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“Good and Bad”
Review of Wang Fat Hostel

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Wang Fat Hostel
Reviewed 21 November 2007

I used to always stay at the Wang Fat Hostel and overlook its shortcomings because of the great location of the hostel. But, after my latest stay, I don't think I will be staying there again.

Wang Fat has done great business the past few years, probably because of its high recommendation in an edition of the Lonely Planet travel guide a couple of years ago. They have a fantastic location in Causeway Bay (very very close to the MTR station) and the rooms are good or great for a hostel/guesthouse.

The price is not as cheap as some other hostel/guesthouses (especially compared to some in Kowloon), but the price is still definitely fair.

The problem with Wang Fat is that they have taken on too much business and it has caused some problems that lead to customers being dissatisfied. The main problem for me is that, since they have grown, they have partnered wtih/taken over rooms in other hostel/guesthouses in other nearby buildings. They have done this to be able to accomodate all the people who want to stay at Wang Fat. That is, you book a room at Wang Fat, but you end up being assigned a room in another building or sometimes another hostel all together.

Usually this is not a problem. If you are assigned an "off-site" room, it is usually a good or very good room. If you are lucky, you will be assigned one of the rooms in the building on Kingston Street, which is across the street and around the corner. But, the problem happens when you are assigned a room at one of the buildings further away. They have rooms in at least one building a block away, but that the only way to get to it is to walk around the entire block (basically, you have to walk around the entire Excelsior hotel location).

Wang Fat, on their website, explains that room priority is given to those who reserve ahead with a pre-paid deposit and that even higher priority is given to those who pre-pay the entire bill beforehand. I did that the last time I stayed there - I paid for all my nights beforehand and specifically stated I request a room in the Wang Fat building itself. But, once I arrive, what happnes? Of course, I get assigned an "off-site" room.

The other problem related to Wang Fat and its high customer volume is that their rooms often aren't ready at a reasonable time. That is, say you have a reservation and they tell you that you can come by to check in at 1 or 2 in the afternoon (I forgot the exact time). You get to the office and they tell you your room is not ready yet and suggest that you leave your bags in their office and come back at the end of your day (like 5 or 6PM) and the room will be ready then. In the past, I have been travelling to Hong Kong just by myself and on my own schedule, but if I am travelling with others - or have an appointment - this is unacceptable. I don't want to leave my bags on the floor of their office all afternoon.

Also, the facilities, namely the computer room with free internet access, is not good either the last time I checked. They have 3 computers with internet, but there is always a line. It's really not convenient at all - especially if you are assigned an "off-site" room.

Like I said, the place has a great location and good to very good rooms. But, being placed in other locations is not acceptable to me anymore unless I know beforehand exactly which location I will be assigned so that I can make the choice if I want to stay there or not. They need to list and map these other locations on their website. Also, their price has gone up a little bit. There are many more hostels/guesthouses that have better prices now (especially in Kowloon).

I have had many a good night staying at Wang Fat, but, as they have outgrown their current building, I have outgrown them as well - or so I say. I might stay there again - who knows?

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled solo
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2  Thank AnyQuestions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 November 2007

stayed there 3x already. only a few selected rooms are ok (on the newly renovated floor), some rooms are actually passable! and last time is the worst, the toilet is so dark and they won't change the bulb. have to sleep in the opposite building for the first night because they're fully booked the first night even when I already made resercvation.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wifey_ali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2007

Have you ever left your room and then returned a few hours later to find it has been rented to someone else? No? Book here.

The staff here ripped us off. TWICE! We made the mistake of paying in advance because they promise advanced paid bookings get access to "Priority" rooms. WRONG. Yes, the room was tiny and the floor was softer than the bed and the elevators were out of order and the whole place seemed like a giant fire trap. We're seasoned travelers and understand that you get what you pay for. But. thats not what infuriated us.

We gave a standard key deposit on arrival. Our plans changed unexpectedly and we decided to leave Hong Kong a day early. We told the staff we didn't expect a refund. But, we did expect that they leave the room untouched since we had paid for it. We fly stand-by so if we couldn't get on a flight, we would be back in a few hours to collect the key for our room to continue with our original plan. In the meantime we wanted to have our key deposit returned just in case we didn't return. Simple.
We told them it was VERY likely that we would be back in a few hours to reclaim our room unless we lucked-out on a flight. Either way the room was paid for and belonged to us anyway and even if we disappeared, they had no right to double-book it.
"Don't rent it. It's ours until Monday." was my parting phrase.

Do you see where this is going? Guess what?

We returned to the hostel a few hours later (having not been able to get on a flight) only to discover that they had rented out our PAID FOR room to somebody else! YES! They kept our money AND took someone else's money for our room. We even phoned from the airport when we couldn't get a flight to make sure that our room was still waiting for us and were reassured that, of course our room was waiting, it was already paid for.

[--] Our "Priority" room had been re-rented out from under us. Instead they offered us a rotten, smelly room overlooking the garbage compactor out back with no air conditioning and with no apologies. This lousy room was only offered to us as a favor because we were "Priority" patrons. Whether we were leaving Hong Kong or not, it was certain we were leaving this hostel first thing in the morning. We told them we would be checking out in the morning at 7 and would like our SECOND key deposit returned at that time. We were told with big dollar-sign smiles that we would be greeted in the morning and our deposit would be waiting...Big surprise that when we went to check-out reception was conveniently closed when we were promised it would be open. And, we were ripped-off again.

The stairwells are cluttered with old furniture and other debris.
God help you if a fire ever started. Say your prayers.

There are lots of other places to stay in Causeway bay. I can't say which, if any, might be better than this. But, it surely couldn't get much worse.

Safe travels.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank conquered5continents
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2007

Some rooms are terrible, and others passable.

You won't find a better location, but you will likely find a nicer hostel if you keep looking.

Whatever you do, don't pay anything without seeing the room first. Check that it has a window. That it has a proper lock on the door. That the A/C works. That the TV works (mine would not change channels up, only down, and the volume could not be adjusted).

They have some incredibly bad rooms. Closets with beds.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled solo
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Thank twowheelsgood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2007

I stayed in the Hong Kong Hostel at 47 Paterson twice -- the first time while heading into China, the second time while heading out of China. Accomodations on Hong Kong Island are expensive, so the Hostel is an inexpensive way to stay close to the center of town.

(1) Neighborhood

The hostel is located in Causeway Bay. The streets are packed with people until after 11:00 pm, and there's plenty of shopping in the neighborhood, including a well-stocked supermarket (Wellcome) across the street. An entrance to the Causeway Bay metro is located just around the corner from the Hostel. We felt perfectly safe at all times. There's a taxi stand and an ATM right outside the front door of the Hostel. The Causeway Bay metro stop is just 5-10 minutes by metro to the center of town. In other words, the location is fantastic.

There's a free internet terminal in the hostel, but you're better off going to an internet cafe about 2 blocks away. I can't remember the exact street name for the internet cafe, but it was HK$10/hour (about US$1.30).

(2) Check-In / Check-Out

Both times I checked in, the Hostel had some trouble with our reservation, however the staff also made an effort to correct the problem. The first time around, my travel companion booked a room with two twin beds online. When we arrived, we were told that they had sold out of rooms with two twin beds. After showing a copy of the reservation, we were given an "upgrade" with one twin and one queen for the first night at no extra charge and the room we had booked for the following two nights. Upon checking out, I spoke with the manager and booked myself a single room for two weeks later.

When I returned, the manager I had booked a room with wasn't there, and the person on duty had no record of my reservation. I was told that they were sold out (again!) and offered a room for HK$100 more, and took it because at that point, I really had no choice unless I wanted to waste the rest of the day looking for a comparable place. Eventually, I found the manager I had booked with, who confirmed my story, and refunded the extra money. Because they were sold out, I was given a room across the street from 47 Paterson which was nowhere near as nice as the one we had used two weeks earlier.

FYI, there is a "key deposit" which is money you get back when you return the key. I had no problem with this, but I saw some people who tried to check-out very early in the morning who could not find a staff person to refund the money. We also noticed that people checking in and out very early or very late could sometimes not find a staff person to help.

(3) Price

My friend and I paid HK$370/night (about US$47) for a room with two beds and a private bathroom. I paid HK$250/night for a single room with a private bathroom.

(4) Rooms

The rooms are small with just enough room for the beds, a small closet, a desk, a bathroom, and a TV. We never tried the TVs. The bathrooms are small so that there's no separate stall for the shower and the toilet.

The first time I stayed there, the room was clean, if sparse. The mattresses weren't great, but I was so jet lagged, that I was able to sleep easily. The air conditioning worked fine. The room included a towel for each person. The room also had a window to the street. For the price we were paying, the amenities were adequate.

The second time I stayed there, they placed me in a room across the street from the ordinary hostel. The room was clean, but the bathroom had a weird smell. The air conditioner did not work at all, there was no towel in the room, and there was no real window. In other words, my second experience was below the standards which I want in a room.

(5) Other Amenities

As I've said above, there's a free internet terminal, but go and use a real internet cafe. The Hostel will do laundry for a fee, and I was happy with this service. They will hold bags for people who need to store them for extra hours before their departure.

(6) Conclusion

I've got mixed feelings about the Hostel. They seem to have a scheduling problem keeping their bookings in order, however both times this happened, I got a room with little extra trouble. The first room we stayed in was perfectly adequate, however the second was not (mainly because a room without good air conditioning in Hong Kong is not comfortable). For the price and location, I'm willing to put up with some of these problems, however I might look elsewhere next time I'm in the area. Assuming he still works there, the male manager at the front desk is clearly the more competent of the managers on duty -- he always tried to fix problems when asked.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with friends
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Thank NooYawkuh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2007

My wife, 7 yr old child & myself stayed here during the trade fairs in mid April (normal hotels are just getting too costly for anything more than a couple of days) as I visited the fairs with another businessmen that arrived a week eariler also staying at the hostel with his family , I had the good fortune to discover what this place was like prior to arriving, as we had seen previous comments on this outfit.

But all in all it was just what we wanted, clean, reasonably quiet (yes we had a window) with a "harbour" view, yes believe it or not I have stayed at expensive hotels B4 in HKG with supposed harbour views & this 2nd floor little window offered much more, on a clear day you could see all the way to Whompoa gardens ferry pier.

Reasonable sized room (for HKG) with own shower & toilet, it was much more like climbing in a wardrobe once past the tiolet pan to get to the shower, which also had a wee handbasin right in the way.

An adult could not really sit on the loo in a text book fashion AND close the hopeless bifold door ( which was a complete laugh really as you could sit there & wave to the other room occupants through the glass panels.

Sheets & duvet covers (albeit quite thin buggers) appear to be changed every 5 days or so, & fresh towels every day, once again thin things & not very big........so what.

As for service, well don't expect too much, although the cleaning lady on our floor was very polite & helpfull, but the "receptionist" was on the verge of downright rude, never made any effort what so ever to even try to understand what we were saying or asking, just got shirty & got someone else to deal with our enquiry.

Check in no real problem, but I can see how others may have had difficulties.

Check out, no problem, but if you don't ask for your key deposit, then it won't be forthcomming.

The computer room is quite big with wifi access available but only 1 singular non plural PC works, & it infected my camera's memory card ( that will teach me) also it is a Chinese version of "XP" so guesing or remembering where certain buttons are did help, my advice....avoid it, go buy a really decent coffee at "Pacific" coffee & use theirs free of charge.

Location, what more could you ask for, absolutely everthing is within 50 mtrs of the front door, just fantastic, we would nip accross to the "Welcome" supermarket for our breakfast stuff, every morning, fresh fruit, juices, pastries, yoghurt etc & take back, put the jug on & we're done, there was only a (quite new looking) fridge/freezer to share (with 5 other rooms) in the locked hallway, but no problems with stuff being nicked.

Security was very good with (albeit retired looking) friendly old guards 24/7 at the entrance (pin # to access) and key access to your floor with another key to your room, camera's were at the front door, in both lifts, & at the guards desk, this lot were able to be watched from every room via channel 35 on the TV (no remote thou) very handy to see if the other party is ready to head off yet.

Only real complaint is the unbelievablly HARD beds, no, not firm, but hard as plywood, ended up folding the duvet in 1/2 to try & soften the bed & just had the sheet on top, not a problem as was nice & warm the whole time, so be warned these beds are the hardest in living history, my std run of the mill lounge room carpeted floor is softer !!!.

Will we stay there again, more than likely, as you are out all day & 1/2 the night anyway.
Its the old story ....you get what you pay for!.

Wil try & upload a pic or 3 later.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled on business
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3  Thank 2paddocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2007

We stayed at Wang Fat Hostel (in Causeway Bay) last week and wanted to share our experience. Our room was small, drab and windowless. which I hear is not unusual in Hong Kong in that price range. The staff is not very friendly or helpful. Some people have complained that they were turned away even though they had a confirmed reservation. We had to produce a printed copy of an email for them to reluctantly acknowledge we had a reservation and had paid a deposit.

But the biggest problem is their lack of honesty. When we tried to check out around 8am, the office/reception was locked and there was nobody there to check us out and refund our $HK 100 key deposit (even though a sign by the door proudly displays 24/7 customer service…). We knocked, rang the bell and called out but nobody came. After 20 minutes, we gave up as we had to leave to catch a flight. We threw the key through the office’s locked grille along with a note explaining the situation. I followed up with an email asking that they refund the key deposit by Paypal (the method they had required us to use to pay a deposit when we booked). They just plain refused and ignored any further email from us.

The bottom line is I don’t think this establishment can be trusted and would advise people against booking there.

  • Stayed: April 2007
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6  Thank pptulula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wang Fat Hostel

Address: No.A2, 3/F., Paterson Bldg., 47, Paterson St., Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, China
Region: China > Hong Kong > Wan Chai / Causeway Bay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #85 of 162 Speciality Lodging in Hong Kong
Price Range: £14 - £56 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 50
Also Known As:
Wang Fat Hotel Hong Kong
Wang Fat Hostel Hong Kong

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