Header image courtesy of Smitt (via iStock)
With Finland holding the title of the happiest country on earth—followed closely by Denmark, Norway, and Sweden—it seems like the Scandinavians have cracked the age-old enigma that has perplexed mankind since the dawn of our existence. As the season to be jolly makes its annual comeback, where better to look to than Santa’s sparkly homeland for that serotonin boost to get you into the holiday spirit? While travel may still be a no-go, we’ve partnered up with Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong for five ways you can still experience a Nordic Christmas right here in Hong Kong!
Gripped by snow and freezing temperatures during the wintertime, the Nordic countries seek comfort in the arms of warming, comfort recipes that make you want to curl up with a blanket and throw on some fuzzy slippers. It’s no surprise, then, that sumptuous Christmas buffets are the cornerstones of their festive merrymaking. Call it a julbord in Sweden, a joulupöytä in Finland, or a julefrokost in Denmark, the idea remains more or less the same—a buffet-style meal overflowing with roast meats, cheeses, cosy stews, puddings, cookies, and other holiday treats.
Want to save the hassle of preparing your own smorgasbord? Kowloon Shangri-La is offering festive all-you-can-eat buffet packages at Café Kool on 24, 25, 26, and 31 December so you can feast like royalty this Christmas season! Tuck into a dazzling array of freshly baked pastries, holiday roasts, gourmet international specialities, and seafood dishes including lobster thermidor, freshly shucked oysters, steamed king crab legs, and more!
Picturesque cobblestone streets festooned with wooden chalets and snow-dusted trees—Christmas markets have been a long-standing tradition held across Central and Northern Europe for hundreds of years. Lucky for us, the quintessential European holiday tradition has spread to all corners of the world, giving us opportunities to sip on spiced mulled wine, shop for gifts, and soak up the heart-warming festive atmosphere without leaving Hong Kong.
This year, the city is hosting a plethora of festive marketplaces in the lead-up to Christmas. Among them is the Kowloon Shangri-La, whose hotel lobby is transforming into a red-and-white locomotive wonderland. Visitors can peruse a wide assortment of Christmas goodies, from freshly baked panettone and stollen from Baked by Shangri-La to sustainable lifestyle products from Slowood and Shangri-La branded festive gifts.
Every winter, the Nordic region is thronged with a flurry of tourists and travellers in search of the fabled Northern Lights. Create a Scandinavian ambience by setting your space aglow with green lighting inspired by the magnificent celestial spectacle, and imagine yourself transported to the northernmost reaches of the planet!
As part of Kowloon Shangri-La’s “Wonders of Finland” staycation package this Christmas, the hotel is unveiling Finnish-themed rooms and suites featuring a Northern Lights set-up, allowing visitors to bask in the glow of the aurora borealis in the comfort of their own room!
Nothing exudes Nordic charm and feel-good vibes quite like a teepee with notched wooden poles, fleecy blankets and cushions. Traditionally used as temporary dwellings by nomadic reindeer herders in the high Arctic, these conical teepees are designed with outdoor living in a bitterly cold climate in mind, which means cosiness and warmth are the order of the day. To simulate an enchanted escape to the wintry wilds of Finland and capture the feel of a snug Christmas gathering, pitch a teepee and throw a holiday bash with your friends and loved ones!
Going all out Scandinavian, Kowloon Shangri-La’s Finnish-inspired rooms come equipped with a festive Finnish teepee to get you in full hygge mode! Guests can expect plenty of twinkly fairy lights, Christmasy cushions and throws adorning their cosy hideout!
From Finnish saunas to Swedish massage, the Scandinavians’ love of indulgent spa treatments is a manifestation of their hygge-propelled culture, something we could all use a little more of amid the mad dash to the end of the year when stresses tend to spiral out of control. So between all the Christmas shopping and events, why not take some time to escape the city rush and treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment?
Kowloon Shangri-La has prepared a number of spa journeys specially designed to help you unwind and rejuvenate this holiday season. Embark on a three-hour Revitalizing Wellness Retreat to revive your senses with a full-body aromatherapy massage, followed by a deep-cleansing facial and reflexology massage, or banish sluggishness with the Detoxifying Wellness Retreat complete with a sea salt scrub, lymphatic drainage massage and deep-cleansing facial treatment.
This Christmas, luxury harbourside hotel Kowloon Shangri-La is taking visitors on a journey to the ultimate Nordic winter wonderland with its “A Magical Christmas” extravaganza, headlined by a European-inspired Christmas Market. The hotel lobby is playing host to a wonderful mix of stalls peddling all sorts of Christmas delicacies, unique gifts, and lifestyle products, with a portion of the proceeds going to Heep Hong Society, a local non-profit organisation that serves children with special needs.
Continue the holiday celebrations with the hotel’s festive buffet getaway at Café Kool and the “Wonders of Finland” staycation package. Like an instant portal to Finland, the staycation invites you to immerse yourself in Finnish culture through a range of exclusive experiences, including the “Taste of Finland” event, Finnish-inspired welcome amenities, and a Finnish-themed room. There’s even a photo competition for a chance to win a round-trip air ticket and $6,000 travel voucher to Finland! Visit Kowloon Shangri-La’s website and book yourself in for a luxurious Nordic getaway this Christmas!