I do not like to stay in any hostel/hotel in Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong after I got cheated by an illegal guesthouse named 'Canada Hotel' located there. But now I must find alternate budget accommodation in Hong Kong because in that city the hotel tariffs just keep going up. And thus the search for my April 2015 stay in Hong Kong brought me to a hostel that is the subject matter of this article: Yesinn@Fortress Hill Hong Kong. Yesinn has another property at Causeway Bay which is why this one must be identified with Fortress Hill in the name itself. Yesinn looked attractive from a few points like the reasonable guest review score, the promise of free water/tea/coffee (which all turned out to be false later), and a price that I could afford. The known negative was the location because Fortress Hill area has almost nothing for a tourist and one has to spend a lot on MTR fairs which, again like the hotel tariffs, just keep going up. Yes, its not easy life for tourists in Hong Kong. Keep reading...
|Yesinn at Hortress Hill Hong Kong Main Office|
Yesinn@Fortress Hill is located on King's Road in an apartment building called 'Continental Mansion'. Address: Apartment B, 15th Floor, Continental Mansion, 294, King's Road, Fortress Hill, Hong Kong. Phone: (852)2881 7077. To get there, one needs to come out of Fortress Hill MTR Station from Exit 'B' and turn right. Its a 5-10 minute walk depending on how fast or slow you are. Keep to the right side of the road, Cross Tram Station, Fortress Hill Road traffic lights, Standard Chartered Bank, and a 7-Eleven, and then you will be standing in front of the Continental Mansion entrance. Get inside, take the first left, cross the security desk and you will find elevators on the right side. Go to 15th floor and look for apartment 15b. This is where you will check-in but may or may not stay here.
|Continental Mansion King's Road Fortress Hill Hong Kong|
This is where the real story of Yesinn starts. They have three properties in this location and depending on their own system of profiling of guests & availability of rooms, you will get a room in one of the three. The free water/tea/coffee are available only where the check-in happens and not in the other two properties. Check-out time is 11.00am.
My Building and Room
The room I get was in another apartment building (Luen Wu) across the road. The third one is called 'Majestic' that I did not bother to find. All three Yesinn locations here are actually apartments in residential buildings and the guest rooms are small cabins created within these apartments. In Luen Wu they told me to use a door security code to enter the building and go to the 10th floor. The door code here was 10F. That door and the room door opened with my key card. In this property, do not know if it is legal or not, there was no water/tea/coffee like I said before but there was a free local phone for calling any Hong Kong number. There was a small kitchen, 4-5 guest rooms and some of them were even occupied because of which I did not feel alone.
The Single Private Room
|Single Private Room in Yesinn at Fortress Hill Hong Kong|
The Private Single Room that I got here was booked on HostelBookers at a daily price of 390 HKD per day. 12% of this was paid to HostelBookers at the time of booking and the balance 88% was paid directly to Yesinn at the time of check-inn. They have double and three-bed rooms too apart from bunk beds.
|Private Bathroom in Yesinn at Fortress Hill Hong Kong|
This single room was small but had almost everything that I would need. There was a single cot with a comfy mattress, a small table next to the cot became my baggage stand, the small cabinet next to the table was OK for one person, the mini fridge under the cabinet was empty but functional, and the small LCD TV in front of the cot did have one or two English channels and about 2 more Chinese ones. There was a new tea/coffee kettle that heated water super fast. No supplies though. The AC worked well when set at 21 degrees. There was no phone in the room. To give you an idea of the room size, after keeping my bags, there was room to take about two steps before I would hit the door. The bathroom was small too but not too small. The shower cubicle, separated by a curtain, was actually OK. The plumbings worked well and hot water, activated by a switch, was ready within 2 minutes every time. There was a small window but there was nothing except walls of surrounding buildings outside. All in all, this single room was almost adequate for one person and way better than any fraud guest house in Chungking Mansions will provide you.
Free Wi-Fi worked fast most of the time. There was even some iPad rental facility with the first hour free but I did not need that.
Problems in The Room
There were a few problems though. The housekeeping policy here is tough. No towels are provided, not even on rent. So ensure to bring your own towels here. The bed linen is changed once in a week. Staying here for more than two days will be difficult unless you can manage this linen issue with them. My stay was for 9 nights so I argued with the front desk people in Continental Mansion. They told me to speak to the housekeeping lady who came to Luen Wu to clean up whenever some guest checked out. On my fourth day, I saw her and she kindly cleaned my room (except the bathroom) and changed the bedding. I asked her about the subsequent days but she told me about the once-in-a-week policy. Then I asked her if it would be OK if I took the bed linen to a laundry at my own cost? At that point she melted and agreed to leave an extra set of fresh linen in my room that I would be able to change myself once more during my stay. I took a sigh of relief. After that moment, my stay in Yesinn was much more relaxed.
|Common Kitchen in Yesinn at Fortress Hill Hong Kong|
Officially, Yesinn is a hostel and hence a common kitchen is provided. In Luen Wu building, the kitchen was good. An induction plate, a small microwave, cooking pots, and a few mugs/plates/cutlery, etc. were there. Using the induction plate for the first time took some help from a maintenance guy but thereafter I was able to cook my oats easily. After use, I was expected to wash the pans, etc. and that was no trouble.
No Laundry facility
Contrary to what is advertised, Yesinn does not provide any laundry facility, self or otherwise. When I asked them, they just pointed me to a nearby cheap laundry.
Fortress Hill area and the King's Road outside Continental Mansion is OK from the point of shopping for daily needs and travelling. The Fortress Hill MTR Station, the tram station, several bus stops, taxis, are all within easy reach. A 'Wellcome Super Store' is located right next to Fortress Hill MTR Station and is open up to midnight. I bought my water bottles here cheaper than 7-eleven. There are several restaurants, even vegetarian, in this area. But I still did not get the tourist feel here because it is actually a working class district where one gets to see busy/tired/sleepy faces mostly either going to or returning from work. No one looked relaxed. Hong Kong life is not easy for its own residents too. Oh yes there was a cheap 'Indian' restaurant called Chillie Garden in Continental Mansion.
YesInn @Fortress Hill Booking Site
Next time in Yesinn?
I might do that because now I know what to expect. If the price is right and one is willing to live with the compromises, Yesinn is good, better than Chungking Mansions anyway.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|