The summer holidays are beckoning and COVID-19 travel restrictions will be keeping most of us from the travels of a typical year as a Chatteris Tutor. However we needn’t worry, as Chatteris’ own Jonathan Chan shares with us his top spots for a touch of Hong Kong hospitality.
If Hong Kong has amplified one characteristic in me, it is my appetite not only for the city’s divine dim sum, but also for the odd spontaneous staycation… or nine…
Historically, Chatteris Tutors wishing to escape the sumptuous scents of the Mong Kok fish market or the orderly flow of people through Sham Shui Po’s toy street would capitalise on Hong Kong’s enviable position as a gateway to East and South-East Asia during the school holidays. With foreign travel currently at a standstill and mandatory quarantine for all arrivals into Hong Kong extending to the highest in the world (21 days!), such an escape has not been an option, but it has granted us with an incredible opportunity to experience the city’s thriving hospitality industry around us. We have certainly not been disappointed with the wealth of staycation options available only a stone’s throw away from wherever we may be, offering that summer holiday feeling all year round. From Tin Shui Wai to Aberdeen, Tsim Sha Tsui on the way, allow me take you on a journey to all of the destinations the staycation bug has taken me thus far.
Mira Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui
Considering its precarious proximity to Tsim Sha Tsui’s iconic Japanese department store, Don Don Donki, you’ll be relieved to know that you actually won’t be kept up all night listening to its infamous jingle on repeat. In fact, as soon as you venture through its tinted glass doors, the Mira Hotel transports you to an intimate space where an unparalleled attention to form and colour redefine the boundaries of contemporary urban luxury. After you check in on an iPad integrated into the counter, as two bottles of champagne under a glass dome watch on, hop into the elevator directly connected to the Mira Place shopping mall. Then, enter your tastefully accented guest room overlooking Kowloon Park, complete with a king-size bed, complimentary TWG tea, a deep-soaking bathtub, bathrobes, and the most heavenly rainfall shower imaginable. Continue your soak in the glitzy 25-metre indoor pool or adjacent jacuzzi, and truly slip away into an alternate reality of unadulterated peace and repose in the heart of Hong Kong. An understated hidden treasure cove – 9/10.
Joni’s Staycation Checklist:
- Bathrobe: Like being hugged by a cloud
- Bathtub: Pristine
- Rainfall shower: Divine
- Pool: Sparkly
- Breakfast: Regretfully didn’t try… I’ll be back.
Gateway by Marco Polo, Tsim Sha Tsui
With the idea of riding the Star Ferry towards Central on Christmas Day firmly planted in our minds, we embarked on a search for a Christmas staycation destination as close to the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier as possible. Conveniently situated in the Harbour City shopping complex, the Gateway Hotel certainly exudes a business-hotel ambience, but the warmth and attention of the lobby staff ensure that you will immediately feel right at home. With twin rooms featuring two double beds rather than the usual singles, and a complimentary minibar topped up every day for the duration of your stay, we certainly slept and drank well this Christmas. Likewise, waking up on Christmas morning to a truly international buffet breakfast was the most indulgent start to an even more indulgent day. 8/10
Joni’s Staycation Checklist
- Bathrobe: As soft as Santa’s immaculate beard
- Bathtub: Bath-shower combo
- Rainfall shower: No tropical rainfall here unfortunately
- Pool: Located in the adjacent Marco Polo Hotel
- Breakfast: Five-course breakfast immediately followed by a three-course Christmas lunch…
Harbour Plaza Resort City, Tin Shui Wai
As I did my daily scroll through Expedia and Booking.com one day, it came as a surprise when I discovered an entire tourist complex down the road from my school in Tin Shui Wai, deep in the New Territories. There could only be one outcome – a Sunday-night staycation and a gentle stroll to work the following morning. Without Wi-Fi in this hotel, I was truly able to give my mind a rest as I enjoyed the expansive suite complete with a separate bedroom and living room. From the outdoor pool, you can even catch a rare glimpse of the stunning scenery surrounding Tin Shui Wai without any of its infamous high-rise residential blocks. So if you ever fancy a staycation in my neck of the woods, this is certainly the place to go! 7/10
Joni’s Staycation Checklist
- Bathrobe: Distinctly missing
- Bathtub: Functional
- Rainfall shower: No rainfall, just shower
- Pool: A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view
- Breakfast: Had to check out to walk to school before breakfast opened!
Bonus – L’Hotel Island South
All of this year’s Chatteris Tutors will undoubtedly know every inch of this particular hotel, or rather, every inch of the quarantine room in which we each spent 14 days upon our arrival in Hong Kong. Whilst the room itself was incredibly spacious, well-appointed and undeniably comfortable, it goes without saying that we’ve all had a substantial staycation at L’Hotel and won’t be in any rush to return soon. That outdoor pool amongst the mountains does seem especially enticing, however… 8/10
Joni’s Staycation Checklist
- Bathrobe: Would never have changed out
- Bathtub: A boredom reliever
- Rainfall shower: There was a typhoon outside if that counts?
- Pool: The forbidden fruit
- Breakfast: Brought straight to our door, along with lunch and dinner every day! It may be controversial but I loved the vast majority of the quarantine meals!
Do you want to pamper yourself with a holiday in your own city like Joni? Apply now to become a Chatteris Tutor.