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.
When it comes to the pool of fabulous five-star hotels in the heart of Central, you can always expect the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong to be named, front and centre. Current land-bound state would have probably brought it on as a considerable “treat yourself” option for a much-deserved staycation at some point. With a recent renovation project that saw over 399 guest rooms and suites renewed as well as new additions to its F&B roster, there’s no time like now to book in for a new ‘first’ experience.
“With our redesigned rooms and suites that offer guests serenity in the midst of a lively metropolis that is Hong Kong, we are creating a space where culture and heritage blend seamlessly with the latest technology and modern furnishings. We are excited to welcome guests to experience this reimagined concept for themselves as we continue to foster a journey of inspiration and self-enrichment for our global clientele.” Bill Taylor, the Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, commented.
Tell us more about the room you stayed in.
The newly revamped Grand Harbour-View Suite is a world away from its predecessor, once of ornate old-world glamour with shiny satin textures, gilded panels and deep, warm tones. In the latest evolution the room and suites, designed by Remedios Studio, there’s a renewed emphasis on warmth and a cosy homeyness you’ll find yourself be naturally swept into, bolstered by impressive modern furnishings — much like those of in a beautifully decorated designer home — but never once forgetting the hotel’s esteemed heritage.
It’s described to be a tangible reflection of Hong Kong, the city itself woven with threads of modernism and tradition. “With our redesigned rooms and suites that offer guests serenity in the midst of a lively metropolis that is Hong Kong, we are creating a space where culture and heritage blend seamlessly with the latest technology and modern furnishings,” says Bill. Lightened and brightened — the most substantial of changes — the suite is awash in pale palette of creams, blues and natural woods for an instantaneous sense of calm, especially when you look over panoramic frame of a silent Victoria Harbour in motion. The 732 square-foot space is sectioned into a residential-like blueprint, inclusive of a living-dining area, a bedroom and two bathrooms where furnishings are kept sleek and minimal to allow for a seamless flow between each space; an entirely natural at-home experience for any visiting guests, be it an extended business trip or short, indulgent getaway.
The king-sized bed, in particular, is shifted and re-positioned to face sparkling ocean views, designed entirely for those who enjoy waking up with the sun. With an open wardrobe attached behind the headboard, the transition from bed to walk-in robe to exquisitely marbled bathroom — the single component that has remained original from the overhaul — is rendered effortless. The room, now also re-fitted with new lighting controls and smart TVs add to the intuitiveness of it all; a swift press-and-pause motion to get curtains drawn, lights dimmed, set and ready for a good night’s sleep. But, it’s the new addition of a wide swivel sun-bed, settled window-side in a quiet corner, that truly impresses, for it offers yet another in-room experience — to catch sunrises and sunsets! — and an alternate view overlooking the city.
But the hotel’s hand-to-heart towards tradition and significant Hong Kong locale is not entirely forgotten, rather ingeniously embedded within various corners of the room: traditional Chinese landscape paintings interwoven into wardrobe doors; geometric open shelving in lightly polished wood — mimicking those of classic Ming Dynasty étagères — presented in a museum-like display of hand-selected wares and artefacts; framed works inspired by Chinese artists hung high upon the walls; and perhaps most subtly — a far-cry from the room’s previous overt proclamation to Chinese-inspired design — Chinese architectural elements hidden within the myriad of textures and patterns from the wallpaper to carpeting; layered, tessellated and texturised for a renewed look on time-honoured elements.
We’re feeling peckish. What’s on the menu?
Apart from the Four Seasons’ institutionalised list of usual but very reputable suspects: Caprice, Sushi Saito, Tempura Uchitsu, Lung King Heen and The Lounge, the hotel has recently just expanded its portfolio with two new openings as part of the overhaul: The much written and raved about bar, Argo, led by Four Seasons’ Bar Manager Lorenzo Antinori and Gallery, a tucked-away café nook off the centre on the left of the front lobby.
Here’s what you need to about both concepts: Argo, a contemporary cocktail bar styled as a sun-strewn, glass-panelled conservatory. Inside the sleek, mirror-panelled enclave — that also nods towards mythological fables — a world of discovery, exploration and technological innovation, made possible through a revolving list of notable collaborators and suppliers. Take a moment for the debut “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” cocktail menu, celebrating six distinct ingredients in ornate glassware of delicious libations: honey, cacao, vanilla, coffee, rice and apple. As for Gallery, the hotel has in mind plans for a casual, sit-down spot that bridges the world of coffee and tea with bespoke brands — starting with Omotesando Koffee from Tokyo and local-born Yu Tea House.
As for where and what to eat: We enjoyed an evening of delicious off-menu serves of Cantonese classics at Lung King Heen, where a glorious chilli fried prawns tossed in black garlic was enjoyed in unanimous delight, as well as a minced beef fried ‘rice’ which replaced long-grain jasmine for a serve of chewy orzo. The following afternoon saw a visit to The Lounge, where we were able to catch its current ‘Flavours Of’ rotation, a curated menu of spotlighted serves from a specific cuisine, for this turn, we were served a decadent platter of banana leaf-wrapped grilled fish, piquant pomelo salad and creamy green curry for a taste of Thailand.
Experiences to unwind?
If you aren’t completely enraptured by the beautifully decorated living area and spinning in-room sun-bed (which offers a picture-perfect harbour-front vantage, by the way) as I was, and could easily — willingly; no need to ask twice — spend a whole day in-room shuttling back and forth from the marble-clad bathtub to the plush L-shaped sofa then sun-bed, the Four Seasons is, fortunately, well-reputed for a remarkable menu of five-star experiences. In particular, the tucked-away urban oasis that is the hotel’s infinity pool (fitted with underwater speakers!) and the The Spa’s rejuvenating programs. Curated by the hotel’s spa director, Dr. Tania Bardhan, the spa programs are deeply catered to relax and recharge, and target specific wellness concerns such as sleep meditation and chakra balancing.
Perhaps, also unbeknownst to the public, Four Seasons also runs complimentary limited-time events. For the month of July and August, take part in ‘The Art of Living a Balanced Life’, a 60-minute session of music and movement — sun salutations and down dog — organised in partnership with XYZ Studio.
So in a nutshell: Worth a splurge?
A resounding yes! That said, rates for the newly renovated rooms at Four Seasons begin at HK$2,800 per night with the more premium suites going for a spenny HK$9,440. Though, I’ll make a case for the newly renovated Grand Harbour-View Suite, which not only boasts a spectacular front-row view of Victoria Harbour but is also thoughtfully furnished with ergo-friendly pieces that transforms the temporary experience feel like a beautiful second home. A straight-forward option that allows for both much-deserved break and escape while still be in walking distance to the bustle of city. The ‘Suite Escape‘ package is currently on offer with a 20 percent discount, inclusive of daily breakfast, afternoon tea and access to the Executive Club.