Hong Kong offers a very wide range of hotels and accomodations for its visitors, from luxury five-star hotels with over the top ammenities to more economical budget hotels and hostels offering convenience and value.
Choosing a place to stay in Hong Kong can be daunting, specially for first-timers, so here are some tips and answers to some frequently asked questions to help you sort out the many accommodation options.
Given that the cost of your Hong Kong Hotel will probably take the largest chunk of your vacation money, I definitely encourage you to do some looking around, it will be time well-spent as you would most certainly be able to shop for a better deal, either online or through some agencies that may have special packages on offer.
Shopping around for accommodations and making reservations ahead of time is particularly important if you will be travelling during a major holiday or event such as Chinese New Year, or a major trade fair, sports event, or the like, when rooms will be in short supply.
Here is a Hong Kong Holiday Calendar for a quick look at this year's major holidays, and be sure to check the listings for the month of your visit.
In terms of safety, I feel equally comfortable on either side, that has never been a problem for us. There are plenty of shopping and dining opportunities on both sides as well.
The Central side is more of the Business and Financial District so you are likely to find a lot of the business travellers on the Hong Kong Island side. On this side you also find the Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Kowloon side feels a bit more compact and we find it a bit more "pedestrian friendly" than Central and Admiralty where there are so many overpasses that you can literally walk around the whole downtown without ever touching the ground. This side is also a bit "hilly" with many steep streets and stairs, a consideration if anyone in your group is mobility challenged.
Check out our "Hong Kong Area by Area" to get an idea of where attractions and highlights are located, it may be that you will be spending more time on one side over the other one and then picking a hotel on that side may be advantageous.
And our Hong Kong Neighborhoods Map and Guide will give you an overall glimpse into the most popular neighborhoods and what makes them unique, also something you might want to consider.
Hotels in the Hong Kong Island side are more convenient to:
Hotels in the Kowloon side are more convenient to:
But as pointed out before, transportation in HK is so efficient that it may hardly make a difference.
Both sides are equally convenient to the Airport and the Lantau Island attractions, i.e. Disneyland and the Big Buddha, and there are Macau Ferry Terminals on both sides as well.
Finding a hotel within our budget and close to an MTR station or bus/tram lines are likely to be more of a consideration for us.
And although a matter of preference, we really enjoy the views from the Kowloon side the best with the Central skyline and Victoria Peak in the background!
In a city where land is at a premium, you can expect that room sizes are considerably smaller than what you might be used to, single rooms are quite common, family rooms not so.
In terms of accomodation types, on the one end, you have the luxury hotels in Hong Kong with ritzy and plush quarters, sweeping views of the harbour, out of this world service ...and prices.
The variety of tourist and business class hotels is also overwhelming, and prices are very location-dependent. As a general rule, the further away from the center you are the more reasonable it gets, something to consider when you are on a budget, since transportation costs in Hong Kong in comparison are relatively inexpensive.
At the other end of the spectrum you have the hostels where private bathrooms and air conditioning are not a sure thing but are normally clean, convenient and most have WiFi.
Hong Kong is home to some of the world's top 5-star hotels. 5-Star Luxury hotels in Hong Kong are renowned for their insane views, lavish facilities and spotless service, and moreover, this is where you find a great majority of the territory's top restaurants and spas.
There are many spectacular luxury digs in the city ranging from the old iconic landmarks, the Peninsula and the Mandarin Oriental, to the major international luxury hotel brands which are all present in Hong Kong, some with several flagship hotels on both sides of the Harbour.
The hotels in the mid-range and affordable luxury category are our hand-picked gems that offer excellent value due to their fantastic locations and/or superb facilities and ammenities compared to similarly rated properties.
In most cases there will be a small trade-off, so you need to decide what's important to you. Excellent picks in the center of the city may not offer the spaciousness of a hotel in a location a bit further out, but for those who want to be in the middle of the action, these will be great choices.
Likewise, you can find swanky 5-star facilities without the exorbitant prices just a short MTR ride away from the main central areas.
All of these hotels are rated 4 or 5 stars, "Mid-range" refers to the price ranges of about US $130 - US$ 175 which for Hong Kong is excellent value for such high-rated hotels.
Where to find cheap hotels in Hong Kong? Yes, it is possible to find inexpensive hotels even in the heart of the city and some even with fantastic views. That means that you might have to compromise a bit on ammenities as the inexpensive centrally-located hotels tend to run in the small side with few perks and facilities.
Rest assured, all our picks are safe and comfortable, and the savings more than make up for the lack of ammenities.
Travelling with Kids? While all areas in the city are family-friendly, the challenge in Hong Kong is to find roomy accomodations.
here are a few choices that we have found quite good in the past. These hotels have larger rooms, including triple/quad and family rooms,
many have swimming pools which come in handy with weary kids after a day of sightseeing or shopping at the markets and the areas are quite "walkable" with
plenty of eateries (...McDonald's if you must!) and markets/shopping.
There is a huge range of backpacker hostels and budget accomodations in Hong Kong.
On one end you have the classicaly infamous Chung King Mansions with its edgy scene in the center of TST, the curry shops, money changers, tailors, doubtful characters and multiple floors of guesthouses all contributing to the melting pot milieu that has become an attraction of its own making.
Around the corner, you have the YMCA, which might well be the world's best and most expensive.
And in between there is a host of small inns and backpacker hostels all around the city. Generally speaking, ammenities are limited, some have private rooms and bathrooms, many shared, either female, male, or mixed, most are clean and friendly with nice common areas and have wifi. Be sure to read recent reviews for any hostel you are considering!
For those looking for an Airport Hotel in Hong Kong, here are some excellent choices that will more than fit the typical needs for an overnight stopover or long layover between flights.
They are also perfect for that early morning departure, or yikes, if your flight is cancelled or you have missed your connection.
Hong Kong International Airport or Chek Lap Kok Airport is located in Lantau Island, it's about a 40 minute taxi ride into the city,
or a 24-minute train ride with the Airport Express.
The best hotels in Hong Kong for enjoying the fireworks have commanding views of Victoria Harbour, which side is best? Kowloon or Hong Kong Island?
Here are some answers and some top picks for enjoying that million-dollar view reserved for one of these special occasions: Chinese New Year, National Day, and New Year's Eve.
Planning your stay well in advance is highly advisable as the city runs at full capacity during these periods, and specially if your aim is to have the fireworks in view from your hotel.
Avoiding the crowds as you enjoy one of these mesmerizing events from the comfort of your own room, champagne glass in hand, is bound to be one of the highlights of your trip, which goes without saying, will come with a price...
Also worth considering if staying for more than just a couple of days is an apartment, studio, or vacation rental. Specially for families, or if travelling with a group of friends, apartments have much to offer... it is quite convenient having a little extra space, a kitchen for quick meals or snacks... or a living room, den, your own small space to hang out together... and overall a more "localized" experience...
Although many properties require a minimum stay of 3-4 days, many do not and can be rented for only one night.
Renting an apartment involves a little more work but is definitely worth it. Sometimes but not always, the savings can be substantial
when travelling with a group and is definitely a lot more fun.
Thank you for visiting www.hong-kong-traveller.com!
Here is to a wonderful Hong Kong travel experience!
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Child HKD 150 US$20
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