As we welcome our new cohort of tutors, who are now furniture hunting for their apartments, Chatteris’ own senior tutor – and self-confessed IKEA fan – Hannah Sutton reviews the four IKEA stores in the city…
Before coming to Hong Kong, I would not have thought of myself as a ‘fan’ of IKEA. I had never spent any considerable time in an IKEA and was unfamiliar with the delicacies found in the café, but little did I know, that was all about to change.
Hong Kong is home to four IKEAs – a large enough number that means, when it comes to shopping, you have a wide choice of locations. And when moving to the city, picking an IKEA to furnish your new (but totally bare) apartment is an important task, and the first few weeks in Chatteris involve an epic quest to find furniture.
Whilst other means of acquiring furniture are available, these methods require the added element of a moving van and the effort is sometimes (always) too much in the August climate.
And so we have IKEA, all four of them. Luckily for you readers, I have taken the time to thoroughly review each and every IKEA, factoring in location, navigability, availability of stock, and quality of dining. I will rank them from worst to best for dramatic effect.
In last place, Tsuen Wan IKEA:
At the mysterious end of the red MTR line lies the Tsuen Wan IKEA. There are few reasons to go to Tsuen Wan, so for that reason, in terms of location, this IKEA is at the bottom of the list.
The positive I would say about getting to this IKEA is that from the station to the shop, the walk is through a covered footbridge so there’s little chance of getting lost on your way there.
However, once in the store, this IKEA is a maze! Spanning multiple floors, there seems to be no logical system to the arrows ‘directing’ you through the store. As soon as we walked in, we were lost with no hope of ever making it out alive.
Given the size of this IKEA, the products available were limited and we got so lost that the effort required to find the restaurant was too much so we didn’t try the food. All in all, not the most positive of experience!
Amendment: at the time of writing, I had yet to experience all of what Tsuen Wan has to offer and I would recommend a trip to visit. I stand by my review of the IKEA however. I have been reliably informed though, that the restaurant has had a glamorous makeover.
In third place, Sha Tin IKEA:
Thinking about what to say regarding the Sha Tin IKEA, nothing really springs to mind, and that is why it is placed in a worthy bronze position.
Similarly to Tsuen Wan, this IKEA can be accessed via MTR and a short walk; however, when carrying back your precious IKEA goods, it is a long enough walk!
Size-wise, it’s a fairly average store. We didn’t eat at the café because a Starbucks was next to the store and that seemed like a more appealing option at the time!
Second place goes to Causeway Bay IKEA:
Causeway Bay IKEA places second purely because of its location. The only IKEA situated on the island, it already felt more upmarket stepping out of the reasonably close MTR.
The smallest of all the IKEAs, this was the easiest to walk around. Despite covering two floors, this IKEA does not have a restaurant but does boast the only IKEA Bistro in Hong Kong (yes I Googled to check this). Thus, it automatically makes it sound 10 times fancier than the other locations! Although there’s only standing room available only at the Bistro, it made for the perfect place to grab a hotdog whilst picking up a much needed curtain rail and towel.
And in a worthy first place, Kowloon Bay IKEA:
The coveted top spot for the Best IKEA in Hong Kong goes to the Kowloon Bay store. A small aside is the location – quite far down the green MTR line and a 10 minute (ish) walk to the shop.
A big positive though, unbeknownst to us at the time, is an IKEA shuttle bus! One for the bucket list!
The IKEA itself is big, with arrows pointing you around the store that actually make sense. There’s a large choice of available stock to pick from the warehouse section at the end of the directed route.
But, the restaurant section was remarkable. With space a rare commodity in Hong Kong, the seating area was large with plenty of space to sit and enjoy a plate of meatballs. Notably, the mall in which the IKEA is situated has a taxi rank which we made good use of to shift our newly purchased chair and clothes rail.
All in all, I hope this research is beneficial if, by any chance, you were struggling to decide which IKEA in Hong Kong to shop in.
Like Hannah, do you fancy joining our team of tutors? You can find more about our programme here.