Mid-Levels Neighbourhood Guide: Prime Properties and Cultural Trails
Whether you’re looking to invest in a stable, proven district in the face of uncertainty, or looking to buy yourself a bolthole for premium living in Hong Kong, you’ll want to look to Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels. Here’s our beginner’s guide to the area.
Being infamous as the world’s priciest property market with an average housing price in the city clocked in at US$1.2 million (HK$9.3 million) according to CBRE’s 2020 Global Living Report, much of Hong Kong’s ultra-luxe homes belong to a trifecta of The Peak, Repulse Bay and Mid-Levels. High barrier to entry aside, these areas have traditionally offered the luxury of space, sumptuously appointed homes, and are known as the most exclusive areas to live in the city.
If you’re looking for a home with a view, there is no better place to admire the picture-perfect panorama of Victoria Harbour than the privileged vantage points offered by the Mid-Levels and The Peak. The Mid-Levels in particular stretches from the east overlooking Happy Valley, across Central and Western along the mid-ridges of Victoria Peak, whilst the Peak area itself sees standalone mansions and spacious condos dotted along the higher portion of the mountain.
Situated in the midst of abundant greenery with walking trails, historic sites, high-end restaurants and tranquil cafes all at arm’s reach, the Mid-Levels is also easily accessible to the shopping and business areas of Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay — all just a quick drive or walk away. It’s also well connected to a network of prestigious local and international schools, attended by the children of some of Hong Kong’s more affluent families.
If money is no object, there are many pluses to obtaining a luxurious pied-à-terre in the most traditionally affluent part of Hong Kong — though thankfully, there are also a growing number of accessible entry price points — particularly scattered around Mid-Levels West — that make it feasible for young professionals and small families. We outline the perks of the Mid-Levels below.
Residences to know
With high-rise buildings cutting through the mountains, Mid-Levels residences all boast grandstanding panoramic views of the city and the Victoria Harbour — with equally impressive price tags to match.
For a glimpse of what is synonymous with the opulence of the area, look to The Mayfair, one of the most well known developments in the area, just 10 minutes away from Central and the Peak. Completed in 1998, the 30-storey property looms large in the heart of Mid-Levels with units sized from about 2,100 to 4,500 sq.ft. and equipped with harbour-facing balconies. Its last transaction was in 2016, where a 2,838 sq.ft. apartment sold for HK$155 million.
Mid-Levels is also home to residences that spotlight incredible architectural craftsmanship. Look to The Opus and The Morgan. The Opus was Frank Gehry‘s first residential project in Asia in collaboration with Ronald Lu & Partners. The 12-storey building is located on Stubbs Road on the east side of Victoria Peak, with comfortably sized units ranging from 6,000-6,900 sq.ft., including two duplexes with pools.
The Morgan is equally if not even more impressive, high above Mid-Levels with stunning views of the city, the Robert A. M. Stern Architects-designed tower has scored multiple accolades since the building’s completion in 2016. Featuring 34 duplexes and a penthouse on the 30th floor, it exemplifies the epitome of contemporary luxury living within our concrete jungle.
Nevertheless, the Mid-Levels also offers small to mid-sized homes. Slated for completion in March 2021 is Central 8: Located in Mid-Levels West with 99 units ranging from 181 to 491 sq. ft, it plans to offer both studios or one- to two-bedroom apartments for singles and young families.
The Mid-Levels boasts some of the most prestigious schools in Hong Kong, ranging from preschool level to higher education. To the west, the Mid-Levels is home to the esteemed University of Hong Kong. Some of the finest secondary schools also loom large in the Mid-Levels, including St. Paul’s Co-Educational College, St. Paul’s College for boys, St. Stephen’s Girls’ College as well as international schools under the English Schools Foundation such as Island School. For kindergartens, the International Montessori School of Hong Kong and the Woodland Montessori Academy both offer competitive advantage to fledgling leaders of the future.
Around the Neighbourhood
A predominantly residential neighbourhood, the Mid-Levels is interspersed with small businesses catered towards families such as tutoring centres and mom-and-pop diners, all steps away from leafy walking trails, parks and cultural sites showcasing some of Hong Kong’s British colonial past.
Ohel Leah Synagogue
Neighbouring the Jewish Community Center and Jewish Recreation Club, Hong Kong’s Modern Orthodox Synagogue has been the nucleus for the social and religious activities of the Jewish population in Hong Kong for over a century. Established in 1901–1902, the Ohel Leah Synagogue commemorates Leah Sassoon, the mother Sassoon brothers Jacob, Edward and Meyer — part of a wealthy merchant family often referred to as ‘the Rothchilds of the east’ — who donated the land on which the Synagogue stands. Nearby, check out Sabra at the Jewish Community Center, which serves kosher international dishes and traditional Jewish deli favourites. The restaurant also offers a full Shabbat dinner, which requires advanced booking (note that Sabra is currently closed until August 2020).
Ohel Leah Synagogue, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, +852 2589 2621
Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences
Hong Kong’s resilience in the fight against infectious diseases dates back hundreds of years, and this history is succinctly showcased at the Hong Kong Museum of Medicinal Sciences. It was formerly a Bacteriological Institute built in response to the 1894 Plague outbreak. These days, it’s an informative museum that outlines the scientific discoveries across Chinese and Western medicine throughout the years, as well as a shining example of built-heritage conservation.
Hong Kong Museum of Medicinal Sciences, 2 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, +852 2549 5123
Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum
As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to Dr. Sun Yat-sen, influential philosopher, politician and physician, and the founding father of the Republic of China. As the place where Sun was educated for his secondary and tertiary education, Hong Kong is considered the bedrock of his early revolutionary thought, and traces his activities in Hong Kong from establishing the Xing Zhong Hui (Revive China Society) in 1894 to the founding of the Republic of China in 1912. Housed in the historic Kom Tong Hall — the original residence of local businessman Ho Kom-tong, half-brother to Sir Robert Ho Tung — the museum opened in 2006 to commemorate the 140th birthday of the icon. The museum is located just a hop and skip away from the Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail.
Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum, 7 Castle Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, +852 2367 6373
Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware
Dating back to 1846, Flagstaff House is considered the oldest surviving example of Western architecture in the city. It used to be the residence of the commander of the British forces during Hong Kong’s years under colonial rule. Eventually it was converted into a museum dedicated to the art of tea appreciation and ceramics. Aside from a permanent collection and revolving special exhibition, don’t miss the opportunity for a meal at Lock Cha Tea House — at one of the city’s most picturesque locations of the venerated tea brand — where you can step back into the past and sample delicious dim sum and a wide selection of freshly brewed teas.
Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, 10 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2869 0690
Bowen Road Fitness Trail
Running along the lower slopes of Victoria Peak is the Bowen Road Fitness Trail, which is popular with runners and dog walkers in the area. Breathe in the fresh air provided by the lush foliage of palm, vine and bamboo as you go on your daily jog, whilst taking in the view of the streets of Wan Chai far below. Although a manageable 2.5km route, the fitness trail is paved, and fully equipped with restrooms, playgrounds, park benches and emergency phones. Looking for a date idea with your other half? Find the stairs to Lover’s Rock above the trail — dubbed the ‘Bowen Road Lover’s Stone Garden,’ tradition has it that women go up to pray for fortune in love and marriage. Whether you’re superstitious or not, the landmark is still worth a visit for its incredible vista over the city.
Bowen Road Fitness Trail, Bowen Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong
The Central–Mid-Levels Escalator
Being the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, the escalator conveniently links the Mid-Levels to the main shopping and dining areas in SoHo and Central. On a cooler day, try hopping on the escalator from start to finish — discovering SoHo’s different restaurants and bars, upstairs pampering destinations, heritage sites and hidden alleys up and down each lane.
Central–Mid-Levels Escalator, Central, Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
With over 300 animals residing here including orangutans and flamingoes, Hong Kong’s Zoological and Botanical Gardens provides a fun-filled day for families with young kids. Interact with birds and mammals at a tour through its aviaries, greenhouse and the fountain terrace garden. Guided tours about primate and bird care and conservation efforts are also available.
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Albany Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2530 0154
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