Harbourfront Horizon

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  1. #1

    Harbourfront Horizon

    Hi,

    I am moving to HK at the end of next month. I will be staying at V Serviced Apartments Causeway Bay for one month, which my company has arranged. I am looking at a long term apartment following this and came accross Harbourfront Horizon, which i thought may be a good option for maybe 6-12months. The rental costs seem reasonable and the fact there are no huge upfront costs for the lease is quite appealing. However, I have read some threads that suggest the shuttle bus to TST can be a nightmare. In addition, i've heard people complaining about gym and pool opening times.....has this been an issue for anyone?
    I have been told that at present the only unit available is a 2 bed harbour view apartment, 700sq ft at $19k p/m. This is within my budget but it would appear that a number of people have gained far lower costs for pretty much the same apartment.

    Can anyone provide recent experiences at Harbourfront Horizon and general thoughts on the area......is it really a 20 minute commute to Central?

    Any advice on this development would be appreciated.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Kowloon Tong
    Posts
    282

    Our family of 3 lived at Harbourfront Horizon for 8 months during 2010. The rental was around HK$17k but electricity was extra, and grossed up significantly. I understand that that same apartment would rent closer to HK$20k now.

    The apartment we had was pleasant enough, about halfway up and facing southwest overlooking the big swimming pool. I found it quiet and the staff were generally friendly and helpful when we needed them to fix things such as a dodgy aircon (a recurring theme), a broken light or unblock the bathtub plug-hole.

    We used the shuttle bus a fair bit, but not during peak times. I regularly saw long lines of people between 7 and 9am. Intervals are 15 minutes between buses. It takes around 12 minutes from the apartment complex to Tsim Sha Tsui (stopping in the street between the Peninsular Hotel and the YMCA), and from there you can catch the MTR to Central (or the star ferry, which we often did).

    I once had to do a dash to the RTHK studio in Admiralty at very short notice, and with everything going my way - getting on the shuttle bus with just the last couple of seats left, catching the MTR as it arrived at the station and literally sprinting up the escalators behind Pacific Place - I made it in just under 40 minutes. I started around 7.30am.

    Maybe 20 minutes to Central is possible, but probably not at peak times and not unless everything is going your way.

    Pool closes early (6 or 7pm I remember - never used it myself) and closes for 2 hours over lunch. The Gym closes at 11am and 4pm for one hour each time. Again, I didn't use it much. I mostly just read the free newspapers in the morning around 9am, which worked well unless another expat/English-language newspaper reader came on the scene, in which case we usually shared sections (though not always!).

    Overall, it was a pretty sterile place but that suited us well enough. It wasn't as expensive as other options yet it was clean and well managed.

    I was a little different from most tenants in that I didn't go to work as such, so mine was a virtual 24/7 experience and on the whole it was a good option - though by the same token we were extremely happy to eventually move out to our own flat and no longer feel like we were hamsters in a Li Ka Shing profit-generating machine.

    Quite a few people we met - such as a Kiwi business man and an elderly American who had lived his whole life playing jazz violin while living off the royalties paid by oil companies for use of his family's Texas acreage - had lived at the Harbourfront for 3 or more years. So that says something, if not about the hotel then about the people living there.

    One interesting observation concerns the number of Chinese Mainland mothers who appeared to use the hotel as a birthing stage-point. Some enterprising people ostensibly worked out they could hire a room (with or without occasional room service) on a long term basis and bring in pregnant mothers then release them after they'd given birth to their Hong Kong-born offspring. No direct impact on me as a tenant, but an interesting phenomenon nonetheless.

    And one factoid: Michael Chugani, the host of ATV's Newsline program, lives at the Harbourfront (at least he did when we did and seems to have lived there for at least a couple of years). He wrote in one of his SCMP columns how much his rent was going to rise upon renewal. He was scathing about the way landlords were ripping off people at the time, so I suspect it hit a raw nerve with him. I rode the shuttle bus with Mr Chugani on one ocassion (he was about 2 rows ahead of me), which was a thrill for both of us.

    Finally, the Harbourfront is, in my opinion, better for families than the Harbourview because the apartments are slightly bigger, there's more open space and the location is a lot quieter.

    Last edited by John Doe Jr; 19-01-2011 at 10:04 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    7,441

    I was there till July last year and found it OK. It's probably the best value in HK and the view is exceptional for HK.

    I paid $17,200 for 11th floor E section which was OK at the time.

    The gym is great though small. The shuttle bus is a pain and probably if you are going to central just go to the bus stop and get the bus to central. It should be easier than taking the shuttle bus. I was working in east TST but it was still a pain and just walked to the train and it's not great in summer.

    Its a big complex and alot of the people are friendly there unfortunately not many of the office staff are.

    What they will do is sign you up on a 6 month lease then jack the price up a couple of K afterwards.

    I does have it pluses. The gym is great, it's clean, quiet, pool and view are exceptional but I couldn't see the value of it after 6 months.

    Wouldn't change my time there as it was good and loved the view but after 6 months a move to another location is good.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    100

    [First time posting but have been reading the useful advices on here for a while.]

    Currently staying at Harbourfront Horizon, in our fifth month now and planning to be here for a while yet. I would echo virago that it is best value in HK, especially if things like having a view and a quieter, more spacious environment is important to you (while staying fairly close to busy areas).

    nick1981, the rent you got quoted seems par for the course, though of course depending on the exact position of the apartment in the complex. Maybe try them a few days later to see if different choices open up?

    I've done Harbourfront to Admiralty in a huge hurry in 20 minutes - striding and even running a bit! Walk to Hung Hom MTR station, take West Rail line to East TST, walk to TST to take Tsuen Wan line across to island side. I would say MTR is the quickest way; but 20 minutes to Central is really unrealistic. More like 30-45 minutes.

    I use the gym a fair bit and while I occasionally wait for the treadmills or weight bench to free up, it hasn't really been a problem. The gym is open 7am-11am, 12-4pm, 5-9pm, which mostly works for me. The pool times are a pity - 6pm closing time in Autumn was too early, but weekends were great for lounging at the pool which was under-utilised by residents here.

    It's not the place to make a "home" brimming with character, but that was not our purpose coming to HK, so it works for us.

    Hope this is helpful!


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2

    Thumbs down Harbourfront living

    [QUOTE=nick1981;1369817]Hi,

    I am moving to HK at the end of next month.

    I have been living at Harbourfront for almost two years now. Yes, it is about 20-25 mins from Central. A taxi will cost about $120-160, you can catch the shuttlebus, which will drop you by the MTR in TST - that will take about 15 minute, then a very short MTR ride direct to Central, at most will be about 15 minutes - it's all about timing. You can walk to TST in just over 20 minutes and catch the Star Ferry across the other side, so getting around from the Harbourfront is pretty easy. BUT - do not expect any form or level of customer service from the place! It is truly, the worst I have ever encountered anywhere in the world. The Gurkha guards, are very pleasant and helpful, but the staff inside are shocking. They simply do not care. Facilities are quite good, but they seem to be there just for the purpose of employing locals, as they certainly are not convenient. The pool, when it has water in it, is closed for the majority of time that most people would want to use it! Everytime you need to pay a check, pick something up - or God forbid, get into your own apartment when you've lost of forgotten your key - they will make you jump through hoops, and make you pay cash for the privilage! This is not an isolated case, many of my friends have experienced the same - and much worse. THERE IS NO CONCEPT OF CUSTOMER SERVICE HERE!