Serviced apartments are an attractive option for people who expect to be living in Hong Kong for a few weeks before moving into proper accommodation, especially for families. There’s more space and independence than hotels offer, cheaper rates when you pay on a monthly basis and it’s a pleasant and often luxurious transition from your old home city to your new one. They’ll also be fully furnished, including cooking utensils, dishtowels, corkscrews and the like, for that home-from-home feel. Many people particularly appreciate being able to cook for themselves when the spirit moves them – but and also that they don’t have to clean the place, since this is where the ‘serviced’ part comes in.
For the kind of places you’ll want to be staying in, rates start at about HKD40,000 per month and rise fast as you move up in the world. Note that you’ll probably have to pay one month’s deposit as well. Staff will speak English and service will usually be very good, plus the nicest places will have pools, gyms and community activities. Hong Kong has a range of excellent options; your company may have a relationship with a specific serviced apartment, otherwise places to look include the South China Morning Post and HK Magazine.
Yin Serviced Apartments
A relatively affordable option in a great location in the middle of Central, not far from Soho, residents can get discounts from a range of local restaurants and bars by showing their key card. It has less plush facilities than higher-end places, but is fully equipped for business as well as daily life, with a business centre, mail services and a 24-hour concierge, as well as daily maid service. Broadband, satellite TV, stereo system and iPod dock all included. Monthly rates are HKD32,000-42,000. There’s a branch with smaller rooms and slightly cheaper rates in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Knight on Wyndham
Located right in the thick of things near Soho and Lan Kwai Fong, this comfortable, modern serviced apartment complex (more suitable for couples than families) prides itself on its interesting décor behind a discreet exterior, offering all the usual mod cons – fully-furnished kitchen, broadband, international TV, a DVD library, as well as the quirkier items – Nintendo Wii and a karaoke lounge where you can meet your neighbours. Maid service and concierge are included of course, and staff can organise limousines and the like. Monthly rent starts around HKD35,000.
The Ellipsis Serviced Apartments
Plush, exclusive apartments in a stunning elliptical tower overlooking the race course in Happy Valley, convenient for Causeway Bay and a very pleasant environment for wandering around of an afternoon. The swimming pool is a prime feature, and rooms are fully equipped with broadband, satellite TV and the like, with kitchenettes or kitchens depending on size of room. Monthly rental goes from about HKD40,000 up to HKD75,000.
Gateway and Waterfront Apartments
High-end Kowloon living, with 499 apartments across 14 floors in the tony Harbour City development. Amazing views, with features including parking, private lift, sophisticated home theatre set-up, broadband, marble bathrooms and air filtration systems. Discounts at Harbour City’s shops and restaurants, and full access to the Pacific Club, offering tennis, pool, driving range, spa and dining options. Rates go from HKD40,000 for a studio to – gulp – all the way to HKD170,000 for penthouse luxury.
The HarbourView Place @ ICC Megalopolis
Luxury apartments on the 50th-70th floor of the International Commerce Centre, with the amazing harbour views the name suggests. Rooms are impeccably laid out and come in various sizes, none of them cheap – but a lot better value than staying in the hotel at a nightly rate. LCD TVs, broadband, DVD player and all the usual mod cons, as well as a health club, restaurants, discounts in the high-end shopping mall beneath and Hong Kong’s highest indoor observation deck on the 100th floor. A great place to be wowed by Hong Kong on first arrival. Monthly rates start around HKD40,000 and head north of HKD100,000 very quickly.