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?
- Also Known As:
- Wang Fat Hotel Hong Kong
- Wang Fat Hostel Hong Kong