Rosewood’s new flagship redefines the art of hospitality
The Rosewood Hong Kong hotel opened this year as the brand’s flagship property—its twenty-sixth, including Paris’ famed Hôtel de Crillon, New York’s historic Carlyle, and the Mansion on Turtle Creek, where Rosewood first received guests on a private Dallas estate forty years ago. Despite Rosewood’s world renown, Hong Kong still holds special significance for its owners.
Sonia Cheng’s family has owned the land at Victoria Dockside for three generations. She remembers pedaling her bicycle along the water here as a little girl, the views across the harbor to Hong Kong Island’s jagged skyscrapers and towering peaks. Long before that, it had been a key shipping terminus and railhead on the mainland, until Cheng’s family turned the centrally located promontory into a park and cultural center. So there’s a particular tenderness to her voice as she describes their newest venture here.
“With Hong Kong evolving from a business and financial center to becoming a true global cultural capital,” says Cheng, CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, “I wanted to create an iconic property that not only showcases the city’s rich history but also reflects its bright future.”
At the epicenter of Kowloon’s business and entertainment district, the Rosewood Hong Kong is a destination in its own right. A water front promenade designed by the architects behind New York’s High Line connects the hotel to K11 Musea, an innovative office space with high-end retail, dining and art venues designed to lure young creatives. A few steps further lie the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Cultural Center, and the shopping mecca of Canton Road. A few blocks inland, a more local-style business district will satisfy even the hungriest Instagrammer.
Inside, meanwhile, the hotel is a model of Rosewood’s residential approach to luxury and creating “A Sense of Place”. Materials varying between mineral tones and metallics dispel any notion of institutionality. The service is obliging but never obsequious. The experience is more that of a lavish penthouse than a large hotel. And indeed, the Rosewood Residences are designed for extended stays. Guestroom floors greet you at the elevators with spacious salons, where you can relax with a book before retiring to your harbor-view room or gather with friends before going down to dinner. The eight bars and restaurants offer contemporary takes on Cantonese and international flavors, and private rooms for family-style service.
“Rosewood Hong Kong sets bold new benchmarks for design, guest experience, cuisine, and culture,” says Cheng. “Our ambition is to create a new world standard for ultra-luxury hospitality and a focal point of the vibrant Hong Kong lifestyle, reflecting its incredible dynamism, style and diversity.”
Rosewood Hong Kong
ROSEWOOD HONG KONG
More than 80% of rooms have harbor views
The pretty desserts at Butterfly Patisserie
There is no shortage of luxury at this Hong Kong hotel, which recently opened in the VictoriaDockside arts and design district. With amazing water views, multiple restaurants and loungesand two floors dedicated to Rosewood’s “Asaya” wellness program, there’s something foreveryone. Including those who want to stay for more than just a few days, thanks to theproperty’s Rosewood Residences, which cater specifically to longer visits
Overlooking the iconic Hong Kong skyline,this65-story hotel is located in the VictoriaDockside arts and design districton Victoria Harbor. About 30 minutes from Hong KongInternational Airport, the property is also close to the ferry terminal and the metro. Don’t want to deal with a taxi or not planning to rent a car? The hotel has cars, including a Range Rover and Jaguar XL, and can arrange your chauffeured ride.
It’s stylish luxury coupled with great water views at this property. In fact, the hotel truly maximizes its waterside location, with harbor views from the majority of its rooms, (we’re not kidding: It’s more than 80 percent of them) as well as many of the restaurants and lounges. In total, there are 413 rooms and suites, including 91 suites. Rooms offer a contemporary design, with natural tones and well-placed pops of color, and amenities ranging from walk-in closets to soaking tubs, and more. There are 18 “signature suites” opening soon, including the 57th floor “Harbor House,” where you’ll find a private pool, gym, and terrace. If you’re planning to be in Hong Kong for a while, consider the 186 Rosewood Residences—part of the hotel and created for longer stays—which has its own entrance, pool, and fitness center.
Why We Love It:
Along with the location (read our feature story on Rosewood Hong Kong for an in-depth look), you’ll find great dining and wellness options, plus amenities like the exclusive Manor Club. Located on the 40th floor, access to the Manor Club comes when you book a suite (and certain rooms) and offers everything from 24-hour butler service to a game room and dining area, and more. As far as wellness goes, Rosewood’s “Asaya” wellness program is on hand here—the first in one of the brand’s city hotels. Opening soon, wellness offerings will be spread out over two floors of the hotel, and include an almost 3,000-square-foot, 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Harbor, and a variety of tailored-to-you programs. When it comes to dining, there are eight restaurants and lounges on the property, ranging from international comfort food at Holt’s Cafe to Chinese and Shunde dining on the menu at The Legacy House to the gorgeously-designed desserts at Butterfly Patisserie and a new afternoon tea service at The Butterfly Room. When it’s time to unwind, there’s DarkSide, with its lush curtains and club chairs, that “is a sophisticated, timeless celebration of rare aged spirits, vintage cigars and confident classic cocktails complemented by sultry live jazz.” Those looking to host a meeting or event won’t be disappointed: There are 11 event spaces, with the over 10,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom that can hold upwards of 1,000 people.
Why Go F1RST:
If you book with First in Service, you’ll receive breakfast for two every day, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, if available, and a welcome note on arrival.
“Lennon’s” speakeasy holds 6,000 vinyl records
The 10-story indoor waterfall
Urban meets ultra-luxury at the newest Rosewood property in Thailand, this time in the city of Bangkok. Sleek and contemporary, with nods to Thai culture and art throughout, the centrally positioned property is changing the Bangkok skyline—and offers lots for guests to do while there.
Located less than 40 minutes from both international airports, the 30-story hotel is right in Bangkok’s busy business and shopping area—so expect lots of lux shops to visit post-meetings. For those who want to check out other areas of the city, there’s direct access to the Ploenchit BTS Skytrain from the hotel, too, making it quick to get to and from the hotel.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated and chic hotel with amenities that are sure to surprise, this 159-room property is a great choice. Outfitted in neutral hues—think whites and creams, with the occasional burst of blue or other bright color—there are nods to that feeling of “home,” with books and art on display in-room. The property also offers suites with up to two bedrooms, as well as three houses, which come equipped with their own pools. (An early morning dip sounds like a great way to start the day, if you ask us.) But there’s also a serene vibe—and both the long driveway that greets you upon entrance and the 10-story indoor waterfall (and other water attributes you’ll find) are examples of this, not an easy feat in a metropolis of 8 million people.
Why we love it:
Along with the calming nature of the space, there are features throughout the property that really set it apart from others. For instance, every floor has a different footprint—so one might have just one room, and another floor might have 12 rooms. Another example? Lennon’s, the speakeasy at the top of the hotel. Sitting on the 30th floor, with amazing floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the city, not only do you enter from a “secret” door as you would in the 1920s, but Lennon’s takes the concept to a whole new level, with over 6,000 vinyl records to choose from. Paired with vintage cocktails and era-specific Cuban cigars, it’s a nod to old-fashioned fun, but with a modern twist. There are three other dining destinations on the property—including the signature Nan Bei, which serves authentic Chinese cuisine. (When you visit, take in the unique and stylish light features in each of the restaurants—they are fantastic.) Art in general is an important aspect of the property: There is work by Thai artists, including Preecha Thaothong and Pinaree Sanpitak, as well as “Art Connection,” a rotating exhibit. You’ll also find an indoor-outdoor saltwater pool, 24-hour fitness studio and Sense, A Rosewood Spa, which offers Thai specialties. Plus, if you’re there on business, there are multiple meeting venues—from private dining rooms to spaces for large crowds of up to 200.
Why you should Go F1RST:
As part of the Rosewood Elite Program—a private, invitation-only program—booking through First in Service means you’ll receive complimentary breakfast daily, a $100 food and beverage credit, 15% savings on spa menu at Sense, a room upgrade if available, and a welcome amenity. Rooms include Frette linens, housekeeping services twice a day, and many offer amazing views of the city.
Unlock the algorithm that turned a millennium-old village into the city of the future.
You travel around Tokyo as if in a Matrix. One minute you’re jostling through Shinjuku under giant TV screens. The next, the neon maelstrom pixelates like a rip in the code. It crystalizes again in a garden court at Meiji Shrine, surrounded by swooping greens and soft blossoms. And then again amid the futurist fashions, luxurious mineral and metallic hues of Omotesando. All before lunch.
Surprise the senses
Welcome to Asia’s original megacity—the style-scrambling model for Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, and others to come. You are gaijin, a foreigner. You vaguely recall the familiar (dis)pleasure of air travel, baggage claim, customs from not long ago. A white-gloved cabbie. After that, things get blurry. (Must be the jet lag.) But there’s a soothing sense that protocols here known only to locals keep the turbulent life of Tokyo running smoothly beneath the surface.
In the pink and blue dawn, forklifts bang and whirr at Toyosu Market delivering sofa-sized tuna and 400 other saltwater delicacies bound for Japanese kitchens. The daily auction proceeds amid metallic clamor with the solemnity of a Sotheby’s art sale—and prices to match. Beneath Shibuya’s stacked glass-box malls, determined tides of shoppers and commuters flow and merge in a seamless choreography with little more than an electrostatic hum. In the labyrinth of brutalist concrete streets so complex that people give maps instead of addresses, tiny, warm-wooded soba shops glow with rice-paper doors and deep porcelain bowls of rich umami broth.
Above it all, the Park Hyatt Tokyo hovers like a faceted spacecraft visiting from yet another dimension. Brought to fame by Sofia Coppola’s 2003 Oscar-winning Lost in Translation, the hotel stands shoulder-to-shoulder with more recent arrivals in terms of both style and service. The Park Hyatt can claim, in all modesty, to be the standard by which top-end Tokyo hotels are measured.
The attentive, caring staff will welcome and help orient you in this strange, new world. Whether at arm’s length, taking in the panorama of the city’s algorithms from The Peak bar, or in the field on a tailored tour through Ginza’s galleries and luxury flagships. Or into Roppongi’s frenetic, nighttime underbelly. Or something else entirely: to learn calligraphy, say, in a school situated where laundry lines windows and few foreigners go, to see how Tokyojin live behind the scenes.
Savor the service
In between, come back to yourself. Soak in the view of Mt. Fuji and Park Hyatt’s penthouse pool and spa. Wander the recesses of your mind and the cosseted library. Feast all your senses at afternoon tea in the bamboo garden or on fine dining—haute French at Girandole, contemporary Japanese at Kozue, and Kobe beef at the appropriately 52nd-story New York Grill and jazz bar.
“There’s a soul to the place,” says F1RST founder, Fernando Gonzalez. “From the General Manager all the way to the bellboys and housekeeping. The lighting, the books and art in the rooms—it all tells you there’s an incredible depth to the place.”
Subcultures and superlatives
Beyond, lies a city of “mosts”. The world’s most populous—as big as California. Its safest too. With the most Michelin stars—twice those of Paris. An economy the size of Italy. A budget bigger than Saudi Arabia. No surprise then that this vastness offers a ward for every subcultural fetish. Akihabara for geeks and gamers. Harajuku for pink pop punk. Asakusa for the 7th-Century Sensoji Temple. Pokemon kawaii cuteness on billboards, roadblocks and bullet trains to everywhere. The offer will soon expand even more with new neighborhoods built into Tokyo Bay to cater for the 2020 Olympics.
Welcome to the fishing village that became the greatest city on earth.