30 October, 2012
What's On HK

W Hong Kong – a super stylish staycation

30 October, 2012

Those outside Hong Kong might not really understand it, but every girl needs a staycation once in a while! My personal list of reasons was stacking up:

  1. First wedding anniversary
  2. Need for some pool time (it’s often cheaper to stay in a hotel than pay for the weekend pool pass for two – see our guide here!)
  3. Why pay for flights elsewhere when HK is such a tourist hotspot?

Just as I was debating whether to indulge, my mum booked my husband and I into the W Hong Kong for the night as a surprise anniversary gift!

We checked in on Saturday morning, sneaking in a few hours earlier than official check-in because we wanted some extra pool time. The W boasts sexy, hip and tongue-in-cheek décor throughout, whilst our “Fabulous” room was bright and dominated by white walls with subtle butterfly motifs. A chaise longue next to the window was the main attraction, overlooking an undervalued view of the sea out westwards from Kowloon. The bed was giant, white and oh-so inviting, and sliding doors cleverly took the room from being open plan to allowing some bathroom privacy… Just as well, as there was no way I wasn’t sampling the giant bathtub, complete with Bliss Spa products!

No design hotel worth its bang on-trend stripes would ignore technological touches and we were spoilt with iPod speakers and bath-side TVs. The “special” nature of our stay had obviously been noted, as we were welcomed in the room by chocolate-covered strawberries and a scary-looking large snakes and ladders board. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a “lovers’ board game” with edible pieces and various dares, such as shutting yourselves in the wardrobe. The sentiment was well meaning, but I found it a tad creepy and couldn’t imagine ever actually playing it!

Instead, we donned our swimwear and headed up to the 76th floor to assume our poolside seats. Hong Kong’s highest outdoor pool didn’t fail to deliver. The pool itself has fantastic views and we spent the afternoon swimming, sunbathing, eating club sandwiches and sipping on delicious mocktails, all to the sound of carefully curated chill-out tunes.

Unfortunately, one downside of staying in such a hip hotspot was that the W was hosting one its famous pool parties that evening. Rather than compensating guests for the slight intrusion into their hotel time (the pool is normally open till 10pm so evening swims overlooking HK’s bright city lights are a must for most stays) and allowing you free entry to the party, we were in fact kicked off our loungers at 5pm and told we’d have to pay to return! We decided not to sulk and instead retreated to the high-tech facilities at Bliss Spa and Sweat Fitness Centre.

Robbed of our evening swim, we hopped to the nearby Ritz-Carlton for sundowner drinks at Ozone, before retreating to the delicious cocktails and bar snacks at the W’s own Woobar. Returning to our room, we were intrigued by a red rose addressed to me waiting on the desk. In fact, this wasn’t a normal rose but, in fact, a rolled-up red thong! Perhaps this appeals to some, but I found it a touch seedy and would have much preferred a free glass of champagne!

One of the highlights of the stay was breakfast the next morning at Kitchen – an exquisite and beautiful buffet that covered any breakfast craving you might ever have. We stuffed ourselves silly before heading back up to the pool with bulging bellies! By lunchtime however, we were evicted once again thanks to one of the W’s famous Sunday pool sessions and again, we weren’t invited to the party. Luckily, we had afternoon plans but if not, this would have been a slight dampener. Additionally, the party the night before had definitely left its mark on the normally pristine pool – swimmers were frequently fishing party debris out of the pool (making us wonder how many alcoholic drinks were sloshed around in it the night before).

Despite the pool side evictions, we had an incredible stay at the W and would definitely go again. The whole weekend felt like a holiday even though we were barely more than a few miles from home. The rooms were delightful, the hotel achingly cool and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful.

My only advice would be to make sure you book for a time that suits your personality. If you’re a party animal, definitely go on pool party weekends, nab yourself a ticket and enjoy the fun before rolling down to bed. If you’re a bit more of a casual drinks and dinner girl like me, then stay clear of the party weekends (which are mostly throughout the summer months, so other seasons might be a safer bet!) in order to truly capitalise on the pool and other facilities. And a little note for the W… girls don’t like being given underwear by their men, let alone perfect strangers, however trendy and cool they may be!

A one-night stay at the W Hong Kong plus breakfast starts from $2,600

W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3717 2222

www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels

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