Mod­ern lux­ury in his­toric sur­round­ings make for an ex­pe­ri­ence steeped in real grandeur

The National - News - - BUSINESS IN DEPTH - Melinda Healy The writer was a guest of the ho­tel

As my trans­fer com­pletes the 40-minute jour­ney from Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Air­port through the colour­ful, glis­ten­ing high­rises on ei­ther side of the mo­tor­way, even­tu­ally pulling up at the ho­tel, it be­comes ob­vi­ous that this new tower means busi­ness.

Po­si­tioned in the heart of the Wan Chai district, an area that was once a small fish­ing vil­lage but to­day is a vi­brant neigh­bour­hood heav­ing with res­i­den­tial flats, quirky restau­rants, cafes, and fash­ion bou­tiques, my first im­pres­sion is that ar­riv­ing at St Regis Hong Kong is more like be­ing wel­comed into a grandiose man­sion than a five-star ho­tel.

A hand­ful of door staff at­tend to me as the car pulls up, and as I move into the lobby it’s more at­tuned to the foyer of a grand es­tate.

Check-in takes place in the rooms of this 129-room prop­erty that sits be­tween Vic­to­ria Har­bour and the Star Street precinct – a 10-minute walk from the city’s con­ven­tion and ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre.

Renowned Chi­nese designer An­drew Fu is the aes­thetic mas­ter­mind be­hind the in­te­ri­ors, and his ap­proach has been re­ferred to by those in the busi­ness as re­flect­ing a “new way of un­der­stand­ing mod­ern lux­ury”.

As you’d ex­pect from any St Regis ho­tel, Wan Chai’s new­est ho­tel is as much about el­e­gance as lo­ca­tion and size. Spread across 25 floors, its triple-height lobby ex­udes lux­ury with a glis­ten­ing, hand-blown Lasvit chan­de­lier form­ing the cen­tre­piece and state­ment bronze screens that have been de­signed to re­flect tra­di­tional Hong Kong win­dow screens.

The lo­ca­tion af­fords guests views of Vic­to­ria Har­bour and ac­cess to pub­lic trans­port – trains and taxis are reg­u­larly avail­able from the nearby rail sta­tion and ho­tel valet area re­spec­tively.

Of the 122 rooms and 17 suites avail­able for book­ing here, the Premier King Room I’m stay­ing in is a cor­ner room, al­low­ing me two-sided views of the Hong Kong har­bour that is just a short stroll away.

My room is large – by Hong Kong stan­dards and oth­er­wise

– and boasts a su­per com­fort­able king bed, two-way mar­ble-laden bath­room with his and hers sinks, a soak­ing tub with padded head­rest, sep­a­rate shower and toi­let (al­beit with its own USB charg­ing por­tal).

There’s a quaint cir­cu­lar sit­ting area with ta­ble and leather bench-like seat­ing com­ple­ment­ing it in the cor­ner of the liv­ing area that’s ideal for catch­ing up on emails or for en­joy­ing a quiet in-room break­fast or late evening meal. Guests also have ac­cess to the ho­tel’s 24-hour but­ler and e-but­ler ser­vice, and Wi-Fi is free.

Whether host­ing busi­ness col­leagues or eat­ing alone be­tween meet­ings, the din­ing/ hos­pi­tal­ity land­scape is ex­em­plary. The Draw­ing Room at the back of the ex­pan­sive ho­tel lobby, just off the As­tor Terrace, is per­fect for an in­dul­gent af­ter­noon tea or quick bite and is next door to the St Regis Bar, which fea­tures a hand-printed mu­ral by Bei­jing-based artist Zhang

Gong that cel­e­brates the best known as­pects of his­toric Hong Kong.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing restau­rants Run (Can­tonese) and L’En­vol (French) are ex­cep­tional choices for lunch or din­ner. The lo­cal flavours at its sig­na­ture Can­tonese eatery are the work of award-win­ning chef Hung Chi-Kwong and din­ers will no doubt be as im­pressed as I was by the qual­ity of the dim sum. L’En­vol is fine din­ing at its best with Miche­lin-starred chef Olivier Elzer lead­ing the kitchen. French­man Mr Elzer earned him­self 18 stars in 11 con­sec­u­tive years and has spent the past eight years in Hong Kong, where his first post was at the Man­darin Oriental.

Menus here are sure to im­press, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the in­clu­sion of dishes such as the sig­na­ture tuna with avo­cado and shal­lots. Set menus start from $588 Hong Kong (Dh275) per per­son for three cour­ses.

Break­fast is avail­able un­til 10.30am in Run, of­fer­ing pas­tries, fruits and breads along­side a la carte dishes in­clud­ing eggs bene­dict, dim sum and pan­cakes.

Staff are help­ful and knowl­edge­able, es­pe­cially the but­ler team who go out of their way to as­sist with be­spoke or ad hoc re­quests. The at­ten­dants are avail­able on What­sApp 24/7 and of­fer a pack­ing and un­pack­ing ser­vice should it be re­quired.

Leisure and busi­ness fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able in equal mea­sure here with an out­door pool, spa cen­tre, and 24-hour gym tai­lored to the ac­tive trav­eller, and four event spa­ces, a 518-square me­tre ball­room, and pri­vate el­e­va­tor ac­cess to all meet­ing rooms to en­sure pri­vacy for the busi­ness-minded. Two event spa­ces round out the of­fer­ings and can ac­com­mo­date busi­ness meet­ings or high-end cor­po­rate gath­er­ings.

Dou­bles start from Dh1,625 per night, in­clud­ing taxes, Wi-Fi and break­fast. Air­port trans­fers cost from Dh670 one-way.

The lo­cal flavours at its sig­na­ture Can­tonese eatery are the work of award-win­ning chef Hung Chi-Kwong

St Regis

The out­door pool area, top, and L’En­vol restau­rant

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.