Park Hotel, Hong Kong

Central Park MouldReview:

I’m currently investigating hotels in Hong Kong that can be had for US$200 or less a night.

A couple of weeks ago it was the turn of the Central Park Hotel in Sheung Wan. A 3* hotel that is used by many overseas travel agents who put tour groups there or those who are staying just one night in HK on a transfer through to somewhere else.

So, was it the “hip boutique hotel…in the heart of Hong Kong’s financial and commercial centre” that it claims on its website to be?

Nothing could be further from the truth.

For a start, when I last looked (yesterday), the financial and commercial heart of Hong Kong Island was definitely still Central and Admiralty, whereas Sheung Wan was still the heart of sharks fin and dried bark trade. But petty differences in geographical opinions aside, onwards to what I actually experienced.

After an unnecessarily long 15 minute check-in process, the first room I was assigned (2504 I believe it was) was so musty, and the atmosphere was so damp I couldn’t believe they’d dared give me the key. Uninhabitable.

Keeping the door wedged open so as not to be overcome by the smell, I rang reception for a new room. As I was on the phone holding for a response, I realised that the odd pattern on the wallpaper I was staring at was in fact mould. It was all over the entire wall behind the bed.

I then looked at the other walls and found rising damp above the skirting boards, stained carpets and general scruffiness – and this was one of the rooms on the Executive Floor!

On to the second room.

I went to meet a porter on the 7th floor, and as soon as the lift doors opened the reek of stale cigarette smoke was thick in the air. I told the porter I wouldn’t stay in a smoking room as I had indicated on my booking reservation, so there was no need for me to see it, yet he assured me that it was just the corridor that smelled. Hmm, what a bloody stupid thing to say, and what a bloody stupid room to try and check me into when I’d asked for a non-smoking room, and already turned down one room partly because of the stench.

Against my wishes he hauled me into the room, and lo and behold, on entering it was more like walking into a smoking lounge at an airport than a hotel room. Having reiterated my request to change room, poor Mr Porter suggested that maybe all it needed was some air-freshener! Um…No…What it needs is a thorough gutting.

I tilted my head to one side and looked at him with pity, “That would be like spraying perfume on a pile of poo, dear. It’s still a pile of poo, and will still stink like a pile of poo, although probably just more rancid once the smell of pine and lilies has worn off a little.” He smiled back weakly in bafflement, as these were not the English words he was used to hearing. Poor chap, but by this stage I was gently fuming.

On the march again, and on to the third room.

This room was still shabby, dented and scratched, but at least it didn’t smell, but by now I was running so late that it would have to do.

I had a quick shower, where I noticed that the window frame didn’t fit properly so there was an air gap down the entire length of one side, and the loo was surrounded by a blooming stain of rust.

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