‘AKI’ means ‘clear, bright crystal’
The name reflects the hotel building which glisters and shines above the neighbourhood of Wan Chai, the vibrant area of Hong Kong where the hotel is. Wan Chai has always been one of my favourite places in Hong Kong. The neighbourhood has a lot of character and a balance between the skyscrapers with the cultural side of Hong Kong. The AKI HK is one of the newest addition to the luxury hotel market here. This is the second MGallery Hotel after The Silveri on Lantau Island. The hotel is designed with Japanese influences in mind. The MGallery brand is a collection of boutique hotels. Each of them has its own unique story and selling point. AKI concept here is being clean, smart and efficient.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
The AKI sits in the prime Wan Chai area, roughly in the middle of both Wanchai and Causeway Bay Station. The location is perfect for both leisure and business travellers. It comes with an enclave of restaurants, bars and shops. You will not have trouble finding anything here. The MTR station is about a 5 mins walk away and on foot, you are about 10 to 15 minutes away from Causeway Bay. You can even take a relaxed stroll to the HKCEC as well as the promenade area. Seeing The World In Steps stayed as a guest of AKI Hong Kong – MGallery. I was booked into their Deluxe Studio Room. Do check out their rates directly as they are currently running some promotions to celebrate the return of the removal of quarantine. AKI features 173 guest rooms spread across 5 categories. Each of its 173 rooms is equipped with smart technologies and includes a tablet control panel for guests to adjust the blinds, curtains and temperature. When you are out of the rooms they will automatically lower the blinds and switch off the air conditioning to conserve energy. You can find some detailed information about the rooms and categories below.
|Rooms||Bathtub||Room Size||No.of Rooms|
|Superior City View||No||16 Sqm||51|
|Deluxe Tatami||No||20 Sqm||20|
|Deluxe Studio||Yes||26 Sqm||14|
I arrive at the hotel at around 3.30 pm. I took the airport express to Hong Kong Station before transferring to a taxi which cost around 65 HKD. This is in my opinion the best way to get to HK city and your hotel especially if you have baggage. I am not a fan of the MTR with bags as their exits are frequently stairs only. The trams are my favourite way to get around on HK Island but that isn’t convenient with bags. The ground floor is just a reception area with the main lobby on level 3.
It was rather crowded when I arrived given that this is the peak check-in time. There is a slight wait before I was assisted. In the meanwhile, I took the opportunity to check out the lobby and the lounge right next to it. There is one set of elevators from the ground floor to the lobby and a separate set that connect the reception area to the rooms. I love the decor and how chic the place is. It looks so clean and minimalistic. They even had some decor for the festive. The lobby lounge comes with plenty of seating which acts as an overflow area when required. I will share more about the Lobby Lounge later. They do have a priority line for elite members.
I was helped after a short wait and was warmly welcomed. My booking was reconfirmed and I was given all the information. Late check-out was extended till 1.30pm on the day of check-out. I was then ushered to the elevators and introduced to the concept where the floors are automatically selected once I scan my key cards. Another nice concept that I will love to see more hotels adopt. Safe and efficient!
I was assigned a room on the 22nd floor, one of the higher floors in the hotel. There is only a total of 25 floors and the top floor is housed by the bar and the gym. The hotel has a very low number of rooms per floor with only 9 rooms per floor. That meant that foot traffic is kept at a min. The Deluxe Studio is their largest room here. It has a minimalist aesthetic featuring lofty ceilings, natural wood tones and large windows offering spectacular city views. Look at how lovely this room is! The finishes of the place gave it a very peaceful, warm and cosy feeling. You have that “Zen” energy here.
It feels like a luxurious fancy apartment without being over the top. Immediately upon entering, I fell in love with the wood finishes and the high ceilings. The large windows boast a great view of the surrounding area which gives me little Soho vibes if you get what I am driving at. There is a short entryway before the room opens up to the bathroom area on the left. You can find a little wardrobe with a sliding door that moves between the wardrobe or the minbar area.
I appreciate the little touches that are designed to maximise the space in the room. Inside the wardrobe, you can find plenty of hangers, a safe, a portable luggage rack and bath slippers. Bathrobes can be found in the bathroom. I would have loved to see an ironing kit provided. Perhaps a mini one that guests can bring out and use on the bed? That will be useful for business travellers.
Next to the wardrobe, you can find the minibar set up. This is another lovely part of the room. Keeping in touch with the Japanese influences, you can find a traditional tea set with some high-quality tea offerings. Both TWG and more traditional offerings are offered. You can also find a proper espresso machine with plenty of capsules offered. This is nice to see given the lack of an executive lounge here. Complimentary mineral water is provided too. These are replenished during daily housekeeping as well as turndown service.
The room comes with an open-concept bathroom which is my favourite part of the room. The design and layout make the place much more spacious than it is. I love the island set-up with the double sinks located behind one another. Everything looks so pretty and clean here. Even the hairdryer and the trash bins are hidden nicely. They even had outlets installed here for your hairdryer to make it into a little vanity area. This makes for a very neat look.
I love the space-saving thoughts. For those who require a little more privacy, you have sliding doors to cover up the bathroom from the room. Amenities from MALIN+GOETZ are provided. They lather really well and I love their scent, especially their peppermint shampoo. The toilet and shower rooms are located in separate rooms on opposite ends.
You can see the Japanese influences in the shower room as well. It comes with a tub located inside the room together with the standing shower. A common layout in Japanese hotels. The shower rooms also come with a nice view of the surrounding area. The showering space is generous. The water pressure and temperature control of both the handheld shower head and the rainforest shower head are excellent.
The deep freestanding large soaking tub is super spacious and you definitely could not miss out on having a soak with that view. I wish that they had provided some bath pillows and bath salt. I would like to point out the flooring in the bathroom. They deliver great grip and don’t get slippery when wet. So many properties miss out on this aspect often. I enjoyed a soak every evening, pure enjoyment in the cold weather.
Now let me come to the main space of the room. It centres on the posh king-size bed in the middle. The room is rectangular in configuration. I love that the room had tons of natural light. Despite the numerous buildings that surround the hotel. You can find nightstands on both sides of the bed. It is nicely designed for smart living.
You can find controls for the blinds and lights here. There is even some theme that you can choose from. A wifi charging port can be found too. A tablet controls everything in the room from the lighting to the curtains and temperature. You can also use it to contact the front desk and view some hotel information. Besides the traditional power outlets, they also have USB ports installed. The bedding and mattress are excellent and I had a really good rest.
The view here is pretty good too and you can consider going blinds optional with the Wan Chai night view accompanying you. It kinda gives me NYC vibes. You also have some view of the mountains in the background.
Right in front of the bed, you have a separate sitting area consisting of a little couch and a coffee table. It is always nice to have a separate sitting area in the room beside the bed. It is spacious enough to be a bed for the little ones. This place makes for a great movie night as it faces the TV on the other side of the room.
The room comes with a 50-inch high-quality Samsung Smart TV. It is a delight to watch from. It comes with plenty of cable and local TV channels. You can also cast content from both Apple and Android devices
The main criticism I have about the room will be the lack of proper working space as well as a table. You do have one of the mini coffee tables but other than that it is hard to find a spot to work or eat from in the room. The hotel does have a very nice lobby lounge that guests can work from with plenty of outlets to be found easily. There is nothing but good stuff to speak about housekeeping. I actually bump into one of them when I return early after breakfast. She immediately turn on the afterburners so I could have the room back faster. We had a lovely chat about my time in HK as well as giving me recommendations on places to go.
Deluxe Tatami Room
I got a glimpse at the hotel’s signature Deluxe Tatami Room. This is very unique and in fact the first in Hong Kong. The room might be smaller than the one above but it offers an amazing 270-degree panorama of the Hong Kong cityscape. That sweeping view is very spectacular. They have a king-size mattress on the tatami floors.
The fitness centre is located on the 25th floor. The highest floor of the hotel. It is located just next to the Whisky Bar. The 24-hour gym provides a leisurely and welcoming space for fitness with an inspiring view of Wanchai and Victoria Harbour. You can access it with your key cards.
The gym is on the smaller side given the building size. It is however nicely appropriated and should be sufficient for a simple workout before your work or during your travels. Everything looks well-maintained here. The high ceilings and tons of natural light make the places very welcoming. You have the mountains on one side and the harbour view on the other.
The hotel also has a little Zen Garden which is just next to the reception area. This is still a work in progress and I can see how amazing this place will be especially in the warmer months. It will be a lovely outdoor space for guests to relax over a book or perhaps even for a morning yoga workout. A great mediation spot. Despite the location, it is pretty private due to the sheers and greeneries. Huge potential!
Located by the reception area, this spot is great for a quick bite or even to work from. Check out how pretty this place is. It had calm warm lights and light wood finishes. I love the tons of natural light from the large window panels. The perfect spot for a quick meeting or so. Given the lack of a working area in the rooms, this will be great if you need to get some work done or perhaps a change of scenery out of your room. The place has been thoughtfully designed with outlets readily available.
It also acts as an overflow waiting area during peak check-in and check-out timings. They could offer some grab-and-go coffee or tea by the lobby for guests or even a welcome drink as part of the rituals.
Uncle Ming Whisky Bar
One of the newest hot spots in town. Uncle Ming’s is one of the new and upcoming whisky bars on HK Island. Located at the top of the hotel, it boasts a lovely view of the surrounding. Some of the seats here even come with a partial harbour view. Uncle Ming Whisky Bar is open from 5pm to 12am daily. They have an extensive array of more than 80 international whiskies including rare single malts, as well as sake, fine wines and champagne.
For Accor elite members, you can also get your welcome drink here. Here are some pictures of the bar. It is a comfortable environment. The bartender is a lovely guy and super knowledgeable. We had a lovely chat about his creations and preference for American whisky.
I tried two of their signature cocktails with one of them came highly recommended by the staff. I got the Oolongtini, the signature of Uncle Ming. The base is Monkey Shoulder Whisky. It is then infused with Oolong Tea, Pomelo Honey and Orange Zest. The drink is said to be inspired by Queen Victoria’s love for a dash of whisky with her morning tea. Finally, they smoked it with some wood chips. The presentation is on point! They bring it to the table and lift the lid. As the smoke escapes it sort of gives you a welcome. This actually whets your appetite and gives you an intro to what to expect. By the way, great for the gram too!
Next up, I tried the Ward Eight which is a twist on a classic whisky sour cocktail. This is very refreshing and tart. Great for a pre-dinner drink. Cocktails go for HK$125, typical hotel prices I will say. I do wish that they provide the drinks with some sort of snacks or nuts on the side. They also run a happy hour promotion from 5pm to 7pm for some house pours. That is actually pretty nice as you can come when it is still bright and stay till the city lights up.
Breakfast at TANGRAM
Breakfast is served at TANGRAM Restaurant on the second floor. Breakfast service is from 6.30am to 10.30am and till 11am on weekends as well as holidays. Known as the interactive breakfast, it is done in a semi-buffet concept. I appreciated the extended hours on holidays. So many properties have to early breakfast timings which aren’t ideal as guests tend to sleep later on the weekends. The restaurant follows the same theme and has warm soothing vibes. It is a very comfortable place to start your day.
I went down to have breakfast at around 8.30am on the second day of my stay. Service is excellent here and the staff are quick with orders. I was ushered in and drinks orders were taken. All hot drinks are freshly made and served by the staff. I love that they had an actual espresso machine. The selection isn’t too big but everything is high quality and delicious. Here are some of the pictures of the buffet which contains mainly continental items. You have a selection of fresh juices, fruits, cheese, cold cuts, cereals, milk and an assortment of pastries. They are so fresh and flaky. I enjoyed some of the danish.
This is supplemented by a menu where you can order a main item.
On my first day, I had a classic breakfast plate with scrambled eggs. I love the potato and the mushrooms! The portion was pretty huge and everything was delicious. I have a preference for freshly cooked food over a buffet.
On the second morning, I got the Japanese set just to mix things up. I figure that it will be interesting to see if they execute it well given the theme that they are going for. It came in a cute bento box and I have to say that the dish doesn’t disappoint. The salmon was perfectly cooked and well seasoned. It came accompanied with Japanese Rice. Top notch in this aspect.
I managed to snag a picture of the other mains as well.
One of the more enjoyable breakfasts I had. I love the fresh juices and pastries. The mains are very good. To nitpick, I would love to see them add some local HK influences too. Perhaps a Chinese main? Classic Congee and Fried Noodles? Some Polo Bun and Egg Tart on the pastries corner?
The room is designed with a smart living concept and you can see it in the various touches around the hotel, from the elevators to the room controls which makes for a very clean and efficient experience. The location is excellent and the hotel comes with a unique point that allows it to attract guests. This is the right place if you are bored with the typical hotels. An awesome choice for Accor members. If you would like to dine at the hotel, having an Accor Plus membership might prove very useful. For the locals, this is something to try if you want a staycation. They can consider implementing a shuttle service to the Airport Express Hong Kong Station when occupancy picks up with their sister hotel Novotel which is just next door. That will make things very easy for both business and leisure travellers. The AKI is something you should go for in the heart of Wan Chai. The possibility to do a Japanese theme staycation right in the city is attractive for locals who do not have time or the capability to travel.
This was a hosted media stay, all views expressed are my own.
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