Stylish Stays: 5 Boutique Hotels to Check Into in Hong Kong
With soaring modern skyscrapers and unforgiving neon lights, Hong Kong’s 'bright lights, big city' buzz is well-suited to the big-brand chain hotels that are dime-a-dozen in the Harbour City. But in-the-know visitors are choosing design-savvy boutique properties that offer 21st century modernity with a hint of the city’s heritage.
In what was once the Canton Road Marine Police Headquarters, Hullet House pays homage to Hong Kong’s unique heritage. The colonial-era white-stucco building boasts just ten gorgeous bespoke suites, each of which celebrates a distinct period of Hong Kong’s history. Among other looks, there’s 1930s Shanghai glamour in the Pui O Suite, art deco graphics in the South Bay Suite, and blanc de chine Louis XIV elegance in the Silvermine Suite. Each decadent suite is decked out with 46-inch flatscreens and complimentary in-house movies, free WiFi, mood lighting, luxury linens, Aromatherapy Associates amenities, a private balcony, and a smartphone for complimentary calls and unlimited 3G internet.
There’s also plenty of elegant dining and drinking experiences to be had here, including decadent dim sum at Loong Toh Yuen, chargrilled meat and seafood at Stables Grill, British pub fare at the Mariner’s Rest, and fine-dining French at St George. Outside, you’re in the heart of central Kowloon, minutes from intriguing shopping experiences and the Star Ferry.
The Luxe Manor
Not for the faint-hearted, The Luxe Manor is a hedonistic design hotel that’ll inspire rabid fanaticism or intransigent disdain. Taking the tradition of grand European mansions to the extreme, the property boasts whimsical wallpaper and tromp l’oeil picture frames in a style best described as a collision of Art Deco dash, brooding boudouir decadence, and elegant European style. The look continues in the guest rooms with wildly-patterned carpets, fake fireplaces, orange drapes, and antique-inspired furniture. Luckily, there’s also a dash of practicality with hi-def flatscreens, and smartphones with unlimited 3G internet and free local calls. Book one of the opulent themed suites – think Hollywood glamour, desert safaris, and Scandinavian sleek.
Anticipating their guests’ needs, the property offers creature-comfort extras like HK$500 F&B credit, late checkout, free minibars, Gilchrist & Soames amenities, complimentary breakfast, and turndown gifts. Dadaism and Salvador Dali’s eclectic aesthetics gets the nod at the Manor’s Dada Bar, which is inspired by Dali’s melted watch designs; but for those needing a break from the unabashedly in-your-face designs, there’s FINDS, the modern Scandinavian restaurant dishing up Nordic plates by celebrity chef Jaakko Sorsa.
It might be surrounded by the heaving streets of Causeway Bay, but with its Belle Époque façade and exactingly elegant aesthetics, Lanson Place wouldn’t be out of place on the grand boulevards of Europe. Throughout, you’ll find a soothing retreat that marries contemporary design with subtle retro touches – think ergonomic armchairs, simple chandeliers, crown molding, and small vases of white flowers. Rooms here are equally stylish, with restful tones of whites, greys and creams, high ceilings, and plush furnishings, and include an array of luxe essentials like LCD TVs and DVD players, use of smartphones, Gilchrist & Soames amenities, soft terry towels, robes and slippers, and even kitchenettes.
When you can drag yourself out of your bolthole, kick back in the 133 Lounge and Library or work up a sweat with Victoria Park views at the gym. The dining, shopping and entertainment of Causeway Bay is at your doorstep, but should you need to go a bit further, there’s limo service, shuttle buses to Central and Quarry Bay, and – when it’s time to leave – bus service to the airport.
A hidden gem nestled amidst the tiny local stalls hawking gaudy fancy dresses and feather boas on Pottinger Street, The Pottinger is a boutique beauty marrying Oriental style with modern swagger. It might be all hustle and bustle outside, but inside, you’re far from the maddening crowds in this calm, cool oasis. Each room is dominated by an elegant chaise longue and bed draped 300-threadcount linen backdropped by sleek Chinoiserie-style panels.
You’ll also find monochrome landscapes by photographer Fan Ho, free WiFi, Nespresso coffee machines, 42-inch TVs and Blu-Ray/DVD players, rain showers, and Acca Kappa amenities. Just down the road are the best of Hong Kong’s drinking, dining, and entertainment in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, but if you can’t face leaving the comfort and quiet of your Hong Kong hideaway, you can indulge in world-class Wagyu plates at Holytan Grill, delicious Italian at the stylish Gradini, and inventive cocktails by Antonio Lai on the deck of The Envoy. Work it all off with complimentary access to the California Fitness gym just a few minutes away.
The Upper House
At Andre Fu’s incredibly refined Upper House, you’re in the thick of downtown Hong Kong Island with everything – and we do mean everything – within easy distance, whether you’re bent on business or pleasure. Contemporary eatery Café Gray Deluxe is a firm local favorite – by day, you’ll find women indulging in afternoon tea and by night, join suits sipping craft cocktails at the bar, all with jaw-dropping views of the city skyline and Victoria Harbour. The guest rooms here are among the largest you’ll find in the city, and along with their soothing palette of earthy greys and light wood, are a veritable oasis in the sometimes overwhelming city.
Inside, enjoy all manner of luxury including complimentary internet, 42” LCD TVs with 2.1 surround sound and video on demand, wine fridges, free minibars, espresso machines and fine teas, well-appointed dressing rooms, and spa-like bathrooms with limestone tubs offering dreamy views over the city. For fitness fanatics, there’s a fully-equipped gym, morning yoga on The Lawn on Saturdays and Sundays, and even bikes for loan should you wish to explore the city on two wheels. Make time to relax on The Lawn, a secluded, serene garden where you can enjoy gourmet bites, picnic cocktails, and half-bottles of wine.
Always ready for her next adventure, Gayatri took her first flight at 10 days old and hasn't looked back since. After stints in Singapore, Bangkok, Melbourne and Hong Kong, she's now based in London and contributes to publications like Buro 24/7, The Loop, Vanilla Luxury, Liv Magazine, Elite Traveler and Luxe City Guides.
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