Finding room for private luxury
Have you ever dined at a top restaurant where your enjoyment has been ruined by other guests being a little too intrusive for your liking? Maybe it is the other way around; in a stuffy hotel dining room, you have felt constrained by the proximity of other, less spirited parties.
Some people enjoy dining in the company of unknown guests; after all, ostentatious consumption is not ostentatious if people cannot observe.
There are times, however, when privacy is desirable.
If you do not have a home with well-trained staff and a private chef, do not despair; privacy and haute cuisine are not only for millionaires. All you have to do is rent a private room. Most hotels have them in their restaurants.
Staff are usually able to accommodate special requests, from a dinner theme to special dietary requirements. Guests can order from the a la carte menu or special menus can be devised.
Some rooms have glass panels, so if you don't want people to watch you dining try somewhere else. During holiday periods, the rooms are booked up quickly, so it is best to reserve early.
CONRAD INTERNATIONAL (2521-3838) Golden Leaf: two rooms, seating 10-12, or 12-24. Nicholini's: one room seating 14. Brasserie on the Eighth: one room seating 15.
There is no charge for any of the private rooms, but there is a minimum requirement of 6-10 persons. Rooms must be booked at least one week in advance. Separate waiters are responsible for serving the rooms.
GRAND STANFORD HARBOUR VIEW (2721-5161) Hoi King Heen: five private dining rooms; one seats 60, the others up to 24.
The cost is included in the menu price. Book one-to-two days in advance during the regular season. Each completely private room is furnished with cherry wood tables and chairs, carved wooden wall panels and Chinese emperor-style brass lamps.
HYATT REGENCY HONG KONG (2311-1234) Hugos: one room seating 40. The Chinese Restaurant: one room seating 36.
The charge depends on the number of guests and length of time they are staying in the room. However, if guests are ordering from the menu, the minimum charge is usually waived.
ISLAND SHANGRI-LA (2877-3838) Petrus: two rooms, seating up to 20, and 45.
The minimum food charge in the small room is $6,000 for lunch and $14,000 for dinner; in the large room, $12,000 for lunch and $28,000 for dinner. Namadan: three rooms, one seating 4-6; two seating 6-12.
The small room costs $300 for lunch and $500 for dinner, plus food and drink. The larger rooms cost $600 for lunch and $1,000 for dinner. Island Cafe: one room seating 28.
There is a minimum food charge of $3,500 for lunch and $4,000 for dinner. Summer Palace: four rooms seating 8-10 each.
The minimum food charge depends on the number of people, usually about $4,500 for lunch and $6,000 for dinner. Booking is required about three weeks in advance. During holidays, reservations may be necessary months ahead. For parties of 12 or more, special menus are recommended. Some rooms have great views.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL (2522-0111) Man Wah Restaurant: one room seating 12.
The minimum charge (including drinks) is $4,000 plus 10 per cent for lunch, $5,000 plus 10 per cent for dinner.
Book at least one week in advance. Pierrot restaurant: one room seating 12.
The minimum charge (food only) is $3,500 plus 10 per cent for lunch, $5,500 plus service for dinner. Book at least three weeks in advance.
Both rooms feature dedicated waiting staff.
NEW WORLD HOTEL, KOWLOON (2369-4111) Dynasty Chinese Restaurant: one room seating 24. The minimum food charge is $5,500.
For 12 people, a waiter and captain are assigned to the room; additional waiters can be arranged.
Special amenities include telephone and television.
Complementary fruit and snacks are also offered.
A private bar can be arranged.
THE PENINSULA (2366-6251) Gaddi's: one room seating 24.
Minimum food charge (per person) is $260 plus 10 per cent for lunch and $1,000 for dinner. Verandah: one room seating 14. There is no minimum charge. Spring Moon: three rooms catering to 72, 24 and 12 diners.
There is no minimum food charge. Imasa Japanese Restaurant: two rooms seating 8-10, and 12-16.
There is no minimum food charge. Felix: one room seating 14.
There is a minimum food charge of $8,000 (excluding drinks). China Clipper: one room seating 14.
Minimum charge at dinner for 12 is $8,800 plus 10 per cent. All dining rooms have separate waiters on standby.
THE REGENT (2721-1211) Plume: one room seating 12.
There is a minimum food charge of $800 per person (including drinks). The venue has a panoramic view of the harbour. Waiters from Plume serve the private room. Lai Ching Heen: one room seating 8-32.
There is a minimum food charge of $8,000 plus 10 per cent (including drinks). The private room features a view of the Eastern Harbour. A waiter is on standby inside the room. Club Shanghai: one room seating up to 36 guests.
There is a minimum food charge of $8,000 plus 10 per cent (including drinks). The room is separated from the club by a glass door and curtain. One wall is glass and has a harbour view.
The decor is a modern interpretation of Shanghai in the 1930s and any type of cuisine or room set-up is available, from Chinese or Western to buffet suppers and cocktail receptions.
RITZ-CARLTON (2877-6666) Toscana: three rooms that seat up to 6, 8 and 14 persons. There is no minimum room or food charge. The rooms are private and the host is given a silent buzzer to summon a waiter.