The Cosmo Mongkok in many ways is a typical mid-price Hong Kong hotel but we were taken aback by the terrific service we received from hotel staff. It started even before we arrived. Sampling regional Chinese cooking was a focus of my Hong Kong get-together with an old college friend and my son who both flew from the US to Hong Kong. We used the excellent openrice.com restaurant review site and Michelin ratings to try to find Hong Kong restaurants which offered exceptionally good food while avoiding the over-elaborate, overpriced big hotel restaurants. Some of these Michelin rated restaurants are so popular that reservations need to be made days or weeks in advance. Further, we found that it was very difficult for English speakers to make reservations. Cantonese-only restaurant staff who answered our calls hung up when we called to make a reservation. We repeatedly pestered the Cosmo staff to make our reservations. They were fantastic, making all the reservations we requested and, when we were unable to get the reservations we wanted, they followed up to be sure that we got an alternative. When we checked into the hotel the staff worriedly recalled that we did not have a reservation for dinner on a particular night.
This photo of Cosmo Hotel Mongkok is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Then, when I thought I had lost my passport, Cosmo staff sprang into action. They sent a staff member to accompany me to the restaurants at which we had recently dined, they got me information on the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong and filing a report with the Mongkok police station. Fortunately, my passport turned up in my traveling companions room but I learned a lesson about how dire the consequences are for losing a passport. One could be stuck in a foreign country for many days or even weeks trying to get get replacement travel documents through the sclerotic consular procedures.
In short, I can’t imagine that you could get better, more personalized service at the Peninsula for $500 a night than you get at the Cosmo Mongkok for $100.
The Cosmo rooms are small as is typical for Hong Kong hotels, but they are very well designed to maximize the space. You’ll pay about $90USD for a basic room at the Cosmo. We did quite a bit of research before we came to Hong Kong in January 2012. I also scouted several other economy hotels while we were in Hong Kong. Even booking a room at a guesthouse in Chungking Mansions or Sincerity will not save you that much money over staying at the Cosmo. The Cosmo is one of the best deals in Hong Kong.
There is the matter of location. If you stay in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), getting to top restaurants and tourist attractions is easier. You’ll be able to stroll from your hotel to restaurants, museums and other attractions. That’s a definite plus for TST hotels. The Cosmo tries to address this with a free shuttle bus. We ended up taking taxis or Hong Kong’s fabulous subways. Hong Kong taxis are fairly cheap, about $40HKD from the Cosmo to TST. In reality, we found the Mongkok district itself appealing. It’s a genuine working, bustling section of traditional Hong Kong, not a giant tourist trap.
The area around the hotel, Ivy Street in particular, is a really nice neighborhood with some good restaurants. One of our favorite restaurants, One Dim Sum in Prince Edward, a long walk north of the hotel, must be one of the least expensive Michelin 1* restaurants anywhere. Three of us had a feast there for $1350HKD, about 10% of what two of us paid for lunch at the upscale Sun Tung Luk — and much more fun. Shopping for bargains in Mongkok is fun. It’s not a long walk to the colorful Monk Kok shopping streets; sports shoe street, ladies market, and the computer and camera stores of Sai Yeung Choi Street. You’ll find better bargains here than you will at the overpriced shops in TST. This is where the locals shop for bargains.
I can’t believe you’ll not be satisfied with your stay at the Cosmo.