How can you beat the summer heat in the chicest way possible? With nibbles and cocktails by the pool, of course! Rather than fussing over frizzy hair or jumping from one air-conditioned space to the next, we’ve learned it’s best to embrace the scorching heat by enjoying the sunshine in style at Hong Kong’s best poolside restaurants.
We’ve scoured the city from top to bottom to find the best places to enjoy a refreshing swim, accompanied by a selection of top-notch nibbles and drinks. From Asian-inspired hors d’oeuvres to Champagne and light bites after a sunset dip, the good news is you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to a ritzy day of lounging poolside in your own urban oasis.
Best for Daytime Drinking: Cabana
Lounge music, beautiful people, swaying palms, and unbeatable views of the sea — what more could you ask for? Opened last year, Cabana may very well be Hong Kong’s answer to Singapore’s Tanjong Beach Club. The standout features of this open-air rooftop are the Japanese-style baths fronting Southside’s islands, perfect for cooling down on hot summer afternoons.
Meanwhile, the menu is provided by Hotshot, the breezy, California-style eatery downstairs. We snacked on the fried onion rings (HK$35), a delicious precursor to the juicy classic cheeseburger (HK$120) and the lobster roll (HK$190) filled with sweet, succulent shellfish. An assortment of breakfast items, nutrient-packed salads and desserts are also available, but you’ll probably be more interested in the buckets of Champagne found on every table, from Mumm Champagne to Dom Pérignon. Don your favourite pair of sunnies and sip on a bottle of bubbly as you soak up the sun at one of Hong Kong’s most stylish seaside drinking spots.
HK$280 admission from 10am–2pm; HK$580 from 2pm–7pm includes a bottle of Mumm Champagne, sun lounger, access to the baths, and more.
Cabana, Lobby A, Rooftop, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2889 5939
Best for Families: Waterside Terrace at Island Shangri-La
With a page of their menu titled “Health Conscious Kids Selection”, Island Shangri-La’s Waterside Terrace takes the cake for the best kid-friendly poolside dive. The alfresco restaurant offers something for everyone, with a focus on fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients filling up the well-rounded menu. Little ones can choose from a range of Asian and Western-style dishes such as wok-fried beef (HK$120), battered fish fingers (HK$95), classic hot dogs (HK$100) and angel hair pasta (HK$90). Meanwhile, adults will want to dig into the delicious, Thai-inspired fare ranging from chilled rice paper rolls (HK$170) to massaman lamb curry (HK$270) and sweet sticky rice with mango for dessert (HK$120).
The greenery of Victoria Peak looms over the lush swimming pool next to Waterside Terrace, which guests can enjoy with swimming passes starting at HK$650 for the day. We recommend taking a dip to work up an appetite before you enjoy the sumptuous fare on offer, perhaps accompanied with a cocktail (or three).
Swimming pool day pass is priced at HK$650 for weekdays and HK$800 for weekends and public holidays. Price includes the use of the swimming pool, health club facilities, steam, sauna, solarium and jacuzzi.
Waterside Terrace, 8/F, Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2820 8580
Best for Staycations: Pool Bar at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin
Sitting at the mouth of the Shing Mun River — where it opens up to a sparkling bay — and surrounded by views of the Kau To Shan mountains, the Hyatt Regency in Sha Tin is arguably the most secluded urban resort in all of Hong Kong. The energy, the landscape, even the air is different in the northeastern part of the New Territories.
At the hotel’s Pool Bar, you can grab light snacks and drinks as you soak in the stunning scenery, from lush greenery to the clear blue skies. Snack on Asian-style hors d’oeuvres such as veggie or shrimp rolls (HK$90) and chicken satay (HK$110), or dig into a range of Western-inspired treats, from crispy calamari with spiced salt (HK$110) to fish and chips with house-made tartar (HK$280). Wash the fare down with Pool Bar’s specialty cocktails: We’re big fans of the Tropical Passion (HK$68) — a mix of passion fruit purée, orange juice, mango juice and Sprite. If you’re making a weekend of it, make sure you check out the special Family Summer Getaway packages as well as Camp Hyatt for kids, running through 31 August.
Pool Bar, Hyatt Regency Sha Tin, 18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 3723 1234
Best Seafood: Fish Bar & Pool Lounge at JW Marriott
Sea-to-table is the theme at JW Marriott’s Fish Bar, a spacious and breezy seafood restaurant with an incredibly relaxing poolside vibe. Before you settle in, make sure you check out the blackboard up front announcing the daily catch (HK$298), ranging from red snapper to garoupa to barramundi (depending on the season, and the fishermen’s luck!). You can then choose how you want your fish prepared: char-grilled, pan-seared, or blackened. To round out the meal, take your pick from freshly shucked oysters, salads, seafood platters, crab cakes, and moules frites. The delicious desserts score Fish Bar extra brownie points, from the the Piña Colada (HK$98) with roasted pineapple and coconut caviar, to the Exotic Cheesecake (HK$98) made with a layer of passionfruit crunch jelly.
If you want to stretch the day out, head to the adjoining Pool Lounge for sunset cocktails and the impressive selection of award-winning wines sourced from around the globe. Watch out for their signature drinks of the day!
Fish Bar & Pool Lounge, 7/F, JW Marriott Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong, +852 2810 8366
Best Views of Victoria Harbour: Pool Terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
Four Seasons spa members are well acquainted with with this oasis in the middle of Central, and they’d probably prefer to keep it a secret, lest their bit of paradise become mobbed. But it’s always futile to try and hide anything amazing, and with its location adjacent to the infinity pool which drops into the vastness of Victoria Harbour, the Pool Terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is nothing short of that. While the pool is open for hotel guests only, the alfresco breeze and views of the sparkling clear water are enough to spark those vacation vibes. Tables are separated by swishing palms, and there’s always a subtle buzz of elegant diners around. Over here, it’s rarely ever a full house, and they like to keep it that way.
From 7am to 6pm everyday, the Pool Terrace is open to the public serving all day dining. The menu is a fusion of international favourites, with a focus on light and healthy fare for summer snacking. We munched on the crispy calamari with yuzu and lemon dip (HK$195) and the fresh Alaskan king crab salad of mango, avocado, and apples (HK$310), before moving on to the generously portioned falafel burger (HK$210) with its exotic mix of Middle Eastern spices. On sweltering days, make sure you take advantage of the excellent selection of fresh juices and smoothies on offer, and don’t forget to end with a scoop of ice cream from the Four Seasons’ house-made selection.
Pool Terrace, 6/F, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3196 8888