Need a break but timing permits just a brief fling? We look at some staycation options in and around Hong Kong.
Auberge Hotel Discovery Bay
Green and pleasant Discovery Bay has come a long way from its sleepy, vaguely hippyish suburban beginnings. Auberge Hotel is the car-free resort’s first hotel and makes for a highly agreeable alternative to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Island, with a great location looking out to sea and plenty of greenery within walking distance – including some fantastic hiking opportunities in the majestic mountains behind the resort. Guests can also make use of the gym facilities at the nearby residents’ club, and there’s a highly rated golf club in the area too. Hop on a bus to the main plaza for an al fresco meal at one of the many family friendly restaurants - with live bands playing at weekends - or simple head for the huge sweep of Tai Pak beach and you may forget you are still in Hong Kong.
Tai O Heritage Hotel – Western Lantau
Another laid-back Lantau option, the Tai O Heritage Hotel is a Grade II historic building and former police station next to Tai O Ferry Pier and fisherman’s village is a rare architectural gem, recently refurbished to a high standard with stylish furnishings and a glass roofed restaurant: perfect for days spent enjoying Lantau’s pristine beaches and watersports. Request a free tour of the building or take a sunset cruise around the harbor at dusk.
Overnight Cruise Yacht
Push the boat - quite literally - with a luxury cruise. Everyone loves a junk trip, so why not extend the idea with an overnight stay with friends aboard a 40-foot Bavaria Cruising Yacht? There’s an en suite bedroom plus two further doubles with a shared bathroom. The crew of two will do the sailing, leaving you free to relax and enjoy the serenity of the ocean - and something chilled and bubbly - safe in the knowledge you can fall straight into bed rather than having to negotiate Central Ferry Pier later.
Designer Style at Icon Tsim Sha Tsui
One for aesthetes, this super stylish hotel located near the science museum in Tsim Sha Tsui was designed by Terence Conran, Rocco Yim and William Lim, and boasts impeccable design credentials for its collaborations with the likes of Vivienne Tam. Built and owned by School of Hotel and Tourism Management, part of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, there’s a strong independent vibe, with an emphasis on service without the corporate constraints that attracts local hipsters and international travelers alike. Facilities include a rooftop pool, spa, health club a Michelin ‘3 fork and spoon’ rated Chinese restaurant, a to-die-for bakery and hip neighborhood café called Green. Splash out on a Club Room or suite for above and beyond privileges, which include dedicated bar, lounge and dining facilities and a full American breakfast included.
Head South to the Stanley Oriental Hotel
Accommodation options on the south side of Hong Kong Island are somewhat limited, but this stylish serviced apartment style hotel is a solid bet for couples looking for a home away from home –studios can be rented per night, or one-bed apartments on a weekly basis. The hotel is situated right in the heart of Stanley, near the action of the bars and restaurants looking out to sea, and a short stroll to the market. There’s a laid back vibe to the area, which is perhaps the closest thing to a European seaside resort to be found in Hong Kong. A must is the rooftop Jacuzzi.
Luxury at The Mandarin Oriental
Still considered the pinnacle of luxury and service by many, the Mandarin Oriental is the ultimate staycation option for a well-deserved break. Everything about this hotel screams perfection and attention to detail – but in the quietest possible way of course. Dining options include not one, but two, Michelin starred restaurants (the Mandarin Bar and Grill and Pierre), Mah Wah for Chinese, and informal options such as Café Causette. There are plenty of intimate spaces for drinks, such as The Chinnery or Captains Bar or head to M Bar on the 25th floor for spectacular views over Hong Kong. And it’s not just for grown-ups: kids are treated like royalty too, with babysitting services, children’s menus, complimentary DVDs, and X Boxes and board games on request.
Po Leung Kuk Pak Tam Chung Holiday Camp – Sai Kung
Located next to the Pak Tam Chung river in picturesque Sai Kung, this family-friendly holiday camp is an ideal budget option for those that want to enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of Hong Kong, but aren’t keen on the idea of camping. Alongside the hostel accommodation are private two-story family bungalows with lounge, television, mini fridge, self-contained toilet and shower, hairdryer and free Wi-Fi access. Basic but clean, the emphasis here is on getting out and enjoying your surroundings, which includes trampolining, archery, roller skating, a rope course, a children's adventure playground, cycling, a swimming pool, canoeing, boating, mini golf, badminton, hiking, wall climbing and a pool table. Qualified instructors supervise activities. There are BBQ pits are available for hire on site and there is a dining hall with BBQ dinner option.
Short Cruise to Taiwan on Royal Caribbean’s ‘Mariner of the Seas’
OK – so it’s not strictly a staycation, but this three-night cruise is a great in-between option for those wanting to get away without the hassle of taking a flight. Just a taxi hop to IFC mall and you’re all aboard and set for the Taiwanese port of Kaohsiung. On-board facilities are impressive, with 15 decks, 10 pools and 17 bars, clubs and lounges with various Broadway style shows on offer, not to mention a spa with 100+ treatments, an ice rink and mini golf. There are comprehensive kids’ facilities including a baby and tots nursery, a teen lounge and disco and various family oriented activities, making this the ideal short getaway for parents and kids.
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