travel tales

Cosmic Guesthouse, Hong Kong

I’ve just written a review of the place I stayed on my last trip to Hong Kong. I thought I’d share it with you too:

On my first trip to Hong Kong I stayed (not by choice) in a very nice, very ordinary, very western style hotel.  None of those words could really describe the Cosmic Guesthouse.

As I was leaving the UK, the tail-end of a tropical cyclone was sweeping past Hong Kong island.  So, when I arrived at the Cosmic Guesthouse I had changed my plans and asked if I could to stay for a whole week instead of the two days I had booked (rather than roaming around the islands in potentially bad weather).  Although the fine lady at reception was obviously put out by my request, and it was a busy week for them, she never the less moved some bookings around to allow me to have the same room – with a window – for the week.  I was most grateful.

I found the staff to be friendly and welcoming.  Even when there was a language barrier there was always a friendly ‘good morning’ smile for me.

My room was very small and rather worn looking but I quite liked that – although I imagine the rooms without windows would be quite oppressive.  There was a tiny en suite toilet/shower combo – I had to remember to move the loo roll outside when I wanted to have a shower 🙂

On my first night, as I struggled with jetlag, I noticed the sound of dull, repetitive music seemed to be coming up out of the toilet bowl – which was odd.

I loved the atmosphere at the Cosmic – and in Mirador Mansion generally.  The ‘mansion’ building is like four blocks built around a central ‘courtyard’.  This allows for open, airy walkways on each floor.  The accommodation seemed to be a mix of commercial and domestic and many of my neighbours kept little incense shrines outside their front doors – which is a lovely smell to wake up to.  I felt completely safe and happy the whole time I was there.  Even the building’s security guards were quite jolly towards me.

Because Cosmic’s accommodation is on a number of different floors within the building it felt more like staying in an apartment than a guesthouse or hotel.  I was free to come and go as I wished – although the security guards locked down all but one entrance at night and it was necessary to sign in – which is not at all a bad thing.

Mirador Mansion is located right on the bus and underground routes (the bus to the airport stops almost outside) and is a 10 minute walk from the Star Ferry pier.  I found it an excellent base for my exploration of the peninsula and islands.  There were also parks, museums and theatres close by, as well as the glorious Peninsula Hotel (which I could never afford to stay in but admire greatly).  I made good use of Cosmic’s free wi-fi access to see what was on at the theatres and cinemas and to check ferry times and bus routes.

I loved the Cosmic Guesthouse and would definitely stay there again.  It felt like a crazy, chinese version of home.


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