Modern luxury in historic surroundings make for an experience steeped in real grandeur
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
The outdoor pool area, top, and L’Envol restaurant