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Taste of a Dragon
Taste of a Dragon tea ceremony I Photograph: TA

Hotel Diaries: Four Seasons' Taste of a Dragon staycation

A filling staycation to book this season

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Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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Like most people, you probably haven't left Hong Kong for more than a year. The closest we can get to travelling right now is exploring the city's verdant backyard and secluded islands and reposting throwback vacation photos on social media. Staycations also offer a little reprieve to pandemic-pummeled travel bans. So while we eagerly wait for leisure travel to resume, and with a staycation being the closest thing we have to a holiday, we've created 'Hotel Diaries', a series that will give you a peek inside the best hotel accommodations in town. Hopefully, when travel resumes and tourists start coming to the city once again, this guide will help them decide which hotel to consider for their stay. 

For our first instalment, we've booked a room at Four Seasons Hotel to try their foodie staycation package, Taste of a Dragon. The accommodation highlights an eight-course dinner at three-Michelin-starred Lung King Heen. Read below for the full experience.   

RECOMMENDED: For more staycation inspirations, check out this list of hotels that offer breathtaking views of the sea, or consider staying at hotels with the best swimming pools in town

Hotel Diaries: Four Seasons' Taste of a Dragon staycation

First impressions
The Lobby I Photograph: Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

First impressions

Ask anyone in the city for one of the best luxury hotels to stay in and Four Seasons always come to mind. The hotel's rooms showcase the best views of Victoria Harbour and The Peak and its location is conveniently located smack in the middle of Central and linked to the IFC shopping mall. The moment you step into the hotel, the great deal of natural light coming in from the floor to ceiling windows and the fluidity of the newly renovated lobby – which was unveiled this spring – is very inviting. Guests can comfortably lounge by the lobby's new staged seating while waiting to check-in. The hotel's brightly lit spaces easily lighten up your mood, and the friendly, welcoming greetings of the staff instantly makes you feel at home.  

Services and amenities
Infinity pool I Photograph: Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

Services and amenities

If you have a discerning palate and enjoy fine dining cuisine, Four Seasons is a destination worth considering because of its Michelin-starred restaurants – French restaurant Caprice and bar lounge Caprice Bar, as well as the world's first Chinese restaurant to be awarded Michelin three stars, Lung King Heen. But, of course, the experiences come with a hefty price tag, so booking accommodations that get complimentary access to the F&B offering will be lighter to your wallet. The most impressive highlight of the hotel is the several swimming pools, which include a picturesque infinity pool that appears to spill into Victoria Harbour. There's also a Pool Terrace overlooking the harbour, where I managed to enjoy a glass of bubbly and a snack before soaking up the sun by the pool. It would be a crime not to take tons of pictures at this magnificent swimming pool, so it's almost a prerequisite to snap away some pics to post on social media. The pool capacity is under strict guidelines, so only two hours are allotted per guest room, and it is a first-come, first-serve basis. If there are no slots available, you will be under the waitlist, and they will call as soon as they can accommodate space in the pool.

They also have a gym. I dropped by for a quick workout before lunchtime, and it was empty, so exercise machines were available. Working out overlooking Victoria Harbour from the floor-to-ceiling windows makes exercising feel like a breeze. On the same floor, the hotel also offers a luxurious spa that provides a range of services and a selection of treatments such as sleep consultations, meditation, tai chi, and sound therapy. 

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The room 
Grand Harbour-View Suite I Photograph: TA

The room 

I stayed at the Grand Harbour-View Suite on the 40th floor. Though it is not one of the newly renovated rooms fitted with state-of-the-art technology, the room still makes an excellent first impression with its tastefully decorated furnishings exuding 'old money' charm, and of course, the jaw-dropping views of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon that almost feels like it's entering the room. The living room offers an LED screen television, iPod docking station, and a well-stocked minibar. They also provide binoculars for your harbour-viewing pleasure. The bedroom offers an inviting King-size bed dressed in crisp white linens, a walk-in closet, and a roomy workstation set against large windows framing the harbour – perfect for catching up on some office work – where you'll find a care package containing two masks, hand sanitiser, and sanitising wipes. A glossy dark wood double door opens up to a full marble bathroom with a bathtub, toilet, and shower room with Bvlgari bath amenities. The first thing I looked for was a bidet hose – which I now realise is a rarity in Hong Kong after staying in different hotels and Airbnbs – but to no avail. 

The experience 
Raw Mandarin Puer and Copenhagen Sparkling Teas Blå, Lyserød, and Rød I Photograph: TA

The experience 

At Lung King Heen, the Taste of a Dragon eight-course menu is tailor-made for the package, and only three dishes are available on the a la carte menu. Prior to your booking, make sure to send your dietary restrictions so the meal can be made based on your preference. The experience started with a table-side tea ceremony, which was a great way to pass the time while waiting for the meal to start. There is also an option to order a sparkling tea for pairing (additional $150 per glass), and the wine sommelier will enthusiastically provide his recommendations. We started the meal with a bite of crispy scallop with fresh pear and shrimp paste, followed by a trio amuse bouche – shrimp on toast, mixed vegetable on crispy rice, and my personal favourite, the crunchy marinated jellyfish in sesame sauce. Three kinds of chillies are provided on the table to go with the dishes, and their signature vegetarian XO sauce was so good, you'd definitely ask for refills. The good thing is that the staycation package comes with a take-home jar of Lung King Heen XO sauce, which you can upgrade to a non-vegetarian version. Other dishes that stood out, and for which I will definitely come back for, were the simmered King prawn with ginger and spring onions and the restaurant's classic braised whole South African abalone and Chinese mushroom in vegetarian oyster sauce. All in all, it was a great dinner, though the intervals in between courses took a little longer, each dish made up for the waiting, and the tea and wine sommelier kept us entertained.

Braised abalone and Chinese mushroom in vegetarian oyster sauce

There are a lot of in-room activities that you can add to your stay. You can book a bath ritual (additional $288; book before 5pm) or a rum, wine, and cheese tasting (additional 188 per person per tasting set) for your nightcap. Upon returning to the room after dinner, the tub was already set up with an aromatic bath filled with lavender essential oil, dried tea rose, lavender, chamomile, and herbal bath poultice filled with Himalayan salt. It smelled like heaven and will leave you feeling like royalty. They even provide a calming facial sheet mask that you can use while enjoying the hot bath. 

Four Seasons Hotel bath ritual

For the wine and rum pairing, the wine was easier to down than the spirits – especially after having such a heavy dinner – and the selection was great to pair with cheeses that included Caprice's famous aged Comté. 

In-room wine, rum, and cheese tasting 

In-room breakfast

After a goodnight's sleep, I called in for an in-room breakfast and hurried to the gym to shed the calories from the night before. By the time I finished my workout, breakfast was already rolled in the room in a food trolley that kept the dishes hot. Dining in overlooking the framed view of the harbour was a great way to start the day. 

Singing Bowl Sound Therapy

Before checking out, I managed to sneak in a 30-minute Singing Bowl Sound Therapy (additional $288) at the Four Seasons Spa. The session began with inhaling wafts of aromatic oil before the therapist started with the enthralling sounds of singing bowls. After the session, I woke up feeling blank, as if all the noise in my head was suddenly gone, and I was very relaxed – a perfect way to end the stay. 

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Final thoughts
Four Seasons Pool Terrace I Photograph: TA

Final thoughts

Between all the complimentary in-room activities and the add-on experiences, there's so much to fill your hours. So, make sure to organise your itinerary when you book and manage your time well to get the most out of your stay. If you'd rather use the hotel facilities than remain in the room, a smaller space wouldn't hurt. You can book one of the newly renovated Deluxe Peak-view Rooms for a fraction of the suite price. For foodies, Taste of a Dragon is a good value package, especially if you want to explore an eight-course menu that would otherwise be much more pricey if not included in the stay. Overall, a Four Seasons stay is one for the books. It's definitely a splurge – especially for a grand corner room – but with all the luxurious amenities, you get what you pay for.

Here's what Taste of a Dragon package includes:
Photograph: Courtesy Four Seasons Hong Kong

Here's what Taste of a Dragon package includes:

• Overnight stay in any room or suite
• Daily breakfast for two 
• Eight-course dinner at three-Michelin-starred Lung King Heen for two guests (per stay)
• Late check-out until 2pm (for guests departing Monday through Thursday; not applicable on public holidays)
• One bottle of Lung King Heen handmade seafood XO sauce
• $300 gift voucher for APM Monaco (Available until July 31, 2021)

The rate starts at $3680 for a Deluxe Peak View and $8,680 for a Grand Harbour View Suite. Available for stays until August 31, 2021. Interested in booking this package? Visit fourseasons.com.

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