Hong Kong - Aberdeen Marina Club
Removed from Hong Kong’s hustle, the city’s wealthy elite gather in the luxurious surroundings of the Aberdeen Marina Club on the south side of Hong Kong Island to ponder life, business, and of course, their boats
“Imagine all the luxury and exclusivity of a Shangri-La Hotel, but take away the rooms and add the boats”. This is how the Aberdeen Marina Club’s (AMC) recently appointed General Manager David Preisig describes the place.
Renowned as the playground of Hong Kong’s tycoons, high net worth individuals, the city’s corporate elite and their families, this shore-side sanctuary has nine floors housing some of the city’s best sports and recreation, dining and boating facilities. It’s here that the who’s who of Hong Kong lounge poolside on the barbeque terrace after a game of tennis, deciding which of the club’s five restaurants they fancy for a spot of lunch. You’ll also see the city’s legendary Tai Tais (rich housewives) spending afternoons sipping tea before indulging in the privileges and pampering that club membership – strictly by invitation – affords.
Those keeping a boat at the AMC enjoy access to the many conveniences and luxuries that set the club apart. In 2005, the club was voted Best Asian Marina in the Chrisofle Asia Boating Awards. Since then, the club has gone from strength to strength under the management of Shangri-La. The owners have shown their longstanding commitment to maintaining the AMC’s outstanding reputation by continually upgrading the club’s offerings.
The best for boaters
The latest renovation to the club’s boating facilities is the renewal of the entire pontoon system. The new pontoons feature sleek Singaporean design and are French-built. They can accommodate boats up to 100 feet, supplying all essential services including individual water and electricity. Add to this the fuelling station, Internet hook up, and the reassurance of a 24-hour security patrol for peace of mind when you’re out of town.
For boaters, one of the best features of the AMC is its geography. Situated near an ancient fishing community on the south side of Hong Kong Island (the north side has the famous Hong Kong skyline), it is protected by a small island to the south and east, creating a sheltered channel. Combined with the rockwall emplacements that guard the entrances to the channel, the club is perfectly protected from the elements.
The Aberdeen Marina Club is also perfectly situated to get the most out of Hong Kong’s many coves and shelters. Nearly centred between Hong Kong’s eastern and western boundaries, the attractive cruising waters of the north east and the many surfing beaches of Lantau island are equidistant and an easy cruise away.
While other Hong Kong marinas are yet to reach full volume, all berthings for vessels in the 175 wet berths, and the 163 spaces in the dry storage facility are at full capacity. If you’re one of these fortunate owners, an impromptu weekend excursion on your dry stored yacht couldn't be easier. A high-speed stacker crane can have a boat off the rack and in the water in less than three minutes. The club has a 50-tonne hoist and the boat maintenance workshop can handle a wide variety of boat repair and service work, including anti-fouling treatment, topside re-painting, finishing work and even restoration work. Marina Manager William Leung can also arrange for maintenance to air conditioning, to carry out mechanical work, electrical work and carpentry. It’s reassuring to have total peace of mind when you’re out cruising with guests, knowing that all maintenance work has been overseen by a man with over 15 years of experience running the marina.
A lesson in club comfort
Back in the club house, the Western Dining Room, which seats 100 people, reopens this autumn after extensive upgrades. The fitness suite, gym and weights rooms have also just been completely renovated, resulting in an impressive repertoire of the very latest in exercise cardiovascular and weights equipment. There’s plenty of other land-based entertainment to be found within the club’s rather impressive, elaborate interiors.
Sporting facilities include an ice rink, two swimming pools, seven tennis courts, squash, badminton and basketball courts, a mini football pitch and a golf simulator. But the club’s high standards go far beyond the facilities. Five tennis coaches, contracted from Peter Burwash International, are on hand to help you hone your racquet skills and sharpen up your serve. The club is only one of seven places in Asia offering such instruction. On days where the forecast is less favourable, members can summon the expertise of one of eight ice skating coaches from Canada and the United States, one of the team of six swimming coaches, the Pilates and Gyrotonic® Apprentice Instructor or the class A PGA golfing instructor for some expert instruction.
There’s plenty to keep the rest of the family entertained while you’re sharpening up your golf swing. Regular activity programmes for children range from fencing to ice hockey. Ladies can leave their children in the hands of the club’s very capable staff to enjoy the salon’s beauty treatments or one of the club’s regularly scheduled activities, such as the Power House Pilates Camp and Ladies Golf Camp.
If there’s one thing that a day out on the water will do, it’ll work up an appetite. So club members are fortunate that the club’s five dining outlets are in the skilled hands of world class chefs. If you’re still not ready to leave, the band room can be booked out for an evening jam session or you and your friends can take over one of the party rooms for karaoke. Or simply relax with a digestif and a game of mahjong or cards and admire the view. If there is any flaw in the luxury offered by the new and improved Aberdeen Marina Club, it is that members might be tempted to stay at the club, rather venture out onto the water.