Hong Kong may be a thoroughly modern metropolis but she also hides a host of historical heirlooms, including some seriously swish stays swathed in colonial style and yesteryear opulence. So if you're looking for weekend reprieve from the unrelenting concrete jungle, check into one of these bygone beauties. Ready, set, sanctuary...
Think TST is all neon lights and big city brights? There’s still one Victorian doll on patrol. Hullett House is smartly situated in the former C.19th Royal Marine Police Quarters, one of the four oldest surviving government buildings in Hong Kong.
Though you can come for dinner, you'd do better to overnight in one of the ten charming suites, each individually designed and named after a different HK hood. Go for the sumptuous Shek O, inspired by the red lacquer and gold antiques of Hollywood Rd, or perhaps the Ma Wan boudoir bedecked with an opulent Confucian Temple and hand-painted wall murals inspired by the Tang Dynasty.
Venture beyond your chamber and you’ll find seven restaurants and drinking dens inspired by periods in Hong Kong’s history, like chinoiserie-chic The Parlour sporting Sino 'shadow' lanterns and a pavilion-style canopy over the bar.
Hullett House, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. +852 3988 0000, hulletthouse.com
This dignified grand dame, the oldest hotel in Hong Kong, is a vision of luxurious vintage from her gilded lobby where you can enjoy a trad afternoon tea amid potted palms and soaring pillars, to the indoor pool flanked by statuesque Roman columns and Victoria Harbour vistas.
For lovers of old world refinement, the pick of the lodgings is undoubtedly the Marco Polo Suite awash with crown molding, pale panelled walls, antiques and glittering chandeliers. The dining options are also suitably classic with lavish French saloon Gaddi’s and Cantonese Spring Moon where the decor draws inspiration from Shanghai’s golden age.
Want to keep the yesteryear vibes alive even when you leave the hotel? Then opt to be chauffeured around in the Pen’s restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II.
The Peninsula, Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. +852 2920 2888. hongkong.peninsula.com
For those willing to stray a little further from town, a delightful staycation awaits at the winsome Tai O Heritage Hotel, in the heart of Hong Kong's oldest fishing village on Lantau Island.
Spangled with colonial charm, this quaint getaway occupies the former Tai O Police Station, which was nursed back to its former glory by an NGO heritage group. You'll need to book ahead for one of the nine suites, each flaunting stunning bay outlooks over the neighbouring traditional stilt houses.
A trot across the hotel grounds will turn up a jumble of historic treasures, from original cannons to old shutters spotted with bullet holes from mischievous pirates. And while this time warp retreat may feel a world away from the inner-city circus, she’s in high demand, so if you can’t score a room, simply potter up to the hotel’s eatery, Tai O Lookout, for knockout sea scenes and locally-sourced delights.
Tai O Heritage Hotel, Shek Tsai Po St, Tai O, Lantau Island. +852 2985 8383, taioheritagehotel.com
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Liv left behind the lanes, arcades, and wide-open plains of Melbourne for the concrete jungle of Hong Kong, joining the team at LUXE after a stint at Swire Hotels.