I apologize if it has been quiet around here in the past week. I was busy traipsing around in Hong Kong, a place I haven't been to since 1997. Hong Kong then was on the verge of freedom from British rule and I was seven, too young to fully appreciate what was going on around me. Aside from Ocean Park, the only things I remember from that trip was that our hotel had a toy store at the top floors filled with Sailormoon and Sanrio merchandise and going around town in search of a pair of Birkenstocks, which was the 'it' shoe of that time (ahhhh nineties nostalgia).
So after more than a decade, I am back in Hong Kong. It is as if I've never been there before. A lot has changed and having very little recollection of how it was in the past, I explored Hong Kong with a fresh mind, but I am getting ahead of myself.
Before I get on with the main point of this post, let me just start with saying that I am very picky when it comes to lodgings. Our own house is less than satisfactory for my tastes and short of moving out or renovating (which I will do, soon), there's not much I can do about it. However, when I travel, I choose our accommodations carefully. I do not care for luxury, but I value aesthetics. I will not book a place if the interiors upset me. This poses a huge problem because we do not have a lot of money and most places with pleasing interiors are way out of budget.
Enter Hop Inn, a hostel right smack in the middle of Tsim Sha Tsui.
This place is like a dream come true. It's affordable, a 5 minute walk to an MTR station and within walking distance of everything you need and most importantly, it has good interiors.
I sound like a big priss, being so damn picky with room design, but I find it difficult to be in the best frame of mind when my surroundings displeases me and what does one seek when traveling anyway? Relaxation, that's what. I cannot relax when the curtains in my room repulse me.
Every room in Hop Inn has a different design concept and gives the place a youthful vibe. The room was small and the furnishings spartan, but space is a precious resource in Hong Kong and I like near empty rooms. As this is a hostel, do not expect a closet, complimentary slippers and a basket of chocolates on your bed when you check in. They do provide a bath towel and a lot of artwork on the walls. The rooms are secure, cleaned everyday, they have hot water and the pressure is good.
The photos above are taken in the common room. You can borrow a DVD to watch in your room from their extensive collection, but why would you do that when you're in Hong Kong? The hostel has a terrace where you can have a nice breakfast while admiring the view of the nearby buildings. I expected the Hop Inn common room to be always packed, but to my surprise, hardly anyone goes there even when there were many of us staying at the hostel. Hop Inn is not the rowdy hostel with drunk backpackers sprawled on the floor at 3 in the morning; it was tidy, quiet and everyone is reminded to keep it down past 11PM.
I don't even need to say that I find Hop Inn to be spectacular. This post is practically dripping with glee over it. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a place to stay in Hong Kong. Skip the hotels and save some money (or have more for your shopping) and try Hop Inn. I assume even families will find it sufficient because when I was there, there was a family of five with young kids in tow and they seem fine.
(To be continued)