For this trip to Hong Kong, I stayed at the Empire Hotel Causeway Bay. While the name is Causeway Bay, it is not exactly 100% at Causeway Bay (if you know Causeway Bay as the MTR and shopping heaven). It is located at Tin Hou area which is 1 MTR stop after Causeway Bay.
A summary feedback. It is a great hotel. I highly recommend it and I had enjoyed staying at the hotel a lot due to a couple of factors which I will share below:
(1) Location. Location. Location
This, to me, is the number 1 reason. No, it is not right in the middle of the shopping district in Causeway Bay. It is in fact, located about 5 mins walk from Tin Hou MTR. In the big picture, in terms of Hong Kong, it means you are staying at the Hong Kong Island itself (instead of Kowloon). In my personal opinion, having stayed at both Kowloon and HK Island, I prefer to stay at HK Island. I find it more peaceful and more calm. More interesting. Just more of what I liked.
And so what’s so good about it. For me, it is critical as it is near to FOOD/DRINKS and you can easily grab a bite anytime. We had supper and desserts even at 11 pm as we walked back to the hotel. It is not noisy as it is not near shopping districts but it is near to local favours so I get a great sense of being part of the Hong Kong scene.
Let’s look at the map of the hotel versus the Tin Hou MTR. There are two routes to walk (both 5 mins walk) from the MTR to the hotel.
The left route is via Electric Road. More on that later.
The right route is good to take note as that is where the nearest Tram stop is. One of the good thing about staying at Empire Hotel is that it is near a Hong Kong Ding Ding Tram stop. As a result, I used the Ding Ding trams a lot for this trip which is great for the cool weather in Jan/Feb trip. The hotel is only 2-3 mins from the tram stop so I ended up taking as much trams as possible. Sitting at the top of the tram is a nice way to see Hong Kong. Never mind it is a bit slower as that’s the point of the holiday !!
For people who love to walk (and Hong Kong can be great to walk as the weather is so much cooler than Singapore in certain parts of the year), it is also about 10 mins walk to the magnificent shopping district of Causeway Bay itself. You can walk from the hotel to Tin Hou MTR (5 mins) and then do a right turn to the Victoria Park and from that park, you can walk to the Causeway Bay shopping district (10-15 mins walk).
It is a nice walk as Victoria Park is bustling with life and lots of activities. On Sunday, it is full of overseas maids :)
The hotel is also on the A11 CityFlyer bus route that I mentioned here in this blog article. So that means, you can take a HKD 40 from Airport to this Hotel without any worries about dragging your luggage up and down the train stations. For this trip, we did both A11 TO the hotel and FROM the hotel. Just need a bit of research on the bus route web site to know where to alight (easy as the A11 bus itself has a screen to tell you which stop is next) and where to board the A11 bus to the airport (easy. it is the bus stop on the RIGHT route in the map above).
Do drop me a comment if you need to know exactly how to do that (which bus-stop etc) but it is very convenient. Again, great location and great convenience.
(2) FOOD ! SIGHTS ! SOUNDS !
In the above map, I highly recommend using the left route which is by Electric Road. Electric road is home to many great food places. Hong Kong-style old cafes, famous stewed beef food shops, very excellent dessert shops, traditional Hong Kong newspapers stores where you can buy latest Hong Kong gossip magazines and many small shops. There are even shops that sell raw food (chicken, fish etc) so you can see many locals buying in the morning. There are convenience shops selling cheap bottled water that you can buy to drink (instead of paying those in the hotel…).
I will share a few photos in the future about some of the shops in the area.
It is a fantastic road to walk as you get to enjoy (food and) sights and sounds of Hong Kong life. You will enjoy it if you love to be a part of Hong Kong local life instead of staying at the touristy parts !
(3) Hotel Room. Magic Glass. LCD TV. HD Channels
The hotel room is small but good enough for me. The most famous of this must be the magic glass. This is a glass that conceals the toilet from the room itself. You can switch on and switch off to conceal the toilet from the room. 2 switches. One in the toilet and one by the bed. It is fun and pretty interesting if you are a couple…. you can imagine the naughty things going on.
I guess for a big family, it is not so cool :)
Here’s examples of how it works. Now you see her:
Now you dun:
But seriously, I love the LCD TV in the room. The interface of the TV is actually an information booth for the hotel guest. Room service details, hotel messages (remember to check for the free spa offer), local weather, local traffic and of course, a list of TV channels. And oh yes, did I mention, there were High Definition channels for TVB and ATV. Being a TVB fan, I had a great time just watching the TV serials and other programmes in full HD. NICE !
Check out the photos.
Welcoming me (with my full name…). Check out the options at the bottom of the screen:
A long list of channels to watch:
(4) The Room and its price
For the price we paid (via Booking.com), I think we had a good deal as we booked early. Still I think it is not expensive at all. Clean towels, daily refreshed toiletries, clean bedsheets, safe deposit box, shower gowns to sleep in, free coffee maker etc. I think it is good enough for me as I spent very little time in the room :)