Sunday, October 9, 2022

The "Last" Stay-cation (We Hope)

We spent a weekend at The Murray a few weeks ago, in what would probably our last "staycation" for a while. There are a few things we would love to try at the hotel so we thought it would be a good idea to combine them with a stay in one of their rooms. 

Surprisingly the hotel was pretty packed on the day of our visit, showing no sign of "staycation fatigue" and we barely avoided the long line at check-in counter by coming in slightly earlier. They were so generous to upgrade us to the Signature Suite on the high floor with the view of both Central and Kowloon skyline and the harbor. The suite was tastefully done - I especially love the spacious bathroom and the living area with separate work section. 

We checking in early meant we could hit Popinjays slightly earlier than planned for their weekend brunch. They aren't the type that offered a particularly huge buffet spread with too many choices, but you can't beat the cozy space and food that's of top quality with seafood, cold cut, hot food and dessert stations. We heard good things about their new executive chef Lexine Hepworth, and there she was, manning the galette station on the day of our visit, with savory crepes done a la minute. They were delicious and very enjoyable, and was perfect for brunch. I do wish they got more hot dishes though, especially they did mention there would be special dishes passed around straight from the kitchen (turned out we only got that once)

The hotel was known for the art installation scattered around the premise, and with us staying in, we got more time to explore those plus the lovely neighborhood with Hong Kong Park and St Paul's Cathedral right nearby. With the Peak Tram just re-opened there's also the option of going up to the Peak from the station just right next door literally. Didn't have time for gym this weekend but it looked like they are well-equipped and never over-crowded. The pool, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing - it's literally a small lap pool that could accommodate two people at most, and no space whatsoever by the pool side to lounge or sit, or even lay your towels and belongings. Plus they closed early because of COVID. So we were more than happy to give it a miss. 

Breakfast next morning was another highlight. We expected a crowd (given the 100% occupancy) but they managed to run it smoothly even as we went on the morning peak hours. They being a pet-friendly hotel meant many chose to bring along pets (mainly dogs) to stay and even to eat at the restaurant. It's quite a fun scene to see them hanging out at those tables in the terrace. Back to the food, they got a nice selection of pastries and traditional breakfast items at the buffet table (OMG their almond croissant is to die for!), and we could also choose from their menu with dishes made to order. Given they don't have a Chinese restaurant on premise, I was surprised their Chinese breakfast selection turned out to be more than decent with the abalone and chicken congee and steamed rice rolls both perfectly done.

On the last day of our stay, we checked out at normal time but came back after lunch to enjoy a spa session. The 90-minute bespoke massage package was just what we needed. They only got a handful of treatment suite so we got real personal service, and the suite was spacious and well-equipped. We finished with hot tea and snack in the lounge thoroughly rested. And being a member of GHC Discovery (their affiliated loyalty program), we also got a discount for the treatment package which turned out to be more than reasonably priced in my opinion and something we would be more than happy to return to any time. 

Hopefully no more staycation for us in a while but we did enjoy our last one. 

The Murray Hong Kong:

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