There are some cities that are just made for tourists. Cities that combine history with culture, great views with great walks, fashion and food, mystery and intrigue and just plain excitement. Hong Kong is one of them. Sophisticated but still raw, combining the ultimate in Asian hospitality with the old traditions of the east. It should be on your bucket list if it’s not already on the must-do-now memo.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Hong Kong on many occasions, so the prospect of going back for an update was good, but nothing quite prepared for me for my excellent fortune of staying in the Four Seasons HK. First of all, it is so easy to get to: two stops on the airport express train from the airport, then a two-minute walk through IFC mall straight into the lobby and a most professional welcome.
But that is just beginning. The excellence of their facilities is so outstanding that staying less than three days would be frustrating.
Let’s start at the top. For food lovers, there are two dramatically opposed but outstanding venues, Caprice and Lung King Heen. Chef Chan Yan Tak, in the latter, has a devoted following for his contemporary Cantonese cuisine, which means you may have to book several months in advance, but the innovative dishes including Barbecued suckling pig, Superior pottage with shredded chicken and Wok-fried prawns with organic black garlic and dried chilli are absolutely worth the wait. Served in an elegant dining room with immaculate service, Lung King Heen is by itself a reason to visit Hong Kong! Oh, and by the way, it has three Michelin Stars.
Over at Caprice, where Chef de Cuisine Guillaume Gaillot presides over another two Michelin stars, we are presented with two magnificent views: one of HK harbour and the other of the chefs at work in the open kitchen.
The cuisine is uncompromising French, the produce flown in daily and the selection of wines quite unmatched. But for me, the outstanding factors in choosing Caprice for your very special dinner are: one, the bar is just a delight, with an open fire, comfortable sofas and chairs, a bar you just want to sit at and for the lucky ones, the tables with a view. It’s a gem. Two, the cheeses! Flown in weekly by the hotel, the cheese selection and quality is seriously good, and well stored in a unique Cheese Cellar.
But that’s not all the Four Seasons has to offer. There’s a 24-hour fully equipped gym with enough equipment that you’ll never have to wait, and adjacent to that the multi-award winning spa, with beautifully designed facilities, at least on the men’s side, but I suspect the ladies area is even better. Then there is the pool terrace with yet another food and beverage outlet with a harbour view, which is probably where I would start my evening, in the cool breeze with a cool drink, trying to look cool to match my surroundings!
I didn’t have a chance to try breakfast or lunch in either the BlueBar or The Lounge, but judging by the number of very happy patrons there, the food and service menu is up to expected Four Seasons standards. The reason I wasn’t there was simply because I was in the Executive Club, which combines an amazing 45th floor view over the harbour and Kowloon with a superb buffet breakfast, all-day service and a cocktail bar in the evening. And if I may say, the wines that were available on a daily basis were the best I have seen in a “club” lounge. Definitely worth upgrading for!
I haven’t yet mentioned the room and the bathroom, but I don’t really have to since Four Seasons are always the very best in business, with sterling facilities, top level amenities and virtually every care and comfort catered for. It was a pleasure to come home to.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Hong Kong combines the old and the new quite uniquely and one of the pleasures of staying in the Four Seasons is its excellent location. Walk out the front and you are right at the ferry terminals, including the venerable Star Ferry which is still my favourite way over to Kowloon. Out the back door is the high quality IFC mall, direct access to the MRT system and just a few strides away, the wonderful old world charm of “undeveloped” Central with its street markets, stalls, old style shops, interspersed with cool new hangouts, restaurants, boutiques and bars. It is HK as it used to be.
So no matter what time of the year it is, Four Seasons is ready for you. Check out their special fashion package if that’s your scene, but if it’s just great food, wine and luxury you’re seeking, seek no more!
Text by Allison Farial. This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine February 2018 issue “Season of Love”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.