On the whole, Hong Kong is not a cheap place to find accommodation, and the city can stretch even the most elastic of wallets. However, the availability of budget accommodation in Hong Kong has improved in recent years and there is an increasing number of guesthouses and hostels catering to those counting the dollars. To find the room of your dreams at a price you can sleep easy about, see our guide to budget accommodation in Hong Kong, below.
When You Go
Hong Kong is famed as a high occupancy city and has no real high and low season. However, events and the many Chinese festivals can result in massive price hikes, especially if you don’t book ahead. Peak times include; Chinese New Year in February, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens in March and the Canton fair period in October.
Where possible, you should always book ahead. The continuous shortage of rooms in the city can make rooms hard to find on short notice. If you are determined to find a place on arrival, you can expect a fair bit of legwork. Hong Kong does have some Left Luggage Options.
If you’re booking, we have a few recommendations:
Thanks to the short supply of rooms in Hong Kong, hoteliers know they are in the driving seat and deals can be in short supply. However, if you are staying for a long period, in excess of two weeks, you will be able to get a discount, often very large ones. Similarly, if you are booking in a large group you can again get a large discount. Just like shopping in Hong Kong, prices at individual guesthouses and lower-end hotels are nearly always negotiable, and you should try and bargain at least 25% from the quoted price.
You are sure to be treated to a number of horror stories regarding Hong Kong guest houses during your stay. These places earned themselves a fierce reputation during the 90's as dens of inequity, or as base camp for the rat population. However, nowadays most of the stories are false, and the majority of guest houses offer acceptable rooms at affordable prices. If you're not sure what a guest house is, explore our Top Five Hong Kong Guesthouses.
Hong Kong simply doesn’t have enough hostels and the city isn't geared toward the backpacker. However, the market is expanding and more hostels have opened in the last five years. The bulk of Hong Kong’s budget accommodation is in the form of guesthouses and various types of budget hotels. Read below for more details on the specific types of accommodation, or check out our recommended Best Five Hong Kong Hostels.
International Youth Hostel Federation
The IYHF Hong Kong runs seven hostels in the territory, however, six of these are set outside the city, with only one of them on HK Island. The plus of these hostels is they are set in the beautiful Hong Kong countryside, and have great access to Hong Kong’s fantastic hiking trails. Unfortunately, most people have come to see the city, and for this purpose, most of these hostels are next to useless; being complicated to reach even with Hong Kong's extensive public transport. Prices vary, depending on which hostel you are staying at, with Hong Kong Island obviously being more expensive.
Nevertheless, with prices around US$7 a night, they do represent excellent value and are clean and efficient.
Hong Kong's Sailsbury YMCA is arguably the most luxurious YMCA in the world; designer building, fantastic location, plush rooms – and all equipped with Satellite TV - not your normal YMCA adventure. The catch is in the price, and just as the rooms are not your usual YMCA affair, neither are the prices. Dormitories come in at around $30, while rooms can be in excess of $70.
Most other hostels are located in the Tsim Sha Tsui area on Kowloon side, although there is an increasing number in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. There are various other establishments around the territory punting themselves as hostels, however, they are often more like guesthouses. If you're looking for the backpacking atmosphere, and dormitories, then the new spate of openings in Causeway Bay is the best location, with prices around $10.