When you’re an expat in Hong Kong, living in a hotel isn’t too unusual. After Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong opened in Central, we moved in to their serviced apartments which function like an apartment with hotel amenities.
What is unusual is the length of time we stayed, because most expats eventually move into their own flats to nest. But, really, if you could live in a luxury hotel, would you leave? We stayed at the hotel for 4 years, and my immensely positive experience there with the staff, amenities, food, and more is largely why I’m a genuine advocate for the brand.
If you are headed to Hong Kong with kids (or without), consider staying there. We still make it our home away from home, as you can see above.
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong Location
This luxury hotel is located in Central, adjacent to the IFC mall and Victoria Harbour with its various ferry terminals. The location is extremely convenient if you are doing business in Central or traveling to Hong Kong with kids because it’s at the heart of various transportation arteries.
For example, Central MTR station is accessible from inside the IFC mall, after about a 15-minute walk, along with the Airport Express which is about a 5-10 minute walk away from the hotel. Roll your suitcase to the Macau Ferry Terminal in about 5-10 minutes, too. Taxis, buses and ferries are also easy to catch nearby.
Arriving From Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok)
By car: The hotel can arrange limousine service from the airport, including the Bentley Arnage. It takes 45 minutes by car to reach the hotel. The fleet of cars can also escort you around Hong Kong. A cost applies.
By Airport Express Train: The Airport Express train is so easy that we opt for it every time. Roll your baggage out of customs and to the Airport Express ticket machine or customer service booth. Pay via cash or credit card (the latter at the booth only). The clean, speedy train leaves approximately every 10 minutes and it will drop you inside the IFC mall after an easy 24-minute ride. The cost from the airport to Central is $100 HKD (one way) or $180 HKD (round-trip) per adult. Children 3-11 travel for 50% less while children under age 3 are free.
Convenience Offered By IFC Mall
Within a five minute or less indoor walk from the hotel is city’super, an upscale grocery store that stocks baby essentials (organic jarred food, formula and more), gourmet prepared food and basic grocery items. There is also a drugstore nearby that sells diapers, shampoo and whatever else you forgot to pack.
Basically, if your bag doesn’t make it, you can find everything you need without stepping into sunlight. Not to mention, major designer brands (Lanvin, Prada, Tom Ford and many more) are represented inside the mall along with plenty of convenience food and sit-down dining options ranging from salads to dim sum. The movie theater has assigned seating and a bar, too.
Guests of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong are also less affected by inclement weather. It rains heavily during summer typhoon season. Because IFC mall is accessible without going outside and a number of covered walkways lead from the mall to the rest of Central, you don’t always have to carry an umbrella, depending on where you’re headed. This also makes getting around the city with a stroller much easier if traveling with children.
Luxury Hotel Rooms
The hotel features two styles of rooms: Western and contemporary Chinese (seen above). Both are fabulous. I highly recommend splurging on the Harbour View rooms, because there is something so calming about watching the Star Ferry, junks and other boats sail across.
Rooms are spacious with plenty of storage, WiFi, a desk, comfortable beds, a rollaway bed (if necessary and seen above) and turn-down service. There’s a Nepresso coffee maker with a variety of flavors to choose from, but early morning coffee and pastries are complimentary in the lobby.
I also love that small plates, wine glasses, proper coffee mugs, a wine opener and other utensils are available in the room’s bar area. The bathrooms have a TV, separate shower and tub, L’Occitane Verbena bath amenities (Bulgari in suites) and are quite large for Hong Kong. Also, fruit and Fiji water is replenished in your room, daily–I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.
The furnishings are top of the line, too. Here is our view of the nightly laser show over the harbour, though I didn’t quite catch a laser.
For stays of one month or longer, consider a serviced apartment at Four Seasons Place. You’ll have a little more flexibility to cook your own food, do your own laundry and settle in. But, if you’d like to order room service and have the hotel do your laundry, it’s available.
Four Seasons Place has a private pool and gym, both with spectacular harbour views. It has a play room with a bouncy pirate ship that kids love and events for residents such as Chinese New Year parties.
The Spa At Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
Arrive early to partake in the vitality lounge area, steam rooms and whirlpool. Cover yourself in a Kashwere blanket and catch up on magazines while sipping infused water. Once you head up the elevator to wait in the seating area for your therapist, eat the marshmallows as they are the best on the planet–I promise.
Sonia does my nails but I have had a variety of therapists for facials, massages, waxing and more over the years. Treatments are meticulously delivered in zen-inspired rooms with light-colored bamboo accents. I actually took several design ideas from the spa and attempted to incorporate them into my interior design.
The Spatique has bathing suits, bath and body products as well as great gifts. My daughter’s prized duck blanket is from here.
The Food: From Three Michelin-Star Chefs To In-Room Dining
On our last trip, if we weren’t meeting friends out, we we ate in the hotel exclusively. Because Hong Kong is such an international destination, the menu options reflect that with delicious Chinese, Western, Japanese, Indian, Italian and more options on offer throughout the day.
Blue Bar: Not only is the lychee martini fabulous, my 5-year-old loves the upscale breakfast buffet. Sure, there are eggs, but gourmet cheeses and cured meats, fruit, birchermuesli, bacon, fresh juices, savory items and more make a perfect meal–enjoyed in the bar’s casual lounge chairs. It’s around $250 HKD per person, with young kids eating free (not sure the age cut-off) so you can’t really beat the value. In the evening, a complimentary happy hour food buffet is available with delicious munchies to compliment a martini and good company. Occasionally, there is live music. We also love the weekend buffet lunch.
The Lounge: This is where afternoon tea takes place, but all-day dining is on offer. I love the Alaskan king crab salad (room service will prepare it for me, though it’s not on the menu anymore–I ordered it five times on our last trip) and the bread basket. Breads and pastries throughout the hotel are amazing, so don’t arrive on a low carb diet. When we lived in the hotel, my daughter insisted on special breakfast trips to The Lounge for the giant muffin top and chicken sausage.
Pool Terrace: As the name implies, it’s located right by the pool. This is a nice place for a business lunch though you can eat here after a swim (dressed), too. Fare is light and healthy. Try the tandoori salmon.
Lung King Heen (3 Michelin Stars): I can’t believe that I used to sneak down here for a quiet breakfast to read the South China Morning Post in peace. Though it’s no longer open for breakfast, Lung King Heen is the talk of the town and beyond with Chef Chan Yan Tak as the world’s first Michelin three-star Chinese chef. The locally-sourced, seasonal menu is huge so unless you are well-versed in dim sum, perhaps order the set lunch or chef’s tasting menu. This Cantonese food is worth the splurge.
Caprice (3 Michelin Stars): Glamorous Caprice is home to Hong Kong’s first cheese cellar and one of the largest selections of French wines (perhaps, the largest–can’t remember) in Hong Kong. The food is as exquisite as the view with melt-in-your-mouth French cuisine.
Inagiku: This Japanese restaurant is authentic with meticulously prepared and placed food along with a large menu and a secret sesame oil imported from Japan. There’s a teppanyaki and sushi bar. I’ve always liked it, but I think it does get mixed reviews from my friends perhaps because there are a lot of Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong. They made plain soba noodles for my daughter as there isn’t a kids menu. Aside from sushi, I order katsu.
In-Room Dining: It arrives on time, as promised, always fresh and isn’t a sacrifice. I love the menu variety from sweet and sour chicken to Alaskan king crab salad (both pictured above). I’ve had the Indian curries and always also order the Hainanese chicken rice. Again, save room for the delicious breads and tapenade.
Hong Kong’s Best Pool
The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong pool terrace is one of the nicest in Hong Kong if not the nicest. Sunscreen is available and the staff makes sure that shade is available, if desired. Remember, Hong Kong can get hot and humid.
A large jacuzzi, freezing-cold plunge pool and separate lap pool compliment the main pool. All pools have panoramic views of Victoria Harbour.
My only complaint, if you can call it that, is that you can’t eat in the lounge chairs. Drinks are available and complimentary poolside treats are passed from time to time. The hotel pool is about 4-feet deep with no shallow end which can be difficult for small kids. We brought floaties when my daughter was little, but if traveling with children, Hong Kong has a few Toys”R”Us locations to grab things like this.
The people at the hotel are what made living there such an amazing experience. I was a new mother and 7500 miles away from home. I am forever grateful to everyone who helped me navigate the stroller in and out of the hotel, carry bags, say encouraging words when I felt awful and then some.
Side story: My daughter was born in Hong Kong at a hospital on The Peak. The one thing I asked my husband to do before she was born was read the car seat manual. He didn’t. When the hotel car came to pick us up, thankfully, the driver had kids and installed our car seat. This is pretty much how it was–everyone always took care of us.
Anyway, we were and still are addressed largely by name (though I realize we are familiar faces). Lost teddy bears are sent up to our room. My daughter is treated like a queen, often played with or given stickers by staff members. Whenever I need something, it’s taken care of instantly. I know that when I hire a babysitter, it feels like the entire hotel keeps an eye out, too. Dinner reservations are made and confirmed without delay, room service comes when promised, and everyone pretty much goes the extra mile.
I’m trying to think of a service gripe, but I can’t think of one incident in 4 years of living there and 2 recent return trips that I can complain about. There is a surprisingly low (for a hotel) turnover of staff so I’m pleased that many familiar faces are still there.
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong With Kids
The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is great for families but it’s also popular for business travel so you won’t see too many kids cruising the lobby. The kids menu folds up into a paper fortune teller and the meals are served on kid-friendly dishes. I am always able to customize dishes to suit her taste, if necessary.
Coloring books and crayons are available in The Lounge, Lung King Heen and Caprice (yes, she’s eaten in both Michelin 3-star restaurants). We had a step stool in our bathroom so she could reach the faucets. A special welcome stuffed animal is handed to her on arrival, but plenty of candy is available in the gift shop for times you need to buy cooperation!
She loves hanging around the pool terrace and cruising the IFC mall. I find it just an easy place to be in Hong Kong with kids as the hotel is easy to wander with a stroller. We travel a lot by taxi, which is easy to catch in front of the hotel.
Believe it or not, Hong Kong is fun for kids between Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park Hong Kong, the Peak, various parks, hiking, ferry rides, shopping and more. Refer to my Parent’s insider guide to Hong Kong and things to do in Hong Kong with kids when it’s raining.
Things To Be Aware Of
Even if it’s 90°F outside with 100% humidity, always carry a sweater. The hotel, IFC mall and other buildings are always blasting air conditioning.
Kids aren’t allowed in the Blue Bar in the evenings. Kids ages 3 and older are welcome in Caprice and Lung King Heen.
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is an extremely nice hotel and the prices reflect that. This luxury hotel worth every penny.
Lunch in Hong Kong typically occurs at 1pm so odds of scoring a reservation or enjoying a more peaceful lunch are higher if you go early. Speaking of, make a reservation at Lung King Heen or Caprice before you arrive in order to avoid disappointment.
The concierge can get you a reservation at the exclusive China Club, where we used to belong. I highly recommend the Peking duck, Beggar’s chicken (order at least a day in advance) and allowing enough time to enjoy the bar area.
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong was my daughter’s first home. Not only that, it’s where she took her first steps, swam in her first pool, sat in her first big girl highchair, spoke her first words, met her grandparents and all of those early “firsts” that parents remember with such fondness. I could not have survived my first few years of motherhood overseas without the kindness of the staff members.
So, if you see me waxing on about my love of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, this is why. I am grateful to have spent 4 glorious years here.