Saturday, January 9, 2021

Staycation at The Pen

With no travel plan in sight in foreseeable future, we thought we would wrap up 2020 with another weekend “away” at The Peninsula known for its timeless grandeur. And there's no better time to stay-cation at this legendary property than in December, for they arguably have one of the best festive decorations in town during the Christmas season. 

And not just any room – this time we managed to book into one of their bigger suites, complete with separate living and dining areas that were more than sufficient for the two of us. For a classic-looking hotel that’s been around since forever (it opened for business in late 1920’s and with the last major refurbishment done around 10 years ago), I am particularly impressed with the modern amenities, including electronically controlled audio-visual, lighting and curtain systems, VoIP phones, or small things like wireless chargers on EACH of the bedside tables and a wine-preservation system in the cabinet which will vacuum your unfinished bottles and keep them in the right serving temperature at all time. I guess my only complaints will the lack of views from the windows – our room was in the old wing of the building and on lower floors with one side directly facing the building across the street, and the un-proportionally small bathroom - still well equipped, but just felt a bit cramped when they tried to fit everything in a confined space at the back of the bedroom. 

With most of the facilities closed due to government COVID regulations – that included the spa, the gym and the temperature-controlled pool – Sun Terrace was about the only thing that’s left open outside of restaurants and a few shops. But luckily the weather held up nice and warm during the time we stayed so we did enjoy hanging out at the cozy and quiet deck for a good view of the Victoria Harbor and lovely winter sunshine in the morning with just a handful of others who swung by. And for the rest of the time, we were just happy to hide out in our suite, binge-watch Netflix shows (the whole first season of Emily in Paris!) and enjoy fast food takeaways (Fried Chicken from McDonald's)

I am never a huge fan of eating at The Lobby despite all the fuss about their classic afternoon tea (felt like being exposed with all eyes on you as you sat and ate and their food never impresses me much), but with the festive decorations and the huge Christmas tree in the middle of the hotel lobby, it did feel kinda nice to sit down for a leisure breakfast in the morning.

But the food (and service, to an extent) was a major let-down, once again. Coffee and pastry basket was mediocre. I still couldn’t believe they passed us half a jug of milk for our cereals and then told us we needed to share, and the hot dish, with 2 overcooked eggs sitting under the heat lamp for way too long plus a few sad pieces of soggy potato wedges, cherry tomatoes and supermarket-grade sausages, were literally highway robbery, considered what they were charging for this "Traditional Peninsula Breakfast" (for us, breakfasts were part of our room package)

But that aside and in all other aspects, we had a good time staying at this legendary property and thought it’s a perfect way to sign off the event-filled festive weekend and the year 2020 that we were all happy to say adieu to. 

1 comment :

Jennifer Brooks said...

Such a wonderful experience to read. I'm a big fan of staycations. I have tried several staycations experience using The Select App. This app has lots of offers and hotel pass deals.