Category: Hong Kong Accommodation

May 12

Best Places to Stay in Hong Kong

Can’t decide where to stay in Hong Kong? In this article, we share with you our top picks for the best places to stay in Hong Kong for first-time visitors, family and couples. We will also guide you to the most hip & cool hotel as well as where to stay in Hong Kong for nightlife and shopping!

Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Island versus Kowloon

The burning question that we often get is, “Which side should I stay on – Hong Kong island or Kowloon?” Well, the answer depends largely on what you wish to get out of your stay as well as your budget. We know your time is extremely precious in Hong Kong and hence we recommend staying in a convenient area, based on the places of interests that you will visit.

Hong Kong Island Highlights

Hong Kong Island offers a great base for sightseeing, including cultural sights (e.g. Chinese Medicine and places of worship), historical sites (both Chinese and Colonial) and amusement park. If you plan on hitting the bars till late and wish to get back to your hotel quickly, then stay on Hong Kong Island. In summary, here are some popular tourist attractions on Hong Kong Island:

  • Victoria Peak
  • Stanley Market
  • Repulse Bay
  • Aberdeen
  • Man Mo Temple
  • Central Mid-levels Escalators
  • Lan Kwai Fong
  • Wan Chai
  • Happy Valley Racecourse
  • Ocean Park

Kowloon Highlights

Staying in Kowloon is perfect if you are looking to wander around our vibrant street markets and soaking up the local atmosphere. Many street markets are located within walking distances from one another. If you intend to go on a shopping spree, it helps to stay near to these markets, so that you can offload your shopping bags easily and be ready for more action! In brief, here are some “must-see” attractions on Kowloon:

  • Flower Market
  • Goldfish Market
  • Bird Garden
  • Ladies Market
  • Temple Street Night Market
  • Wong Tai Sin Sik Sik Yuen Temple
  • Chi Lin Nunnery
  • Nan Lian Garden
  • Museum of History
  • Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

If this is your first-visit to Hong Kong, our pick is Hong Kong Island. However, hotels on Hong Kong Island often comes with a higher price tag. As such, if price is of a concern to you, perhaps you can consider staying on Kowloon instead and pick a hotel near to an MTR station – ideally on the Tsuen Wan Line (Red Line). In that way, by simply hopping onto the MTR, you’ll find yourself on Hong Kong island in no time.

Where to Stay on Hong Kong Island:

Best Hotel to Stay in Hong Kong for First-Time Visitor: Upper House

Upper House image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

If you intend to cover as much ground as possible, Upper House‘s location provides great accessibility that is difficult to beat. A small luxury hotel, Upper House is conveniently located near Admiralty MTR Station, which connects to our Island Line, Tsuen Wan Line and South Island Line. An MTR ride to Causeway Bay – where you’ll find Times Square, Noonday Gun, Victoria Park – takes less than 10 minutes. Similarly, you will arrive at Temple Street Night market or Ocean Park in a flash. Upper House is also situated in the heart of Hong Kong’s business district. It is the best area to stay in Hong Kong for tourists and business travelers. In a city where land commands a premium, Upper House generously offers abundant room space. Bathrooms of over 300 square feet come with walk-in rain showers, dressing area and deep soaking baths. The icing on the cake? Every room has breathtaking harbour or island views!

Photo: Upper House

Best Place to Stay in Hong Kong for Nightlife: OZO Wesley

OZO Wesley image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

If you are wondering where to stay in Hong Kong for nightlife, look no further than OZO Wesley in Wan Chai. It’s central to many watering holes, but yet away from the noise. To illustrate, OZO Wesley is in the vicinity of the “Star Street” food and entertainment precinct. There is also a collection of bars and clubs nearby on Lockhart Road. For live music, you can head to 1563 in Hopewell Centre or The Wanch on Jaffe Road. Lan Kwai Fong – Hong Kong’s core nightlife and entertainment area – is only a 10-minute taxi ride away. When you are ready to retire for the night, you can count on the hotel’s superb bedding and black-out curtains for a good night’s sleep. A healthy breakfast and espresso awaits to invigorate your mornings. Open all day long, you can also grab takeaway sandwiches, salads and soups at the hotel’s EAT2GO, before you begin another exciting day of bar-hopping!

Photo: OZO Wesley

Best Hip & Cool Hotel to Stay in Hong Kong: Ovolo Southside

Ovolo Southside image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Ovolo Southside is Hong Kong’s first and only warehouse conversion hotel to-date. We love their swanky industrial-inspired interior, designed by award-winning local architectural firm K plus K Associates. Ovolo Southside is located in Wong Chuk Hang, a revitalized town on the south side of Hong Kong Island. Once a manufacturing district, the area has been re-birthed as Hong Kong’s equivalent to the Meatpacking District of New York or the East End of London. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the neighbourhood is now an artists’ quarter and home to many studios, galleries and boutiques. You’ll find hidden gems such as local microbreweries Black Kite and Young Master Ales. To top it all, at Ovolo Southside, you’ll enjoy free breakfast, happy hour, in-room mini bar and snacks!

Photo: Ovolo Southside

Where to Stay on Kowloon:

Best Hotel in Hong Kong for Family: Royal Plaza Hotel

Royal Plaza image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Based on Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, Royal Plaza Hotel has consistently been one of the Top 10 Hotels for Families. This mid-range hotel offers spacious rooms (from 355 to 828 square feet), with more than 100 pairs of interconnecting rooms. Upon check-in, children can splash around in the children pool. Yuen Po Street Bird Garden and Goldfish Market – a stone’s throw away from Royal Plaza Hotel – seek to impress young children with a showcase of songbirds, goldfish, hamsters and adorable puppies. At the nearby Fa Yuen Street, there are more than 100 shops and stalls selling a variety of inexpensive fashion items, accessories and toys!

Photo: Royal Plaza Hotel

Best Hotel in Hong Kong for Shopping: Cordis

Cordis image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Cordis has a location that’s perfect for shoppers. Mong Kok is the mecca for shopping and this hotel places their guests at the doorstep of everything. For instance, Langham Place – less than a minute’s walk away – is the biggest mall in Mong Kok that focuses largely on youth fashion. Or perhaps, take a stroll to Ladies Market and haggle for bags and watches. Sneakers Street and Sim City are around the corner too. The former focuses on sports wear and shoes, while the latter sells both new and second-hand camera gears. Feel free to shop till you drop, without the fear of getting lost or disconnected. You’ll be delighted to know that Cordis provides hotel guests with a smartphone that allows unlimited local calls and 3G Internet connection. Furthermore, you have access to up-to-the-minute maps of Hong Kong as well as a city guide of the best places to eat, play and explore!

Photo: Cordis

Best Hotel to Stay in Hong Kong for Couples: Hotel ICON

Hotel ICON image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Looking for the perfect hotel to spend your honeymoon? Hotel ICON offers some of the most spacious and stylish rooms in Hong Kong. Offering the ultimate in comfort, you can expect in-room Nespresso machines, pillow menus and sumptuous robes. For a start, wind down by taking a swim in their rooftop open air heated pool. Alternatively, indulge yourselves at Hotel ICON’s Angsana Spa, where professional therapists from the world famous Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts offer a range of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. Thereafter, head to Hotel ICON’s Above and Beyond Chinese restaurant. Located on the top floor of the hotel, it offers panoramic views of Victoria Harbour whilst serving gourmet lovers with the best of Cantonese cuisine!

Photo: Hotel Icon

Looking for more experts’ advice for your trip to Hong Kong? Get in touch with Big Foot Tour – Hong Kong Private Walking Tours today. We’ve got lots of local insights to share and would love to bring you on fun-filled walks to discover the real Hong Kong!


Aug 16

Hong Kong Guide: Coffin Houses

Poor people in Hong Kong live in Coffin House. We are not joking.

The winner takes it all. The loser standing small beside the victory.

Is that really the destiny of the poor?

I wish the government can do something more.

Cage homes.

Coffin Houses.

Whatever you call it, the poor lives in the dirtiest secrets of Hong Kong.

This clip says it all.

Other reading links and pictures:

From Mail Online: Cage dogs of Hong Kong: The tragedy of tens of thousands living in 6ft by 2ft rabbit hutches – in a city with more Louis Vuitton shops than Paris.  – Love the title, how appropriate?

From CNN: Hong Kong’s poorest living in ‘coffin homes’


Nov 01

Hong Kong Guide: Settling Down

The past 2 months had been really hectic. My Hong Kong landlord made his decision to sell the apartment that I was living in. Apparently, my rental contract had crossed its legal tenure and hence technically, he did not have to serve me any notice and I was to move out almost immediately. Thankfully, the landlord, probably amused by my ignorance, gave me another month of extension so that I would not have to sleep on the streets. As much as I hate to admit it, I think, I have a love-hate relationship with my Hong Kong landlord.

It was a month of mad frenzy. Time between tours was spent in apartment hunting. I viewed around 30 apartments, before settling on a place 2 blocks away. The 450 square feet apartment came unfurnished, so I had to find time to browse at furniture stores. The mission was clear. I had to create more space out of a tiny space, all within my small budget. I made the decision to focus on attention on anything that was really small and portable, just in case I have to move again. Clothes racks instead of wardrobes. Boxes instead of book shelves. No couch if I want a bed. You get the gist.

Finding another Hong Kong landlord - Settling Down - Big Foot Tour

Nonetheless, it was a worthwhile experience, where I figured out my necessities in life and learnt how to compromise with the lack of an ideal interior design. I shifted house within a 24-hour time frame, packing, unpacking and then packing everything again. It’s amazing. I came to Hong Kong with just one suitcase, and on the day of moving, I realised, my stuff could probably fit ten of them. What on earth have I been buying?

Then it was time to settle down, yet again, in Hong Kong. Changing of addresses with all the relevant government authorities (e.g. water, electricity, gas, Big Foot Tour’s business license, etc), buying small things that make a house a home (e.g bowls, cups, toiletries, etc) and then returning after a long day at tour, knowing that for the next 1 year, this would be the place that I call… home.


Aug 25

Hong Kong Guide: Misrepresented Apartments

Caustic humour aside, the clip below reflects the harsh reality of property market in Hong Kong.

1. Houses can get really small in Hong Kong.

2. Misrepresentation.

3. Misrepresentation.

4. Misrepresentation.

5. Misrepresentation.

English subtitles are available. If you can’t view the embedded video, you may want to check out the youtube link directly.


Aug 18

Hong Kong Guide: Living in Hong Kong

I live in a small Hong Kong apartment – 450 square feet, barely enough for me to walk around once I set up a big clothing rack to dry my laundry. I have shifted my bed to the living room ever since I spot molds in the bedroom walls. Humidity is a big issue in Hong Kong, especially during winter. My landlord clearly loves IKEA and adores white coats of paint.

The building has two security guards rotating on a 12-hour shift. They smile at me whenever I get home and, sometimes, we engage in small talks. The security guards earn around HKD8,000 every month and have an off-day every week. It is not a lot of money, considering the high rent that most of us have to pay in Hong Kong. Some people say that it is not difficult to make money in Hong Kong. I guess it depends on the group of people that you are looking at. Most locals do not seem to have it that easy.

A dead body was found on the 8th floor a few months back. I’m not sure what exactly happened even until today. If it is Singapore, I’m sure the media will rush to have a piece of it (ok, pun not intended) and the community will probably start discussing on how unsafe the country has become. However, here in Hong Kong, no one seems particularly anxious about it, except me. I couldn’t sleep for the next few nights. By the way, it wasn’t me, I swear.

A few years have just whizzed past me and I find myself slowly falling in love with this tiny Hong Kong apartment. It really isn’t comparable in any ways to my parents’  much cheaper yet bigger public housing in Singapore. I recall the days of house-hunting, where almost every house that I have viewed is either too small, too rundown or simply too expensive. A 600 square-feet service apartment in Mid-Levels (Central district) costs HKD18,000 per month. A 450 square-feet non-service apartment in Wan Chai (slightly off Central district) costs HKD12,000 per month. Yet, with my tenancy agreement due soon, I dread moving and secretly fear if I would find another apartment in Hong Kong that is at least similar to this. After all, this place brought me so much memories and life experiences, as I pursue my dreams of living independently and building a business that I have so much passion for.

Now, is this embracing a local culture or is that merely an instinct to survive and adapt?

I’m still figuring that out.