For my 29th birthday weekend, Jon and I packed the car and drove out to South Lantau with our dogs to stay at the dreamy Villa Aether for a one-night staycation. Note that you need a car permit to drive to this part of Lantau, and you can decide whether you want to run the risk of getting caught or not. It was approximately a 50-55 minute drive to the villa from Mid-Levels, Central to Treasure Island, which is the closest location you can input on Google Maps as there's no location marker for Villa Aether. Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Central - Mui Wo, then taxi over to Pui O beach. The path started to get excitingly (for me, not Jon) narrow and windy as we neared Treasure Island, like this:
Villa Aether is located right at the end of Pui O Beach, with absolutely no neighbours (aka zero noise complaints if you rent out the space for a party!). There are two caretakers who live on the property, Tala and Danilo, who were simply the best throughout our short stay. Danilo is the designated driver, and can help drive you in and out of the property to where you need to go within the general area.
The villa labels itself as a retreat and wellness destination, a place to wind down and escape from the city's hustle and bustle. It definitely served that purpose - giving us a serene, isolated place to reset and enjoy the rare ocean view. There's no pool on the property, but there is a sun deck that gets sunlight all day long - very much to Jon's delight.
Below - terrace tanning, rooftop, and master bedroom in order.
A home away from home ✨
The villa features 4 floors and 3 bedrooms, one of which is the sea-view en-suite master bedroom that we stayed in. The other rooms are a smaller garden view room inside the main house, and a bungalow-type guest house right next to the main house. At the B/F, there's the fully equipped open kitchen, BBQ grill, meditation room, and garden terrace with a 180 degree sea view. On the G/F is the living room with sofas and what looked like a projector / screen for movie viewings. 1/F is the bedroom floor, and 2/F is the rooftop.
If you're not one for tanning all day like Jon, there's a pretty good variety of activities on offer. Wakeboarding with pick-up from the house is available, as well as paddling, paragliding, mountain biking, surfing, and beach tennis. The beach next door also had kayaks and canoes for rent. You can also book single sessions for yoga, breath work, sound therapy, and hypnosis.
Stairs & living room (below)
Master bedroom with sea view
There are basic amenities like soaps, moisturiser, towels, and filtered water in jugs throughout the house, however you have to bring your own toothbrush/toothpaste, razor, cotton buds, and other things you'd ring a bellhop at a hotel for. Tala cooks a delicious English breakfast with eggs, sausage, mushrooms, and baked beans for guests every morning. For the other meals, you can cook at the villa if you bring your own groceries, visit the local restaurants in the area, or order food delivery from restaurants in Mui Wo via Sunset Deliveries. The other option is to have a guest chef come to the house and cook for you. Jon had secretly booked a chef and invited three other friends over for a really nice 4-course birthday lunch out on the terrace!
The food was super cosy and French bistro-like, and I would highly recommend this chef (Chef Rene) if you decide to hire someone. Absolutely loved the creamy mushroom soup and herbaceous risotto with zucchini, scallop, and tender sea bass. He even made perfectly-risen lemon souffles for dessert.
Oh and one more thing... the villa is home to five beautiful rescue dogs owned by the villa's owner, who isn't in HK at the moment. They bark at first and look intimidating when you first meet them (especially the two leaders of the pack!) but are incredibly friendly and pet-able. Our own dogs that we brought with us (one mongrel, one shiba) also got along with the villa dogs really well. We also didn't hear a peep from the villa dogs unless we left the house to go see them.
All in all, a wonderfully memorable staycation that was different from anything I'd experienced in Hong Kong so far. Jon and I are constantly looking for ways to have a "vacation" without actually going on vacation, and this Villa Aether getaway + the Dream Cruises seacation are definitely at the top of the list of must-try experiences while stuck here with all the travel restrictions!
Enquire or book your next yoga retreat, photoshoot, staycation, mini-concert, party, proposal - whatever you need - at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they'll most likely make it happen for you!
IG - @Villa_Aether
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