• A one night’s stay in a Premier Room from $1,637 (or from $2,297 for two nights), with breakfast for two and complimentary valet parking too
• An $800 dinner spending credit to be used at a range of Lai Sun Dining restaurants – and there are some good ‘uns, from the hotel’s own Canton Bistro and Prohibition, to Beefbar, to CIAK – In the Kitchen
Ocean Park Marriott’s stunning floor-to-ceiling lobby fish tank, where divers make appearances throughout the day
We were upgraded to a very tastefully appointed Club Room (we loved the pops of turquoise in the soothing colour scheme), with this room category’s main perk giving access to the M Club lounge on the first floor of the Club Wing, where breakfast, snacks, canapés and desserts are served throughout the day, along with a non-alcoholic honour bar. You must book a slot for the canapés spread in the evening, but it’s much more than just a few hors d’oeuvres; you could make a whole dinner out of the hot dishes, cold cuts, cheeses, fruits and desserts on offer.
The best part about our room was this huge sunken bathtub, where our little ones soaked for the best part of an hour (though they aren’t old enough to fully appreciate the lush THANN bath amenities the hotel provides).
Ocean Park Marriott’s facilities are made for family staycation fun. First and foremost, there are two big and beautiful main pools (with complimentary pool noodles, floats and the like provided), as well as a children’s pool area that’s currently closed owing to COVID restrictions. Pool sessions must be booked in one-hour time slots (with just one slot per room on weekends), which is a drawback because you won’t want to leave after just 60 minutes.
Kidlets will be pleased with the Kids’ Corner (a nautical-themed play area that’s also bookable in one-hour slots) and the varied children’s activities, such as storytelling sessions and water-gun fights, arranged by the very friendly and accommodating hotel staff.
We didn’t get the chance to check them out, but there’s also a state-of-the-art fitness centre and the lovely HARNN Heritage Spa, where grown-ups can relax with a facial, massage, body scrub or many more treatments.
The dining options
Let’s start with breakfast. It’s currently served in the Grand Ballroom (two time slots: 7–9am and 9:15–11:15am), but during non-pandemic times, it’s served at Pier Lounge & Bar at reception level. There’s an excellent range of very fresh food stations set up adjacent to the ballroom, to include everything from omelettes, to Asian-style noodle soups, to Western-style brekkie items, to pastries. Eating in a humongous, soulless ballroom (however fancy it may be) did feel a bit odd, we have to admit, but we just put our heads down and focused on our delicious mishmash of breakfast foods.
For lunch, we checked out modern Chinese restaurant Canton Bistro, which specialises in Shunde cuisine from Guangdong province, with sustainable seafood a focus. Shunde cuisine is well known for its use of humble ingredients that pack a powerful flavour punch.
The dim sum items – in particular the fluffy pan-fried beef buns with black pepper ($58 for 4) and the pan-fried bean-curd sheet rolls with black fungus, mushroom and carrot ($48 for 4) – were standouts. We also enjoyed the deceptively simple-looking wok-fried vermicelli in Shunde style ($238) – how the chefs manage to infuse so much flavour from that wok-fried pork belly and spring onion into that mountain of plain noodles is beyond us!
Another great hotel lunch option is Marina Kitchen, an all-day-dining and buffet restaurant that’s especially popular with families for its designated kids’ dessert and ice-cream station.
Without a doubt, the star of the hotel’s F&B portfolio is dark and moody American-style steakhouse Prohibition, and this is where we opted to use our Lai Sun Dining vouchers. We started our meal with some uniquely presented cocktails (though we do wonder – how do they keep that leather drinking vessel clean?!).
It would be a sin to go to steakhouse and not order its bread and butter (so to speak), so we did just that – in the form of this 35-ounce USDA Prime long bone-in rib-eye ($1,488), which comfortably fed four of us. We loved the outer char and perfectly medium-rare meat, as requested, but we just wish that the steak had been more liberally seasoned.
Sides are key at a steakhouse, and the winners for us were the tower of crunchy onion rings ($88) and the button mushrooms ($88), sautéed whole with lashings of butter and garlic. We would recommend the lobster mac & cheese ($118) if you’re a fan of the rich taste of lobster (with this dish having a lobster-bisque-like flavour), but not if you’re a mac ‘n’ cheese connoisseur, if that makes sense – this mac was sorely lacking in the cheese and cream departments.
Prohibition is known for its impressive sharing desserts, and we went with the grandaddy of all tableside desserts, the flamed Alaska ($248). This version, doused in Grand Marnier, is made with layers of vanilla and hazelnut ice cream, sponge and mixed berries that are topped with a (very) sweet mound of browned meringue that tastes of toasted marshmallow.
We loved our staycation at Ocean Park Marriott so much, we’re already planning on booking a two-night stay over the summer holidays – but this time on weekdays, when the common areas and breakfast location hopefully won’t be quite as hectic. If you’re looking for a hotel in Hong Kong with a resort-like feel, this is it (we haven’t found a better pool). The dining options are great too, with something for everyone, from a glam high-end steakhouse to a family-friendly buffet. This staycation offer won’t be on forever, so get booking!
This write-up is based on a complimentary media staycation provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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