Mirador Mansions on Nathan Rd of Tsim Sha Tsui is an extremely well known building that has been frequented by travellers to Hong Kong for many many years. The building takes up the whole block width ways and is about 15 stories high, and was built back in the 70’s is my guess. For many years it has been home to several different independently run hostels, including the well known Cosmic Guest House.
It has a great location, being less than five minute walk to the all the attractions along Hong Kongs Victoria Harbour. Its also very close to Kowloon Park and its right across the road from the new iSquare shopping complex. Temple St Night market is within walking distance too.
But, hmmm, the name maybe a little bit of a contradiction, it’s no mansion! The front of the building faces Nathan rd and along the frontage you’ll find camera stores, jewellers and even a strange looking herb shop (strange to me at least!). The main entrance is half way along the front street, and when you first walk in you may want to just turn around and walk out again.
Its a little run down, a little dirty looking, and at first look there appears to be plenty of shady looking characters hanging around the front. But fortunately they turn out to be harmless locals that are either living or working in the building, the building is also home to many businesses.
The entry could do with a real good clean, or refurbish, but fortunately the hostels are much cleaner than the entry hallway! In the hallway you’ll also find tailors, phone shops selling sim and calling cards, shops selling luggage and also traditional chinese clothes. They don’t wait in their shops for business to come to them either, most shop staff are out the front touting their goods and trying to lure you into their shops. Calls of ‘tailored suit, shirts, copy watches sir…’ can become annoying, but they are friendly, and many speak english so they can actually be helpful in rare instances.
There is a pair of elevators at the middle of the building and a pair towards the rear, the ones at the rear are mostly used by businesses moving goods up and down. Both sets can quite often be busy, and it’s worth noting that they are turned off at ten pm, although the ones at the rear still seem to work later in the night.
Lilys Guest House is located on the 11th floor and Lily herself speaks english and seems very helpful and friendly too, I saw the room but did not stay there as I had already booked at Cosmic Guest House. I think Lilys Guest House would be ok to stay at as the bathrooms may have been a little bigger and being at the rear of the building there may not be so much road noise from the busy Nathan Rd.
Cosmic Guest House is located on the 12th floor which is surprisingly cleaner the the entryway! The staff are all friendly, helpful and the main staff speak good english. The floor feels safe and the rooms are clean, perhaps not immaculately clean but if you have been travelling around China for a while you’ll have adjusted your standards to a new ‘norm’ and for China it’s on the good side.
Like most rooms in China the rooms are small, so don’t expect much. Both the rooms I stayed at in the Cosmic Guest House were comfortable though, and if your staying in Hong Kong you really shouldn’tbe spending much time in your room, and when you get home you should be so tired that you could sleep anywhere, so whats it matter, right! The rooms were clean and had a small TV with a few english channels, air conditioning, a thin mattress, thin doona and two slightly flat pillows. Both rooms had a toilet and shower fitted into one of the smallest bathrooms I have ever seen. It’s really cool, you can go to the toilet and shower at the same time…
Nathan Road is a busy arterial that runs up the center of Kowloon, so there’s plenty of traffic noise, I made good use of my ear plugs, which are a necessity in China anyway, and the hum from the air conditioner helps to drown out the noise…
The Cosmic Guest House has a free left luggage room, free internet, a laundry service which looked to be reasonably priced.
On the same block as the Mirador Mansion is a Seven Eleven, a little expensive but they have a small range of beers, snacks and goods for other basic needs, walking down Mody Rd you’ll find the new K11 building which has a coffee shop, restaurant and some other shops. Along the nearby Hart Avenue you’ll find the Panorama Hotel which has a bar and restaurant at the top featuring a wonderful view over Hong Kong city and the harbour, drinks and food are pricey but it’s a classy place with an amazing view.
A reasonable walk away is the Hong Kong Museum of History And the Hong Kong Science Museum, near to that is Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, and there’s a load of bars on the nearby Prat Avenue. There’s more bars and clubs in Tsim Sha Tsui near Grandville Square and also some shops and some great little cheap eateries.
Possibly the best feature is the closeness to the harbour, it’s only a short walk and your there, where you can get on a Star Ferry, go to the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Art Gallery, walk along the Avenue of the Stars and watch the Symphony of Light Show.
Mirador Mansions Map