Ahh the very first place I rested my head in Asia…
And coming after my very first long haul flight, I was seriously hoping that Hop Inn would provide a comfy place to catch up on sleep in hectic Hong Kong.
It took a while to find the place of course, what with our long unplanned walk down Nathan Road. Oops… But we got there eventually!
Hop Inn has two locations in Tsim Sha Tsui that are only minutes apart. Our stay was in the Carnarvon branch, and just a short stroll to the east across Nathan Road is the original Hankow branch. Both are just minutes from Nathan Road, several shopping centres, Kowloon waterfront, HK Avenue of Stars and Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station. But I’ll obviously be referencing the Carnarvon one here.
Upon reaching the corner of Carnarvon Road we initially struggled to find the entrance to Hop Inn – turns out this is because the entrance is actually just on Prat Avenue. So keep your eyes out for the green sign across the road from McDonalds.
You’ll need to take the lift up to the ninth floor to find Hop Inn. Once up there – and in our case, into the blissful air-conditioned foyer away from Hong Kong’s sweltering humidity – you’ll find the reception right in front of you. The ever helpful, young staff members are there to help you check in, provide umbrellas, answer questions about Hong Kong and generally help with whatever you need. I had plenty of questions, being my first stop in Asia, and all the staff I spoke to went out of their way to be helpful.
They can also provide you with tablet PCs to use if you don’t feel like using the free Wi-Fi on your own devices.
Outside of the reception you’ll find a vending machine with beers and basic snacks, and I don’t recall the prices being too bad either. But if nothing in there tickles your fancy there’s a couple of 7-Eleven’s seconds away downstairs.
Round the corner from this you’ll find the tidy common room. It’s kitted out with plenty of seating, stacks of books, magazines and DVDs, and most impressively a massive hand drawn map of the Hong Kong MTR on the wall. Ideal for working out your route on the metro. It’s a shame I don’t think I actually ever saw anybody making use of the common room to socialise, as I thought it was an ace space, but I guess it was fairly quiet.
You can also step outside to the rooftop terrace from here and see the masses of Hong Kong high-rises as you tower over the streets below. Whilst it’s not a particularly scenic view, looking down and around at one of the most densely populated areas on the planet is worth a look.
Of course the main reason you’ll head to Hop Inn is to sleep, so how about the rooms? Well they’re undoubtedly pretty small, but this is Hong Kong after all. And Kowloon at that.
But these rooms aren’t simply tiny cells – each one has been adorned with illustrations/paintings/designs from local HK artists, giving each room a unique look and feel. This is an awesome touch that makes each room feel much more homely and interesting, and with me and Chelcie both being of the artistic persuasion we were a big fan of our room’s deco!
As for facilities in the room aside from your bed (type dependent on which you’ve booked of course), you’ll find a TV/DVD player, towels and coat hangers. Pretty basic but all you’ll need. Oh and air conditioning too, which is always needed in HK! Our unit happened to be quite noisy, so that could be an issue for some, but thankfully neither of us needed perfect silence to sleep.
As for the bathrooms? Er, well they’re in the room! Divided from the rest of the room by glass partitions (and curtains don’t worry!) and comprising of a top quality shower, toilet, mirror, sink and provided shampoo and soap. The enclosed area functions as a wet room, so keep the toilet seat down and remove any paper before a shower.
Of course this set-up might not be to everyone’s taste, particularly depending on how comfortable you are in close proximity to your friend/other half, so you may want to head to the common room if your compadre needs a “private moment”. Which is what I did.
So what’s the verdict overall? Personally I loved my stay at Hop Inn, with it’s quirky touches and uniquely decorated rooms proving to be a big winner for me, and showing that some real care has gone into making the best of some scarce space in Tsim Sha Tsui. The rooms are small – that can’t be understated – and the combined bedroom/bathroom won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I personally don’t think it’s anything that you can’t work around.
With other massive plusses being the ace location and decent room rates in HK terms, I’ll definitely be stopping by Hop Inn when I make my return to Hong Kong.
Hop Inn (Carnarvon): 9/F James S. Lee Mansion, 33 – 35 Carnarvon Road (entrance on Prat Ave.), Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong