One of the things I love most about Hong Kong is that if you’re craving a holiday, you don’t actually have to leave the country to have one… and I recently realised that you don’t even need to leave the island!
Just when I was feeling the strain from Hong Kong’s fast-paced lifestyle, the opportunity arose for a weekend ‘staycation’ in Stanley, to test out the brand new Stanley Oriental Hotel. This serviced apartment-style hotel is conveniently located on Stanley Main Street, literally just above Pizza Express, with an incredible view over the peaceful water below.
The second we arrived in Stanley on a Friday evening after work, we instantly felt as though we had travelled thousands of miles to a European seaside town. With chaotic Central behind us, we were taken up to the seventh floor of the hotel to our 1,200 square foot suite, complete with a kitchen, living room, two bathrooms, a king-sized bed and a sprawling balcony, perfect for people-watching whilst taking in the blissful vistas of Hong Kong’s south side.
As we unpacked and got ourselves ready for Stanley’s take on a night out (whilst sipping on some complimentary sparkling wine of course – would a Sassy girl have it any other way?!), we really began to feel liberated from the stresses and worries of a long week at work, and allowed ourselves to take in the gorgeous surroundings of our suite. In the bedroom, clean white interiors are contrasted with light and dark wooden panels, leading onto a light grey marble bathroom complete with an oversized bathtub overlooking the bay; in the kitchen and living room area, the same clean white walls are juxtaposed against deeper charcoal hues, creating an elegant relaxing ambience.
After dinner at The Boathouse and a mini bar-crawl around Stanley’s pubs (all two of them!), we sank into our decadently comfortable giant-sized bed, waking in the morning to the picturesque view of the sea below.
There are plenty of breakfast options in Stanley Plaza but having been craving dim sum for a long time, we opted for Chung’s Cuisine for a breakfast of champions, before a leisurely stroll through the market (Saturday morning is the best time to hit the market on a weekend if you’re keen to beat the crowds).
The hotel’s friendly caretaker Tony had kindly booked out the rooftop Jacuzzi for us to enjoy in the afternoon. We were quite literally living the high-life, as we basked in the sunshine above the rest of Stanley, feeling like royalty. In fact, all that was missing were a couple of cocktails!
We were able to stay in the Jacuzzi until 6pm, after which, with prune-like fingers and toes, we each took a turn in the luxurious rain shower back in our suite, before getting ready for another night ‘on the town.’
This time it was the age-old yet still amazing Lucy’s that attracted us; hidden away within the market, Lucy’s has been serving incredible European cuisine for 18 years and is packed full most nights. The stars were in our favour as we sheepishly came without a booking, but thankfully arrived just as a couple were paying. Another couple of drinks in Smugglers Inn later and we were more than ready for our wonderfully comfy bed again.
On Sunday morning, we strolled back to Stanley Plaza, this time for breakfast at Saffron Bakery Café. As cute and quirky as Saffron is, if you’re staying for longer at The Stanley Oriental Hotel, I would recommend popping to the Taste supermarket in Stanley Plaza to get everything you need for the perfect fry-up to cook back in your suite; you can’t beat your own fry-up after all!
After squeezing in an hour or two of sunshine on Stanley Main Beach just around the corner, we sadly bid our adieus to paradise and hopped on a bus back to Central (the 6, 6A, 6X or 260 takes you straight to Exchange Square), knowing that our blissful holiday feeling would wear off all too quickly.
The Stanley Oriental Hotel is designed for those who can afford a longer sojourn away, with monthly rentals starting at $35,000 and weekly rates available upon request. For those who, like me, can only manage to escape for a weekend, there’s currently a special offer on a one or two-night stay for $4000 or $8000 respectively, which includes a bottle of sparkling wine and a two-hour Jacuzzi session.
So if you’re in need of a mini-break away from the mundane tiresome life you’re used to in Central that’s only a short cab journey away, The Stanley Oriental Hotel could be just the place for you.
The Weekend Getaway costs $4,000 for one night or $8,000 for two nights, including a bottle of sparkling wine and a two-hour Jacuzzi session for two people. This offer is valid until 30 November 2012.
The Stanley Oriental Hotel, 2/F, 90B Stanley Main Street, Stanley, Hong Kong, 2899 1688
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!