The first time I was in Hong, I stayed in Tsim Sha Tsui. I found it very touristy and not at all as I had expected Hong Kong to be, and after my one week stay, I was quite certain, that I would not visit Hong Kong again. Luckily my friend AC talked me into giving Hong Kong a second try, and together we went on a girls’ trip to Hong Kong. This time we stay on Hong Kong Island, and it was a completely different experience.
Since then I always stay on Hong Kong Island when I visit Hong Kong, and the city has grown to be one of my favorite cities in Asia. I am particularly fond of Causeway Bay, which is very similar to Shibuya in Tokyo. It is a great place for shopping and dining, and if you are visiting Hong Kong for the first time, I think Causeway Bay would be a great place to stay. Though if you want to party all night, make sure you stay near Lan Kwai Fong which is Hong Kong’s party district no. 1, and which is also located on Hong Kong Island.
Here is a little about the Hong Kong hotels I have stayed at so far:
Lan Kwai Fong Hotel @ Kau U Fong is a wonderful little boutique hotel. This was where AC and I stayed, when we were in Hong Kong and it is a great hotel for a girls’ trip. You have everything you need within walking distance including the bars and clubs in Lan Kwai Fong. Try to get a room on a high floor.
Mini Hotel is a nice boutique budget hotel in Causeway Bay. The location is among the best in Causeway Bay, and you have plenty of restaurants and great shopping right at your doorstep. My room was small but bright and the bed was very comfortable. Mini Hotel is great for solo travelers, but the room would probably be a bit on the tiny side for two persons. Also note that the walls and doors to the shower and the toilet are just matte glass, which might be a bit uncomfortable unless you know the person you are traveling with very well.
Stanford Hillview Hotel was the first (and the only) hotel I stayed at in Tsim Sha Tsui, and even though I was not a big fan of the neighborhood, the hotel itself was ok. While writing this post about where to stay in Hong Kong, I visited Stanford Hillview’s website, and it looks like the hotel has gone through quite a renovation. At least the rooms look brighter and nicer than when I stayed there. The hotel is located in a lively neighborhood with lots of bars and restaurants close by, so if you want to stay in this part of Hong Kong, Stanford Hillview would probably be a good choice.
The last time I was in Hong Kong with Poul, we stayed at Regal Airport Hotel and as the name suggests, the hotel is located right by the airport. It is connected to the terminal building, so you do not even have to leave the airport to get there, which is convenient if you are there on a short visit. The hotel has several restaurants, though none of them looked very exciting, but who cares, when there’s a Crystal Jade in the terminal building? The rooms at Regal Airport Hotel are very nice, and the staff was friendly, but if you have more than a day or two in Hong Kong I would strongly suggest that you get a hotel in the city instead.
Poul used to stay at Excelsior in Causeway Bay on his layovers in Hong Kong (and I was joining him) and it was an amazing hotel. Unfortunately, it closed in the beginning of March this year, and the building will turn into office space instead. So sad.
Hostels in Hong Kong
I have never stayed overnight at a hostel in Hong Kong, but I have many times booked a hostel in order to have a place to keep my luggage while waiting for Poul or friends to arrive in the city. It is quite expensive to store your luggage at the airport and you will have to take the (also quite expensive) airport train back and forth, so it is often cheaper to book a dorm bed at a hostel instead, as most hostels will often let you store your luggage both prior to check-in and after check-out for free.
Many hostels are located inside ordinary residential buildings with minimum or no signage, so make sure that you have a working cellphone so you can call and ask for directions. One of the hostels I really liked was Pandora After 80s, which is located close to the water in Causeway Bay.