Where to stay in Wan Chai?
Visiting Hong Kong anytime soon? Want to stay in the heart of the action? Here for the HK Rugby Sevens? We look at some of the accommodation options around the famous (and notorious) nightlife district that is Wan Chai.
So you’re one of the lucky ones who has managed to secure tickets for the Rugby Sevens?Having got stung for your seats and splurged on the flight, you’re now looking to ensure you are staying in the heart of the city. The only true place to experience the real atmosphere of the after-sevens party is in Wan Chai, or to be specific, the area around Lockhart Road between the intersections of Fenwick Street and Fleming Road.
Here is our look at some of the hotels in the vicinity. They are all within 10 minutes walk of the Luard/Lockhart Road intersections. The prices given are prices for mid-April 2017. The hotels in this part of town are very popular with those using the nearby Convention Centre. Prices go up according to what is happening there: a big convention and the prices get hiked up. If it’s quiet over there you might be able to get a deal as low as 50% of the prices below.
The Empire is certainly in the heart of the action, situated on the corner of Lockhart Road, near to Neptunes III, Escape & Insiders, three bars of ill repute!
The rooms are pretty standard for this area of Hk but don’t quite live up to the elegance of the downstairs lobby. The hotel boasts a teeny-tiny swimming pool which is an added bonus.
This place always seems to busy and is hugely popular with mainland Chinese tourists, so they seem to have no problem charging top whack for ordinary rooms. Business is no bad thing though as there seems to be no problem entering the hotel with a friend who may have tagged along for the evening!
Standard fare and a good location, but don’t expect any frills for your hard-earned $$$.
Book The Empire Hotel
The former Metro Park Hotel (the location of the infamous Hong Kong since flu outbreak where people inside were not allowed to leave!), is now called the Kew Green Hotel and it
appears to have smartened itself up a good deal.
Opposite the Empire, Kew Green has a great location too, on the corner of Fenwick Street. The lobby and bar area are super smart, although strangely I was informed that the bar is unable to sell drinks, but it sometimes gives them away for free!
Another whacky aspect of this hotel is that you are only allowed to stay on the 12th floor if you are female. The SHE Floor is reserved for women and is decorated accordingly…. apparently, as we couldn’t get a peak in there. I didn’t ask whether the floor rules had been tested by any trans-gender guests.
Like the lobby and bar area, the rooms are stylish and well-appointed, probably the smartest in the area. any extra visitors you have with you shouldn’t cause too much of a problem as the lift lobby is to the left of the reception area.
One of the pricier locations in Wan Chai, but certainly worth a stay if you don’t mind dropping a few $$ on a smarter room.
Book the Kew Green Hotel
When it comes to location, the Wharney Guandong is right up there with the best in Wan Chai. It dominates the northern side of Lockhart Rd and is neighboured by Carnegies and is opposite the favourite expat watering holes; The White Stag, The Dog House and Trafalgar, to name but a few. It even has a renowned bar in it’s basement, the whiskey bar The Canny Man. An Irish acquaintance suggests they serve the best point of Guiness in HK.
So it’s well located, but what about the hotel. Te lobby/check-in area is often chaotic and busy, which is good if you arrive for an evening of entertainment with a friend you found along the way, but in tourism, chaos is not necessarily a positive thing.
Staff are helpful enough, but they always look flustered and in a hurry.
The rooms themselves are looking tired when compared to other locations in the vicinity. It’s time the Wharney smartened up.
Great location, but unless you can’t be bothered to walk for 5 minutes, pass it over for somewhere smarter.
Book the Wharny here
The Gloucester Luk Kwok is currently undertaking ongoing floor-by-floor renovation, so do check that you get a newer room whilst booking as they are a considerable upgrade. The Gloucester resides in a fairly noisy location, but when we visited the traffic was not noticeable. Te rear of the hotel backs on to the bar area of Jaffe Rd, so Hong Kong Cafe, Spin Bar, Flame, and new kid on the block, Taboo, are all within 50 metres of the hotel entrance. If you get the chance, check out the excellent Sabah restaurant in the middle of a couple of these bars. The MTR is only around 2 minutes walk from the rear.
This hotel is the nearest reviewed to the HK Convention Centre, so a lot of exhibition customers stay here, which can influence the price.
Whilst the new rooms are certainly the best, the older rooms are still fine, and certainly ahead of those offered by The Wharney.
The Lobby are houses a lounge and a small bar and is often busy, so any extra guests won be noticed.
Great location at a decent price, the new rooms are certainly worth the money.
Book The Gloucester Luk Kwok here
The Brighton is the new kid on the block – shiny and golden with sleek black lines. Opened in 2013, this hotel has prime position next to the entrance to the MTR in Wan Chai, and opposite a slew of pole-dancing curtain bars (avoid, unless you have a bottomless wallet).
Seemingly quite popular with cross-border travellers, the Brighton offers a reasonable standard of room at a reasonable rate. Staff are friendly and helpful and with the lobby on the 3rd floor, guests can access their floor via key card without bumping into any hotel staff…..wink, wink.
An interesting newcomer to the area with rooms that are above average.
Book The Brighton Hotel here
Given that is has some of the smallest rooms of any hotel on Hong Kong island at 11 square metres it’s hardly surprising that the Burlington declined to respond to our request for a snap around.
That said, it has a great location and is newly appointed in all areas, but if you’re even average size it’s going to be a squeeze for you.
In an area where the average room size is 20 square metres, paying a similar price for just over half that size makes no sense.
Book the Burlington here
The Harbourview is on the Convention Centre side of Wan Chai, so it does tend to get very busy whenever a convention takes place and again, this can have an impact upon prices, pushing them up during the busier times.
Staff are usually pretty on the ball and although the rooms could do with some sprucing up, they are adequate.
The buffet brunch is decent value and worth a visit.
Not first choice, but certainly adequate and better value for money than some.
Book the Harbourview Hotel
Around 10 minutes stroll from the main bar area in Wan Chai, the Novotel Century sets the standard for hotels in this area of the city. Whilst not up to the 5 star elegance of the likes of the Grand Hyatt, it is, nevertheless, the best hotel in Wan Chai. This is reflected in the price.
Facilites include a swimming pool and an executive work-room should you purchase that option, with beer thrown in for an hour every evening. There’s a decent bar open to the public as well as a restaurant that serves an ok buffet.
As a bonus, a number of air crews stay here, so if you aim high, you never know your luck.
If you’re looking for the bars, it’s turn right out of the front door and walk for 10 minutes. You’ll know it when you see it! The lobby of the hotel is large and busy, meaning that if you return with a guest you should not have any problems. If challenged, you can always make the excuse that you are going to the bar.
Highly recommended even though you need to stretch your legs for 10 mins to get to the bars and the MTR.