There is colour galore at Four Seasons Shenzhen, ten minutes north of the border with Hong Kong (GM Arthur Ho, to the left, lives in Hong Kong, has a taxi to the border at 7.35 precisely each morning, walks the ten minutes across No Man’s Land before reaching the China border, and then it is two stops on the subway, total journey time under 40 minutes). The gleaming glass luxury hotel looks out, across Fuhua San Road, at the massive convention centre, but inside it is multi-coloured hues – the painting above is at the end of the 30th floor corridor, and the gal admired it every time she went to room 3006, designed, like the whole 266-room hotel, by HBA.
Colour dominates, too, in the sixth floor reception, which looks out on to green terraces. The lobby’s focal point is an inner-lit blue glass sculpture, about ten feet long and 18 inches high and resting in a gently bubbling decorative water-bath. This sculpture, apparently, is a dragon’s skeleton. I walked past it enroute to the inside-out FOO restaurant. It was too humid, sadly, to sit outside, under brown umbrellas. I went to the inside part, admiring at the entrance a four-foot sculpture of the Eiffel Tower, in red, white and blue sugars. We were having the imaginative Grill menu. Choose, all for sharing, starters and mains, and for two hours, unlimited pour of wine – the red choice for tonight was Mote Real Rioja Reserva. See the video below to share our meal.
Look at the colour and presentation of the starters we chose, which included a beetroot-marinated salmon carpaccio with orange and nasturtium blossom, and, in a heavy grey stone bowl, guacamole with roots chips. There was more admiration for our shared main courses, a grilled seafood platter and, especially, the Argentinian Asado ribs. Asado means barbeque, and flank, short, ribs are cut crosswise, to give thinner slices – according to Food.com, you merely season for 20 minutes with seasalt before grilling. Well, this hotel’s chef, conveniently is Argentinian, so of course he knows how to do Asado ribs to absolute perfection (I did not dare say how I longed to chew the bones!). We ate so much there was no space for desserts, which included an enticing blueberry and mango sago pudding.
This really is an extremely comfortable hotel. FOO has not only its outdoor, and inside booth, seating areas, but a library-like corner, with sofas and small tables, and several copies of Daniel Defoe works among the prominently displayed bookshelf tomes. I sat there at breakfast, enjoying a leisurely coffee while my neighbour, undoubtedly a tech or manufacturing tycoon, in T-shirt with ubiquitous smartphone, downed his orange juice and congee in two minutes flat (Shenzhen is not only the site of massive trade shows but, all the time, the headquarters of Bona movie distribution, Huawei, Tencent and ZTE, plus it has the world’s biggest container port, so business life here is frenetic). Then I went up to the lovely, peaceful 29th floor Club lounge, a white marble haven, for a final cup of coffee before passing, again, the bright painting and, sadly, leaving this admirable luxury hotel. SEE THE VIDEO.