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Hong Kong: A Getaway

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Hong Kong at night

Why go: Only one hour and 45 minutes away from Manila, with its electric vibe and bustling cityscape, Hong Kong has always been the choice location for family vacations, superb dining of both the affordable and Michelin-starred variety, shopping sprees and of course, a true party central. Because April is my birthday month, I decided to go to Hong Kong with some girlfriends to celebrate with good food and a lot of fun.

What to pack: The week before I left for Hong Kong, it was raining and one night, hailing even. I like to think I brought the sunshine because we had a glorious weekend – it was warm with a cool breeze. Because I was unsure of how the weather was going to be, I brought options for day: jeans and blouses, a scarf, a cardigan, a long-sleeved denim dress. For evening I brought flattering dresses with a bit of coverage. A small bag for evening. Good walking shoes are a must here.

Love/Lust: I’m lusting over the Valentino Rockstud heels in blush. That being said, I always look forward to meeting new people in this city. Hong Kong attracts a vibrant melting pot of interesting folk. It’s fun finding out what journey they have been on. And don’t forget the yummy eye candy!

Stay: When I was looking on agoda.com for where to stay this trip, my cousin Carla, who lives in Hong Kong, recommended me to stay at the Butterfly on Wellington – both for its more spacious rooms to fit three women and also for its excellent location.

butterfly1

Finding a hotel for three persons in Hong Kong is not an easy task! Most rooms require only two adults maximum. Thankfully, Butterfly on Wellington had an Executive Room that could totally fit an extra bed. When we got to the hotel, I was pleasantly surprised that they upgraded us to a Signature Room! The room was simply decorated but clean and comfortable. The bathroom was spacious and the rain shower was a dream. In Hong Kong, you are out all day, so when you get back to your hotel you want to make sure you get to relax and feel recharged. The bed at the hotel was fantastic and the curtains blocked out the world – just the way it should be.

The Signature Room at Butterfly on Wellington

The Signature Room at Butterfly on Wellington

Best of all, its location was walking distance to everything! We made the mistake of taking a cab to Duddell’s, which was only a 10-minute walk back to the hotel. The only time we took a cab again was to visit friends in Wan Chai and back to IFC for the Airport Express! But in Central, we walked to all the restaurants, walked to all the shops and best of all, walked home after a big night out in Lan Kwai Fong and Soho (did I mention taxi drivers won’t take you if you are too close to your hotel?). I also love the fact they have Macs in the lobby for guests to use. I needed to do a bit of work and my iPad wasn’t cutting it, so thankfully I was able to use the Macs to do the work and also to print my boarding ticket for my departure. The hotel also has fast complimentary WiFi access everywhere. Love! I have to make a special mention to the staff at Butterfly on Wellington. In the afternoon, coming home from shopping, we walked in on two ladies there. At first we were alarmed but pleasantly surprised to find out they had set up our room with balloons and letters on my bed that spelled out, “Happy Birthday Vicki!” Wow! It was Butterfly on Wellington marketing manager Joyce Chiu and her colleague. They gave me a little cake, a birthday card and a small plastic frame that I could take home with me. It was so sweet, we took some photos with them and of the set up and thanked them. About an hour later, someone knocked at our door. I went to answer it and it was Joyce again, this time with a handcrafted picture frame that had a little butterfly and my name and in it was our photo from that afternoon. And they spelled my name right! I was so touched by this sweet gesture. I love Butterfly on Wellington and I would totally stay here again.

Little details make all the difference at this hotel

Little details make all the difference at this hotel

Eat: I wanted to eat somewhere familiar but also definitely somewhere new. Thankfully my two girlfriends let me hijack our food itinerary – after all, I only had 3 meals in the city and wanted to make the most of it! I decided on going to Duddell’s, a sleek and elegant modern Cantonese cuisine resto with a fabulous outdoor terrace and an art gallery to boot. We had drinks on the terrace and when our table was ready went into the dining room. For lunch, of course I wanted dim sum and therefore brave the line at Tim Ho Wan. And even though we had a late lunch, it was still extremely busy, but worth the wait for those melt in your mouth pork buns. For dinner that night, we were 6 girls and I thought it would be fun to eat at Chicha, a dark, sexy new modern Peruvian restaurant with fantastic ceviches, tacos, quinoa salad and grilled corn you would die for . While shopping, get a boost of energy from the sugar in  scrumptious Pierre Herme macarons.

Duddell's

Duddell’s

Duddell's pan-fried chili prawns, the menu cover, the main dining room and upstairs lounge area

Duddell’s pan-fried chili prawns, the menu cover, the main dining room and upstairs lounge area

Chicha

Chicha exteriors; scallop ceviche; salmon sashimi ceviche in ponzu; Oh My Cod; grilled chicken taco

The queue outside Tim Ho Wan, BBQ pork buns, siomai

The queue outside Tim Ho Wan, BBQ pork buns, siomai

Drink: Cocktails. They are pricey but well worth it.

Do: Feel the buzz of the city and walk around everywhere. Go to Socialitos for 90s music on Friday night. Dance. Flirt. Visit friends. Go somewhere new. Eat a gyro before heading home. Leave no girlfriend behind.

Shop: Because I was on a Lenten sacrifice of no non-essential shopping, I didn’t buy anything on this trip except a small bottle of hairspray and a memory foam pillow for the plane. But! You must go shopping at the luxury boutiques! They have everything new season – and the entire collection as well. Life is short. Buy the shoes.

Book: I always buy a book at Replay at HKIA. This year I’m loving The Rules books by Richard Templar.

My picture frame gift; Valentino Rockstuds; The Rules of Life

My picture frame gift; Valentino Rockstuds; The Rules of Life

Soundtrack: 90s music with a jazzy twist.

In the know: Perhaps from my wisdom of being a year older and hopefully wiser, this year I ditched the sexy stilettos for evening and brought still-chic strappy San Marina wedges that my feet totally thanked me for. If taxis turn you down in the evenings (and they will) you don’t want to be walking in heels all the way home. Take naps. Get data roaming before you leave your home country.

Many thanks to my friends and cousin who made this trip ultra memorable!

Many thanks to my friends and cousin who made this trip ultra memorable!

 

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The Author

Vicki
Vicki
"For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven't tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay your welcome.” - Alex Garland


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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

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