Lately I’ve been craving exploration but without the stress of actually having to go anywhere. There’s only so much escaping into fictitious lands I can do before I actually have to take a trip for real. Back in May I went away four weekends in a row. To Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong and Singapore. All of these weekends were so much fun, but I got absolutely burned out afterwards. The amount of time spent actually travelling to these exotic locations (OK, except Hong Kong because that is only one hour by boat) added up pretty quickly and I can’t say it was stress-free (hello China flight delays!!). So that was when I had the wise idea to go on a ‘staycation’.
(Image sourced from here)
Originally I thought about the new Hilton Hotel in Shekou, a mere 10 minute cycle from my apartment, but the idea of being able to see the area I live from the hotel rooftop felt a bit silly, so I decided to venture further afield to the deep, dark core of the city- Futian. Whilst browsing hotels on Trip Advisor, I stumbled upon Hui Hotel. A fairly new, boutique 5 star art and design hotel with a rooftop bar overlooking the lush Central park. What more could you want? After seeing a sneak peek of their quirky room designs, and their egg-shaped bath tubs, I was sold. There’s something about a huge, soft, white bed and a bubble bath that I just love about hotels. I like the way you can slip into a hotel room and become anonymous. However, I dislike the way most hotels are designed very plain and boring. That’s why I was immediately attracted to Hui Hotel because their design is so unqiue. The hotel reception is dotted with surreal sculptures and in the entranceway they have a vertical garden growing up the wall. They have a very long coffee table filled with bird cages with real birds inside. When we asked where the swimming pool was located we were happily surprised to see that it is actually tucked right behind a long glass window, level with the floor of the check-in desk. So as we swam up and down the pool, we’d occasionally see a curious hotel guest kneeling down to take a photo of the quirky pool. All of the doors in the hotel are camouflaged with the walls so at first glance you can’t even see the door to the bathroom or to your hotel room.
We were fortunate enough to receive an upgrade to one of their premier rooms. It was beautiful! My favourite part was the way the roof sloped down to the wall in a curve and that our window was a floor to ceiling one. It was raining quite heavily and because our room jutted out from the front of the hotel, we could hear the rain beating down and it felt like we were in a hut in the jungle. Also, the beds are extremely comfortable. I could sink in and stay for days. I loved the little random things they added, such as a bowling pin in the corner and the LED clock on the wall.
The hotel offers two dining options- a traditional style Chinese restaurant on the first floor and a Western restaurant on the eighth floor. We tried the Western restaurant and while the food was just OK, the view was incredible! It almost felt like we were in New York as we were overlooking Shenzhen’s Central Park. After dinner we chilled in The Library Bar, and it had so many cool architecture and design books to browse. It felt so relaxing to sit on the sofas surrounded by books, whilst being served cocktails from the bar. Unfortunately due to the rain we never got to experience drinks at the rooftop bar, but the next day, Howard (one of the friendliest hotel staff I’ve ever come across!) gave us a small tour of the roof and it was amazing! I will definitely go back on a weekend to experience drinks with a view high above the city.
The spa is also so beautiful and ‘zen’. We had incredible massages to end off the lovely weekend on a soothing high. I actually didn’t want to leave this hotel. I felt like I’d disappeared into a world of calm, far away from the dust and stress of the city. The coolest part of the whole weekend was that within 20 minutes I was home again. So the usual post-holiday blues didn’t really have time to catch me in its claws. There was no travelling time, no rush to catch a plane or a train. I just floated home in the back of a taxi, the faint scent of the eucalyptus oil lingering on my post-massage skin.
Thank you Hui Hotel, you were magical! (This post was not sponsored, I just really loved this hotel a lot, and you will too, so check them out here.)
p.s Have you ever been on a staycation? Isn’t it wonderful?!