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“Do not stay here, owner steal!!!”

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Hong Kong Tai Wan Hotel
Ranked #133 of 163 Specialty Lodging in Hong Kong
Reviewed July 11, 2012

My sister and I stayed in a horrible twin room full of cockroaches. The beds were tiny, much smaller than average and very close together, we were practically breathing on each other. There was no window and the room stunk of cabbages. There was also no storage space to put anything. We had a private bathroom however it was disgusting, damp, smelly and dirty. The shower was literally above the toilet so you had to sit on the toilet to wash, then the toilet and floor was soaking wet for hours after as no window to help dry.
The owners of the hostel are a family who sit at the reception desk, they were noisy and loud from early in the morning til late at night, keeping us awake.
After i left Hong kong I realised over $200 was missing from my backpack, obviously stolen by the cleaner from that hostel!!
Only good thing about this hostel was the location, which was actually brilliant. But I would never advise anyone to stay here!!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Beckie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 - 57 of 126 reviews

Reviewed May 21, 2012

Ok, so, before you read the other reviews of this place, google "Chunking Mansions". Know what you're getting into. The building is ancient, built in 1961, has a history of being a firetrap and haven for all types of seedy, less than legal residents, and has a bit of a legendary status among backpackers. The truth to that legend is that the first few floors are more like a bazaar in Lagos than something you'd expect to find in Hong Kong, lots of subcontinental, African, Muslim-world, and SE Asian-owned stalls running. The upper floors contain the cheapest available guest houses in Hong Kong, and are where a lot of China and Asia's international unfortunates wash up while they try to work out their next move. That does include drug dealers, prostitutes, beggars, and people on the run, no question, but I've been staying in this building 1-2 times a year for 8 years and never had a theft or violent incident happen. There are police downstairs and CCTV cameras everywhere. Seedy, yes, dangerous, no.

Consider it a halfway house. Now, a halfway house can be run one of two ways: considerately, honestly, with adequate sanitation, functioning locks, and working toilets, or like the worst parts of a Charles Dickens novel.

I was in the unfortunate position of coming to Hong Kong short-notice to renew my China visa, which meant I couldn't book. I had to turn over my passport to the "relevant authorities", and without that in hand, I couldn't switch. And the "relevant authorities" had some very complex checking to do, so I had a stay of uncertain duration, which means I needed a place where I could extend indefinitely without being gouged or kicked out.

The two stars I gave were for their walkup flexibility. At Chungking Mansions, there are touts, and while they try to drag you to their own hotels, if you walk up without a booking and say "gimme the best price you got", they will! And when you get them fighting each other for your business, even better! $75HKD per night in a shared room is what I got from the Taiwan Hotel, best price I could find. I paid by the day, or in chunks of days, and the manager didn't ask to see a passport. Hand them cash, sleep, place to put my stuff. Wifi worked, they did not nickel & dime or ask for any deposits beyond my stay rate every day. Two stars for not failing on that count.

The counter staff, though? Rude. Never once a smile. I guess I don't expect them to be for $10 a night, but still, c'mon. The room? Four iron-framed bunk beds crammed into a room far too small for them. The wifi, thank god, worked MOST of the time, and well enough that I was able to continue working on my media projects that require occasional downloads of 700mb files. The sheets were changed upon request, if the request was angry enough. The room was swept every day. I killed 3 roaches, and didn't see many more. No 24-hour hot water, but I managed to squeeze a shower in every day, in one of the two shared bathrooms, both of which were "shoilets" (shower toilets in one stall). Filtered tap water and water cooler in the "common area", which is a counter and two chairs. Air conditioning worked. The tenants of my room were mostly backpackers who "knew the deal" with Chungking Mansions, and didn't book online. And it's true, if you walk up rather than book online, you're guaranteed a lot less hassle/deception from the counter staff. Guests were considerate and friendly. No shady types, mostly people here for a conference or catch a flight the next morning, lots of people on visa runs from Mainland China like myself.

Even as Chungking Mansions goes, I don't recommend this hotel beyond anything as a last resort. And after the first few days at Chungking Mansions to get the experience, tick that item off your life list and move on.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank notthatcool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2012

Entire place is filthy, room is tiny and building is filled with the scum of the Earth. Had a double room booked for us by a friend and needless to say, I don't even want to speak to her again after staying here for two nights.

The room is tiny and filthy. There are roaches and flies everywhere. Stayed on the 11th floor area of the hotel where they were doing construction, which caused particles and dirty to fill up the hall ways and come under the door. Workers were using our private washroom when we were out of the room. Would not leave any remotely valuable items in the room. Renovations were loud and at all hours of the day. Not only that, they left equipment all over the floor and in the narrow hallways. Had random sharp objects and stray nails from the door frames scratch me everytime I walked down the hallway. Probably need to get a tetanous shot now.

Washroom was tiny and disgusting. The shower was right over the toilet, so you mind as well sit on the toilet while showering. It was like showering in prison except there isn't enough room to get violated, but you'd still leave feeling dirtier than you did before stepping in.

As for the staff, the woman was extremely rude and unhelpful. Did not even speak Cantonese and forced you to understand her Mandarin. God forbid she learn Cantonese when living and Hong Kong and I guess she was too good to speak English to us as well.

The whole Chung King Mansion is filled with low lives and just horrible human beings who harass you non stop. The entire building smells of curry and raw sewage. Ultimately, what caused us to leave was that the vendors continuously sexually harassed my fiance and even to the point where they even tried grabbed her when she walked into the building alone. Of course, the building is filled with these type of people so tourists likely don't even realize when someone is in need of help. Security was not around to control these deviants. This caused us to leave without even being issued a refund.

When we advised the staff, they were rude and accused my fiance of dressing like a hooker and essentially that she had it coming. She then proceeded to lecture her and tell her it was her fault and if she had a problem that it should be taken up with building management. It takes a lot of class to blame the victim in such a situation.

We just wanted to get out of there so bad, we left while paying for a whole week despite being told on the first day, that if we were to leave, they would only charge us for the minimum 3 days.

This is not a safe place for women or children to stay, or anyone for that matter. Hide your wife, hide your kids. If you can afford to travel to Hong Kong, just spring for a proper hotel. The location is in a good area, but if you can't afford to stay anywhere nicer, you won't be able to afford any of the expensive stores or restaurants in the area.

Just stay away if you have any dignity for yourself.

Room Tip: Pick a real hotel and don't stay in this place.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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21  Thank Phil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

The location is horrible, full of touts and lowlifes hanging around. The place is very filthy. The rooms are very inhuman. The pictures of the rooms in the net are no way near reality. I wonder why local authorities allow such a place to operate with below par standards. The people who operate this place give HK a bad name! This place is a hoax! It should not even be called a hotel, nor even a hostel. The staff are very abrasive and their English is terrible too. The amenities aren't what any human being in his proper mind would expect. Eg: The towels are disgusting. The shower rooms resemble that of one in a prison in a 3rd world country. The beddings would give you an itch plus the beds are the size of coffins! Indeed, this is not a pleasant place to stay, plus the security is very much an issue. You would always be haunted by the feeling that something bad is going to happen to you or your valuables will be stolen. Such a disgust having booked this hotel online. We had to transfer right away to another hotel (bp international house, a far better place than this hell) without refunding our payments for four days and three nights as this place gave us chills and almost made us puke on the spot!

Room Tip: book else where, never at tai wan hotel
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Bernard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

Booking ChungKing mansions was the worst decision I've ever made when traveling. I was fully prepared for budget accommodation, as I wanted to save money. However, the staff were rude, the rooms are tiny, even by HK standards, they were hot, air conditioning awful, the entire place smells of raw sewage (because the toilets are filthy and don't flush properly. Worse than that, the walls are very thin, and I was kept up all night by people partying, and then couldn't sleep in the morning because the cleaners were shouting at each other from like 7am.

I would go as far as saying it really spoiled my trip in HK, and I would strongly advise anyone who can afford to, to pay slightly more for a better place, because this was truly vile.

The only good things were i) free internet for skyping, and ii) central location.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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4  Thank Matthew E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2011

Arrived late at night and found a line up of people to get into our lift to the hotel. We had booked 2 double beds with private ensuite. We could not fault the cleanliness of bathroom. The mattresses were new and very comfortable. Bring your own towels and bathmats (No shower curtain). Some of the staff's English was not the best. But the people who could speak English were very helpful. Dont be put off by the washing hanging in the foyer.
NO BED BUGS Air conditioner worked. Large bathroom. Did not see a cockroach. Could not open windows. Just a few doors away from the Holiday Inn. Very close to the train station
This place was very good value for money

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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7  Thank pepsipurple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2011

Simply worst hostel I've ever stayed!
1. Rude and dishonest staff or should I say owner
2. Filthy bathrooms
3. Unsafe location
If you will have a problem with the owner, just simply call a police, just like we did when the owner went to our room very late at night and asking for a cash payment on our second day even though we already paid the accommodation for 4 days through credit card.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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12  Thank MickJayG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hong Kong Tai Wan Hotel

Address: Block A, 3rd Floor, Chung King Mansions, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Location: China > Hong Kong > Tsim Sha Tsui
Hotel Style:
Ranked #133 of 163 Specialty Lodging in Hong Kong
Price Range: $26 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hong Kong Tai Wan Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 600
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Also Known As:
Downtown Backpackers Hotel Hong Kong
Hong Kong Tai Wan Hotel

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