Hey, this topic has been brought up in the past in the forum, so we thought we'll post our experiences so others can find it in the future with a search.
Anyways, our Hong Kong trip was great, but we made the unfortunate mistake of staying at Mirador Mansions' "Travellers Friendship Hotel" which also operates under the names Kowloon Guesthouse, USA Hotel, and maybe New Garden Hostel. It was hard to tell the proper name because the whole operation was quite sketchy and shady. Having stayed in a whole range of hostels in many other countries before, we didn't think Mirador could possibly be that bad and the location truly is unbeatable. But we were soo wrong!
Though the rooms are very cheap, we wouldn't recommend this place, especially to lone female travellers. Here are some the negative experiences we encountered:
- Our room was given away on the first night we arrived and we were given a windowless room with a shared bathroom in the hallway even though we had booked our room months ahead. Plus, we were NOT able to check in at the time we arrived and had to leave our luggage in a rather unsecured location. (should have ran far away from that place then!)
- Some things were missing from one of our bags when we checked our bags later. It wasn't anything valuable but it was annoying.
- The entire building is frequented by shady looking characters. The front door is surrounded by touts, trying to get you to buy their handbags or a tailor suit. They are not dangerous, but the last thing you want at the end of a long day is people constantly harassing you. When we were out after midnight, many suspicious characters were just loitering by the front.
- Having heard horrible things about the stairs, we waited for the elevators. But, the main elevators by the front are shut down by 10pm (and nobody tells you this beforehand) so on the first night, we arrived back after 10pm, and had to walk deeply in the building for another elevator, which forced us to wander aimlessly on the floor where our hostel was to try to find it. We didnt feel safe at all.
- This entire building was frequented by prostitutes.
- The AC was so noisy that it sounds you like you are on a plane.
- After midnight, all the other entrances are shut down and you have to fill out this visitors card to get into the building. Yet, you didnt have to show an ID...so is the security really that effective...?
- Fire safety doesn't seem like a concern there at all.
- Finally, we were given the room with the private bathroom. But we found two cockroaches on the first night on the floor. The second night, a cockroach was crawling around my pillow. That was the last straw. We hurriedly packed our things checked into a reputable hotel for a much higher cost. The only decent thing was, we did get a refund for our money for the last night we had already paid for.
- Also, there were random people sleeping in the hallways in the hostel. We think they were the maids.
It was really sad to see this side of Hong Kong and to know that some people are permanently living in this kind of poor conditions and it did give us a view of a different side of Hong Kong- not just the glitz and glamour. But I think unless you are on a desperately tight budget, we recommend looking for your accomodations somewhere else. The lack of safety will just ruin your vacation.
Anyways, here is a good link about Chung King Mansions. If Mirador was already the better of the two...I wouldnt want to know about Chung King...