Regardless of which part of the world we’re in, COVID-19 has forced us all to “pivot” and “adapt.” In Hong Kong, the latest venture built specifically to address the pandemic is The Grounds, the country’s first entertainment and recreational space, adopting to the new normal of socializing responsibly.
Located at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel and AIA Vitality Park, The Grounds provides visitors a venue to be entertained safely with 116 socially distanced private pods enclosed with garden picket fences. Pods are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis in either two-person or four-person options, with a maximum capacity of 404 guests.
“The Grounds was purpose-built for the COVID-19 era where guests have room to breathe and space to play, while supporting the local hospitality and entertainment industries with a venue concept that invites them to participate,” shares The Grounds managing editor Simon Wilson. “This collaborative approach allows us to work with stakeholders and partners across the city, and provides unique experiences for visitors within a framework that follows local social distancing measures and puts guests’ safety and comfort first.”
From movies on their LED screens (like the family-friendly “Frozen” to date night favorite “Notting Hill”) to wellness and fitness sessions (hosted by Lulu Lemon yoga ambassadors to benefit charity) to live music by local artists (organized by Bounce) to live Rugby Fanzones (in partnership with Hong Kong Rugby Union), there is something for everyone, with tickets available for purchase online.
Food offerings are available from stylish new food hall, Basehall, via a mobile ordering system. Cocktails, beers, coffee, juice and wine are available at the bar onsite. The venue has also partnered with Penfolds, which offers seven signature red and white wines that pay tribute to former chief Winemaker Max Shubert.
The Grounds is fast becoming a choice venue for special events as well, for both corporate organizations— The Hong Kong Dining Awards recently took place here, and from November 27 to 29, it will host the city’s largest fitness and wellness festival, Iris— and guests, where they recently had an engagement proposal, captured on social media. “We are all about making special memories,” shares Wilson. “The team worked behind the scenes to help the gentleman plan the perfect ask. What an honor.”
The Grounds prioritizes the health and safety of both guests and staff. It is also equipped with with RAZE— the first activated sanitizing technology currently being used in the city’s public transportations. All visitors must complete a health and travel declaration when purchasing tickets. Along with temperature checks, hand sanitizers at each entry and exit point, guests are also required to wear a mask when moving through the venue. They are required to remain in their private pod throughout the enjoyment of their session, and can only leave to use the bathroom or exit the venue. Pods are cleaned in between sessions.
Wellness entrepreneur Jane Dee, co-founder and CMO of Beyond Beauty Global recently paid a visit. “I think it’s an amazing initiative by The Grounds team to show something positive to Hong Kong and it’s people,” she shares. “It gives us something to look forward to after a year of uncertainty. It also provides premium brands and various industries a COVID-responsible space to create extraordinary consumer experiences and outdoor events, especially with Christmas and New Years around the corner.”
Holly Graham, international managing editor of Drink Magazine adds, “The Grounds is the entertainment venue Hong Kong didn’t know it needed. Socially distanced, set to the backdrop of our stunning skyline and with a sleek setup, I am very impressed how the team have absolutely nailed it. The screen and sound quality are great, food options from the newly opened Basehall and other on-site vendors are plentiful and delivered quickly to your pod. It’s a bit of a dream, having someone deliver food and drinks on demand as you recline and watch movies, all with the added bonus of feeling safe in a pandemic.”
The Grounds is located at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel and AIA Vitality Park, 33 Man Kwong Street, Central, Hong Kong 11am to 11pm, daily . For more information, visit www.thegroundshk.com