Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Stage
1 Chi Wo St., Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Japan See on Map
Nestled in the heart of Yau Ma Tei, one of Hong Kong’s most traditional districts, Hotel Stage opened in 2016 with an emphasis on local art and culture. The design-savvy hotel is a bang-for-your-buck spot with smart, minimalistic rooms, hand-painted murals, an intimate wine and cheese bar, and staff who will go that extra mile to make your stay memorable.
The rooms have been smartly designed with a sophisticated gray color palette, plus perks like complimentary smartphones, a Nespresso machine, in-room remote controlled lighting and king-sized beds. Superior rooms feel bigger thanks to strategic compartments and sliding doors that maximize the cozy space. Meanwhile, more spacious Suites include a lounge area, dining room, bathtub, and in-room yoga balls. For the best views, ask for a high floor. You’ll overlook leafy streets and urban high-rises—anchored by the mesmerizing Zaha Hadid-designed Innovation Tower (at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design) in the distance.
If you book a Club room or suite, you’ll enjoy access to a gorgeous library-slash-den, dubbed Club Stage, on the third floor, where an eclectic collection of books (from Chinese silk art to film noir) and leather loungers await.
Only suites include a bathtub, but the shower is so good that you probably won’t miss it. After a long day of exploring, travelers will appreciate the excellent pressure and dual nozzle with adjustable angles.
The lobby sets the tone for the hotel’s artistic ethos with a gorgeous banyan tree mural behind the reception desks, geometric bronze lighting fixtures, and hand-made wooden furniture crafted by a local Hong Kong artist. It’s not the kind of place you’d hang out all afternoon, but it’s comfortable if you’re waiting for a cab.
There’s a bowl of mini Toblerone bars by the concierge. Help yourself!
While the boutique hotel doesn’t have a pool or spa, it does provide a small gym with all the basics—cardio equipment, weights, and yoga equipment.
Kitchen Savvy is the dedicated in-house restaurant—it’s probably not worth a detour with so many amazing restaurants nearby, however, dinner here is a relaxing way to spend a night in. The menu takes its inspiration from Italy, featuring the likes of 24-month-aged prosciutto with melon, thin-crust pizza, and a few Hong Kong-inspired desserts for good measure.
Book a room with a breakfast package—it’s worth it. The breakfast burrito shines in a city with a dearth of respectable Mexican food, and the poached eggs atop the eggs Benedict are perfectly oozy.
Basement bar Muse is part art gallery (with a rotating exhibition space devoted to Hong Kong artists), part bookstore (with inspirational travel books that will fuel your wanderlust), part coffee shop, and part wine bar. An automatic wine dispensing machine doles out perfect pours of boutique wines, while the cheese selection changes regularly.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you’re looking for a hopping nightlife, this probably isn’t the place. The vibe really changes depending on what time you go. By day, it feels more like a coffee shop. But after 7 p.m., the lights dim and things start to feel a bit buzzier.
The hotel is just a couple of blocks away from the Yau Ma Tei metro station, which is well-connected to most of Hong Kong’s highlights. It’s also easy to hop on a bus, with a station across the street, or flag a taxi. There are plenty of cultural landmarks within easy walking distance, including everything from the Tin Hau Temple to the Jade Market, Temple Street Night Market, and the fascinating Shanghai Street—where you can snap up professional-grade kitchen tools, appliances, cutting boards, Chinese cleavers, and more.
Yau Ma Tei is Hong Kong’s cultural heart—and that goes for restaurants too. There’s no shortage of famous local eateries, many of which have been at the same humble address for decades. Start the food crawl at historic Mido Cafe (6-minute walk), a traditional cha chaan teng diner that looks like it’s been preserved in the 1950s. From there, make your way to the famous scrambled egg sandwiches at Australia Dairy Co (7-minute walk) to dim sum at aptly named Dim Dim Sum Specialty Store (13-minute walk), renowned milk desserts at Yee Shun Milk Company (6-minute walk) and local wonton noodles at Mak’s Man Kee Noodle Shop (7-minute walk). For something quirky, you can try Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine where you’ll be in Instagram heaven (12-minute walk).
For a broader selection of tipples, we’d suggest heading a bit farther north to Mong Kok where you can experience handcrafted cocktails at the ultra-stylish Alibi - Wine Dine Be Social restaurant-bar concept inside the Cordis hotel (formerly Langham Place, 6-minute cab). Alternatively, sit down for a crisp pint or two at TAP: The Ale Project (10-minute cab), which is co-owned and operated by Hong Kong brewery Young Master Ales.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Hotel Stage combines contemporary style, service and location at an affordable price point. As far as artsy hotels go, the address highlights local designers in subtle and tasteful ways, so guests can appreciate the gorgeous murals from the comfort of their rooms or linger over larger installation artwork with a glass of wine at Muse bar. Even better, it’s located in the heart of Hong Kong’s cultural district, where the city’s best local cuisines, temples, and markets are just minutes away.
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