Priding themselves on sustainability, right down to the design and build, Naked Stables Retreat is something of an unusual concept in China. Offering family-friendly luxury accommodation in the beautiful natural forest reserve of Moganshan, Naked Stables’ eco-credentials are second to none in the Mainland. Solar heating, water recycling and composting of restaurant waste are all in-built processes here, as are more thoughtful ideas such as the reintroduction of wild deer and precious native flora and fauna to the site.
Situated an hour from the nearest city of Hangzhou, the Stables are an easy option for a long weekend North of the border, or as part of an extended twin-centre break in Shanghai, two hours away by car. With regular flights from Hong Kong to both Hangzhou and Shanghai, Naked are happy to assist with airport transfers and will, on request, ensure vehicles have seatbelts as this is not always standard in China.
Reduce your carbon footprint further by taking the train from Shanghai. Hangzhou’s high speed rail terminus will connect you to Shanghai’s brand new Hongqiao station in a mere 40 minutes. Trains are clean and comfortable, and watching the overhead speedometer clocking over 300 km/h will entertain the junior thrill seekers in your party!
Two types of accommodation are available at the Stables; Earth Huts and Tree Top Villas. Considerably less primitive than the name suggests, the Earth Huts are beautiful private guest rooms, with large balconies, outdoor showers and natural luxury toiletries. Rooms are a generous 55-65 sq/m so there is plenty of space for the family to relax. The Huts all offer both indoor and outdoor dining areas allowing you to make the most of the stunning natural setting at meal times.
If you are travelling in a group or as a larger family, then the Tree Top Villas are the perfect choice. These 2, 3 or 4 bed, split-level houses feature great facilities such as a full kitchen, luxurious en suite bathrooms, huge private terrace with BBQ, sun loungers and Jacuzzi, and enormous indoor living and dining area with supersize sofas – perfect for a family movie night! Cots and high chairs are readily available on request.
Both accommodation types are fully serviced by your own private concierge who will help with any requests, even if it’s just helping to flag down a passing golf cart to whisk you around! There are no cars allowed on-site, making it a safe place for the kids to be allowed a little ‘free range’ time!
As the name suggests, Naked Stables offer the exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with the resort’s friendly horses, with daily guided rides available to adults and children over 5. The lush mountainous setting is perfect for family hikes and mountain biking, and more sedate pursuits such as swimming in one of the three outdoor pools plus a kids pool, calligraphy workshops or kite flying will ensure that no-one gets bored! The Little Shoots Kids Club offers creative activities daily for 3-12 year olds, although younger children are also welcome if supervised. For Mum and Dad, a massage at the Naked Leaf Spa presents an ideal opportunity to make the most of the resort’s babysitting service.
Unlike the usual unhealthy kids holiday fare, Naked Stables pride themselves on home-cooked, simple food for all the family, using ingredients sourced locally wherever possible. There are three restaurants on site offering formal, bistro and pizzeria menus, with kids’ menus and highchairs available. Alternatively, if self-catering in a Tree Top villa, you can request a delivery of food basics on arrival and make the most of that outdoor BBQ!
Naked Stables offer a variety of good value package options on their website and feature special events throughout the year, such as Jazz concerts, yoga retreats and even triathlons. For more information the booking line is +86 21 6431 8901.
Originally from the North-West of England, via Wales and London, Kate took the plunge and embarked on an adventure alongside her husband, leaving behind a career in military resettlement and moving to Hong Kong in 2009. There they spent a sociable two years, exploring all this amazing city has to offer from a lovely (if pungent) apartment on Sheung Wan’s Dried Fish Street.
The adventure continued with a move to Shanghai in January 2011, followed by the birth of their baby son that summer. Despite Shanghai’s many delights, the Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) couldn’t quite match the craving for Dim Sum and so the whole family head back south of the border in summer 2012.
With the exception of humidity-induced bad hair days, Kate loves almost everything about Hong Kong. She is looking forward to experiencing the city as a mum, having previously only seen it through the eyes of a semi-professional wine drinker.
Favourite thing to do in HK with your kid?
To get up close and personal with nature, you can’t beat a gentle hike in Kowloon’s Kam Shan Country Park. You are guaranteed to see plenty of wild monkeys, but just be careful not to bring a picnic as they are extremely proficient thieves!