Fresh off a 14-hour flight, it wasn’t even 8am when I rolled into the compact, but shiny lobby at Ovolo Central. The plan was to drop my bag, and use the Wi-Fi to cement the game plan for my first day in Hong Kong. As the front desk copied my passport, a colorful painting of the Queen blowing a huge bubble brought a smile to my face. My smile got even bigger when I was handed a room key.
The elevators aren’t far from the front desk, but to reach them you have to exit the lobby to the street and make a quick left turn back into a second small public area. The elevator came quickly. So fast that I didn’t have time to sample anything from an assortment of colorful candy dishes on a nearby table. (I ate my fair share of jelly beans later.)
Ovolo Central features 41 rooms; mine was a Platinum category room on the 11th floor. Spacious for city accommodations, about half of the exterior wall was windows, allowing a nice amount of natural light into the space. Along with a king bed, and bedside tables with easily accessible USB ports, there was a table with seating for two. The bathroom had a single sink with a vanity plenty big enough for two, and a roomy walk-in shower with both a hand-held and rainfall shower head.
But it was the swanky drink cabinet in the corner of the room that held all sorts of unexpected treasures. The Loot Bag was filled with assorted munchies like almonds, potato chips, and cookies. There were also three travel-size bottles of alcohol, and a mini-fridge full of beer, soft drinks, and water. Those in need of caffeine have their choice of a well-stocked Nespresso machine or an assortment of teas and an electric kettle.
Another almost unheard of perk, the first floor of the hotel boasts a self-serve laundry room that’s free for guests to use. Even detergent is provided at no additional charge.
When it comes down to it, the Ovolo hotel brand likes freebies. And when you book direct, there’s more than just snacks and fast Wi-Fi for guests to take advantage of. There’s gym access and a nightly Social Hour including beer, wine, and cocktails, where staff roam the lobby helping travelers firm up plans.
Breakfast at onsite vegetarian restaurant VEDA is also free if you book direct. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, don’t write this spot off. With options like avocado toast, blistered cherry tomatoes, and grilled Halloumi cheese, you might be pleasantly surprised by how little you miss those traditional breakfast meats.
Ovolo’s location makes exploring some of Hong Kong’s best-known landmarks easy. The city’s Mid-Levels Escalators, the Peak Tram, Hong Kong Park, and the Central MTR (transportation) station are all within a 10- to 15-minute walk.
If you like music from the 1980s, you’ll appreciate the pop and rock classics soundtrack that plays throughout the public areas of the hotel. If you’re really a fan of the era, you can check out the boutique hotel’s playlist on Spotify. The Radio Ovolo 80’s Hits will have you singing a tune long after vacation is over.
Review and photos by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer and television correspondent Dana Rebmann. Her stay was hosted by Ovolo Hotels, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.