One of the biggest challenges of traveling abroad is staying connected. I am guilty of being a bit dependent on my cell phone for things like food recommendations and directions. I also hate paying the outrageous rates that my cell phone provider charges for data packages abroad. Which is why after a recent stay at the Sheraton Hong Kong Towers, I have a new favorite hotel perk – Handy.
Upon entering our room at the Sheraton Hong Kong Towers, I immediately noticed what looked like a cell phone sitting on the desk in a cradle.
Upon closer inspection, it was in fact a cell phone that was flashing various advertisements on a loop called Handy.
Handy is a free cell phone that is provided by the hotel for your use during your stay – and it is awesome!
With Handy, you are able to make local calls and utilize data – all for free!
Handy works just like any other cell phone and allows you to utilize a wide variety of different cell phone functions. Even cooler is that the phones are pre-programmed for your specific hotel and feature things like local dining, coupons, a metro map, a card with the hotel’s name and location in the local dialects and other cool features.
The part that I loved the most though had to be the ability to use Google Maps while traveling the city.
Considering Handy comes with a complimentary data package, you also have access to Google to search out anything you might want to look for.
This feature came in handy (ha!) most of all for seeking out good places to eat while we were in Hong Kong. While I normally do this before I leave a hotel in the morning, it is very nice to be able to deviate from your plans and still have access to Yelp to give you some guidance on where the best local eats are.
As this is also a cell phone, you are also able to make complimentary local calls with the phone. I loved this feature as it allowed me to give a local phone number to my tailor so he could let me know when my bespoke suit was ready for my next fitting.
There is also a city guide on the phone which has information about the local attractions, how to get there, etc.
One other really awesome feature of Handy is that you can turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot for your own cell phone.
I used this feature more than a few times as I was waiting for last minute award space to open up on a Cathay Pacific flight and wanted to check the British Airways site numerous times throughout the day. Without Handy’s Wi-Fi hotspot, I would have needed to stop off at various points to find somewhere with Wi-Fi I could use to do this. Instead I was able to do it while on the metro, grabbing a bite to eat, etc.
At the end of your stay, you simply leave Handy in the room on its cradle and the phone will automatically erase all of your browsing and use data from the phone prior to the next guest being able to use the device.
Handy is easily one of the coolest ideas I have seen while traveling abroad and I really wish more hotels offered this feature. It is convenient, easy to use, and best of all, completely free! I would actually stay at the Sheraton Hong Kong Towers again simply for the convenience factor of being able to utilize Handy during my stay. If you happen to be at a hotel that features Handy, I would highly recommend taking advantage of it because it has become my new favorite hotel perk!
What is your favorite hotel perk?
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