When Four Seasons Hong Kong opened in 2005, its prime IFC Central location and myriad of restaurants which quickly – and unsurprisingly – earned Michelin stars, made it the place to be, and be seen. This year, the hotel unveiled its lavish transformation which includes a new bar, ARGO, a refreshing update to its lobby area by AB Concept and the overhaul of the hotel's 399 rooms and suites led by architectural and interior design firm Remedios Studios. We checked into the five-star property to experience the new offerings and glamorous state-of-the-art design.
The grand entrance to the Four Seasons Hong Kong is part of the welcome parade and marks the start to a lavish stay. Part of the transformation focus was to enhance the arrival experience by adding more curvatures and remove the previous sharp corners in the lobby. Entering the hotel feels bright and airy with its floor-to-ceiling windows and panorama of the updated lobby area, café Gallery and the brand-new adjoining bar ARGO – more on that later.
Much of the design reflects the signature Four Seasons marriage between traditional and contemporary elements, from the neutral colour palette to the Chinese art and antiques found throughout the hotel.
Even the entrance to the rooms and suites are reflective of the amount of property's major overhaul and sleek design.
We stayed in the newly-renovated Grand Harbour View Suite, a 732 square foot corner space fitted with a spacious living area, a marble bathroom, guest bathroom and sea-facing king bed in the master bedroom. The plush furnishings and generous views made this suite feel inviting and luxurious without feeling pretentious.
One of our favourite elements of the suite was the chic wardrobe space situated between the bed and the bathroom.
The bar area was equipped with minibar essentials and a Caprice Negroni by FS Bar Manager Lorenzo Antinori, best enjoyed on ice in the room.
Guests can make the most of the in-room pillow menu which caters to every type of slumber. We tried the buckwheat pillow more so out of curiosity and researched it to be of Japanese origins made for firm neck support – and judging from our undisturbed, restful sleep, we'll definitely be investing in one ourselves.
The bathroom is a sophisticated affair, decked in head-to-toe marble and opened with its double doors. At night, we had the bath ritual, set up by the hotel spa team or 'bath butler'. It's just one of the many wellness offerings at Four Seasons – the hotel takes urban indulgence to new highs. The bath comprised Himalayan salt and lavender essential oils with a complementary hot ginger tea – the perfect way to unwind on an evening.
If you're looking for the best hotel swimming pool in Hong Kong, it's here. The outdoor pool boasts extravagant harbour views and a cool poolside bar for all-day drinks and dining. During our stay, the pool wasn't busy and we were able to enjoy the sun and top-notch service on the deck chairs – compared to a few of our other hotel stays which required complicated slot sign-ups, many of which we couldn't make the cut for.
The view itself is a reason to take a dip at this lush location.
The name ARGO is inspired by the symbol for discovery and exploitation in Greek mythology. Celebrity bar manager Lorenzo Antinori takes the reigns with his new innovative concept in the debut of his cocktail menu 'Here Today, Gone Tomorrow'. Its highly-anticipated opening has not gone unnoticed with crowds – and we mean crowds, people line up from 5:00pm – making it quite possibly the hottest bar premiere in a while. The AB Concepts-designed space offers a sophisticated yet whimsical interior, resembling a futuristic terrarium, with an abundant turquoise and royal pink colour palette to lend the otherwise pared-back hotel shades a bright, almost playful uplift.
Antinori's new cocktail menu spotlights six key ingredients – cacao, honey, vanilla, apple, coffee and rice – chosen for their potential scarcity in the future. Argo prides itself on sustainability wherever possible, with partnerships including a local bee farm HK Raw Honey – which supplies the longan honey and mono-floral lychee in the cocktails – and Malaysian cacao farm Chocolate Concierge. As you would expect, the drinks menu is an impressive feat. Argo has 27 exclusive spirits only available at the hotel, among its collection of 54. There's also a dedicated Argo guide, which delves into every spirit available at the bar and what to expect from each.
Argo | Images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times (Swipe through)
Much like the Four Seasons' in-house dining establishments, which, by the way, accounts for the most Michelin stars under one roof in the world, service is on point, meaning the well-trained staff are happy to cater for personalised requests and recommend drinks based on taste preferences. We tried the ARGO Martini first, made with its own label gin served with a 'secret olive' to be devoured after the first sip of the drink. Next, we had the Bark, Leaf & Love, a mix of Barr Hill honey gin, longan shell and ivy leaf tea, preserved strawberries, split cream and sandalwood. An evening at Argo is not complete without tasting the delightful array of snacks available on the menu. We opted for the Carabinero Tartare, a bite-sized platter of puffed rice topped with crab roe and the nostalgic Hong Kong Egg Waffle or for those in the know, gai daan jai, which, to our delight, came with a feisty concoction of Sichuan chocolate sauce, soy caramel and ice cream. Had we been hungrier (we had an afternoon buffet at Argo at noon), we would have also ordered the beef Japanese sando, which we've heard only rave reviews for.
The Room at Night
We returned back to the room after our evening cocktails at Argo to relax in the comfort of the suite. Here's a glimpse into what it's like at night...
We ordered in-room dining later in the night, set up next to the window's harbour views. My partner and I shared a few dishes including the aromatic Pad Thai, Spring Chicken and Burger Sliders. While the hotel's restaurants usually require booking in advance (and are definitely worth a trip nonetheless), we very much enjoyed dining in the room to make the most of our suite during the stay. If you do choose to book dinner in one of the hotel restaurants, there's the three Michelin-starred French Caprice by chef Guillaume Galliot, another three Michelin-starred Lung King Heen, two Michelin-starred Sushi Saito and Tempura Uchitsu, as well as The Lounge for breakfast, pool snacks at Pool Terrace, international dishes at Gallery and drinks at Caprice Bar.
Breakfast was at the Lobby Lounge, next to the dramatic glass atrium (not to be confused with the centre lobby lounge, Gallery). To align with the zen I was feeling from the stay so far, I had the Well Feeling Start, the healthy morning option, while my partner ordered the American Breakfast.
Images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times (Swipe through)
I started my morning right with a relaxing coffee by the pool followed by a magnificent facial treatment at the spa. My face-lifting Luminous Facial was a rejuvenating hour of bliss, paired with my therapist, Angela's stellar service. She recommended long-term home therapies and techniques that I could use particularly for my skin type and sensitivity.
Without a doubt, Four Seasons Hong Kong is one of the most luxurious, impressive hotels in the city, and its latest refurbishments and dining additions add to the local enthusiasm for new openings. The Grand Harbour View Suite is a picture-perfect space, and at Four Seasons, it's the little things that make the hotel group's world-class reputation so significant, like when the turndown service inserted a bookmark in one of my current reads. Although we didn't check out the club lounge this time, we heard that it's one of the few setbacks at the hotel since it's comparably smaller to other hotel lounges – but otherwise, there's really not much to fault. Four Seasons is the best well-rounded hotel for everything you need; the Michelin-starred dining, incredible spa, huge swimming pool and sleek accommodation, all within walking distance of Hong Kong's top shopping and tourist destinations.
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3196 8888