I’ll admit it: As the editor of a magazine, I’ve stayed in my fair share of impressive luxury hotels across the world, from Singapore to Seoul, the Maldives and beyond. But on my most recent trip to Hong Kong, I had the opportunity to stay at one of the cities’ new additions—the Rosewood Hong Kong—and I was blown away by the sheer luxuriousness of it all.
Towering on the banks of the Kowloon waterfront, the gleaming “vertical estate” (as the property refers to itself), opened its doors four years ago to much fanfare in Hong Kong. Boasting 413 rooms, eleven food and beverage concepts, a fully-equipped spa and wellness centre, a stunning swimming pool overlooking the Victoria Harbour, a plush executive lounge called the Manor Club to cater to the needs of its top-tier guests, the property positively oozes luxury from every crevice.
Right off the plane, I’m greeted by a dedicated staff member who escorts me through immigration and baggage claim, before delivering me to a nattily dressed chauffeur waiting by a steel-blue Jaguar XJ, who then whisks me off to the hotel. Stepping into the dazzling lobby, one wonders if it is a hotel or a cavernous art gallery—sitting on the lawn is British contemporary artist Thomas Houseago’s monumental bronze sculpture, Sleeping Lady, while the hotel is home to more prominent artists and their works, including Damien Hirst’s Zodiac paintings in The Butterfly Room (I’m told the artworks are from the Cheng family’s extensive private collection—swish, indeed).
But there’s also history and heart here: built on the former site of New World Centre, CEO Sonia Cheng chose this exact location for the Rosewood brand’s seventh location in Asia as an homage to her grandfather, business tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, and her family. The bustling waterfront was once the crown jewel of the Cheng family’s burgeoning property portfolio, boasting entertainment outlets, shopping centres and hotels in the ’70s and ’80s, so it’s a homecoming of sorts to have the Rosewood Hong Kong situated here.
Throughout the hotel, you’ll also notice clever nods to the family’s history: decorative elements such as horses and racing posters and illustrations speak to the Cheng family’s equestrian ties; Chinese restaurant The Legacy House pays tribute to their roots by serving up jazzed up Shunde cuisine; and traditional Chinese decorative elements—the auspicious Eight Trigrams octagon and lucky bat motifs, to name a few—have been incorporated within the hotel’s interior design.
With their driving philosophy being “A Sense of Place”, the Rosewood Hong Kong imbues its rooms and spaces with this ethos. I had the pleasure of staying in a Grand Harbour View Room on the 40th floor, with its sweeping view of Hong Kong Island, where I can only describe the amount of attention paid to comfort with one word: lavish. For one, the walls are decked out in Loro Piana fabric (something you would only note if you feel compelled to touch and admire it, as I was); the bathroom is a palace of marble that makes the act of bathing and getting ready an opulent experience; and the artwork by Hong Kong artist William Lo was a nice touch of grounding the room and tying it in to the heritage of Hong Kong.
For those looking beyond relaxation in their rooms, the Rosewood Hong Kong also has one of the most extensive wellness offerings on both sides of the harbour. Slip into Asaya, the integrated wellness centre that occupies the entire sixth floor of the hotel, where you will be able to have a relaxing massage, get your hair and nails done, partake in fitness classes ranging from vinyasa to qigong, grab a bite at the health-focused dining outlet Asaya Kitchen, or just lay down by the infinity pool and enjoy breathtaking views of the harbour and city. For those looking to recharge and reinvigorate their tired muscles, I would highly recommend the 90-minute Aroma Atelier, for which you can pick your own aromatherapy oils for your treatment.
To end off your day, a drink (or three) at Darkside, the hotel’s award-winning bar, would be the perfect capstone. Here, you will be enjoy classic cocktails jazzed up by the expert bartenders, peruse the bar’s sizeable collection of dark spirits—fine rum, whisky and calvados—and an expertly curated selection of fine cigars. Lucky patrons might even be offered a dram right out the barrel—Darkside keeps one aging in its spirits library.
But, if you’re a mahjong fanatic like me, the bar’s fabulously inventive “The Art of Mahjong” cocktail menu is a must-try. Taking inspiration from the beloved tile-based game, the bar’s eight star cocktails draw on Hong Kong’s rich food heritage: personal favourites of mine included the cognac-based Chrysanthemum for its floral profile, and the Winter, a rum-based cocktail that reminded me of the comforting sweet potato soup dessert that’s ever-so-popular in the city. Hot tip: ask assistant bar manager KT for his recommendations—they’re always spot on.
In my mind, the Rosewood Hong Kong is undoubtedly making its mark as one of the most luxurious hotels in Asia. From the sumptuous interiors, to the stunning artworks, and their unparalleled service, Kowloon is certainly no “dark side” any longer with this magnificent new oasis by the harbour.
Rosewood Hong Kong
Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
+852 3891 8888
This story was first seen on Grazia.Sg
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