Hong Kong may be small, but the former British colony and gateway to the East packs in an array of sophisticated fitness and emerging health offerings for busy locals and travellers. Firstly, there’s the diverse range of outdoor fitness options that take in the iconic scenery: from challenging runs with breathtaking views along the harbour, peaks and historic roads, to some spectacular climbs on Little Tung Lung Chau island. With an emerging clean eating scene and home to state-of-the-art, innovative fitness centres, such as the Pure Chain of luxury Health Clubs and the sleek nightclub-inspired cycle studio, XYZ the island is no longer short of feel good activity.
Grand Hyatt Plateau Spa
The award-winning Plateau spa was opened in 2004 and has proven a highly successful experiment for the Grand Hyatt, which they now plan to roll out to their other hotels. Occupying the entire 11th floor of the Hyatt’s Asian flagship, Plateau Spa aims to be a hotel within a hotel. As well as saunas and a 50 metre pool with views of Victoria Harbour, Plateau Spa provides 24-hour access to high-quality, fitness facilities. You’ll find high quality equipment, free weights, personal trainers and an array of classes, a 400 metre jogging track and squash and tennis courts. And after your workout is done, expert masseuses are close to hand.
As well some of the most sublime rooms in Hong Kong, this luxurious harbourside hotel also has an impressive, fully equipped fitness centre and spa which is open to hotel visitors whether or not you’re staying the night. The quality, modern equipment is first-class and excellently maintained, with unique in-built technological features for measuring and tracking your performance. Private consultations and tailored training are available to help you get the most out of your visits. You can continue your workout and cool off in the two lane swimming pool or treat your muscles in their spa.
When a fitness centre focuses on one thing, it allows it to do it really well. Such as is the case with XYZ, a spin studio concept in central Hong Kong based on the new wave of indoor cycling. Nicknamed the “covert cave,” this sleek, immaculately maintained studio provides everything you need for a high intensity interval workout. To house their 45 bikes, XYZ have gone for a club vibe with an impressive sound system. Towels, lockers, Look Cleats, padded gel seats and spin shoes are all provided, but remember to bring your own water – you’re going to need it!
With five locations spread across Hong Kong and opening hours from 6am - midnight, Pure offer a convenient option for busy Hong Kongese and ex-pats who are on the move. Technology infused centres are high-end, sleek and functional. Over 20 types of cardio equipment are available, allowing you work on a range of routines, from extreme incline training, recumbent biking and rowing. Pure features a dedicated boxing ring and, if you’re interested in some weight work, an Olympic lifting platform. Classes include functional group training, boot camp, yoga, Pilates and a private training studio, for some tailored one-on-one attention.
Pinnacle Performance is a membership focussed gym with a holistic approach to staying active and healthy, from classes to dietary planning. They offer an athletic track, performance suite (for some heavy lifting), as well as a good range of resistance equipment, alongside conditioning equipment like rowing machines and spin bikes. There are also suspension and body weight options with ropes and rings, allowing you to work on your movement and balance. Pinnacle’s underlying philosophy is that we’re all athletes, with our own challenges and goals, and they aim to replicate the attention a professional would receive to help you reach your targets.
It may boast a flashier menu than its sister restaurant, the ultra-hip Locofama, but the same health-conscious philosophy that made the original so popular is on display at Sohofama in droves. The food is a mix of old-fashioned Chinese “comfort food” and modern international fare, and like Locofama, it’s a tastebud winner. Still, it’s the commitment to creating a healthy environment for both dinner and the planet that makes Sohofama stand out: they even boast their own small farm on site, so Sohofama’s chefs can actually grow their own vegetables. Farm-to-table never looked so simple.
Café Causette, located in one of Hong Kong’s most opulent, 5-star hotels, is a relaxed, all-day venue, ideal as a quick, healthy spot to dine solo or a centrally located catch-up or meeting. The café’s skilled kitchen staff are on display through 6-foot window slots which offers stimulating viewing while enjoying a western-leaning menu with an excellent range of healthy, organic and vegetarian clean-eating dishes. While there’s plenty to pick from, a standout dish for us is the lemon-infused, slow-cooked organic salmon with couscous, uniquely matched with a mexican-style molé sauce. And with opening times that allow for a dawn breakfast or near midnight dinner, it’s perfect for a busy schedule.
For a picturesque and manageable 6km run that takes in views of the Victoria Harbour, Mount Davis and the magnificent, tiered Chinese Cemetery, the Victoria Road trail is a great choice. Take the MTR to the newly built station at Kennedy Town to begin the run. Passing the Chinese Merchants pier, the tree-lined track then winds around the lower slopes of Mount Davis. Your run concludes at Pok Fu Lam Road, where you can dine on some healthy seafood at the nearby, historic area of Aberdeen (or if you’re feeling energetic, head back for a 12km round trip).
Victoria Peak Course
Victoria Peak offers archetypal, panoramic views of Hong Kong and makes a great location for a challenging 7km run, which balances uphill climbs with some downhill stretches. Catch the historic tram to Victoria Gap and begin your run on Lugard Road, a narrow, slightly jungly path. After 2km, you’ll notice a turn-off to the right for the grand 50km Hong Kong Trail. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to run the whole thing. Once you the hit the Pok Fu Lam reservoir, it's time to turn left and finish the final uphill stretch back up to Peak Station, with its iconic, wok-shaped roof.
Little Tung Lung Chau Island
Nowhere in Hong Kong offers a better climbing experience than Little Tung Lung Chau island, located off the east coast. It’s accessible by ferry from Sai Wan Ho or Sam Ka Tseun but only on weekends (otherwise, chartering a boat is a possibility). First, head to the small island’s 300-year-old Tung Lung Fort. The climbs are located nearby over four main areas, with up to 60 routes at each, including: the four sided Technical Wall; Kite Rock which is great for short routes; Sea Gully and the dramatic 60-metre Big Wall, which also offers abseil stations.
Image Peter Lam Photography
There was a time when eating healthy meant making sacrifices to both the hip pocket and the taste buds. Thankfully those days are behind us, and Grassroots Pantry – the wildly successful café-slash-restaurant – is a great example of the changing times. Owner Peggy Chan puts an equal focus on making food that’s both healthy and delicious. Her menu takes inspiration from basically everywhere (Lebanese, Italian, Japanese and Indian influences are all present), while the kitchen sources its (mostly organic) ingredients from local sustainable farms, which means your getting the freshest ingredients in the city.
Opened in 1984, Lantau is a picturesque and extensive 70km trail located on an island to the west of Hong Kong and easily accessible by ferry or car. The extensive trail is broken into 12 sections, starting and finishing in Mui Wo, with markings every 500 metres. For views and track quality, we recommend the 14.5km stretch that forms stages 4-6, marked out with posts numbered 30-55. It starts at Tian Tan Buddha (aka the Big Buddha) and ends at the fishing village of Tai O, which makes an excellent spot for lunch.
Tucked away in the colourful Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood is Locofama, an organic restaurant offering wholesome dishes for those who like their food healthy, tasty, and decidedly modern. The menu’s influences run from Chinese through to Italian and Scandinavian, and all the dishes are made with locally-sourced, pesticide-free produce. Vegan, pescatarian and the gluten free are all well catered for, but Locofama certainly hasn’t got anything against meat (their 48-hour short ribs are city famous). Given the quality of the organic produce on offer, Locofama is surprisingly affordable. But most importantly, it’s delicious.
Named after Hong Kong’s ninth Governor, Bowen Road is the city’s most popular running track – and it’s easy to see why. Closed to traffic for extended sections, with great amenities (toilets and outdoor fitness equipment dot the trail), it features four kilometres of shaded running with terrific views of Wan Chai, Happy Valley, and Hong Kong skyscrapers. The starting point is on Stubbs Road, which is regularly serviced by bus or the MTR. If you’re looking to extend your run, this route connects with the Victoria Peak course. Enjoy the run and make the Governor proud!
Looking for something quick but healthy? Head to Mana, a healthy fast food restaurant specialising in organic, eco-friendly, vegetarian and vegan-friendly food for those on the go. Serving everything from gluten-free, brick oven-baked flatbreads to halloumi burgers and raw vegan ice cream, the Middle Eastern-tinged Mana turns the idea of fast food on its head. Their focus on providing healthy food applies to all aspects of the operation: wasted produce is converted into fertilizer, and diners who bring in their own take-away containers get five per cent off their bill, so you can save money and the environment.