A budget hotel near the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront with views of Hong Kong's fabled harbor? That can only mean the YMCA, which has sat proudly beside The Peninsula since it first opened in the 1920s. Book early for this extremely popular hotel, especially since early-booking promotions are often offered on its website. It's a great choice for families, with two indoor pools (one just for children), a playground on the fourth-floor terrace, the YMCA's indoor climbing wall and other facilities (fees charged for those), and family suites with a sofa bed in the living room and separate bedroom. But I've also stayed here with girlfriends, sharing a suite and enjoying fantastic harbor views. Otherwise, there are also single, twin, and double rooms (harbor views cost more, but they're worth it), as well as dormitory rooms, each with two bunkbeds and restricted to travelers who have been in Hong Kong fewer than 10 days. Rooms were recently renovated with new carpeting, updated bathrooms, and abstract artwork.
- Beth Reiber