Over a year into the pandemic, I’ve finally gone on my first ever staycation – and it was at The Langham, Hong Kong. Read on for a review of my experience!
I’m not sure how I managed to survive this year and a half without travelling – not even ‘make-believe’ trips like staycations – but, thank god, my time to treat myself has finally come. In October 2021, almost two years after the beginning of the pandemic, my boyfriend and I checked into the five-star hotel, The Langham, Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui, for a luxurious three-day staycay. Read on to find out about our experience!
An honest review of my staycation at The Langham, Hong Kong
Checking in at The Club (and checking it out)
The lobby was crowded with people queuing up at the reception (definitely a good sign!), but I was still impressed by the elegant lobby entrance. And luckily, since our stay came with access to The Langham Club, we could go straight up to the eleventh floor for its bespoke check-in service. As expected, the staff at the Ante Room were helpful and courteous. We particularly appreciated the team’s attentive service; the manager offered to send our luggage directly to our room for us as he noticed that we wanted to stay at the Club a little longer to try the afternoon tea.
As for the afternoon tea itself, there was a variety of snacks and canapés at the Butler’s Pantry: mini sandwiches, cakes, cookies, and the Hotel’s signature scones, served with clotted cream and rose jam. In addition, the club offers free-flow alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from 3 till 10pm everyday. (So guess who had a cheeky afternoon tipple?)
Three days, two nights at The Langham, Hong Kong
Following the afternoon tea buffet, we headed up to our room, which was an Executive Room on the twelfth floor. Upon entering, we were greeted by a pristine marble foyer; to our right was an Italian-style bathroom, also clad in white marble, complete with a wide counter, a bathtub, and a rainfall shower. We were a little surprised by the large glass window that looked out from the bathroom into the bedroom, but hey, it’s an intimate and stylish touch – plus there were blinds for privacy, too, if you needed them.
Going further into the room, we thought it was rather spacious as it featured a king-sized bed, an expansive lounge area, a desk, and even a faux fireplace. It didn’t take us long to find another surprise waiting for us: there was a selection of fruits, drinks, and souvenirs atop the mini bar, which were our welcome gifts. We especially loved the little teddy bear, which the Hotel gave my boyfriend for his birthday (cue the awws). Not long after we had settled in, there was a knock on the door. It turned out to be a member of the hotel staff, delivering two slices of birthday cake to us. Sweet!
Our first dinner: Main St. Deli menu at Bostonian Seafood & Grill
As Main St. Deli was still under renovation during our stay (it recently reopened on 15 November, BTW), the hotel offered us a sneak peek of its upcoming tasting menu while we took a seat at the Bostonian Seafood & Grill. Our dinner began with the restaurant’s classic U.S. Buffalo Wings – hot, sour, and one of my personal favourites. We were also served the Chef Deli Salad (the ox tongue was the highlight there), a heap of large, crispy onion rings, and homemade lemonade. These were followed by a Barbecue Bacon Burger and the Grand Central (seafood pesto penne). Finally, we had the Signature New York Cheesecake. To say that it’s generously portioned would be an understatement – it was probably the biggest slice of cheesecake we’d ever seen!
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming
Before lunch on the second day, we went to the swimming pool located on the rooftop of The Langham. (Note that due to social distancing restrictions, you need to book ahead for a slot.) Since that morning was chilly, we had been worried about being too cold in the water. Fortunately, the pool was heated, so we took no time warming up and began splashing to our heart’s content. While the pool was a little smaller than we’d expected, we thought it was the perfect size for families and small groups. We pretty much had the whole pool to ourselves, too!
Our first lunch: Palm Court
Did you think Palm Court only had fancy afternoon teas? Think again. Having just launched several new items in its Gourmet Malaysian & Singaporean Hawker Delights menu, we had the chance to try some of the highlights created by Palm Court’s Malaysian Executive Sous Chef, Chef Ng. First came the Malay Chicken Curry, served with home-baked soft bread. We liked the interactive element in this, although we’d prefer the bread to be a tad sweeter to balance out the savouriness of the curry. Then, we had the Duck Egg Char Kway Teow, made with prawns, Chinese sausage, bean sprouts, and more. For this dish, we thought the texture of the kway teow noodles was excellent, but the prawns could do with slightly heavier seasoning. The other main dish we had was the Wagyu Beef Rendang, served with Nasi Lemak and condiments. The braised Wagyu beef cheek left a great impression, as it was so tender and cooked to perfection. Wrapping up our lunch was a Coconut Cheesecake, which was served inside an actual coconut. Sweet and refreshing, the dessert wasn’t as rich as we’d thought it would be, making it a pleasant surprise and a satisfying ending to our lunch at Palm Court.
Our highlight at The Langham: Signature gin tasting at Artesian
Just after sunset, we headed down to the Artesian for its Signature Gin Tasting. As an avid gin lover, this experience was easily the highlight of my staycation at The Langham. My eyes were constantly drawn to the shelves, which were filled to the brim with over 450 gins from around the world. And before the tasting even started, I was already impressed by how detailed and informative the menu was; despite having so many gins on offer, I, for once, didn’t have to feel like a noob overwhelmed by choices I didn’t know how to make. Along with the menu, Stephane Levan, the Beverage Manager, gave us a quick 101 to the art of gin and tonic. After learning how to taste gin, and how to choose a glass and garnish, the interactive G&T experience began. We were given three gins with contrasting profiles. Next, we were told to taste it straight, before adding ice, and our desired tonic and garnish. We were encouraged to mix and match, and explore different combinations. With the tasting being a fun, hands-on, and educational experience, I’d definitely recommend gin enthusiasts to give it a go.
Going full circle
Our last day ended in The Langham Club again, though this time, we booked out the Library to bask in its stunning interiors, and get some work done on our laptops while enjoying the peace and quiet. And when it was finally time to check out, I must admit: I hadn’t had enough of The Langham yet – not when I had yet to drop by Tang Court and Chuan Spa! So, just you wait – I’ll be back, and so should you.
The Langham, Hong Kong, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, p. 2375 1133