Life & Style Weekend - - ESCAPE - www.taik­ www.ovolo­ho­

With the opening of the new Tai Kwun Cen­tre for Arts and Cul­ture, the real cen­tre of ac­tion has moved “up the hill”, so to speak.

Cer­tainly it’s a dif­fer­ent and more so­phis­ti­cated area than Soho and the bars of Lan Kwai Fong which cater for the younger crowd on the prowl.

Tai Kwun’s colo­nial her­itage as Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion, and the enor­mous in­vest­ment of nearly 4 billion HK dol­lars by gov­ern­ment and the HK Jockey Club, has set the precinct apart from any other part of Hong Kong Is­land.

No won­der that TIME Mag­a­zine last year voted Tai Kwun as one of the world’s great­est places to visit.

Op­po­site the Tai Kwun Cen­tre is the re­cently re­fur­bished Ovolo Cen­tral Ho­tel.

The in­te­rior de­sign­ers have had a field day with this one.

It’s quirky, amus­ing and def­i­nitely eclec­tic in taste, with avant-garde art­work meant to cre­ate a real dif­fer­ence when com­pared with “nor­mal” bland ho­tel in­te­ri­ors.

This is a true bou­tique property in a town more used to big cor­po­rate ho­tel brand names and the lobby/lounge area with its fun art­work is warmly wel­com­ing.

The 40 rooms (there’s also a jazzy “Ra­dio Suite”) are beau­ti­fully ap­pointed with com­fort­able king size beds, elec­tric cur­tains, a huge re­tractable TV screen, a mod­ern bath­room with lux­ury ameni­ties and a rain­shower, a free mini­bar re­filled daily, Ne­spresso ma­chine, a “loot bag” with good­ies like nuts and sweets, and plenty of plugs and charg­ers for those whose de­vices are a way of life ... or busi­ness. There’s free Wi-fi of course.

Other fea­tures that make travel eas­ier are a gym and a self-serve laun­dry, very use­ful in hot Hong Kong weather.

Ovolo’s com­pact eatery, VEDA, is unique in Hong Kong.

It of­fers the only ded­i­cated veg­e­tar­ian ho­tel restau­rant menu.

It fea­tures stand­out dishes like baked cau­li­flower aloo gobi and corn khichdi with wild mush­room curry.

Break­fast is equally en­tic­ing (and healthy) with lots of av­o­cado op­tions and a won­der­ful halva yo­ghurt bowl.

Oh, and there’s daily free happy hour for guests.

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