Kowloon landmark keeps improving

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 July, 2009, 12:00am

Luxury apartments are competing to give residents added value, and the management at Gateway Apartments believes its clubhouse facilities have developed a sense of community and encourage brand loyalty.

Residents have long come to expect top-class services and facilities, but the lofty or indifferent attitudes between staff and members that pervades in some residential clubhouses in Hong Kong have no place at Gateway.

'The Pacific Club is a home away from home and is like a small and close-knit community where everyone knows one another,' said club general manager Rene Holenweger.

Most members visited the clubhouse daily and regarded it as a second home - for a workout at the refurbished gym before heading to work or for relaxation during the day.

The Pacific Club, established in 1990, has views of Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui and is next to one of Hong Kong's famous shopping malls, Harbour City, just off bustling Canton Road.

As well as the clubhouse for Gateway residents, it is a private club for local members who number about 2,000. About 70 per cent are Chinese and a substantial number of Japanese make up the remainder.

Mr Holenweger said the close-knit community of the clubhouse made it 'a good place to make connections because it is easy to meet people'.

Women residents at Gateway Apartments have formed a group called the Gateway Ladies which helps new women feel welcome - the 'ladies' invite new members to join their group and hold monthly lunches and other activities such as mahjong.

There was always something going on at the clubhouse throughout the year, Mr Holenweger said.

This month there are yoga classes, junior tennis lessons, tai chi classes, water aerobics workshops, Latin and jazz dance classes, stretching workshops, children's fencing classes, group golf lessons, tennis elite squad training, junior taekwondo and rope-skipping classes.

Tennis is the most popular among the leisure activities provided by the club and there are five tennis courts. All courts have recently been resurfaced and the indoor courts are covered by a dome with air-conditioning and shelter from wind and rain. Mr Holenweger said the tennis courts were well used and there was a popular social tennis day each Sunday. A junior tournament was also held at the club recently with more than 70 youngsters participating.

Apart from the leisure activities, the club's restaurants organise a different theme each month with related buffets every Saturday night. Last month it was Italian cuisine and this month the theme is seafood.

There is a wine-tasting evening on the third Friday of each month and international sommeliers host regular wine dinners. The Pacific Club also organises charity events to raise awareness and funds for the Children's Cancer Foundation Hong Kong. The most recent event was the Charity Casino Night where members were able to play at the casino tables set up in the club to raise money.

Although The Pacific Club already offers many facilities, it will still go through a series of refurbishments to upgrade and add more. Mr Holenweger said the refurbishment should be completed in five years.

New facilities will include a four-lane bowling alley with a karaoke section and bar, and an enlarged children's play area. Existing facilities will also be refurbished.

Mr Holenweger said the well-being of members was foremost: 'We pride ourselves on the exceptional standards of hygiene and sanitation at the club.'