It has the one of the largest and prettiest rooftop pools in Hong Kong, a stretch of cool shimmering blue overlooking Victoria Harbour. It has the most sophisticated hotel spa in Asia. And its two-star Michelin French restaurant, Caprice, had the first cheese cave in Hong Kong and still has one of the best, with some 30 unpasteurized varieties from France. (They would have had me with the cheese alone.)
Those are just a few reasons to love the Four Seasons Hong Kong.Nearly 11 years after opening, in the then-new IFC, the hotel is still swoon worthy.
Its 399 rooms are graced with floor-to-ceiling windows that have views over the harbor or the multicolored skyline. Their vibe is contemporary and uncluttered, with artful Chinese accents like crimson silk throw pillows and calligraphy-inspired ink paintings. The desk chairs can be positioned to face out the window, a relief for anyone who is sick of looking up from working to stare at a hotel-room wall. (I stayed as a guest of the hotel.)
Elsewhere the hotel gets more artful, with an extensive, eclectic collection of contemporary works assembled by leading international art consultant Sandra Walters, who reviewed hundreds of portfolios to commission original sculptures, oil paintings, photographs and lithographs. The concierge provides maps for self-guided tours through works that draw on feng shui, jazz music, ballet, craft and artisanal technique incorporating fibers and precious metals. Guests can also book curated gallery tours of the city, with itineraries devised by Walters and her team.
The massive spa (17 treatment rooms over 22,000 square feet) is devoted to the art of wellness. The 50-plus-person staff includes therapists from around the world, many of whom helped develop treatments based their native healing traditions. The result: unusual, multifaceted and surprisingly effective treatments such as the Chinese Wellness Ritual, which includes a cinnamon-rice scrub on a marble slab in a steamy hammam-like room, a dousing with warm rice milk and a rub along the body’s meridians (through which qi flows in traditional Chinese medicine) with poultices dipped in a creamy honey mixture. It’s skin-softening as well as deeply relaxing.
The aesthetics side is results-driven, as this is the only spa in Hong Kong to use the cult Biologique Recherche line from France. The new Second Skin facial is the talk of the town, as its “electrospun machine” (which the marketing materials liken to a 3D printer) is so effective at plumping skin with hyaluronic acid that it serves (really) as a noninvasive alternative to injections.
Outside the spa, on the roof of the 6th floor is the infinity pool with its beautiful harbor view. Underwater music is played in it and in a separate 20-meter lap pool. Along with the pool deck, Jacuzzi and cold plunge pool, they’re open to hotel guests only, doing away with the afternoon party scene at many rooftop pools. Bonus serenity: complimentary tai chi classes on the deck weekend mornings.
Later in the day, the best place to relax is the intimate Caprice Bar, in which glasses of many unusual, small-producer wines (heavily French) are paired with cheeses from that cellar, including a rare four-year-aged Comté from a farm that produces only 180 wheels a year and sends only one of them to Hong Kong. Along with the Caprice restaurant, it’s overseen by French-born chef Fabrice Vulin, who ran two restaurants in Morocco and imports his own preserved lemons and olive oil from that country. Now he has many ingredients flown in daily from France and manages to pull off the rare Michelin-starred French restaurant that isn’t overly formal—though there’s a snazzy Deco-chinoiserie-meets-17th-century France design, with lacquer-like materials and tassels dangling from the Czech crystal chandeliers—or indulgent.