EL contributor Karl Woodbury took the opportunity to sample a luxurious hotel staycation at the Four Seasons Hong Kong in Central with his family. His verdict? If you’re celebrating something special or just feel ready for some soul-nourishing indulgence, this newly renovated and luxurious destination is the perfect spot!
Accommodation: Superior Harbour View-Suite
The Four Seasons truly means it when it says “superior”. There’s only one of these suites per floor, nicely tucked away in a corner at the end of the hallway. The panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to come flooding in. Approaching the windows, the 180-degree Victoria Harbour views are astounding, with the Tsing Ma Bridge in all its glory to the west, and Tsim Sha Tsui to the east.
Not surprisingly, considering its global reputation, the Four Seasons has thought of everything. There’s stunning Chinese architecture with traditional detailing and plush soft furnishing, combining with the latest technology – the perfect blend of classic and contemporary.
The separate lounge in the Superior Harbour-View Suite is incredibly welcoming. A large state-of-the-art wall-mounted television is ready to connect with your personal devices. Same with the compact yet powerful speaker, sitting always charged on its docking station. The work-dining table is both a great desk and ideal for some stunning room service.
Sweeping past the premium-stocked mini-bar and pantry, the mighty king bed sits facing the glorious harbour. Another lovely Four Seasons touch: you can choose your ideal mattress topper and pillows from the bedside brochure. Housekeeping will then be up before you know it and a fabulous night’s sleep awaits.
Finally, to the luxurious bathroom. It offers twin sinks with premium amenities, a glorious rainforest shower and a wonderfully deep sunken tub to soak away all your worries. You can even slightly raise the blind and see what’s going on in Sheung Wan while you do.
Spa: Gimme gimme Lomi Lomi!
The Spa at the Four Seasons offers an Empowerment and Nurture Ritual, a full body massage including a ‘healing head’ and facial. From the vast massage list, my wife opted for the Lomi Lomi Nui from Hawaii. This powerful flowing forearm massage aims to reconnect body, mind, heart and soul – and induce inner calm, clarity and harmony.
“After selecting my Four Seasons signature oil blend, the therapist began with chakra-balancing. Then, with firm, rhythmic, long fluid movements, my whole body was seamlessly worked. One moment my calves were getting the deep tissue treatment; then, with one long intense stroke, my neck was the centre of attention.
It was wonderfully soothing, and I nearly nodded off a couple of times during the blissful 150 minutes. The head massage and facial were deeply therapeutic and left me floating on a cloud while my skin had that dewy glow for days afterwards. I’ll definitely come back here for the Lomi Lomi Nui.”
The spa also offers oil-free Tui Na from China, traditional Thai massage, heated Jade Stone Therapy as well as Deep Tissue, Sports Recovery, Lymphatic and both Pre-Natal and Post-Natal massages. There’s even a Four Hand Flow Massage with two therapists working in tandem!
Dining: Four Seasons in one day
We more than put the hotel to the taste test with four meal sittings over the course of our 24-hour stay. They included “Afternoon Treat”, which was served in the airy and vibrant Gallery. We opted for the invitingly serious Coffee and Tea Program, choosing a pot of Earl Grey, another of Jasmine and an iced cappuccino, as delectable delights made their way to our table.
The beautiful towers of savoury and sweet, colourful and crisp, were a sight to behold. Gougère with Aged Comté, Green Pea and Ham Tartlettes, Minced Duck and Hoi Sin Wontons, and Baked Mini Barbecued Pork Buns were all outstanding. The tower’s sweet upper storey, meanwhile, featured exquisite pastry work. The intense Raspberry, Chocolate and Sicilian Pistachio, Petite Rose, and Japanese Shiso and Pineapple were all exceptional. Osmanthus Scones with Devonshire Clotted Cream and a vibrant homemade mango jam rounded off the indulgence.
Our breakfast buffet the next day was sumptuous. We had it at Argo (more on this venue below), though it’s also served at The Lounge or as room service. The Four Seasons dials it up a notch with a homemade wheel of prime pork sausage, just perfect with eggs cooked to order. You’re totally spoilt for choice, with pastries, salads, charcuterie and fruit platters – and the homemade plump dumplings and silky noodles were outstanding too.
For dining any time, The Lounge offers a vast all-day menu. There’s Alaskan King Crab Salad, Pork and Prawn Wonton Noodle Soup, Lobster Brioche, as well as outstanding meat and seafood grills, and versatile pan-Asian dishes. Plenty to delight even the most discerning palate.
To the side of this luxurious wood-panelled dining room is a monthly-themed live lunch station. The magic word of the day was ‘Biryani’, which was enough to entice us to get a table. The guest chef from India worked diligently preparing a festive rice and spice delicacy with a soothing cup of masala chai. Comfy yet elegant sofas and warm service finished off the experience.
Drinks: A night at world-beating Argo
Argo is in the list of the ‘World’s 50 Best Bars – and it’s unforgettable. Think floor-to-ceiling windows, a central tower of exotic bottles, stunning lighting and hanging plant displays. It’s sophistication with a twist of decadence and a shot of luxurious comfort.
The cocktails are executed with pride and precision, the joy on the bartenders’ faces as they pour and shake is a joy to see. We dived into a Cocoa-Aged Single Origin Negroni (gin, vermouth, cocoa, Campari, smoked jalapeño) and a Breakfast Fizz (gin, cardamom, coffee, grapefruit tonic), both fragrant, grown up and sinfully bitter. Green & Gold Spritz (Calvados, fermented apple, eucalyptus, cider) was the winner of the night – it’s an emerald elixir that takes the old adage ‘an apple a day’ to new heights.
As for the Bar Bites, the unctuous silky hummus with avocado oil was excellent, while macaroni and cheese got a smart Four Seasons makeover, as did crisp golden arancini. Other highlights included fried chicken with shiso and miso mayo – deliciously different – and the Argo Burger, which hit it out of the park.
If you can drag yourself away from this stunning bar, there are other first-class Four Seasons venues to try. Lung King Heen was the world’s first Chinese restaurant to earn three Michelin stars. And there’s also classic French at Caprice, seasonal Italian at No 1, and Japanese joy at Sushi Saito and Tempura Uchitsu!
Enjoyed this review of the Four Seasons Hotel staycation? See more in our Living in Hong Kong section.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2022/23 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.