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“The absolute best place to stay in Hong Kong”

Life on a boat - Moksha
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Life on a boat - Moksha
Ranked #38 of 161 Specialty Lodging in Hong Kong
Reviewed March 21, 2013

What a fantastic experience! We stayed for 3-4 days. Loved having to flag a sampan down to get to shore. Enjoyed coffee on the back deck watching the sunrise over the foothills each morning. Heavenly. And a great price. Sweetie and Saral are fabulous hosts. Citi and her wonderful smile took great care of us. I can't say enough - this unique experience add SO much to our trip.

Room Tip: Next time I would stay in the room on top of the boat, just for the added view.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jstead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 30, 2012

I'm really saddened by the fact that I have to submit a bad review for Moksha. I would have absolutely loved to submit a glowing review raving about the service I got and how cute Moksha was considering I had been looking forward to my stay at Moksha for months, having read the glowing review of Patrick F and having seen his fantastic pictures of Moksha (Moksha was unfortunately a lot smaller than what I had expected given how incredibly spacious it looked in his pictures). I'm not one to be stingy with praise if I get great service and I have given plenty of rave reviews on tripadvisor. Unfortunately, I'm also not shy to voice my displeasure should I get bad service.

I had booked Moksha for 3 nights but ended up staying for only 2 nights as getting to the boat via sampan (which I came to realise wasn't always readily available) with our heavy luggage made me realise we should have opted to stay in the city instead. The boat was cute but a lot smaller than what I had expected and overall, it was an average stay marred by the difficulty in getting to the boat, our backaches from our overly soft mattress, water running completely empty on us during my bf's shave and shower on our last day and practically completely destroyed at the end by the shocking unfriendliness and attitude from the hosts.

I had politely asked their helper Citi (whom I thought was great and the only redeeming factor when it comes to their otherwise nonexistent customer service) to ask Sweety if it was ok if she waives off the HKD$300 I owed to her for my bf's bday cake (of which we left 80% of for them to enjoy) & bday wording decoration on our bed (using fake recyclable flower petals no less) given we weren't planning on staying the 3rd night and had spent more than HKD$3000 after conversion and airbnb's charges for just what would be 2 nights stay in total. I was completely prepared to lose the money spent on the 3rd night and was half expecting a goodwill waiver on the paltry HKD$300 I owed to Sweety on account that we were prepared to forfeit the money spent on the 3rd night and us sharing most of the cake with them and them using fake recyclable flower petals or at the very least, be told no by them NICELY. Instead, I was shockingly subjected to a 2 page long and amazingly rude and offensive letter from Sweety and Saral that accused me of "refusing" payment of HKD$300 (which is a really trivial sum considering we paid more than HKD$3000 for just 2 nights stay) and using the fact that we decided not to stay for the 3rd night as an "excuse" to "escape payment". Like we wouldn't have stayed the 3rd night if staying on their boat was really all that fantastic *rolls eyes* The letter even threatened action against us via airbnb should we have "refused" to make payment of HKD$300 (for just HKD$300?! Seriously????)!!

I was really shocked and horrified at the attitude of the hosts. As I mentioned in my parting words in my long and angry letter back to them after handing Citi the HKD$300 (they were never around to make us feel welcome during our stay and I only saw them once throughout our stay), a miscommunication between us and Citi was not a good excuse for their shocking attitude. I had been looking forward to our stay at Moksha for months, only to have to leave angry, saddened & disappointed. It has been 4 days since I left the letter for them and I have yet to hear a word from them despite my obvious unhappiness in my parting letter to them. They obviously aren't too concerned about what their customers think of them are they? For someone called Sweety, I honestly expected more.

We had the honor of bumping into a very friendly and pleasant Caucasian guy with an equally charming and friendly pet dog who also ran a boathouse rental at Aberdeen during our stay who had helped us to call a sampan driver over to send us back to Moksha on our second night (I really regret not getting his contact details now). I would encourage anyone who's interested in renting a boathouse at Aberdeen to try looking for this friendly Caucasian guy instead if they don't mind the fact that staying on a boathouse means a lot of waiting around for sampans (I personally wouldn't mind waiting around for a sampan if the hosts were as charming and helpful as the friendly Caucasian guy we met. Moksha's hosts were obviously nowhere near as charming or helpful).

Staying on a boathouse does have its charm but nothing beats the convenience of staying on land. On top of all the waiting around for sampans and having to make international calls to sampan drivers to get them to come pick us up (I honestly felt bad for these elderly sampan drivers and always made it a point to give them extra money which were all added costs on top of our stay on top of taxi fares everywhere due to their not so ideal location (do you really want to wait for a bus in cold weather after waiting around so long for a sampan to bring you back to shore?), we also had to deal with the lack of privacy on the boat even though we paid a premium for our room on the top deck (is it really so hard to make another set of curtains for the window of the sliding door to the balcony next to the bathroom for some extra privacy?), backaches from our overly soft mattress, losing our footing a couple of times from the rockiness of the boat and running completely out of water during a shave and shower on our last day (the horror!).

If it's not for their helper Citi and the boat being cute and novel for a short term stay, I would have given a 1/5 stars rating just based on the shocking attitude of the hosts. Not once was I made to feel welcome by them which is just shocking and sad. If you run a guest or boat house, the very least you can do is to make your guests feel welcome right? Great customer service would have made up for almost every inconvenience and discomfort we experienced living on Moksha, but sadly, we got none (not even one warm genuine smile the one time we met) except for what was given by Citi.

By God's grace, our stay at Sofitel Macau after our stay at Moksha was nothing short of wonderful and somewhat made up for bitter taste left in my mouth from Sweety and Saral's extremely rude letter to me. We were given a free upgrade to a club room and made to feel like a king and queen for just HKD$1700/night. Considering Moksha is charging around HKD$1000/night for a top deck room, they really should reflect on their customer service. Sofitel was worth every cent and more while Moksha's hosts really know how to spoil their customer's holiday. Thanks to Sweety and Saral, I will always have bittersweet memories of our holiday in Hong Kong, which is really sad. I would urge anyone interested in boatstays in HK to opt for another boathouse with friendlier, less calculative (they are so calculative that they have a big sign in their bathroom warning people against misuse of their toilet and that if their toilet bowl chokes up their guests might be liable for a HKD$1500 fine (if I remember correctly, that's the sum stated on their sign) hosts for wonderful memories of HK which you won't be likely to forget.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank bittenbytheTbugz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

Such a great place to stay. My girlfriend and I were in Hong Kong in July and blown away by prices. We could pay some inordinate amount for a hotel room that amounted to nothing more than a bed and four walls. Or, we could stay in one of the mansions, but those mansions aren't mansions like we think about mansions, they're crowded run down high rise buildings with one elevator in a frantic part of town that I was told by a good friend should be avoided at all costs for a place to stay.

Then on airbnb.com we discovered Moksha.

The boat is close to public transpo to take you everywhere you would want to go but far enough from the frantic pace of life that made Hong Kong exciting during the day. It was a retreat within a vacation. We would go out, hop on the little boat that takes us from the house boat to the pier, and then hop a bus to town. We'd explore, have a blast, and then when we were beginning to feel fatigued from the crowds and frenzy, we'd return to the boat, crack open a beer, and just take in that beautiful noise of a boat gently rocking in water.

Sweety was great, and Citi who takes care of the house for them was so wonderful! I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed our stay. I am suggesting a couple friends looking into a trip to Hong Kong to stay here!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Patrick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Life on a boat - Moksha

Address: No.5040 Aberdeen South Typhoon Shelter, Sham Wan, Hong Kong, China
Location: China > Hong Kong
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 161 Specialty Lodging in Hong Kong
Price Range: $50 - $120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Chinese wooden-Junk boat was built in 1993. The boat has been restored and converted into comfortable houseboat with classic Chinese wooden decoration, modern kitchen and with luxury of space, open deck overlooking and listening to sky, air, ocean, mountains and refreshing from vibrant and high-tech Hong Kong. Moksha is moored in Arberdeen in South China Sea and conveniently connected. A local bus ride to famous Times-Square in Causeway Bay is just 10 minutes away. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Life On a Boat - Moksha Hong Kong

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