Editor's review: Shama Tsim Sha Tsui

Shama TST room

Contrary to some of my friends’ opinions, I’ve never thought of Kowloon as the ‘dark side’. I try to take the Star Ferry if I have meetings or dinners in Tsim Sha Tsui as I love seeing the city spread out before me. While Shama Tsim Sha Tsui doesn’t offer any harbour views, it does have a convenient location that would appeal to anyone who loves to shop or dine. Its views overlooking Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre, Kowloon Park, and ICC in the background visible on a sunny day, ensured a sense of place that was uniquely Hong Kong.

>> You might have interested in: Finding paradise in Tsim Sha Tsui

I made my way to Shama on a bright afternoon. It is situated between the sixth and 15th floors of a former commercial building, with the bottom five floors taken by commercial spaces that include a popular Japanese restaurant and a hair salon. As we all had to share the same lifts, sometimes there are long queues getting to the management office on the 15th floor where I checked in.

Shama TST Bedroom

This floor forms the hub of Shama, and the 24/7 management is set within a lounge with flatscreen monitors, printer, unlimited coffee, tea and biscuits, and ample reading material or DVDs to borrow. The small gym equipped with plenty of free weights, exercise balls and machines promised to keep me in shape despite all the tempting dining options nearby. The 15th floor also contains one of two laundry rooms available for residents’ use, as none of Shama’s 87 studio, one- or two-bedroom apartments include washers or dryers.

>> Editor's review: Shama Mid-levels

Shama TST gym

I stepped out onto the 15th floor’s wrap-around terrace, and enjoyed the views of the city. This area is open 24/7 as well, and there’s a grill that I can use if I want to host a barbecue for a dozen of my friends and family. But a few minutes in the sweltering Hong Kong sunshine, and I was ready to head down to the cool comforts of my one-bedroom apartment. My fellow guests were predominantly expats and there was a good mixture of families, couples and singles, with most of them staying between a month to half a year. Many work nearby at Olympic or ICC, while others are waiting out their home’s renovations.

Shama TST Rooftop garden

My place was situated on the sixth floor, and I appreciated the natural light that came down a central atrium that ran all the way up to the 15th floor. I liked the comfortable L-shaped sofa in the living area, and the pull-out cabinet that gave me extra counter space in the open kitchen. However, when I tried to find a socket to plug in my laptop at the desk, I discovered that there were only dedicated ones for the desk lamp and phone, and ended up having to unplug one in order to charge the device. After a shower and taking advantage of the rosemary scented soap provided, I drew the black out drapes so that I can sink into a luxurious night of sleep despite the ongoing activity on Nathan Road on the other side of my windows. All in all, I appreciated the tranquility of Shama, and having my city fix without sacrificing comfort.

>> Previous Editor's review: Taikoo Place

>> Next Editor's review: Bay Bridge