Place to call home in the heart of the city
Pilots have come to be associated with taking up residence on Lantau since the opening of Chek Lap Kok, but there are many who prefer living in the heart of the city.
That was the choice made by Australian couple Anthony and Merryn Alder, who have spent eight of their 21 years in Hong Kong as residents at Gateway Apartments in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui.
For Mr Alder, who trains pilots for Cathay Pacific, the choice came down to the two prime concerns: security and convenience.
'First of all, we didn't want a car and wanted to use public transport to get to work,' said Mr Alder, who finds Gateway's location above Canton Road ideal for getting a taxi to Kowloon station and then catching the Airport Express - a one-way commute of about 45 minutes to Chek Lap Kok, or 25 minutes all the way by cab. The apartments do, however, offer tenants secure parking facilities.
'The place is well looked after, but it's not an in-your-face type of security. Security is also paramount as I have to travel for work, so you can be assured that people are safe when you're away.'
Mr and Ms Alder, who have two grown-up children now living in Australia, said services such as security, house-keeping and the club facilities seemed to blend seamlessly with the lifestyle of families residing at Gateway.
Views across Victoria Harbour to Central's gems of modern architecture and The Peak are another feature which has kept them renewing their lease. The vista more than matches that from the much-trumpeted Hong Kong island side, and the couple are happy to be lured back by it whenever their breaks back at home in Brisbane near an end.
'Cathay has a good relationship with Gateway,' said Mr Alder. 'The company gives us some leeway in where we want to stay, and this suits us just fine. Pilots who live on Lantau are usually the ones with families, while we wanted convenience, quality and an easy life now that our kids are grown up.'
Their 'second Gateway home' is the clubhouse down below. 'The Pacific Club is our backyard with an excellent gym, beautiful indoor swimming pool, the choice of restaurants, wonderful staff - the whole package,' said Ms Alder.
'When you need to get things done, Joanne, our house-girl, makes sure it is,' said Mr Alder, as he looked in turn to the Samsung LCD television, the hi-tech home theatre system nestling tastefully beside the Chinese antique furniture the couple bought themselves. 'This apartment is, for us, more like a home, whereas some serviced apartments would feel more like a hotel.'
As part of the upgrade, a Samsung hi-fi system and new LCD televisions were installed, along with broadband connections and Cable TV. 'It was quite a welcome disruption,' joked Mr Alder. 'But the job was done with the minimal hassle and it adds well to the room and the way we relax here.'
Gateway Apartments encompasses 499 apartment units across 14 floors of the impressive Harbour City Gateway Towers. With exclusive lift access, the Gateway Apartments (named Sutton Court and Hampton Court after prestigious locales in New York and London) are regarded as the tenants' 'private world within a world'.