A weekend retreat to make you fall in love with Hong Kong all over again…
Even Hong Kong’s biggest fans (us, here at Sassy Mama HQ), are ready to admit that this busy, bustling city can take its toll. I love this place for the excitement, the drive and (undeniably) the food, but keeping up with the pace of it all was leaving me feeling pretty burnt-out. By that I mean, I was juggling family, friends, and work – and trying to fit 24 hours into each day. Needless to say, the word “holiday” was enough to spark more than just a sense of excitement in my sleep-deprived state.
Sounding all too familiar? Between the cost of travel, the strain of flights, and my scheduled annual leave, I turned to the idea of a staycation as my salvation. Initially skeptical of staying in Hong Kong (the whole point of a break is to escape it all, right?), I wasn’t yet convinced that it would feel like a proper vacation. Well, I don’t say this often, but I am so glad that “I was wrong”…
That’s right, mamas, I can definitely vouch for this one: If you’re looking to completely unwind and fall in love with Hong Kong all over again, The Weekend Retreat at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong really is the answer. There’s nothing that makes you appreciate the place you live in quite like the top quality service at this classically ‘Hong Kong’ hotel…
Checking into their Verandah style room was all my friend and I needed to fully realise just how much of a treat this weekend would be. Whether you’re looking to spoil the whole family, relax over a romantic getaway, or have a girly night away from the kids, our city’s breathtaking skyline is a dream to fall asleep and wake up to. With gorgeously draped curtains on either side of the king size bed, the bright, airy room transforms into the cosiest of cocoons. It’s a stress-free zone, which is exactly what we were looking for. If you need more convincing, the bathroom lights have a dimmer “night” option for your 2am trip to the loo, and their pillow menu has a ‘NASA’ option (designed for astronauts – good enough for space, good enough for earth!). It was an ultimate getaway, and I can’t count how many times we said “pinch me” over the course of 24 hours.
The Afternoon Tea:
As an added bonus, this Weekend Retreat Package offers afternoon tea from the comfort of your room. On arrival, our tea was set up against the backdrop of the Hong Kong harbour, complete with hot coffee and a selection of teas. And yes, as the pictures suggest, it was tastebud heaven. From their famous rose petal jam and perfectly fluffy scones, to a layered cake that tasted like white Ferrero Rocher, I’m still convinced my life peaked in that hotel room. From classic to quirky, there was more than enough to exceed our expectations. Fresh juice served in test-tube shots, anyone?
To say we were spoilt for choice with the (ten!) restaurants and bars would truly be an understatement. Hotel breakfasts have got to be one of my favourite things, and after the incredible night we’d had, the standards had been set higher than usual. After suitably stuffing ourselves at breakfast, we had a couple of hours to build up our appetite before heading to their Fine Dining Dim Sum Restaurant, Man Wah. The dining credit of $800 offered with the Weekend Retreat Package is perfect if you’re going for champagne brunch! And if you’re looking for something to do with the little ones, they even offer a separate kiddo menu at many of the restaurants!
We picked their fine dining dim sum restaurant because, well, dim sum. Growing up with these local dishes featuring as a regular Sunday brunch, I wasn’t sure how different this experience would be. And yes, it’s official, mamas: Mandarin Oriental’s Man Wah Restaurant has the best beef tenderloin dim sum I have ever known the world has ever known. Complete with 96 layers of heavenly pastry, and a gorgeous black pepper sauce, it somehow manages to combine crunch and texture with that melt-in-your-mouth feature. Dream-worthy.
Whilst five star hotels are easy to come across, (consistently) five star service is tricky to find. The people who work here are experts at what they do, and really are willing to go above and beyond to make sure your stay is everything you want it to be (and more!). From the receptionists and waiters, to the bathroom attendants and gym instructors, the staff here are all about making sure you enjoy yourself.
They completely encourage you to make the most of your time – and with an irresistible spa, a (practically private) gym overlooking the harbour from the 24th floor and a kid-friendly pool (playing movies like ‘The Little Mermaid’), they give you no reason to want to leave. Even though our checkout time was noon, they kept our bags safely stored till 9pm (as we hiked the peak, and popped out for dinner), and even asked if we’d like to use the steam room (again), before we left.
So, mamas, if you’re wondering what the highlight was for me… it was a microfibre cloth. I know, you’re thinking all that rose petal jam has gone to my head and made me delusional, but no, I’m being 100% serious. I had left my laptop on the bed when we popped up to use the gym (and steam room), and when we returned to the room, a tiny Mandarin Oriental microfibre cloth had been delicately placed beside my embarrassingly unkept screen. If that isn’t 5 star service, I don’t know what is.
Whether you’re looking for a hotel to really “WOW” visiting guests, celebrate a special occasion, or whether you’re just desperately in need of a break, (let’s be honest, which parent isn’t?) the Weekend Retreat at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is the ideal way to really ignite your love of the city. I know it sounds slightly unbelievable, but all I needed was one night at this heavenly hotel and I basically (read: literally) skipped into the office on Monday morning. I was still gushing about how great it was the following weekend, and I’m still carrying that microfibre cloth around in my handbag.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong, 2522 0111