Imagine a hotel with the most incredible shower in the world. What if I told you that it was right here, in Hong Kong’s very own backyard? My friends, let me tell you about the Auberge Discovery Bay…
A five-minute drive from Discovery Bay ferry pier is the bright and breezy Auberge, newly opened in March 2013. As a Wanchai resident, the idea of escaping off the island and onto the green hills and open spaces of Disco Bay really did feel like going on vacation, making this an easy weekend retreat from the smog and traffic.
I was sharing my staycation with my four-year-old daughter Daisy in an Ocean Front Twin. This room is designed to take advantage of the amazing views, with the two comfy beds facing directly out to large windows overlooking the South China Sea. There’s also a large, modern sofa, a desk area and a swivel-y TV that lets you watch wherever you are in the room (but I suggest watching the views instead, which are much better than Pearl!). The room is bright and clean, with the colours playing to the aquatic vibe throughout the hotel.
Now let’s talk about the bathroom. The step-in rain shower has floor-to-ceiling views of the bay outside and is just amazing. I had four showers in the 24 hours I was in the room!
There is a lovely outdoor pool area that is perfect for toddlers, with a small kids pool and shallow areas in the main pool. The gym is large, with lots of equipment, and bikes are available for hire from the activities centre.
Bounty Kids Club
On paper the club looks amazing with so many fun activities on offer from kite making to pool games. I’m not sure if it was teething problems or lack of hotel guests, but it all seemed a bit disorganised with nobody really very aware what the daily schedule was. The playroom itself is big and colourful with lots of toys and crafts, and I left my daughter happily drawing – looked after by the friendly attendants – whilst I disappeared for my spa treatment!
If you’re coming for a stay, or fancy a spot of off-island pampering, you must pay a visit to Spa Botanica. The brand has already made a name for itself in Singapore, having won a number of awards including a listing in Conde Nast’s ‘Top 10 Urban Spas’. Following an opening in Bangkok’s luxurious Sukothai hotel, it’s about time that this great brand made its way to Hong Kong’s spa-loving masses.
In keeping with Auberge Discovery Bay’s décor, and unlike many dark and heavy spas I have frequented in Hong Kong, Spa Botanica has a bright and fresh feel to it, with large floor-to-ceiling windows that reward you with a view out over the water towards Hong Kong island. You almost feel like you’re on a cruise ship! You are welcomed into the waiting area with a hot jasmine tea and an informative guide to your upcoming treatment, which takes place in one of ten treatment rooms, most of which overlook the water. There are two couples’ rooms, including one with a Jacuzzi.
I was visiting Spa Botanica with a new spa buddy – my daughter! The kids & teens spa menu includes a massage and facial, in addition to manis and pedis and Daisy was beyond excited to experience her first manicure! She picked nearly every colour going for each nail, but the therapist was patient, friendly and even asked what shape Daisy wanted her nails (met with a decisive ‘square please’ – clearly I’ve bred a spa brat!). The kids’ manicure is perfectly timed, kept to a short but sweet 20 minutes.
I got to indulge in a 60-minute mother-to-be massage, perfect for pre-or-post-natal bodies. My therapist Muratha was amazing, laying me in a comfortable sideways position and checking my comfort level regularly. The rose oil and light massage techniques are just right for expecting mamas. Muratha was incredibly intuitive in her massage, noticing a recurring issue I’ve had with my neck, and giving me guidance on easing the stress on it. Not only was the treatment delicious, there was no sales pitch at the end for spa products I simply must buy – a pet peeve of mine. Instead, you leave unprovoked in a blissful state of spa euphoria.
Outside there is a secret garden available to spa guests, with loungers, tables and chairs. You can even choose to dine out there with a spa food menu.
The spa is open daily from 10am-8pm and gets booked up quickly on weekends, so plan your visit well in advance. I can’t wait to come back and try one of their most popular treatments – a 120-minute Warm Tibetan Oil & Clay Cleansing Ritual which includes a massage and a facial.
The hotel’s restaurant – Café Bord de Mer – is an inviting place to eat dinner with a lovely outdoor patio. They thoughtfully provided plastic cutlery for my daughter, and the kids menu is full of treats such as burgers and and fish ‘n’ chips. My dinner was much more sophisticated and just as delicious – cod fish fillet with saffron risotto… yum! If you’re not with the kids, you might want to enjoy after-dinner cocktails at the Bounty Bar next door.
In the morning, Café Bord de Mer is transformed into a large and tasty breakfast buffet.
Why stay at Auberge Discovery Bay?
Perhaps you want to be near Disneyland but want a change from the usual on-site hotels? The Auberge offers a morning shuttle to Disneyland for only $40. Or maybe you want a relaxing weekend to enjoy all that Lantau has to offer with its nearby beach, hiking trails and bike rental?
Or perhaps you just love a really good shower? In which case, Auberge Discovery Bay is definitely the place to be!
Various special offers are available throughout the year, including spa and family-friendly deals. For more information on current offers, click here.