Very lovely stays (and butler service) await in Hong Kong's latest hotels
The much-anticipated Rosewood Hong Kong opened last Sunday while the St Regis Hong Kong is set for a mid-April launch.
The property opened on Sunday (Mar 17), while the wedding was held on Friday. That the Shinawatras chose to celebrate the momentous occasion there speaks of the calibre of guests that the Rosewood brand is known to attract.
Not that the hotel’s developers are any stranger to publicity. The Rosewood Hotel Group’s CEO is Sonia Cheng, whose late grandfather Dr Cheng Yu-tung built an empire that made the family one of Asia’s wealthiest. As owners of jewellery chain Chow Tai Fook (among other assets), the family is worth an estimated US$22.5 billion (S$30.6 billion), according to Forbes.
The hotel’s opening marks a sort of homecoming for the family. It’s built on the site of the former New World Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, a massive harbourfront lifestyle complex developed by Dr Cheng in the 1980s. Now, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed 65-storey building soars above the refurbished Avenue of the Stars.
No less than Tony Chi was roped in to anoint the interiors. The celebrated New York-based hospitality designer (Andaz Tokyo, Park Hyatt Shanghai) sought to imbue each of the hotel’s 322 rooms, 92 suites and 18 signature suites with the feeling of being in a home away from home. Think generous marble bathrooms with freestanding soaking baths; separate vanities and twin showers; as well as spacious walk-in closets.
The Rosewood Hong Kong will also be the city’s first property to provide butler service, pipping the St Regis Hong Kong by a mere month (more on that later). And to the city’s more than 14,000 restaurants, the hotel adds a further eight. This includes Chinese tea house Holt’s Cafe, Cantonese restaurant The Legacy House, and watering hole DarkSide.
For weary travellers in need of some rejuvenation or recalibration, the hotel will host the first urban outpost of Asaya, Rosewood’s signature wellness offering said to cater to “specific individual wellness goals, supported by alternative therapies and rituals, enriching fitness and lifestyle activities, and healthy eating plans”.
For guests planning long-term stays, there’s the Rosewood Residences – 186 luxurious units that are accessed by a separate private entrance and come with dedicated club facilities on the 53rd storey.
Across Victoria Harbour, the St Regis Hong Kong is scheduled to open on Apr 11. Located smack in the middle of Wan Chai, it’s a five-minute stroll from the Hong Kong Convention And Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
More boutique than Rosewood, the St Regis comprises 112 rooms and 17 signature suites ranging in size from 538 sq ft to 2,583 sq ft, with interiors designed by the award-winning Andre Fu (Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore). Fu’s vision of contemporary luxury and elegance is second to none, and that vision is well articulated across the various spaces.
The hotel’s contemporary French and Chinese fine-dining venues – L’Envol and Run – are led by Michelin-starred chefs. In the St Regis Bar, cocktails are complemented by live jazz music, while the Drawing Room serves a traditional Afternoon Tea that can also be enjoyed on an adjoining terrace.
And for the benefit of fatigued travellers, rooms and suites come with personalised in-room check-in and the 24-hour attention of butler and e-butler service.