Professionals can enjoy the best of both worlds if they stay in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels
Serviced accommodation in this quiet residential neighbourhood offers quick access to the central business district and, yet, is within striking distance of some of the city’s greenest areas
The Peak is home to Hong Kong’s priciest real estate – notably the most expensive property in the world in 2016, after tycoon Chen Hongtian spent a reported HK$2.1 billion to acquire 15 Gough Hill Road.
For those not quite in that league, nearby Mid-Levels offers an appealing alternative. It still has status in terms of social creed and, location-wise, is actually even more convenient for Central, and still within striking distance of the famous greenery of The Peak. You simply take the iconic Mid-Levels escalator – in fact, a series of some 20 escalators – to Caine Road, walk through the Hong Kong Botanical Gardens, and Old Peak Road leads to forest-canopied hiking trails from which the best city and harbour views await.
Here it’s cooler than on the steamy streets of Central, and office workers may catch a glimpse of their office building among the skyscrapers below.
Whereas, back in colonial days, European settlers regarded The Peak – the highest elevation on Hong Kong Island – as their exclusive domain, Mid-Levels, lacing around the side of the mountain, was an address more affordable for younger professionals with lofty ambitions. It’s for them that the world’s longest series of escalators was built to ease the commute to Central, and the serviced apartments located in the vicinity to house the city’s transitory workforce are among the most sought-after today. For despite its walking-distance proximity to the bustling business and financial hub of Hong Kong, this remains primarily a quiet residential neighbourhood.
Hanlun Habitats is tapping the district’s appeal with its portfolio of high-end serviced apartments located exclusively within Mid-Levels.
Of these, Orchid, at 22 Mosque Street, is situated right beside the escalator, with Peach Blossom, also on Mosque Street, located nearby. Lily I and Lily II boast a Robinson Road address.
Hanlun also operates a Designer Suites collection, comprising Sherwood and Ka Yee on Mosque Street, and Floral on Robinson Road. Its apartments range in size from 436 sq ft to 1,170 sq ft, in studio to two-bedroom configurations. Standard amenities include daily maid service, 24-hour security and concierge, Wi-fi, business services and residents’ privileges.
Wearing its Mid-Levels address as a brand, Two MacDonnell Road is a serviced apartment property with a hotel licence, so it’s able to offer stays as short as one day. Its studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments range in size from 336 sq ft to 750 sq ft, each with a dedicated kitchen space and views of Hong Kong’s mountain and park scenery. The property is so close to the action that it’s apparently just 1,650 steps – or 500 metres – from Lan Kwai Fong, and just a tad further to the city walks of Hong Kong Park and upscale shopping in The Landmark.
Shama Midlevels, on the other hand, targets guests who wish to stay for six months or longer, especially corporates working in nearby office buildings such as One Pacific Place, Three Pacific Place and Hopewell Centre, all within walking distance of the 9K Kennedy Road property.
Onyx Hospitality took over Shama Midlevels in May 2016, and since then, has been “uplifting everything” to the brand’s standard, including implementing the “no boundaries” lifestyle programme which fast-tracks residents into their new neighbourhood. Shama Chill, the ground floor garden, and Shama Wired, an area equipped with business facilities, add to the home-like experience.
The property, comprising 24 one-bedroom units (645 sq ft in size), offers the rare privacy of only one apartment per floor, each with a greenery view.
More modest accommodation, but still in the prime Mid-Levels neighbourhood, with a modern décor and Victoria Harbour views, is available at Bonham Residence. Operated by Y Hospitality, the YWCA’s hotels arm, the property is located next to the University of Hong Kong at 38C Bonham Road. The smallest studios (142 sq ft to 164 sq ft) are advertised at a monthly rental of HK$13,000 up, with suites and duplex units also available.
Garden View Hong Kong at 1 MacDonnell Road, is another property in the Y Hospitality Mid-Levels portfolio. In-house dining is available during business hours in the Garden View Lounge, with breakfast, lunch and dinner served in The One Restaurant. The property also has a fitness room and outdoor pool. For those who yearn for urban greenery, it’s located beside the Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
At 8 Rednaxela Terrace, a bespoke, contemporary serviced apartment property operated by ACTS Hospitality, all suites have large windows and balconies, some on the higher floors gaining views over Central. The luxurious Terrace Duplex Suite even has an outdoor private lap pool and a terrace with barbecue and outdoor cinema experience – all only steps away from the Central-Mid-Levels escalators.
Another option is Mier Serviced Apartments, offering a choice of standard studios, or studio with terraced garden. Convivial features include a complimentary coffee corner and self-service communal laundry. Located on Hospital Road, the property is about a 10-minute walk from the escalators.