December 23, 2014
Like any major world city, Hong Kong is saturated with hotels by all the big name chains. But, look just beyond that well-known logo and you’ll find plenty of unusual places to stay in Hong Kong shimmering between the skyscrapers. When you’ve flown far, far from home, the foreign sights, sounds and flavours of your holiday really shouldn’t have to stop in the hotel lobby.
Teeny, tiny, smaller than small is the general theme of Hong Kong flats. So why not go local and opt for accommodation of the more petite variety at Mini Hotel. Rooms start from 80 square feet and are chic and minimal with an abundance of small-space expanding white and mirrored surfaces. What you lack in square footage, you more than make up for in location though, with the two Mini Hotels occupying coveted sites in Central and Causeway Bay. Best of all, the room rates are beyond bargainous – something even less common in Hong Kong than spacious living quarters.
For a taste of old Hong Kong, bed down in a former police station within splashing distance of Hong Kong’s fabled pink dolphins. Tai O Heritage Hotel, a nine-room boutique property, overlooks pretty Tai O village, nicknamed the “˜Venice of the Orient’ due to the scores of stilted overwater houses which are home to the village’s population of fisherman. The police station, originally built in 1902 to combat the smuggling and piracy that was prevalent in the area, has now been lovingly restored to all its former colonial glory, complete with canons, searchlights and guard towers.
When thinking of places to stay in Hong Kong, it’s unlikely that waking up under canvas on a deserted beach is the image that springs to mind. It’s probably even less likely that you imagine that canvas to take the form of a 26-foot diameter, hand-painted, Native American Indian teepee. Yet, Palm Beach offers just that. Spend all day hiking Lantau’s green mountains or taking surf lessons in the crashing waves off Cheung Sha Beach, and when night falls, gather around the bonfire pits to tell ghost stories with Hong Kong’s neon skyline glowing in the distance.
This all-suite boutique hotel, housed within the historic former headquarters of the marine police, dazzles from the second you draw up in front of its white colonial faÃ§ade. Once inside, the dazzling ratchets up a notch or few with leafy green courtyards giving way to low-lit chinoiserie lounges and a choice of five restaurants and bars, one of which is situated in the former horse stables. Each suite at Hullett House is decorated to reflect a particular period in Hong Kong history. Will it be the Imperial Chinese Man Wan Suite, complete with a Confucian Temple four-poster bed? Or perhaps the “˜60s Deep Water Bay Suite, decorated with Chairman Mao-themed pop art?
If you’re looking for an escape from the buzzing epicentre of the city, it doesn’t get much more peaceful than the simple accommodation offered at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island. Snooze in a dormitory beneath the crossed-legged 34 metre high Big Buddha, and find yourself perfectly primed to watch the sun slink above Lantau Peak at sunrise the following morning.
Despite having a few brothers and sisters in other cities around the world, the Pentahotel Hong Kong avoids the cookie-cutter formula of so many chain hotels and manages to deliver downtown Manhattan chic with a serious injection of Hong Kong fun. Eat, snooze and play in the combined lobby, lounge and café bar, where you can play a game of pool and nibble on handmade dim sum simultaneously. Rooms are compact but perfectly formed with glossy black bathrooms and clever design touches. Best of all, the hotel has swapped out overpriced minibars for one enormous maxibar on the first floor stocked with all your Hong Kong essentials, from cup noodles to miniature models of the Star Ferry.
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None of these beds quite right? Let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourite places to stay in Hong Kong in the comments section below.
Written by Natalie Robinson