It’s vacation time and I’m dreading not being able to go on a holiday this summer. Why dreading? Well, I have a 4-year-old bundle of hyper-energy to keep busy for about 12 to 14 hours a day, which is almost impossible in Hong Kong’s heat wave! Growing up in India, vacations were much less stressful as there were always friends and cousins to play with everyday and parents could just take a backseat and let us be. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case when you’re an expat in Hong Kong and you have to brace yourselves for the holiday season.
Well, the monotonous city summer was getting to me and my daughter, so we decided to take a small mini getaway to the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin. Being fairly new to Hong Kong, I had yet to visit Sha Tin before, and was pleasantly surprised at what the area has to offer. The Hyatt Sha Tin is nestled amongst mountains and abundant greenery, which brought me back to my summer vacations spent in the hills of northern India. It features 427 rooms and suites and 137 long-stay rooms and suites with Harbour or Mountain View offerings. About a 30-minute journey from Central, it’s easily accessible via the MTR and there is also a complimentary shuttle bus service between the hotel and Hong Kong Science Park, Airport Express Kowloon Station (Elements) and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Sha Tin (a part of the New Territories) is a well-developed town with many touristy-type activities and attractions, including the picturesque Tolo Harbour, Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery and Che Kung Temple, as well as the beautifully landscaped Hong Kong Science Park and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. You’ll find almost everything you need for the perfect mini vacation close to the hotel.
Arriving at the hotel, the check-in process was speedy and we were escorted to our King Suite in a matter of moments. The suites are spacious and airy, definitely built with comfort in mind. Our suite had breathtaking views of the surrounding nature and the Hong Kong water reservoir.
In the room, there was a King-sized bed and a little extra bed which we had requested for our little princess. There was also a little corner kitchenette, which comes in handy if you’re staying with kids and need to heat up bottles or cook little snacks for them. The large bathroom includes both a bathtub and a walk-in shower, keeping everyone happy!
We chose to take advantage of our stay and just explore the hotel that afternoon. My little doll was super excited looking at all the kiddie things the hotel has to offer including their Camp Hyatt program, which has pre-arranged activities for kids like cooking classes, calligraphy and origami lessons. It’s also great for kids to meet playmates, letting the adults take a breather! One of the best family activities around the area is cycling and you can hire bikes directly from the hotel to explore the surrounding scenic trails.
For my little girl, we’d booked an afternoon manicure at the hotel’s Melo Spa, where again we were impressed by the friendliness and hospitality of the staff.
While there were quite a number of nail colours to choose from, my little girl opted for (you guessed it) an icy blue colour to celebrate all things “Frozen”!
The Melo spa embraces local elements and they can customise treatments depending on individual needs. Natural healers like honey, minerals and Sha Tin Pomelo are used for facials and therapies. They also offer special kids’ treatments for young ones ages 5 to 15.
For all the sport enthusiasts, an outdoor tennis court is available, as well as a very well-equipped fitness center with steam, sauna and whirlpool facilities. Not to be missed is a visit to the luscious 25-meter heated pool surrounded by natural greenery and the Kau To Shan Mountains. My daughter had balls of fun splashing around the outside pool, while I relaxed in the nearby whirlpool (wish I could have one of these at home!). The Pool Bar was also a big feather in the hat and we enjoyed our refreshing poolside drinks.
There’s a lovely variety of food options available at the Hyatt Sha Tin. If you’re looking for some lively cocktails with the hubby, do visit Tin Tin Bar. It has a wonderful lounge feel to it with lush red furnishings, bar counters, lounge seats and live jazz performances. If it’s good food you’re after, Sha Tin 18 serves up authentic Dongguan and northern Chinese cuisine in a lively show kitchen environment. Named after the hotel’s street address “18”, guests can choose front-row seating to view the chefs at work, private dining rooms or outdoor terrace seating.
We had booked ourselves at the dinner buffet at the Cafe, which is a stylish all-day dining restaurant with show kitchens. They had a beautiful selection of food on offer featuring multiple cuisines. The best part was the interactive experience of being able to watch the chefs prepare the food in front of us. Taste-wise, it was top-notch. There’s also a scrumptious buffet breakfast at Cafe, which we thoroughly enjoyed the next morning.
As our mini staycation came to an end, we made one last pit stop at the hotel’s Patisserie to pick up a few fresh-baked cakes. We loved their signature honey cake – one of my all-time favourites! My daughter and I loved taking in the fragrant sights and smells of the Patisserie, especially since baking is one of the activities that we enjoy most at home (especially during vacations – it’s a great way to keep her busy!). The Patisserie also has fresh honey jars for sale from the nearby bee farm, which is a nice touch!
We thoroughly enjoyed our little trip and if you’re sick and tired of the crowded Hong Kong streets this summer, I would highly recommend the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin as a home away from home for a mini break with the family in tow. It will definitely put a smile on your kids’ faces and it’s a wonderful break for us mamas as well!
The Family Summer Getaway Package is available daily through 31 August and includes a stay in the spacious Mountain View room, a choice of your favourite kid-friendly activity, a complimentary buffet breakfast and a sampling of refreshing summer drinks. Camp Hyatt sessions can be booked separately for kids. Prices start at $1,380 per room / per night.