive dolphins and sea-lions – meld or jar with the overall conservation message is something for guests to decide for themselves.
Other eco-credentials that Marriott has taken into consideration with the build are commendable. Air, water and noise pollution was monitored and controlled from the very first construction stages. The building itself uses sustainable timber, non-ozone depleting insulation materials, rainwater collection and water recycling. The hotel has a recycling and waste reduction programme, an organic rooftop farm and has implemented energy saving initiatives to reduce load and thus keep the building cooler during the summer. Vertical planting systems have also been installed. The restaurant outlets all serve Wild Wildlife Fund-certified sustainable seafood from approved suppliers.
The hotel says it is targeting the local, staycation market as well as chasing the international market. The new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will no doubt play its role in upping tourist numbers. After a sluggish couple of the years, 41-year-old Ocean Park is certainly committed to raising its profile globally, with a $2.9 billion water park scheduled to open next year and a Fullerton hotel on track for a 2021 opening. It’s hoped that the Tai Shue Wan Water World, as it is to be known, will attract up to 1.5 million visitors in its first year of opening.
Bookings are now being taken for the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, with guests taking up occupancy from last month. All restaurants are open for walk-in guests during the soft opening period; full opening is planned to take place early in the new year. The pool area is still awaiting licensing and is due to open in Spring 2019. marriott.com