Choosing a Furnished Apartment
harbor front serviced apartments in Tsim
Sha Tsui area with a view of the Victoria
Harbor and Hong
Kong Island skyline.
If you are looking for a furnished apartment in Hong Kong, most
likely you're not planning on staying in Hong Kong long-term.
In that case a serviced apartment is a good option (in addition
to being furnished, cleaning service is provided in the package
or as an option).
Here are some factors to consider when choosing one other than
the price: location, view, and amenities.
Proximity to work is probably one big consideration especially
in Hong Kong since you'll probably be working long hours.
your office is in Central
district on Hong Kong Island, the most convenient would be
living in Central, Admiralty, or Sheung Wan, the latter two being
areas adjacent to Central. Since Central is the central business
district of Hong Kong, it is the most expensive. East of Central,
Admiralty is just one MTR
stop away (or a few bus
stops or tram stops away). With the Pacific
Place mall and some nice hotels in the area, it is a nice
modern and convenient area. Sheung Wan, located one MTR stop west
of Central, has a different flavor. It is much more residential
and local, complete with the shark's fin and bird's nest shops
which have been there for decades. Typically housing
prices are lower as well. But as time passes, there're more and
more new buildings and apartments in the area. From either Admiralty
or Sheung Wan, even a taxi
ride is but HK$20 or so (~US$2.60). (Above
left: an old buiding in Sheung Wan with a herbal tea shop on the
If you're working in an area other than Central, living close
to an MTR station is a
big plus. Besides, it gives you easier access to other parts of
Hong Kong. However, in some cases you can catch a bus
between home and work, without needing to fight the subway crowds.
Of course if you have a family with school-age children, that's a big factor to consider.
(Check out our comments on choosing a school for your kids.)
Hong Kong Serviced Apartments map
serviced apartment hot spots
Unless you are independently wealthy or have a housing budget
of HK$80,000 or more (~US$10,000), or unless you want to stay
in a village house far away from the city, you will be staying
in a condo or apartment rather than a stand-alone house - like just about everybody in Hong Kong. That
means you get the "city view", sea view, hill view,
or harbor view. With city view, it can mean that when you look
out, you are staring at another apartment's living room. The other
views are preferable, especially harborview.
The price usually varies with the view and hence also the floor
In furnished apartments, you'll probably get appliances like
a stove (but not necessarily an oven), a water-heater (in the bathroom,
maybe one more for ktichen), air-conditioners (but not necessarily
heaters), refrigerator, and some furniture. For serviced apartments,
you may not get a stove at all nor a ktichen - but mostly likely
you will have a bathroom! Internet access is sometimes included,
one of which with good access speed can cost you HK$200 a month
on a 12-month contract if you get it on your own.
By definition cleaning is included for serviced apartments, but
some makes it an option. So read the fine print! Furnished apartments
probably don't include any such service.
If you work out at the gym regularly, then it would be good to check and
see if the building or complex has a clubhouse, or if not just a gym. But beware
that even though many newer condo complexes have a clubhouse, they may not have a pool.
And the monthly fee may not be included in the rent. But then there're plenty of
health and fitness centers you can join for a fee, a few chains in fact.
If you enjoy jogging outdoors, you can do that in Hong Kong as well, but then
you might want to think twice after you see the pollution here. Nevertheless, other than
the outlying islands and areas farther away from the city center, the Mid-Levels
is probably a good choice for staying in since there are more trees and less crowds to run through.