No matter how much we love our beautiful city, with its fast-paced lifestyle and endless variety of things to do, every so often it can get a little too much and we begin to plan all kinds of escapes. Being so close to tropical Southeast Asian getaways, it’s not difficult to jump on a plane in search of a tranquil beach; but if time or budget don’t allow for such luxuries, a staycation at the Grand Hyatt may just be the next best thing.
During perhaps the only sunny weekend in June, I was invited to stay at the Grand Hyatt with a friend, where we of course made the most of its beautiful sun-drenched pool (in fact the largest outdoor hotel pool in Hong Kong), super relaxing spa facilities and, most importantly its wide selection of restaurants.
The main aim of the staycation was to showcase the hotel’s recent adoption of a new enhanced guest experience scheme, in line with the Hyatt group’s global vision: to offer better options and amenities for guests, particularly women, making each stay completely hassle-free. These new initiatives include everything from lighter options at each of the restaurants, to yoga mats and free weights available in your room, to even the option of borrowing things like hair straighteners or curling irons if you left them at home! All in all, things that truly make this hotel stand out and make you feel genuinely looked after.
Moving back to the food, whilst the enormous buffet spread for dinner at Tiffin Lounge was both impressive and delicious (whatever you do, do NOT fill up on foie gras before you’ve tried the homemade gelato bar), and our gourmet selection for breakfast in the VIP Club Lounge (that’s how I roll these days) was more than satisfying, the real star at the Grand Hyatt is without a doubt Grissini, so it is inevitable that my review about my stay at the Grand Hyatt was always going to focus on this.
Brunch, as we know, is part of the way of life in Hong Kong – what is there not to love about a meal that combines all the best elements of breakfast and lunch, paired with glass after glass of bubbles? Having previously tried the brunch at the Hyatt’s poolside Grill and deemed it far too hot for a sunny June day, we booked a large table at Grissini for Sunday brunch with a group of friends.
The name obviously comes from the traditional Italian breadsticks we all know and love. These, however, are not just any grissini; these are probably the biggest and doughiest grissini you have ever seen. I challenge you to try to resist reaching for one and see how you fare. Remember, however, the vast array of food you will have already walked past to reach your table, and you might want to hold back…at least slightly.
The first thing you’ll see as you enter the restaurant is a colourful selection of freshly baked flatbreads topped with all sorts of delicious Mediterranean ingredients. Move a little further into the room and you have before you platter after platter of delicious cured meats, creamy Italian cheeses and colourful salads.
Beyond this, and perhaps the highlight of my day, was the pasta cooking station – a huge table offering all kinds of fresh pasta, ingredients and sauces; simply tell the chef what you’d like and you will have your own unique pasta dish created before you. Ignore what some brunch amateurs may tell you about avoiding carbs to make room for other food; when there in front of you lies a PASTA STATION, it would be utterly foolish to miss out.
I would suggest not going too crazy on the pasta, however, as a little further into the restaurant you have the option of not only succulent roast beef with all the trimmings, but also a table boasting pots of mussels, clams, prawns, stewed lobster, Italian sausage stew…if you’re of the same mentality as me, at these sorts of meals it is imperative to try at least a morsel of everything on offer, so serve yourself wisely; you can always (and indeed will always) go back for more.
Regardless of how full one may be at this point (not helped by the numerous glasses of prosecco one may have consumed), take a look at the display of desserts and, out of the depths of your being, that much-loved second stomach will appear, making room for chocolate cake, hazelnut and chocolate torte, cannoli, panna cotta, tiramisu, ice cream, fruit and other tasty treats you never thought you’d have room for.
Service at Grissini, in the same way as throughout the entire hotel, was excellent. Staff are friendly and ensured that we never saw the bottom of our prosecco or wine glasses. Including unlimited prosecco, wine and soft drinks, brunch costs $798 per person ($658 without drinks) – not something we can afford every weekend, but as a treat every so often, or as the perfect end to a lovely, relaxing holiday without even needing to travel anywhere, Grissini would definitely be up there amongst my favourite brunches in Hong Kong.
If you’re interested in having your own little staycation at the Grand Hyatt, take advantage of its 8-2-8 deal. For HK$828 per person, this includes:
– One night’s accommodation overlooking the beautiful harbour
– Early check in from 8am
– Late check out the following day at 8pm
– Breakfast buffet for two at Grand Café (either on the day of arrival or the following morning)
– Access to the pool, 24-hour fitness centre and sauna facilities
– Complimentary parking for one vehicle
And whilst you’re there, if you’re feeling hungry for brunch, you know where to go…
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
1 Harbour Road
Tel: +852 2588 1234