Retreating at home has become the new norm for most of us across the globe due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. We all miss travelling to far-flung islands and immersing ourselves in luxury wellness retreats abroad. But there are also plenty of benefits that come with staying in one’s hometown. Staying at home means being able to try new activities you’ve been meaning to learn, and supporting local businesses during tough times—including the many hotels which are offering staycations. Cathy Feliciano-Chon, the Founder and Managing Director of CatchOn, a Finn Partners Company, is perfecting the art of holidaying in Hong Kong, where she’s been discovering hidden gems, exploring outlying islands, and supporting her favourite restaurants. We speak to the widely-respected brand communications expert on how she’s been retreating at home.
What are your favourite restaurants that you’ve been visiting with friends and family? The family favourites are Rajasthan Rifles, Associazone Chianti, CIAK and Bakehouse. Over the summer, we’ve been eating a lot at some new restaurants like Han Sik Goo, Ando and Mono.
What hidden spots and islands have you been exploring lately? The Ninepin Group on the easternmost waters of Hong Kong. It’s a deserted group of islands with some interesting coves and rock formations.
What new wellness studios have you been trying? I haven’t tried a ‘new’ studio per se, but I’ve certainly had my first private gong bath session over the summer and went back for more.
What adventurous outdoor activities have you been doing? Any recommendations? Given there were many restrictions over the summer due to COVID, the most ‘adventurous’ I could be was to hop on the boat and sail away from the madness of it all. The sea always has that effect on my psyche and ‘mental wellbeing’.
Any new favourite beauty brands you’ve been loving? The brands which I’m hooked on at the moment, include Verso, this Swedish no-nonsense brand; Also, I love Irene Forte’s skincare range, inspired by Italy. That’s as close as I’ll get to Italy this year.
What homeware brands have made staying at home more beautiful? Some particular standouts include Linens by Chiarastella Cattana, scented candles from Castello di Ama, plates from Gaya… and books, books, books!
What chefs and recipe books have been inspiring you while cooking at home? The ones which have been inspiring my home cooking include Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, The Art of Escapism Cooking by Mandy Lee, and recently, Old World Italian by Mimi Thorisson.
What are some positive words of wisdom that have helped you see silver linings in 2020? To exercise deliberate calm and bounded optimism. As the saying goes, this too shall pass and though this period of reflection may have been forced on us, we’ll look back on it as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reset and rewire.
What CatchOn & Co. client news should we be keeping an eye on? Despite the catastrophic blow this pandemic has had on the tourism and dining industry worldwide, we’re looking forward to a number of new hotel and restaurant openings in the coming months. Our China office also has some exciting projects in the works.