Saturday, March 24, 2007

New Trend with Hong Kong's Boutique Hotels

Hong Kong’s boutique hotels are fast becoming a favourite with tourists and business travellers.

Any frequent visitor to Hong Kong would be familiar with this question: “Where are you staying?”

In a city where space is at a premium, you certainly would want to have a good answer at hand. Making a good impression, after all, counts for nearly everything here.

But that’s not too difficult these days. Boutique establishments have become all the rage, starting with JIA Hong Kong, the Philippe Starck-designed hotel in Causeway Bay, formerly a boarding house.

The reason the boutique hotel phenomenon has taken off is simple: the compact nature of the city has given rise to interesting buildings that are just waiting to be recreated into glamorous establishments targeted at the jet set.

By definition, any hotel that has less than 200 rooms is considered a boutique hotel, and many investors have had the sense to completely transform former office blocks into towering visions of what’s cool, fun and profitable.

The Luxe Manor
39, Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3763 8888
Fax: +852 3763 8899

Funky and modern

The Luxe Manor in Tsim Sha Tsui (room rates start at HK$1,800 (RM806) per night for a premier room) is like a walk on the wild side when it comes to interior design. Created by David Buffery, the person responsible for many of Hong Kong’s hippest nightspots, including the Scandinavian restaurant FINDS, The Luxe Manor is a modern interpretation of a European mansion with mystical and surreal art elements thrown in for good measure.

Funky: A deluxe room (above) and the Aspasia restaurant (below) in The Luxe Manor.
“Its uniqueness contrasts with the predictability of the chain hotels in the area,” explains Buffery.

The hotel is undeniably funky: its 153 rooms and six themed suites are conversation starters. It has a setting that’s simultaneously futuristic and classic; for instance, the television in a room is placed within a framed mirror above a faux fireplace.

The hotel’s central location in the busy Knutsford Terrace area is perfect for shopaholics who like their creature comforts. What does one do after hitting the shops? Retreat to your private enclave where you’ll be “stimulated by your surroundings”, of course.

Better yet, sample the culinary mastery of Chef Roland Schuller at the hotel’s Italian eatery, Aspasia. Formerly the executive chef aboard the late Aristotle Onassis’ yacht, The Christina O, Schuller has worked in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the world. The restaurant also features original Italian art works.

Highlight: A high-tech haven. In-room technology includes NXTV’s Interactive Infotainment System viewable through an LCD Flat Panel, high-definition video on demand, wireless VoIP telephony and wireless broadband throughout the hotel.

Lan Kwai Fong Hotel
3, Kau U Fong Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3650 0000
Fax: +852 3650 0088

China chic

For those seeking a less exuberant place to stay, the Zen-like Lan Kwai Fong Hotel might be a better bet. Room rates start at HK$2,400 (RM1,075) for a city-view room. Not to be mistaken with Hotel LKF on Wyndham Street, this little gem on the corner of Kau U Fong and Aberdeen Street in the Soho (South of Hollywood Road) area is interesting.

Restful: A harbour view room at the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel.
Buddha statues, lotus-shaped lights and water features greet jet-lagged guests at the lobby, while the rooms are like an Oriental oasis, replete with soothing fragrances. The surrounding streets are an intriguing mix of antique shops, cool bars, neighbourhood restaurants, and legendary food stalls.

The162 guest rooms and suites are decorated in an Oriental vein that never veers towards the garish. Think lacquered cups, ornate woodwork, breathtaking views of harbour and city. Now couple this with sleek chrome finishing in the balcony area of the suites.

The result: a compelling experience that’s quintessentially Hong Kong.

The lobby at the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel.
While the design scheme of The Luxe Manor centres on modern art concepts, Lan Kwai Fong Hotel is utterly Asian in nature. Each establishment has something unique to offer guests who are perhaps a little tired of the cookie-cutter (albeit luxurious) five-star hotel chains.

Highlight: The location. Whether you like to eat, party or just soak in the Hong Kong atmosphere, you’ll be hard pressed to find a hotel that is close by to nearly everything. The new H&M superstore is a mere five-minute walk away.

The Fleming
41, Fleming Road, Wan Chai
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3607 2288
Fax: +852 3607 2299

Spy style

Wan Chai, Hong Kong’s bustling business and entertainment district, was once the setting for a James Bond movie. Intrigue comes thick and fast amidst the crowd and numerous watering holes, so perhaps it’s appropriate that the place should spout The Fleming.

Modern: The Fleming's executive room. — MARK LEAN
Tucked away on a secluded side-street, The Fleming (room rates start at HK$1,500 (RM672) for a superior room) is a stone’s throw away from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The modern artwork in the lobby hints at what lies in store in the rooms. Contemporary in design, its 66 rooms are equipped with plasma television, wireless broadband Internet and cordless phone with voicemail service.

Pastel hues dominate the colour scheme. Rooms in the higher floors have great views of the harbour.

The Fleming is the only hotel in Hong Kong that boasts a female-only floor, perfect for female travellers who place value on safety and privacy. The rooms here are specially equipped with amenities for the ladies, like a beauty kit and jewellery box. Facial steamers and leg massage machines are available upon request. The mini bar is stocked with a selection of herbal teas and special snacks.

Managing director John K. Hui, who travels “week-in, week-out, to and fro, nine months a year”, says they are aiming for a home-away-from-home experience at The Fleming.

Highlight: The spacious rooms decked out in the most modern designs. Understated and cosy, The Fleming is Hong Kong’s answer to what a chic urban lifestyle hotel should be.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

No comments:




Related Posts with Thumbnails