Although Hong Kong is not really the cheapest place in the world to visit, there’s something about it that keeps me coming back. Whether it’s your first or fifth time, there’s always something new to do, somewhere new to eat. And while there are always ways to cut costs from your Hong Kong explorations, I’m a great believer in value-for-money rather straight-out cheapness. This is where Airbnb comes in.
Airbnb allows locals to rent out portions of or even entire apartments, houses, boats, or even castles to travelers. Airbnb’s network stretches across more than 34,000 cities in 192 countries, connecting people to unique travel experiences at any price point. My travels with Airbnb have concentrated on the “more reasonable” end of the “at any price point” scale and I haven’t been disappointed yet.
Hong Kong is the perfect place for Airbnb, as the reasonable offerings nicely fill in the gap between the Peninsula (my dream place to stay in HK!) and hostels where you have to sit on the toilet to shower. Last August 2014, I was they very, very lucky winner of the My Airbnb Travel Bucket List (see the original entry here), where I won Php 30,000 worth of Airbnb credits and Php 15,000 in cash. Three guesses where I used the prize money 🙂
We traveled to Hong Kong last February 13-16, 2015 and stayed in Rosemary’s room in Tsim Sha Tsui. I initially considered staying in Cory and Carla’s place again (where we stayed in HK the last time), but it had a minimum booking of four nights so I decided on Rosemary’s place instead. And since it was cheaper compared to our previous accommodations, I used the remaining Airbnb credits for a weekend stay for my office team in Tagaytay in March.
Rosemary’s room did not disappoint. Although it was smaller than I thought it would be, it’s well-designed to make use of the limited space. Think of it as a spotless hotel room with lots of extras. She provided a coffee and tea station, a small refrigerator, cutlery, and plates. She also stocked practically everything: office supplies, bathroom supplies, even a Lonely Planet guidebook! The room is also near the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, a supermarket (in the K11 mall), and places to eat. It was just right for the needs of two people and was definitely worth the asking price. I would have ended up paying the same amount for a smaller hotel room.
(Rosemary’s room is much brighter than my photos suggest it is. My apologies. Make sure to check her actual listing to see the prettier pictures she put up.)
However, there are potential cons that you need to consider with Rosemary’s room. First, the bathroom uses a shower pod that I found to be just the right size for 5’4″me. I don’t think it will be comfortable for someone particularly tall, wide, and/or claustrophobic, but I could be wrong.
The listing also accepts up to 4 people in the room but I’d only recommend it for a maximum of 3 people. The extra bed for Person #4 goes at the foot of the main bed, leaving no space to move around once it’s there.
There were also lots of loud ongoing construction works that started at 8am. Hopefully they’ll be done soon or that you’ll be out of the room during the day.
All in all, staying in Rosemary’s place was a treat. Aside from her listing, Rosemary herself was a great host, communicating well via email and WhatsApp. She gave very clear instructions on how to find her place and how to use it (gate and door codes, etc). Very attentive to our needs too. I mentioned that I couldn’t find the cutlery and the next night, her husband Kevin shows up with new sets!
This trip marks my second stay with Airbnb so far and I wasn’t disappointed. Where are you taking your next trip? 🙂
2 Replies to “Hong Kong journeys with Airbnb”
Hi! Do you declare at the immigration that you booked thru airbnb? i booked thru the samesite for my travel to hk next week. i am worried that we might have problems at the immigration if we declare that we’re booked thru airbnb.
Well, first is that you don’t tell them about Airbnb until they ask. Haha. But if they do ask, just present a printed copy of our confirmed booking. The Airbnb’s booking confirmation looks the same as the confirmation of a regular hotel so you shouldn’t have any problems.