Just returned from a trip to Hong Kong and Fiji which was a blast.
British Airways cancelled my flight to Hong Kong and stuck me on a later flight although it wasn't so bad and I had a few drinks at the bar with my refreshment voucher. Feeling suitably refreshed I boarded the flight (6 hours later) and had an average flight in premium economy but sat next to a very wierd person who started the flight slapping on her facial, lined up her 3 bottles of water and ordered a fruit plate. Then proceeded to stick her legs up in the air for ages no doubt to alleviate ankle and leg swelling, although frankly I had no swelling and didn't have to resort to such tactics!
British Airways are dreadful - definitely don't recommend them and am currently awaiting a decision for a compensation claim which they do not advertise at the time. I guess they figure non-smart travellers won't know about compensation claims.
Managed to sleep about 5 hours and arrived in Hong Kong from London feeling suitably refreshed (and no swelling), and proceeded to the Excelsior Hotel which I do recommend.
Getting to the hotel on the main Hong Kong Island was really easy and has really changed a lot since I was first in Hong Kong in 1984. There is a terrifically clean and quick airport train with a courtesy bus from the train station to the various hotels. Of course the Excelsior had to be last on the list but heck it was free so I wasn't about to complain. You can buy a round-trip ticket from the aiport for the train which is cheaper than two one-ways and of course one can get the free bus back to the train station on the return journey.
|View over Hong Kong from the Excelsior Hotel|
I like the Excelsior as the staff were helpful and friendly, and the room more than adequate and it's smack bang in the middle of several shopping centres - I like to stay away from 'named stores' and I love the little boutique shops with their unique clothes, style and difference.
After two nights I headed out to the airport again for an Air Pacific flight to Nadi (Fiji) and do not recommend Air Pacific - felt like I was back in time 30 years ago when the service was basic - we got fed shortly after boarding, and then shortly before landing, with a little drink of water in-between and this is a 10 hour flight!
I recommend you pre-order Fijian currency as none of the exchange tellers at Hong Kong airport knew what I was talking about. After trying about 6 currency exchanges I managed to secure 200 Fijian dollars which I knew was enough for a taxi fare to the hotel once I arrived in Fiji (25 dollars). I headed to the Fiji Hilton where I was meeting up with family which was great, arriving around 8am.
|Hilton. Denauru, Fiji|
Link to the Fiji Hilton
|Table on the Beach|
|View from the hotel pool|
We had a few mishaps at the hotel eg we got locked out of our room as the door entrance battery conked out and being a Sunday night, the shops were closed and the maintenance man couldn't get a replacement. However, this being Fiji, he got very creative and broke in the back balcony door for us although it took about an hour - but he was persistent and very helpful. The door was fixed first thing in the morning for which we were very grateful. So be warned - if your card key goes orange instead of red or green then the battery is on it's way out and hotfoot it down to reception immediately!
|View from our balcony|
After a great week I headed back to Hong Kong via Air Pacific for 2 more nights in Hong Kong before heading home to London. This time the flight was uneventful and I stayed at a great hotel on campus just outside the airport (about 5 minutes by car) - the Skycity Marriott - great service - I turned up at stand B05 in the Arrivals Hall B to find the Marriott staff were waiting for me with a chauffeur driven car to the hotel (and I hadn't even booked the car ahead). This hotel is great if you don't want to stay in town and time is limited.
It has a courtesy bus to and from the airport every 20 minutes, and a courtesy bus to Tung Chung where you can get the cable car into Hong Kong, or do what I did and go shopping again. This time at the Citygates outlets mall which is mainly designer shops but where I discovered fantastic Kate Spade (New York) Handbags and jewellery - one of their mottos: 'the seasons may change but the handbag stays the same'!. Love it. Of course I indulged much to the chagrin of my rather heavily laden credit card!
I liked this bangle which sums up part of my worldview ! :
|Kate Spade Bangle - All in a days work!|
Flight back to London was fairly uneventful and British Airways redeemed themselves (apart from the cabin crew trying to pick a fight with me over the baggage in the overhead locker and it wasn't even mine!). My suitcase took ages coming off the conveyor belt and I thought it was lost, but received excellent customer service from the BA baggage services and the bag turned up! So, home, tanned, tired but happy!
Hope this has inspired you - I'm off to recover from the jetlag!