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.
It’s been a year of island hopping and prolific staycations around the city. If you’ve yet to venture out to idyllic Lantau Island, Sheraton Tung Chung should be on your hitlist of places to visit. Consider the now super-convenient access via MTR – there’s a complimentary shuttle bus service direct from the station to the hotel – and, honestly, there’s no excuse to simply staying on the main island for your next weekend escape.
What is ‘Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy’?
Marriot International launched this purpose-driven program earlier this year to offer meaningful experiences across three different pillars: environmental protection, community engagement and marine conservation.
“Though travellers are still grounded by travel restrictions, they increasingly aspire to make a positive impact on the destinations they visit locally and abroad,” says Sander Looijen, General Manager of Sheraton Tung Chung.
As part of the pilot, the Sheraton Tung Chung’s ‘Family Farmcation’ initiative brings a more wholesome and refreshing touch to the staycation scene. Included in the package is a guided tour to a local farm in Mui Wo with a range of engagement workshops; you can learn how organic fertilizer is made, plant marigolds to protect other plants from pests, pick butterfly pea flowers and more.
How many of us can say we’ve worked on a farm before? Led by owner Winnie Kong, the experience offers guests an inspiring glimpse into farming, smarter solutions to food waste through composting, as well as the importance of community support in the ecosystem of organic farming.
(Insider tip: If you’re a mosquito magnet like me, fully cover up with long sleeved tops and full-length pants and douse yourselves – I mean douse – with insect repellent beforehand.)
Tell us more about the room you stayed in.
I stayed in a Deluxe Room with Ocean View featuring full-length windows offering the most stunning views – including the occasional plane taking flight from the airport. Ah, sweet memories.
The gorgeously marbled bathroom was equipped with full-sized Gilchrist & Soames toiletries; it was a huge plus to not see single-use shower and skincare bottles, given their pillars in the new program. Another mark of excellence for me was the strength and make of the hair dryer. Ain’t nobody got time to stand around for 30 minutes attached to a pitifully weak, wall-mounted machine.
We’re feeling peckish. What’s on the menu?
Sheraton’s ‘Family Farmcation’ package includes a low-carbon set dinner at Yue, their modern Chinese eatery, as well as breakfast in Café Lantau, their all-day dining and buffet restaurant.
Highlight dishes in the dinner menu include the Mushroom with Organic Cherry Tomatoes Marinated in Plum Juice and the Sautéed Pork Loin. To decrease their carbon footprint even further, diners can also request in advance a fully vegetarian menu.
If you’re after a meal with a view, look no further than the Sunset Grill on 19F of the hotel. Famous for their charcoal grill and dry-aged steaks, the sides also deserve a shout; their truffle mash is impeccable.
Also at Sunset Grill, I had arguably the best rendition of a Bloody Mary in my life thus far – their Lantau Mary. Infused with local dry shrimp oil from the Tai O fishing village, the salinity and umami kick took the cocktail to an impressively elevated level. Real talk – I would gladly make the journey back to Tung Chung simply for an afternoon of binge drinking this delight.
If champagne is more your thing, check out their Clicquot Terrace – an outdoor pop-up concept to enjoy exceptional champagne while soaking in the sunshine. Sunset Grill also offers Veuve Clicquot’s 2012 Vintage by the glass.
After a good night’s sleep, wander down to Café Lantau for breakfast where you’ll be greeted by stations upon stations of international fare. I particularly enjoyed the extensive pastry offering, as well as the fresh noodle station.
So, in a nutshell: Worth the journey?
Surrounded by lush landscapes of mountain and sea, Sheraton Tung Chung is a hop and skip away from renowned hiking trails, making it a great multi-day stay if you have the time to spare to explore this side of our city.
I enjoyed the farm experience immensely, from Winnie’s passionate teaching to getting my hands deep in the soil. It was therapeutic to have the opportunity to connect with the land, and it certainly gave me a better appreciation when witnessing the amount of hard work it takes to produce the food we consume.
Echoing the ultimate message of Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy, we all seek to create a positive impact of the world, and if indulging in the perks of a staycation can be paired with an experience that helps us grow, well, I have nothing to complain about at all.
Sheraton Tung Chung’s Family Farmcation package is $2,100++ per night. The price includes:
- One night accommodation at Deluxe Room
- Daily breakfast for two
- A guided tour to local farm at Mui Wo with engagement workshop for two
- One-way transfer from hotel to the farm
- Low carbon set dinner for two at Yue