If you’re going to spend a weekend in Hong Kong, why not spend it lavishly? Here’s how!
As I’ve mentioned many times before, my life is full of contrasts. In the space of a week, I went from trekking to hill tribes and sleeping on the floor of bamboo huts in Northern Thailand to staying in one of the fanciest five-star hotels in Hong Kong.
I am a strong believer in the phrase “life is all about balance“. I certainly don’t think that money can buy us happiness. After all, if you had a bottomless bank account, stayed in 5-star hotels and had champagne on tap all day every day, the novelty of the luxe life would surely wear off (perhaps the novelty of everything but the champagne tap). However, on occasion, it’s nice to experience some of the ‘finer’ things in life.
It just so happened that my birthday weekend coincided with the dates I was set to fly from Auckland to London. Instead of spending my birthday onboard a painful 24-hour flight, I decided to break up the journey and spend the weekend living the high life in Hong Kong! If you happen to be making a stopover here and feel splashing out for a few nights, here’s a guide on how you can do so…
How to Spend a Lavish Weekend in Hong Kong
1. Stay somewhere special
Island Shangri La
Hong Kong certainly has no shortage of luxurious hotels to choose from. During my ridiculously luxurious birthday weekend, I was lucky enough to stay at the Island Shangri-La. Whilst it may not be the newest kid on the block, this hotel has certainly retained its place as one of the most luxurious jaunts in the city.
From the moment I stepped out of the limousine airport transfer and into the chandelier-lined lobby of the Island Shangri-La, I knew I was in for a pretty special weekend. From the silk painting in the hotel’s atrium that stretched across 16 floors, to the glistening views over Victoria Harbour from my window, every detail inside this hotel was nothing short of spectacular.
I stayed in a Horizon Harbour View Room right up on the 53rd floor. Over and above the magnificent views, staying on this floor meant I had access to the Horizon Club and its various benefits through my stay. Perks included private check-in, an unlimited mini-bar, free wifi portals, late check-out and the golden ticket to access the Horizon Club lounge throughout my stay. The lounge offered an exclusive buffet breakfast, drinks and snacks throughout the day, and a happy hour with appetizers and free-flowing Veuve Clicquot Champagne in the evening!
Reclining on a velvet lounge and sipping champagne from 56 stories up, overlooking the glistening waters of Victoria Harbour, it seemed paradoxical to feel so relaxed in one of the most fast-paced cities in the world. Despite the Island Shangri-La being located in the very bustling heart of Hong Kong, it proved to be the perfect oasis to escape the chaos of the city down below. I couldn’t have picked a better spot to spend my birthday weekend!
2. Dine in Style
The Island Shangri-La offers eight onsite dining options, including French fine-dining establishment, Restaurant Petrus . During my stay, I was treated to a 5-course menu designed by Chef Ricardo, especially for my birthday! As I don’t eat meat, most courses were based around seafood- everything from langoustines on a delectable bed of mushroom foam to a sumptuous fillet of grilled tuna. Presentation of each dish was very clean and classic, and a sommelier prepared paired wines which perfectly complemented each course. The sweetest part was when all the Shangri La staff came in and presented me with a birthday cake decorated with polka dots!
3. Do something crazy
Bungy Jumping in Macau
There was one thing that I particularly had my heart set on doing as part of my ridiculously lavish birthday weekend in Hong Kong. When I turned 20, I did my first Bungy jump in Queenstown, so on my 23rd birthday, I decided to take on another jump. The World’s TALLEST Bungy Jump to be specific!
Located a 1.5 hour ferry ride away from Hong Kong is Macau, which is often referred to as the Vegas of Asia. For a hefty price tag, it is here that you are able to bungy jump 233 meters off the Macau Tower! I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking:
4. Try Hong Kong’s Finest Delicacies
Egg Waffles from Oddies Foodies
Being one of city’s most popular street food, I knew I couldn’t leave Hong Kong without trying egg waffles. Because this was a weekend of being ridiculously lavish, I decided to head out to find the place that served the most decadent, calorie-dense version of egg waffles that I could find. Cue Oddies Foodies, a popular gelato shop serving up egg waffles with a twist. I tried their most famous concoction, ‘The Nightwolf’, which included a generous serving of Italian soft gelato with butter crumbs, passion fruit panna cotta, a flake and a chocolate chip-flavoured egg waffle. And yes, it tasted AS GOOD as it looked!
Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan
One can’t deny that Hong Kong has some of the best dim sum in the world. So of course a dim sum feast had to be apart of my birthday weekend! Tim Ho Wan started as a little hole-in-the-wall eatery in Mong Kok, and despite its inexpensive prices, gained a Michelin star for its top-quality dim sum. As a result, the crowds came flooding in, and years later the original eatery closed down. Tim Ho Wan has expanded to six locations across Hong Kong, and despite the changes, still offers scrumptious dim sum at a reasonable cost. I was very happy to find lots of vegetarian options on the menu- which is not always easy to come by in Hong Kong!
You can also try one of these Hong Kong food tours
And there you have it. The best way to spend a luxury weekend in Hong Kong!
MY GENERAL TRAVEL & PHOTO TIPS
I highly recommend getting travel insurance before ANY international trip. World Nomad’s offer the most flexible worldwide cover that I have come across, and you can purchase a policy online, even if your trip has already commenced. If their prices are too high for you, you can also check out SafetyWings, though SW doesn’t cover tech.
To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals. Skyscanner also have a free App (available on iOS or Android) which is great for booking flights on the go.
Here is a list of the photography gear that I always travel with:
- Canon 6D Mark II
- Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 ii
- GoPro Hero Black 7
- DJI Mavic Pro
- ONA Camps Bay Backpack
- ONA Bowery Bag
For more Asia travel, read these next
- The ULTIMATE 3-day Itinerary for Singapore
- A Foodie’s Guide to Kuala Lumpur
- Vietnam’s Best Kept Secret: An Escape to Paradise in Quy Nhon
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Just a note to say that I am very lucky enough to get to experience some of these luxuries as part of my job. This is something I never want to take for granted! A massive thank you to the Island Shangri-La for hosting me during my birthday weekend and Cathay Pacific for flying me to/ from Hong Kong in Business Class (which you can read all about here)!