One of the great things about Hong Kong is that even if you’ve lived here your entire life, it can still manage to surprise you—for better or for worse. In the case of 53 Hoi Ha, a newly opened wellness retreat in the depths of Sai Kung Country Park, it was certainly for the better.
Founder Derek Hinden has taken a three-story village house right on the shore of Hoi Ha Wan and transformed the space into a chic wellness sanctuary where guests can spend an entire day disconnecting from everyday life in our beloved (though at times overwhelming) city and reconnecting with themselves.
Watersports in pristine Hoi Ha Wan, hearty yet healthy food, yoga, meditation—it’s all part of the package. From transportation to activities to meals, Derek has left no stone unturned to ensure a seamless and 100% stress-free experience for his guests. And if luxury isn’t having someone do all of the thinking and organising for you, we don’t know what is.
Here’s how a typical day goes at 53 Hoi Ha:
9 am: We meet at the Central Ferry Pier in front of IFC where Derek is waiting with a large, comfy van and bottles of ice-cold coconut water. Once everyone has arrived, we begin our relaxing and surprisingly quick 50-minute drive to Hoi Ha.
10 am: We arrive at the bright pink house that is 53 Hoi Ha. The outside might be loud, but the interiors are earthy, warm and inviting. We’re given time to settle in and get changed into our swimwear for the first activity of the day: stand up paddle-boarding, for which Derek had already arranged equipment from a local vendor. There are also options for kayaking, snorkelling, or if you’re not feeling particularly active, you can just hang out at the beach.
11:30 am: After an invigorating hour on the calm, open waters of Hoi Ha Wan, we head back to shower and freshen up. There are four large washrooms throughout the house, allowing each guest space and privacy to go at their own pace.
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12:30 pm: A homemade vegetarian spread, made with heart by a lovely Pakistani lady named Madiha, is served including potato biryani, saag paneer, and chickpea curry. Feeling light, nourished and completely relaxed, we’re then given about an hour after lunch to relax and explore the local village before yoga.
2:30 pm: A 75-minute yoga class led by Cora Lee is held either on the rooftop—weather permitting—which boasts stunning views over Hoi Ha Wan, or in 53 Hoi Ha’s serene yoga studio. Keeping with the eco-friendly theme, Derek uses cork yoga mats and blocks by Zolowellness.
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4 pm: Rested and rejuvenated, we head back downstairs for some tea and homemade cake that had been prepared whilst we were at yoga. It was the perfect way to keep the laidback, blissed-out vibes going before heading back to the real world.
What's great about a day at 53 Hoi Ha is not only did Derek ensure that there was plenty to do, he also made sure that there was plenty of time to do nothing as well. It was a good reminder that in a city as fast-paced and high energy as Hong Kong, sometimes it's nice to just take it slow.
Interested in escaping for the day? Visit 53hoiha.com
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