Dissimilar to the numerous hotels owned and operated by well-known multinational chains, the Bishop Lei International House is a Hong Kong hotel from Hong Kongers – a salient point since the service here seems personal. Located in the largely residential, affluent Mid-Levels neighborhood, the high-rise hotel will win you over with its seriously impressive views of the city skyline, rooftop pool and no-fuss comfort.
As you would expect, the higher the room, the better the views here (and when we say better, we mean more of the harbor). Given the good value of a stay here, rooms are surprisingly pleasant. The décor has a hint of rooming house chic to it, but we can get on board with the old school charm of the comfortable rooms that are certainly not small by Hong Kong standards.
Handy phones come with the rooms, which tend to make navigating the city that little bit easier.
Depending on the room, some bathrooms can be a little on the small side. Walk-in showers come as standard.
In what is a popular hotel for business travellers in a quiet neighborhood, the lobby at the Bishop Lei International house was never likely to be party central. Forget mingling and lingering, this is a formal, peaceful lobby that guests tend to pass quickly through.
It may not be the biggest but we’re firm believers that you can never go wrong with a rooftop pool, whatever the size.
A small, limited gym provides the basic machines for an indoor workout.
The Terrace Room Restaurant serves a mixed menu of Western classics and Asian cuisine. The food is of a solid standard but the interiors could do with a refresh so eat on the outdoor terrace when you get the chance.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The Sunday buffet offers a good spread of savoury and sweets and provides a good alternative to queuing for dim sum elsewhere.
Operated by the Catholic diocese of Hong Kong, the hotel has its own chapel for spiritual time and prayer.
Yes, Mid-Levels can take it out of the legs but the hotel is close to the escalators that make heading up the hill a whole lot easier. An expat neighborhood where you’ll find that speaking English isn’t a problem, explore on foot and take in the bars of Lan Kwai Fong and the nearby parks, Botanical Gardens and other pockets of green space. Central and Admiralty MTR stations are both fairly close, but a taxi is a convenient way to get about.
There are plenty of places to eat around the Mid-Levels escalators so make a break from the hotel and wander the area. For destinations within walking distance that will appeal to anybody with an appreciation of good food, try Hige Izakaya (7-minute walk) for authentic Japanese food in a cool, intimate setting or fill up with all you can eat Brazilian steak at the BRAZA Churrascaria (10-minute walk).
There are plenty of bars that cater to the party crowd a walk away in Lan Kwai Fong but if you want to stay local to Mid-Levels then try the Phoenix Bar (5-minute walk), a small hole-in-the-wall pub that’s a decent stop-off point for a cold beer. For something a little wilder, visit the Varga Lounge (12-minute walk) for cocktails and good times in a bar that looks like the living room of an eccentric prone to hoarding.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If it wasn’t for the fact that Bishop Lei International house is run by the Catholic diocese of Hong Kong you could say there was nothing remarkable about it. But that’s the beauty of this comfortable, cozy and supremely friendly hotel, it sticks to the basics with old school service at great value for money that makes you want to return. It may not be as interesting as many other Hong Kong hotels, but if you want a central hotel slightly removed from the city buzz, then this is the one.