With travel restrictions still in full force, the Hong Kong hotel staycation will be as popular as ever for the rest of 2021 (at least!). As the second piece in a series on luxury travel trends, Sarah Keates, Founder of WOI sits down with Raili Summers, luxury travel agent at Last-Minute Luxury to discuss Raili’s top 3 luxury club-lounges in Hong Kong.
Raili: “As a former long-haul flight attendant, I spent many years travelling the world, experiencing the best (and worst) of hotels. Even after years of late-night and early morning check-ins returning to the same soulless business hotel year after year, the one thing that kept the travel flame alive was the promise of the club-lounge.”
The club-lounge was originally conceived as a haven for business travellers to escape camera-carrying, souvenir-scouting tourists. A space to relax with access to meeting rooms, business services, and a complimentary gin and tonic, the club-lounge soon became a popular draw for business travellers. Now, the concept has evolved, and club-lounges are popular with a much broader demographic including families, couples, and those looking for an exclusive home-from-home space with luxury amenities and seamless service.
In 2021, despite all travel challenges, the luxury market is booming. High-end travellers demand more from their stay than ever before and with expectations soaring, hotel experiences are elevating to meet the needs of its discerning customer. Club-lounges in Hong Kong now focus on privacy, personalised service, unique design, and world-class food and beverage options. They must also meet the (often polarised) needs of various customer groups, combining work and leisure into one, multi-purpose, luxury space.
Ralili: “For me, the “magic” of the executive lounge experience lies in its surprise and exclusivity. It represents a break from the crowds and the stresses and strains of everyday life, especially in a frenetic city such as Hong Kong. Even after so many years of travel, I press the button “club-floor” with a flutter of anticipation. For my clients and I, this is the promise of something special, exclusive, perhaps previously unattainable, and of course, a well-earned break, it’s exciting”.
Last Minute Luxury’s Top 3 – Club-Lounge Review in Hong Kong
In March 2019, the area now known as Victoria Dockside became home Hong Kong’s most luxurious club-lounge. Occupying half of the 40th floor of Rosewood Hong Kong’s 65 storey ‘vertical estate’, the Manor Club offers a private sanctuary to guests of the hotel’s 91 suites or 322 eligible rooms.
The Manor Club has a nostalgic, understated elegance much like an exclusive members’ club from days gone by. Every detail has been planned to perfection, with endless touches of glamour and Instagrammable areas. Rory McCann Director of Sales said:
“What we hope to create is a sense of peace, tranquility and escape; we welcome and treat our guests here as treasured family members coming home. The Manor Club is detail oriented, and experience focused. Quiet corners, impeccable service, thoughtful and delectable F&B are, of course, a given.”
With an open marble kitchen serving breakfast, afternoon-tea, evening cocktails and canapés, guests dine according to their personal schedule with fine teas, artisan coffee, or a flute of champagne discreetly topped up by the club butlers. Designed as a space where guests can truly relax away from it all, knowing that they are in excellent hands. This sanctuary includes a luxury games room, full-sized pool table and a panoramic wrap-around terrace, perfect for catching Hong Kong’s spectacular sunsets, cocktail in hand.
Renovated in 2016 – accessible to all suite and club room guests – the Grand Club has a welcoming air of tranquility and familiarity. Opened in 1989, The Grand Hyatt has seen many guests enjoy the unrivalled harbour views from its double height windows. Due to its size, which is spread across the 30th and 31st floors, this club is great for children, with plenty of space to move around without disturbing other guests, and a separate ‘quiet’ area overlooking the pool and gardens.
With a library, lounge area, open kitchen, buffet and bar, the club presents a delicious breakfast spread (in addition to the legendary buffet of the Grand Cafe), and afternoon-tea, a respite from languishing by the famed outdoor pool. Free-flow champagne can be procured with a knowing wink to staff, and cocktail and canapé hour brings the lounge alive, as Hong Kong’s skyline lights up and a delicious buffet is served. The lounge manager, Scott Lui has become a familiar face to many regulars over the years, and part of the charm that is the Grand Club Hong Kong, he is of service to all guests for any wants and needs during their stay.
“The happy faces of guests at the Grand Club are always the biggest source of my job satisfaction. Seeing repeat guests is such a great motivation, too! Travel is not the same as before since the pandemic and I’m so glad to see some local guests return for another staycation and hearing them say how much they love the club. Of course, I cannot wait to meet our regular overseas guests again when international travel resumes” says Scott.
Bowing to the popularity and customer desire for the club lounge experience, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong opened the Mandarin Club in February 2021. Where old school tradition meets modern luxury, an opulent 575-square-metre space is draped in their signature muted tones with onyx marble details, chevron wooden floorboards and sparkling crystal chandeliers. Located on the 23rd floor, guests can look onto the glistening waters of Victoria Harbour, vistas of which can be viewed from various vantage points within the lounge.
Breakfast is available, along with a traditional afternoon tea set that rivals its counterpart served downstairs in the Clipper Lounge, and the essential club lounge drawcard of evening cocktails and canapés. Unexpected touches include a self-serve still and sparkling water fountain, an impressive cold-drip coffee machine that looks more like an art installation than the destination for your daily caffeine fix and access to the imposing boardroom for two hours per day (a great way to impress colleagues on the next zoom call).
A fabulously executed combination of old meets new, blending traditions expected by the old guard with fantastic touches of sparkle to win over the newbies. Matthew Chao, Sales Manager, Luxury says:
“The lounge will be treated as an additional luxury facility to satisfy the expectations of a modern traveler. Be our guest to enjoy the most incredible legendary service, you can be assured that you’ll have a fantastic time”.
How to Book a Luxury Club-Lounge in Hong Kong
If you would like to try the above lounge experiences for yourself, please get in touch via email email@example.com or check out my Instagram @lastminuteluxury for travel inspiration and a variety of special offers.
As a Preferred Partner and Virtuoso agent for these properties I have access to deals, complimentary room upgrades, free breakfast, and hotel credits with most bookings. I look forward to helping you with any of your ‘travel’ plans and club lounge bookings, be it here in Hong Kong or further abroad!