Hong Kong's 10 Best Boutique Hotels: Small Hotels with a Big Heart

Hong Kong's got a new game to play, and it's called Flip the Office Block into a Boutique Hotel. It's a neat idea. The city could always do with more hotel beds, and especially in the middle of town. So strip out the partition walls, add mattresses, pillows and a restaurant and bar, and start welcoming guests.

Two of the most recent examples are The Pottinger and Mira Moon; each shoehorned beds, eateries and an eclectic design into what were once fairly dull skyscrapers filled with equally dull offices. The best thing about the new trend, from a guest's point of view, is that you step out of the hotel straight into the heart of the action. 

Other boutique hotels are older, larger, but by no means less interesting. Right next to one of Hong Kong Island's best shopping malls, East is a real gem. The Luxe Manor's design is one of the most unusual anywhere. And Hullett House, just steps away from the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui, was once a police station, and has been cleverly converted into very luxurious accommodation.

Wherever you stay, Hong Kong's boutique hotels prove beyond doubt that small is beautiful.


The Luxe Manor
Photo courtesy of Luxe Manor

It's not really a manor, and it has a distinct take on luxe – but this hotel really is one of a kind. In the back streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, the decor falls into the weird and wonderful category, especially when it comes to the themed suites, where the interior designers have given their imaginations free rein. More surprises are in store. The restaurant is Scandinavian, and the lounge – Dada – a very definite tribute to Surrealism. As a romantic hotel, the Luxe Manor is very much somewhere to surprise and reignite the senses. There's certainly nowhere else like it in Hong Kong.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: Luxe Manor's a bit like the Rocky Horror Show – very imaginative and witty, but great hospitality too.

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Wan Chai
Mira Moon
Photo courtesy of Mira Moon

A unique 91-room hotel, Mira Moon presents a contemporary abstract interpretation of Chinese tradition in contemporary Hong Kong. Modern tech-friendly features, including 32-46" HD LED IPTV, iPad mini, handy smartphone for free local and international calls and 3G data and complimentary Wi-Fi provide a welcoming environment and bring about a relaxing atmosphere with highly personalized details enhanced with complimentary minibar (non-alcoholic beverages). Mira Moon Hotel features five guestroom types, a striking penthouse suite, a 24 hour gym, a tapas and cocktail bar – Supergiant Tapas & Cocktail Bar, a relaxing outdoor venue called Secret Garden and a beautiful outdoor event space – Sky Garden.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: Mira Moon blends the best of east and west in a single, very comfy, hotel.

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The Pottinger Hong Kong
Photo courtesy of The Pottinger

The Pottinger Hong Kong offers 68 luxury guestrooms and suites, ranging from 23 square metres to 68 square metres. The "Pottinger Suite" and six cozy suites feature a bespoke décor that celebrates Hong Kong's rich heritage and diverse cultures. Designed with both international travellers and locals in mind, The Pottinger offers visitors a modern heritage residence complete with an exceptional array of in-room facilities and services. Once guests are ready to venture forth from the comfort of the hotel, the dynamic and vibrant neighborhood of Central is right on the doorstep, offering shopping, entertainment and dining options galore. For visits further afield, the Central MTR station is just a short stroll away.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: Step out of the front door and you are instantly in the very center of Hong Kong.

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You will never realize this is a university-run hotel but for two things: the friendly rate (about 1/3 cheaper than five-stars) and the ever-lasting enthusiastic smiles from their staff. Situated in east part of Tsim Sha Tsui, the affiliation of Hong Kong Polytechnic University is designed by a combined force of Hong Kong's best creative minds. The state-of-art glass-walled lobby houses an impressive 18-meter-tall vertical garden draping from the second floor. All of the 262 rooms present textbook examples of what a modern and sleek hotel should look like. Among them, the Vivienne Tam Suite is a reproduction of the fashion designer's home in New York City. The 28-story building is a five-minute walk to Hung Hom Station, which is the terminal of cross-border trains from mainland China. The hotel runs free shuttle buses to and from Kowloon Station on Hong Kong Airport Express every 20 minutes.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: This is the designer's design hotel – bold, imaginative and incredibly comfortable.

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Hullett House Hong Kong
Photo courtesy of Hullett House

Half way between the Peninsula and the Star Ferry, Hullett House was once a police station. It's been renovated, given the five star treatment, and a fairly substantial shopping mall installed right below. But the real joy of this boutique hotel is that each of its rooms is decorated a little differently. That, and the gloriously wide and very private balconies which look down over city and harbor. There is plenty in the way of good food too, and the staff are well versed in looking after couples who have picked Hullet for an extra special break. This is somewhere to truly enjoy.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: Putting the "it" in heritage, Hullett House is a real gem of a hotel.

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Hotel LKF by Rhombus
Photo courtesy of Hotel LKF

It would be hard to define romance in a single sentence. For some couples, it means peace and solitude and gazing quietly into each other's eyes. For others, a rip-roaring celebration is called for – and there's nowhere better for clubbing, pubbing and kicking up your heels than Lan Kwai Fong. Hotel LKF By Rhombus overlooks this maelstrom of jollity. Its rooms come furnished with a 42-inch LCD TV, DVD player and surround sound, Illy espresso coffee machine, Aeron chair, soft goose down duvet and pillows, and extensive amenities that invite an extended period in the bathroom that can be as romantic as it is hygienic.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: There's nowhere more happening in Hong Kong than Lan Kwai Fong – and this hotel is right on top of it!

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This luxury design hotel is located in the heart of Hong Kong Island. All 177 rooms come in extra-large sizes (by Hong Kong standard), rising from 67-square-meter studios up to a swish 182-square-meter Penthouse Suite with windows looking out to Victoria Harbour and Victoria Peak. Each bathroom includes a walk-in shower, a bathtub and a separate dressing area – a rarity in compact Hong Kong. Interior design is ace. Leading Hong Kong designer Andre Fu used nature-toned materials, such as oak and bamboo, to create a minimal and elegant space. Celebrity chef Gray Kunz mans the kitchen of the cafe and fusion restaurant, Cafe Gray Deluxe, on the 49th floor. The only downside is the hotel doesn't have a pool.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: One of the first boutique hotels to open in Hong Kong, The Upper House is still one of the best.

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Eastern District
EAST Hong Kong
Photo courtesy of EAST

This 32-story hotel is a five-minute walk from Taikoo Place, a colossal 10-tower office building cluster in Quarry Bay. Suited executives are the main patrons here and the hotel goes above and beyond to help them decompress. All staff wear casual attire (think light-green jumpers), the gym opens 24 hours and rooftop bar Sugar is decked out with an alternative harbor view: the downtown airport Kai Tak turned cruise terminal and jam-packed residential buildings around Kowloon Bay. Rooms are decorated in a no-frills minimalist way. Averaging 28 square meters in size, all 345 of them are equipped with free Wi-Fi, iPod room-control systems and powerful rainfall showers. The MTR station is right outside the door; so is Cityplaza, a six-story mega mall featuring everything from an ice-skating rink to a local food court.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: East combines an original design with fine food in an unusual location.

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Southern District
Ovolo Southside
Photo courtesy of Ovolo

Ovolo Southside is Hong Kong's first warehouse-to-hotel conversion. Originally built in 1976, the former multi-use industrial building now features 162 open-plan guestrooms, a fully-equipped 24-hour gym and a collection of social spaces that echo the warehouse's past in subtle details. Styled for maximum guest convenience and comfort, the hotel offers free breakfast and Happy Hour social drinks daily, alongside free daily replenished in-room minibar, self-service laundry facilities and a flexible check out. Ovolo Southside's small number of rooms compared with other Hong Kong hotels ensures a high level of service, catered to meet the needs of each individual guest.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: Ovolo Southside is a true original, and sited away from Central Hong Kong in an up and coming district.

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The Mira Hong Kong Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Mira

The Mira Hong Kong is a smoke-free, designer hotel with 492 boldly accented guest rooms, including a collection of 56 suites and specialty suites. Overlooking Kowloon Park and centrally located in Tsim Sha Tsui, the hotel easily connects guests to all parts of the vibrant metropolis; being a short walk from MTR stations and the Star Ferry.The Mira stands as it offers free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the entire hotel, complimentary mobile solutions with free data, local and international calls as well as access to personalized concierge service, high-end Bose iPod docking stations, wirelessly controlled on-screen infotainment, intuitive ambient lighting controls, and little details that make a difference, such as in-room safety box in which guests may charge their laptops.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: The Mira is not only very efficient, it's also a really fun property.

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