Booking a hostel in Hong Kong was a bit of a nightmare of an experience in and of itself even though I was only staying for 72 hours. One would think that with the build up in infrastructure that accommodations would be present of all styles: budget hostel, budget hotel, standard hotel, all the way up to the luxury Hong Kong hotels. From my experience, however, they don’t.Two hours of searching on various hostel booking sites, search engines, and planning websites only turned up less than 5 hostels in the entire country of Hong Kong. Five. Out of those, almost every single one had less than stellar reviews, poor service, or an awful location which made booking quite undesirable.
Hong Kong infrastructure makes large dorm style rooms a bit of a statistical anamoly. As most people only own a small floor space, rooms for rent outside of major hotels are often quite literally the size of a bed and an equal area of walking space. So instead of cheap dorms, private rooms are the norm. But like hostels with dorm facilities, these rooms are often in towers like the infamous Chungking Mansion, which have similar horrendously scary reviews.
My final search led me to a private room at Yiu Fai Guest House on Nathan Road right down the street from both of the mediocre “mansion” buildings that most other travelers stay in. A single with shared toilet and shower, is more than $30 US per night (but I must say is amazing quality). But for spending that kind of money and only getting a tiny room with just enough space to put a bag down and open the door in most of the guest hotels in Hong Kong, splurging for a luxury room might be a far more decent option, especially if traveling with a few friends.
Why a luxury room? Well, Hong Kong is known for being expensive, and with crappy rooms at inflated prices being the norm, purchasing a room definitely follows the trend of “you get what you pay for.” A simple search on HotelClub brought up 3-4 star rooms in a full service hotel with room for two at almost the same cost of two people having a single bedroom at the guest house I stayed at. With that you also get more room and a private bathroom as well.
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Is this option available to everyone? No, breaking the budget on a long term trip just for a step up in accommodation might be out of range for many travelers. But for those traveling in small groups, a nicer hotel is not too much out of the price range that you’d already be paying for in the less than ideal properties, and the peace of mind knowing that good quality is waiting for you is sometimes worth the extra money.