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Suite Staycation: Yulan Group’s the Arca adds a contemporary flair to Southside hospitality

Every Hongkonger knows life in our crazy, fast-paced city wouldn’t be bearable without the occasional getaway. That’s why we’re bringing you ‘Suite Staycation,’ where we review some of the finest hotel suites in Hong Kong and Macau. Rated upon quality of accommodation, F&B and the perks which we experience — not to mention the pure ‘wow’ factor — our column brings you in-depth advice on where to spend your dollars when it comes to taking some well-deserved R&R. 

There’s a lot to love in Hong Kong’s Southern district. Ocean Park, for one, our many hiking trails and beaches, and, of course, the plenitude of art galleries and homegrown breweries right outside Wong Chuk Hang MTR station. Now, there’s a new kid in town to hit up: Yulan Group’s flagship destination; a new “playground for millennial explorers” — the Arca.  

Overlooking the Aberdeen Harbour and designed and curated with warmth and comfort in mind, the Arca houses 187 spacious rooms, complemented by a fitness centre, gallery space, event space and a rooftop bar with an infinity pool. Bonus: Pawrents will be happy to know that the Arca is a pet-friendly hotel with Pawlious in-room dining options for your furry child. 

Tell us more about the room you stayed in. 

The Sea Suite is a lavish one-bedroom accommodation with impeccably detailed interiors and the most gorgeous view of the harbour. The suite was equipped with a large kitchenette, breakfast bar and 1.5 bathrooms (plus the cutest little bathtub to boot!). Bonus: The hairdryer make is a dream

The vibe was all turquoise accents on light wood, giving us full-on vacation feelz. Funnily enough, we were also assigned the room of my birthdate — 2702! Sometimes, you just have to celebrate the little wins.  

With its distinctly soft-hued colouring, the carefully collated furniture makes the entire space seem much larger than its 780sqft size. We loved the little touches in the room, especially the art manual on the table which detailed all the major pieces displayed around the hotel, a lovely way to learn about local artists.  

We’re feeling peckish. What’s on the menu? 

Arca Society 

Right around the bend from the check-in counter, you’ll find Arca Society — an all-day dining venue that boasts both Asian and Western culinary flavours. Now that the weather is finally cooling down, their outdoor terrace is a great place to unwind after work, especially if your time there syncs with Happy Hour (5pm – 8pm) — a hard-to-beat BOGO deal.  

While Arca Society currently does not offer dinner service, they do have an excellent semi-buffet BBQ brunch on Sundays. At HK$398 per head, you’ll get two options from the grill to choose from (I loved the lamb chops and lobster tail) and unlimited plates from the starter and dessert table.  

Arca Sky 

Perched on the top of the hotel is Arca Sky, one of the only rooftop bars this side of town. Their offerings include classic cocktails, specially curated wines and beers, as well as a selection of tasty bar bites. 

Experiences to unwind? 

Rooftop pool 

For those looking to get some seriously Insta-worthy snaps in this pool — you get a full 270-degree view of Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter and Ap Lei Chau — you’ll have to book in before 7 November when they’ll be closing the pool.  

Check out the mural as well, created by one of Hong Kong’s most celebrated artist duos, Rebecca Lin and Carol Mui of #creativehustlers.  

Arca fit 

Open 24 hours a day, and surprisingly well equipped for its limited size, is the Arca’s fitness facilities. If you’re motivated enough, it’s definitely worth a visit to burn some calories — especially if you’ve been indulging in the Sunday brunch like us. The hotel also offers a monthly pass for HK$500, ideal if you work in the area.  

Art gallery 

Located directly across from Arca fit is the art gallery space with rotating works depending on the season. You’ll have to check their website for updates in the scheduling, but it’ll be worth a casual walkabout while you’re there.  

So, in a nutshell: Worth a splurge? 

The Southside remains quite an untapped district in terms of entertainment. The only reason I’ve taken the trip over in recent times was to check out Water World. However, I will admit that the Arca brings a much-welcomed air of understated luxury and culture to the neighbourhood, a comforting hub amidst all the industrial warehouses on the same street.  

Drinks at the Arca / Yulan Group

At a starting rate of HK$2,800 a night, the Sea Suite is a wonderful option for those looking to leave the more centralized districts. If you’d like to soak up the culture even more, pair your staycation with an art walk visiting galleries in the area and then end the day at one of Young Master Brewery’s tours. Look, I just planned an excellent weekend for y’all. 

So, in short — the Arca? I dig it.

43 Heung Yip Rd, Wong Chuk Hang, +852 3701 6000

Sandra Kwong
Features Editor
A perpetually hungry individual paired with an acute dirty martini obsession. You'll catch Sandra waltzing around town from gallery openings to various happy hours. Usually waxing lyrical about her 10-step skincare routine or her latest gadget. Currently missing: long ski runs in Hanazono.