I was in Hong Kong last week and decided to check out Empire and W studio since I will be moving to Hong Kong from USA in a few months and need a temporary place to stay.
I called Eric @ W Studio, and he asked me to call Donna. Donna instructed to go to their Wanchai location. Their building at the Wanchai location is very old and no doorman. It's like one of those old buildings that you see in New York's Chinatown. I called Donna outside of the building, and someone buzzed me in. Elevator is also very old, and I went to the 11th floor. As soon as I got out of the elevator, a Filipino construction guy waited outside for me. Apparently, he was doing some rennovations of a few rooms. The wall of the 11th floor was newly repainted in white, and the floor had around 10 rooms. The Filipino showed me one of their smallest rooms that just rennovated, and it was clean. However, if you're over 6' and weight over 170lbs, forget about it. The room is just way too small. Perhaps they have larger rooms on the floor, but I'm not sure. This room had one window. Toilet tub, sink and shower were located in the corner covered by glass walls. A small table and chair next to the bed. A double bed costs $500 HKD more. TV is attached to an adjustable arm on the wall. Seriously, the room is not like the one shown on the website - only the bathroom looks the same. I'm 5'10, 140lbs, and I fit just okay in the room. Once I finished, I saw an Asian tenant outside of the elevator. We took the elevator together, and I spoke with him. He said this place is okay, safe and nothing to worry about.
Next, I called a woman named Bevilla at Empire Studio. She instructed me to go to their causeway bay location. The building outside looks much better than W Studio's wanchi location. It's a doorman building, but I don't think the doorman will help much. The building inside is also old, but better than W Studio's wanchi location. Took the elevator to the highest floor. I walked out, and the floor was VERY DARK and looked haunted. The paint on the wall was chipping. The color on the wall was fading. I couldn't find the location, so I called Bevilla. She asked me to go through a belcony lookalike pathway. I was like huh? The pathway is really outside of the building! (I took pictures of the floor. email me if you want to see them) I then found a glass door, and Bevilla buzzed me in. She is a Filipino woman and speaks good English. I walked in, and she was behind the counter in a very small lobby area. Carpet floor. It has like around 10 rooms. She literally knocked on the door of two rooms of different size to make sure no one was inside, and she then opened the room with the master key to show me the room, which someone had already rented. The room she showed me was quite big but expensive - $8,000-9,000 HKD. Same thing - toilet tub, sink and shower are located in the corner covered by glass walls. Room also has a few cabinets where you can store things. TV, table, chair and etc.
Not much of a difference between the two. Since Empire Studio does look like a motel with glass door entrance and someone at the counter all the time, it makes me feel safer than W Studio's Wanchai location. Also, Empire's outside location is better. Time Square is only like three blocks away, and a lot of good restaurants there. W Studio's Wanchai location is more ghetto. A whole bunch of hardware shops on the block. The nearby area is all those ghetto food vendors, fish/meat markets and etc.