HONG KONG: Mini Hotel Central, Mini Hotel Stanley : REVIEW

Mini Hotel Central.

After a quick trip to Customs, we took a quick cab ride that took about 30 minutes down to the heart of Hong Kong in central where we ushered into the cozy expanse of the Mini Hotel Central.

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Located about five minutes uphill of Lan Kwai Fong the de facto nightlife district of Hong Kong, the Mini Hotel Central is also just five minutes away from the Central station on Hong Kong’s MRT and by extension, the rest of the city.

The cozy hotel is separated from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the district by a sturdy glass door and a helpful concierge who brought our luggage up and into the vast lobby.

Done by a noted designer, the chain of Mini Hotels all boast of a similar aesthetic in terms of their room and lobby décor.

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Upon walking in, you’re greeted by a vast lobby that’s both a meeting and waiting area. Uniquely different chairs sit clustered about the large hall to encourage conversation and for those seeking privacy.

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For those looking for conversation and a place to work, there’s a large wood hewn trestle table taking pride of place in the centre with long wooden benches that encourage casual conversation and cooperation.

Just behind it is a faux fireplace flanked by the essentials – a coffee machine and a vending machine.

The coffee machine itself took in capsules – we were issued four of them to keep us charged through our stay and extras cost HKD40 for a pack of four. Operating it was a cinch. You simply raise the level, popped a capsule in, put a cup below the receptacle and away you go.

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One thing to note is that most of the amenities aren’t usually provided with the room. You’ll have to nip by the vending machine downstairs for the aforementioned amenities that include coffee, mineral water and shampoo. There’s a dispenser for soap in the shower but that’s about it on that front.
The rest you’ll have to BYO or buy from the vending machine downstairs.

The vending machine was of interest and had a full array of hotel essentials ranging from shaving razors to bathroom shower gel, slippers as well as a variety of snacks for sale.

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In one corner of the lobby was a grand piano and while we weren’t able to play it, it was in working order and all it needed was someone suitably skilled enough to tickle the ivories.

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After a short wait, we were issued our keycards and ushered up into the double room. The area is a bit cozy but it’s ideal for a couple with a large double bed that has a little shelf all along it for smartphones and the like along with a mirror that takes up the entire expanse of the wall.

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BELOW: Note the mirrors, the powerpoints and the ledge where I was sitting on – that ledge served as a “table ” for us to charge 2 cameras, 2 powerbanks, 4 phones (each of us owns 2), a spare camera battery and 2 laptops. Do bring an EXTENSION cord if you are a social-savvy traveler like we are.

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But the view!
Ahh… you won’t believe that you are in CENTRAL, one of the busiest part of Hong Kong.
Our room window opens out to the pleasant view of Hong Kong’s urban sprawl with apartments and skyscrapers stretching to the sky all the way to the horizon yet the patches of green lungs in between.

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BELOW: When the sun sets…

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I’ll go into details of the Mini Hotel Central’s green surroundings, but let’s get back to the room shall we?

As I was saying, each room is equipped with two three pin power plugs for charging phones, laptops and other gear. If you’re coming from Malaysia, they’re using the same type of wall plug so there’s no need to bring an adaptor into Hong Kong.

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A wall safe is directly beneath the bed on a slide-out tray and there’s a bit of space for luggage too though it won’t be able to take in larger sized suitcases. Apologies as I forgot a picture of this feature, but look underneath the bed, it’s there for sure.

As the room is rather cozy, the in-house TV is mounted on the wall so watching the telly will require you to get in bed. There’s no chairs or stools around the room (we sat on the bed with our laptops on well, our laps) as there’s a premium on space but you’ll be too busy shopping and exploring Hong Kong.

Right next to the bed is a small dressing table along with a hair dryer in a bag and a small kettle just beneath it. 2 power sockets are allocated here presumably for the hair dryer and for you to boil your water. Obviously you have to shave here too.
The dressing table also has an additional two power points, one of which would usually be used for the hair dryer while the other is for the discreetly located kettle that you can use to brew up some hot drinks or instant noodle cups which you can buy from the vending machine downstairs.

BELOW: Our room. Thankfully my 32″ luggage fit underneath the “table”.

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BELOW: Another configuration of the room. The use of mirrors cleverly added the illusion of space.

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Step farther in through a glass door and you get a sitting toilet and a small sink with both hot and cold water on tap. The glass isn’t frosted so you’ll have to be somewhat friendly with whoever you’re staying with. There isn’t a mirror above the sink but all preening activities can be done in front of the mirror above the small dressing table.

Past a plastic shower curtain, you’re greeted by a soap dispenser as well as a standing shower. It’s highly functional and makes the most of the tight space available.

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The beds themselves were firm and the linen and pillows clean, comfy and cushy. It’s the good stuff.

Once we were done setting down our luggage we explored the top floor of the hotel that was an open air gathering area done up with stone walkways, jaunty parasols, seating and a fantastic view of the city.

BELOW: The corridors of Mini Hotel Central.

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We were told that there’s great parties here on major holidays but we alas were not able to enjoy one but in the daytime it does offer solitude and a contemplative place to gather your thoughts.
The WIFI strength is fair here so it is possible to chill with a movie or plain surfing work.

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Rooms at the Mini Hotel Central run to HKD 500 – 700 a night and you can find out more at their website at www.minihotel.hk.
Combined with the strategic locale, the Mini Hotel Central is one sweet recommendation if you’re looking for a place that’s right in the middle of the action.


Now, I’ll like to add about the pleasant surroundings of Mini Hotel Central if you are a morning person like I am.
Mini Hotel Central does not offer fitness facilities, but you start your morning with a stroll around the neighbourhood.
In the later part of this post, you will see me happily getting my workout done in the tranquil and natural Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

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It was wonderful to be able to walk and observe one of Hong Kong’s busiest district in the wee morning before the morning rush descended.
The streets are empty and the posh buildings and the shiny facade stood tall and proud.

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BELOW: Newspapers are still a big thing in Hong Kong. Every morning I see people giving out and selling them with many locals grabbing themselves a copy.

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BELOW: Within easy stroll from our hotel there are a lot of F & B options and with Lan Kwai Fong a stone’s throw away, a drinking hole is literally around the corner.
Besides Gordon Ramsey’s much lauded about food and Hard Rock Cafe’s famous live music, you can choose to be entertained by “naked bartenders that promises to flirt with you“.
Life is never boring at Central, Hong Kong.

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However, the street (Ice House Street) where Mini Hotel Central is a nice, quiet street away from the party scene so you are assured of a good night rest as well as well deserved serenity.
Buses and taxis plied the route in front regularly so there isn’t a need for worry of transportation either.
Mini Hotel Central is truly at an advantageous location!

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I promised to show you the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, incidentally an accidental find during my morning jog. I went uphill at the front of the hotel aiming for a challenging workout for my lower body.

What I discovered for my efforts was this picturesque and safe garden.
Admission is free to all parts of the Zoological and Botanical Gardens and there are gazebos, themed gardens, open areas for exercises and a good track for jogs/walks.
And yes, toilets too. Clean ones.

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All walks of people, young and old enjoyed their fitness and play session within this calm space.

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Needless to say, I love Mini Hotel Central.
The location, the close proximity to the gardens, the uphill roads, the Central MTR and all the delicious food (Lan Kwai Fong, Lan Fong Yuen, The Cupping Room, Yat Lok, Double D Burgers, Starbucks Duddell St) within 20 mins walking distance – this is where I would stay again if I need to be in Central when I’m in Hong Kong again. 



Mini Hotel Causeway Bay.

We also had the opportunity to visit the underground lobby of the Mini Hotel located at Causeway Bay. After taking a short flight of stairs down, visitors can be greeted with an artfully designed lobby that is both spacious and artistic in nature.

BELOW: The entrance might be easy to miss. But once you are in Hong Kong for a few days, you learn to look out carefully at each door within a building.
Most entrances are not as obvious.

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A corner has an Andy Warhol-esque image of Mao Tse Tung taking pride of place on the wall along with racks of faux bamboo scrolls. Another part has rawhide chairs in pride of place along with sets of comfy couches all around.

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Just facing the lobby itself are a pair of Macs that guests can avail themselves to for free internet access.

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Like other Mini Hotels in the chain, sitting in pride of place highlighted by its very own spotlight was a capsule coffee machine and, interestingly enough, a giant glass bowl of chocolates that we liberally helped ourselves to.
Alas, we weren’t able to take a look at the rooms but they would be done up to the usual high standards of the chain we were told.

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Mini Hotel Stanley.

All the best writers in the world seek to perfect their craft in solitude. Hemingway did it. So did Woolf though you can do it in style and with less roughing it out with the creature comforts on hand at the Mini Hotel Stanley.

Even if you’re not a wordsmith, the rustic charm of the quieter part of Hong Kong – it’s almost an hour out from Central by bus – and the scenic views of the nearby beach make for a more languid relaxed experience.

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While it hasn’t quite finished construction, the second block of the hotel complex has been completed and ready to receive guests.
While embodying concepts similar to the other Mini Hotels throughout the chain such as the coffee machine, Apple Mac desktops and the tripartite arrangement of a wooden trestle table with accompanying benches, leather hewn chains and kitschy art, the Mini Hotel Stanley has a distinct beachside ambiance and charm with heavy transparent curtains swaying quietly in the wind separating the lobby from the outside world.

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mini hotel stanley REVIEW

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Check-in was swift and while there’s no lift, getting up to our guest room on the second floor wasn’t much of a problem.

There’s about a dozen rooms per floor and each room has a rather unique configuration though they all have in common a rather cozy ambiance, a standing shower and toilet as well as full amenities including a kettle, a hair dryer, constant Wi-Fi on tap and, for Mini Hotel Stanley, a welcoming assortment of coffee and tea sachets as well as a pair of mineral water bottles to slake your thirst.

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There’s a charging port located just above the head of the bed and two more next to a compact little shelf. Some of the other guest rooms have a longer corridor separating the bathroom from the bed while others are literally a pace away.
Our room at was sized just right for a couple or one company averse adult and the clean white décor made the room look rather spacious despite its compact dimensions.

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There’s no room service yet though the nearby Wellcome supermarket five minutes walk away has everything you need ranging from frozen meat to instant noodle cups too. While the latter can be cooked in your room, the former can be cooked thanks to the inclusion of a microwave in the lobby.

The nearby area also hosts a school, which makes it somewhat busy during weekdays but the area is otherwise quiet throughout the day and at night. Perfect if you want a more relaxed holiday.

The bed itself was firm and the linen was washed and clean. Alas, the lack of seating space in the rooms means that if you deign to eat-in, you’ll have to be either very careful while sitting on your bedside or fairly creative.

Mini Hotel Stanley isn’t officially open as yet and we were the honoured media hosted here in early November for 3D2N.
I admit I was taken back at first by the room space but I fell in love with the tranquil surroundings and the beach after the first morning and promptly forgot all discomfort.

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While it’s not the most convenient of the establishments in the Mini Hotel chain, it offers its own unique charms and, if you’re one to spend all day out shopping, it won’t make much of a difference staying at Mini Hotel Stanley.


Now that we are done with the room and the hotel, I’ll like to bring to your attention the beautiful surrounding of Stanley.
Many may think that Stanley is a boring place, with nothing for recreation.

Depending on what you deem to be “recreation worthy“, for each of us partake in different pursuits, Stanley has a lot to offer the beach lovers, the weary traveler and the explorer seeking some tranquility yet not too remote removed from civilization.
Stanley boast of some nice cafes, one of which is the famous Stan Cafe which I unfortunately didn’t manage to locate. Read up on the raving reviews online and you will get the idea.

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Meanwhile Stanley Plaza and Stanley Waterfront offers delightful crisp sea breeze and pleasant sea view as you dine, shop or enjoy that mug of beer.
F & B establishments are aplenty from McD to Burger and Liberty and independent restaurants and pubs.

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And yes, they have a beautiful, 2 storey H & M here!

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I spent many mornings just running and people watching.
Locals and maids walk their dogs in the morning. Every morning without fail there are men and women who swam in the cold waters so it is perfectly safe to do so.
On certain mornings locals train for boat racing.

I sat and contemplate and just let me mind wonder, happy with the carefree environment of Stanley and the refreshing air.

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BELOW: Boat racing training.

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BELOW: The locals here love their dogs.

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It was play time for me. Give me the beach and I’m happy!

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To find out more swing by www.minihotel.hk.

In a nutshell:
Mini Hotel: (1) Mini Central and (2) Causeway Bay and (3) Mini Studio.

Basic Info of Mini Hotel:
1. Mini Hotel Causeway Bay
8 Sun Wui Road, Causeway HK
(15 minutes walk from Causeway Bay Station)
The newly renovated Mini Causeway Bay is categorized into Solo, Classic Twins, Mini Double and Smart Queen, ranging from 80 to 120 square feet. Offering you a stylish and trendy lodging experience in the heart of Hong Kong!

2. Mini Hotel Central:
38 Ice House Street, Central
(15 minutes walk from Central Station)
Offering 196 stylish and comfy non-smoking rooms at an affordable rate right in the heart of Hong Kong, MINI Central is categorized into Solo, Mini. Smart and Smart Plus, ranging from 80 to 120 square feet.

Website: http://minihotel.hk/core/

* All rooms have the free handy phones
* Free local calls
* Free IDD cards to 6 countries including USA, UK, Taiwan etc
* Free online service

3. Mini Stanley
2 Tung Tau Wan Road
Stanley Hong Kong
(Officially welcoming guests only in early 2016 but currently offering monthly rental service from HK$8000+)

Website: http://minihotel.hk/core/st-rooms/

Price includes:
Daily House-keeping services
Satellite/cable color LCD TV
Free direct dial telephone tablets
Free Wifi access
Vending machines (at Mini Hotel Central only)

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