Departing Excelsior boss leaves lasting legacy with skyline alfresco bar

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 September, 2009, 12:00am

Just as the doors to the Excelsior Hotel's new roof terrace opened at ToTT's, its general manager Amanda Hyndman is getting ready to close her chapter in Hong Kong.

In a short but productive 21/2 years at the Causeway Bay hotel, the Englishwoman oversaw a general renovation that included the whole of ToTT's, survived an economic downturn and - as the crowning achievement in her legacy - pushed her idea to turn an outdoor space primarily used as a staff smoking venue into a penthouse alfresco bar with a panoramic skyline view.

The only caveat is that if you stand next to the glass barrier looking down, it's bound to give you some knee-weakening vertigo.

'I'm glad it opened while I am still here,' Hyndman, who also got married during her time here, said.

'It took quite a while for all the regulations and approvals to clear.'

Come October 12, however, she will be transferred within the Mandarin Oriental Group, which operates Excelsior, to run its fledgling hotel in Washington.

'It was an offer that was hard to refuse. The property is five years old and purposely built with about 400 rooms, right there next to Capitol Hill. But it's been great here, and I will be back.'