WHERE TO STAY IN HONG KONG?
Sure, if you have enough moola or if you pay enough money, you can get Hong Kong’s (HK) greatest and finest; however, you’re going to need a sizeable amount of money because money DOES NOT go a long way in HK. A normal room at the Ritz Carlton will set you back around $700 USD, no joke. On the other hand, a night at a hostel in Chung King Mansion, which is widely regarded as the cheapest place for accommodations in HK, might only be $5-10 USD, but I WOULD NOT recommend staying in Chung King Mansion.
Chung King Express is a movie based in Chung King Mansion and the director, Wong Kar Wai said, “Chungking Mansion is famous for its 200 lodgings, it is a mix of different cultures…it is a legendary place where the relations between the people are very complicated. It has always fascinated and intrigued me. It is also a permanent hotspot for the cops in HK because of the illegal traffic that takes place there.” Is that where you really want to stay?
So what’s our favourite hostel and hotel that’s the best value for money? Something that’s nice and decent but doesn’t break the bank so you can spend your money on all the other goodies that HK has to offer.
Read on to see our picks…
BEST HOSTEL IN HONG KONG: YESINN
As you may or may not be aware of, I currently run city tours in HK. I founded Humid with a Chance of Fishballs Tours and have a Free Walking Tour in Central. In order to gain exposure, I executed some basic Marketing 101 and went all over HK handing out brochures to hostels to let them know of this new fabulous Free Walking Tour (if you’re interested, you can learn more here). I literally went to about 50+ different hostels in person, which meant: 1) I got to visit each hostel in person, 2) I was able to learn the exact location of the hostel (important in HK) and 3) I got to experience the front desk service. The verdict?
Without a doubt Yesinn and in particular Yesinn @Causeway Bay scored very favourably on our list. They got it right in so many ways. Firstly, the vibe of the hostel is amazing right when you walk in. Secondly, the front desk treated me with respect and actually listened to what I had to say. And lastly, they seem to genuinely care about the guests at the hostel – the front desk staff takes the guests out on different events on a weekly basis. I was so impressed with them that I managed to get a hold of their general manager and stayed for one night because I wanted to see experience living in a hostel in HK. I’ve stayed in a hostel before in Europe but never in Asia – the closest was a capsule hotel in Japan (which I highly recommend for cheap accommodations in Japan) but this time I really wanted to have the full backpacker experience in HK.
PERFECT FOR SINGLE TRAVELLERS LOOKING TO MEET PEOPLE
I checked in early afternoon; hung around the common room and I quickly learned what the best part of the hostel was. The people. Not just the people that worked at Yesinn (who are really fantastic), but also the guests. Because of the particular vibe that Yesinn has, it attracts a particular backpacker – the really chill ones, that are looking to meet new people and are there just to have a great time. It is the perfect hostel to be if you’re a single traveller looking to meet friends or other people to explore or party HK with you.
There are two outdoor areas which I found to be the easiest places to mingle and meet people. The 9th floor was used as a smoking area when I checked it out; but nevertheless, I managed to persuade 2 people to go to the pub crawl (highly recommended if you’re looking to have a very drunk and rowdy time) with me in about 10 mins… The 4th floor patio was really where I met my crew for the rest of the night. For the next 1.5 hours, we cracked open beers and the group just shot the sh*t, with the group growing increasingly larger as time went by because that’s how friendly & inclusive everybody is. It’s just a really chillaxing vibe; people buy beers, chill out and have a great time on the patios.
The location is also one of the best things about Yesinn @Causeway Bay (CWB). It’s easily accessible by MTR – Causeway Bay MTR, Exit C and it’s about 4 mins of a walk over to the hostel. The hostel is smack in the middle of Causeway Bay where all the action is and trust me when I say this, it’s at a very convenient and prime location. CWB is a mecca for good food and shopping and all around great fun; the only thing is there’s just a lot of people in CWB at any given time – in fact, the busiest crossing in all of HK is in CWB. And if you take a cab back from LKF (Party central in Central), it’s only about $40HKD.
The main entrance is just off of the big street, Hennessy Road, and you will have to walk up about 15 steps before there is an elevator, so I would recommend for anybody that stays at Yesinn or any hostel to travel with a backpack instead of a suitcase (which I’m sure all of you already know).
VALUE FOR MONEY
Super clean and the best location you could ask for in HK. A hostel is different from a hotel; the people are different and the things you look for are different. For me, choosing an hostel meant my priorities are 1) Safety for myself and my belongings 2) Cleanliness of the accommodations and of the washroom 3) Meeting other cool travellers at a super 4) Convenient location to all the hot spots and 5) All of the above at an affordable price. Yesinn @Causeway Bay checks the box. And you know what? I felt like the staff there genuinely liked being there and talking to the guests.
SAFETY: The location is located right off of the big street so there are no dodgy alleys or hallways (I’m looking at you Chung King Mansion) before you get to your hostel. We were all given lockers for our belongings which is standard. I get it, people pack and leave in a haste so intentional or not, things might go missing if you leave it out in the open (ie. my charger in Japan); therefore, I always lock everything in the lockers when I live in hostels.
CLEANLINESS: I think I was most surprised about this. It was super clean and I was most pleasantly surprised regarding the cleanliness of our washroom shared between 9 girls. The only complaint was the girl that was in the bathroom for a very long time in the morning (I could have probably washed my hair 4 times over)… There are extra shower facilities downstairs but I was too lazy and just made do with brushing my teeth in the sink outside the bathroom in the room.
MEETING OTHER COOL TRAVELLERS: Yup. Check. I ended up having to download WeChat on the spot because it seemed like the app to use these days, especially since a lot of the travellers had been travelling in China. Met so many cool people with so many different stories – the coolest one was a guy who had done a lot of travelling in Asia and he told us that the booziest and craziest experience he’s ever had in his life was the Halong Bay Castaway Tour. I think he was so influential that some people literally bought tickets on the spot to go to 1) Halong Bay, Vietnam and 2) The Castaway Tour…
PRICE: No, it’s not the cheapest hostel in HK (that would be Chung King Mansion), but it’s best value for money hostel. At the time of this post, it’s around ~$20 USD per night.
LOCATION: I think I’ve already beaten the horse dead with this one. It’s at a fantastic location that can’t be beat – close to all forms of public transportation and within walking distance to a lot of restaurants and shopping.
HOW TO BOOK
See the reviews for yourself here on Hostelworld. With 4748 reviews and with an average score of 8.6, you’ll be in amazing hands at Yesinn @Causeway Bay. Nothing crazy about the booking system – you can just book directly on Hostelworld.
BEST HOTEL IN HONG KONG: THE T HOTEL
You may be thinking that since I live in HK, I’m not authorized to talk about hotels because I never have to stay in a hotel in HK. That is actually not true. You see, I was in a long distance relationship for my first few years in HK with a British chap (if you’re wondering, think Mark Darcy from the Bridget Jones series) so there were ample opportunities to stay at different hotels during his visits to HK. My conclusion?
THEIR PURPOSE AND STORY
I love The T Hotel. I loved it so much that if you look at my Tripadvisor profile (TheSmooDiaries), you will see that I’ve been an active member since 2012, but I’ve only written one review ever and it was for… you guessed it – The T Hotel! I’m all for a good story, and The T Hotel has a great narrative. The T stands for “Training” because it’s a training hotel. This hotel is fully operated by hotel management students and while I don’t guarantee they won’t make any mistakes, but their enthusiasm and eager to please attitude will make it for it. It was such an awesome experience to stay there and to be able to provide students an opportunity for work experience. It is an even more awesome experience if you can get a harbour view room because the harbour view is spectacular!
I always recommend people to stay within walking distance from a MTR station for convenience’s sake; however, the T hotel is the exception to the rule. It’s located in Pokfulam; it is accessible by bus and from Central, it’s about a $70 HKD taxi ride to the hotel. Usually, we took the bus to go out and got the taxi back to the hotel (as we always stayed out too late for any form of public transportation to be running at that time).
VALUE FOR MONEY
The hotel is amazing value for money. I just inquired about their room rates for October (high season for HK) and it was $990HKD for a room including breakfast or $830HKD for a room without breakfast; however, you should know that hotels are insanely expensive in HK and it’s only the size of a shoebox. The T Hotel on the other hand, has huge rooms (~ 460 sq ft) that are newly renovated with top of the line facilities. You can view their fact sheet here.
Time for some photos? Unfortunately, the last time I stayed there, I never thought to take photos so these are all taken from the world wide web:
HOW TO BOOK
I would either call them up directly, or use their booking form on their website here.
Have I missed out on an awesome hostel or hotel in HK that doesn’t cost an arm or a leg? Let me know! Also, don’t miss out on the TOP 10 Must Dos in Hong Kong.