The Single Best Hotel Amenity

My wife and I took a quick 2 night trip to Hong Kong as part of a mileage run and to see friends this past weekend. We opted to stay at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), primarily because I was able to find a very good Hyatt Cash and Points rate with confirmed Suite Upgrade. At $75 $100 plus 7,500 points. We felt it was a good deal, as we are used to burning 35k Marriott points for the JW Marriott Hong Kong.

After booking, it occurred to me that I had read about their new Handyphone – essentially the hotel provides guests a smartphone for their use during their stay.



For some of you that travel for work and get a global phone – big deal. I seldom travel overseas for work, so for me, it’s a cross between sim card roulette, GlobalSimCard, going without, or trying Milenomics new approach. I’m kind’ve cheap when it comes to that stuff too, so the fact that this was free was great.

Handyphone Information

Handyphone Information

The actual smartphone is an Alcatel OneTouch. I’m not a phone connoisseur, but I found it to be intuitive (I am pretty sure it had an android OS), and overall very easy to use. We had a couple of times while we were wandering that we opted to use Google Maps instead of trying to ask for directions, which was a big help and argument saver. Of course the most fun part was that I could tweet a ton through our adventure (you can look at some of those tweets using #43hoursinHKG).

My eyes are up here.. Silly robot. #43hoursinHKG

Robot in Hong Kong

Tweet of a Robot in Hong Kong

Nearly every time I unlocked the phone there was an advertisement, some with an option to buy something or other. I had no problem with that, because it was easy to just dismiss the advertisements and move on to using the phone. It was a small price to pay for such great flexibility.



I had planned to start trying other places out in Hong Kong, after frequenting the JW Marriott Hong Kong for the past 2 or 3 visits, but with the smart phone amenity at the Regency Hyatt TST, I’m finding it pretty hard to stay elsewhere unless I happen to have a global phone again. But, there are other benefits to the Regency Hyatt TST as well—but look for a Saturday Special for more on that!

What’s the best hotel amenity you’ve received?

19 thoughts on “The Single Best Hotel Amenity

  1. Oh! I was at that hotel too! Our stay definitely overlapped. The funny part, I was in the Regency Club and saw a coworker who I’ve never talked to but vaguely recognized. I chalked it up as, no way we’re in HK.

    Then 20 minutes later I saw a coworker who I recognized! We chatted for a bit, parted ways, then in the afternoon we ran into each other again on Hong Kong Island!

    Back to the post, that phone IS AWESOME!!! There’s a setting inside the phone that you can turn into a hotspot so I was still able to check my emails/text/do everything as if I was home. I can’t stress great that device is! Battery life was solid and had a charge for the entire day. It was also pretty great how you can make unlimited calls to the USA for free, it helped me snag a first class seat on Lufthansa.

    • @CTP – What a small world! It would’ve been great to catch up. I didn’t know about the hotspot option, but will definitely use that next time. It truly is a great amenity!

      • I’ll second the hotspot. We turned that on and left it in a pocket, then were able to use our phones to navigate and everything else like normal. Other than hotspot, we only used it to make a couple of international calls, which worked fine.

  2. Hey Trevor, hope you had a good time in HK! JW Marriott is very nice hotel and close to the Metro station! I love their automatic curtains!

    • @Jack – I loved the JW Marriott HK, even had the chance to chat with the GM who offered great suggestions on going to Stanley Market (and health care in Bangkok). I will say though that the Hyatt Regency TST is over the TST MTR station as well.

  3. I booked two suites at the same hotel in April and loved it. But I would like to try Grand Hyatt now that renovation is over. Did you get the free bottle of wine?! I poured it down the drain, it was awful.

    • @Nathan – we did receive a bottle of wine, I don’t recall what it was, but it was enjoyable…. We did have it after enjoying a bottle of white. I’ve heard good things about the Grand, but as far as I’m aware, they don’t have the Handyphone (if that’s important to you).

  4. Checking in here in about 3 weeks from today. I wondered how safe the phones are. They do say that they wipe all the info from the phones when you leave but…I wonder how true is that. Let me know if you notice any strange things with your credit cards and spam 🙂
    I spent more points for club access, did you? If yes, how was it?
    I wonder how upgrade friendly the hotel is for a lowly Platinum…
    I am surprised that more hotels are not providing such amenity!

    • @TBB – Thanks for your comment! I was conservative with the phone, I only used my twitter account via web browser. There is an option on the “home” page to wipe the phone, I did that and tested it out to ensure that it did not retain any data (that I could tell at least). I haven’t noticed anything strange with my CC’s or twitter account.
      Luckily I have diamond status, so I had club access. It was on par with the Grand Hyatt Tokyo in my opinion, as far as lounge offerings in the evening. The breakfast wasn’t very extensive. Both morning and evening had 1-2 “hot” options.
      I wouldn’t be looking for much in ways of upgrades – with a confirmed suite upgrade, we were still on the 12th floor (club is on the 23rd floor).
      I totally agree with you in your surprise that more hotels aren’t providing Handyphone-like amenities.
      Btw – Will have a review of the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, TST posted tomorrow!

  5. Hey Trevor,

    I was in 15J just behind you on the flight back to Dallas – it was nice meeting you. I used that Handy device as a hotspot for my regular android phone, just enabled the hotspot feature and put it in my pocket, it was awesome. It also allows you to install apps from the Google play store. I found the Google maps on that device to be helpful but not all that accurate (it was off by several blocks most of the time, but got me close enough to figure out where I needed to go).

    On another note, the Hyatt Regency TST was absolutely a steal on points and cash and you really couldn’t ask for a better location, right on top of the TST MRT station.

    • @Kevin – Thanks for your comment, and it was great to meet you on the AA Flight! I didn’t try to install any apps from the Google Play store, but that is great to know! I’ll have to try it next time. I completely agree that the Hyatt Regency TST is a great value with the cash and points option!

    • @Claire – Good call. Sorry, I fudged it. It was ~775 HKD — I thought $75 US, but it was in fact $100 US. I hope you enjoy Hong Kong next month! It’s a great city, and the Hyatt Regency TST is a great hotel! (especially at 7,500 pts & $100)

        • I appreciate your posing the question. I hate to get things wrong, but I like to make those wrongs, right! Feel free to reach out if you’re looking for anything to do in HKG by the way!

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