An urban oasis three years in the making

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 March, 2010, 12:00am

The casual outdoor party at Langham Place's al fresco venue might have lasted just a few hours on Thursday evening, but it was three years in the making. On the lobby level, adjacent to The Place cafe and next to the bridge that connects the Mong Kok hotel to the mall of the same name, there is a lovely outdoor terrace with couches, tables and trees. From the beginning, the idea was to turn the alcove into a licensed area, but it's taken the hotel three years to make it happen.

'Since 2006 we've been trying to get an alcohol licence,' a hotel spokesman said. 'You wouldn't believe how many other licences and approvals you have to have. First you have to apply for fire and safety. I mean, we had to replace one door back here for HK$100,000.'

However, even more was spent to spruce up the urban oasis with mango trees, lounging furniture and decorative water features. The hotel is especially festive after a prosperous holiday season. 'We had a few days over the Lunar New Year where we were at complete capacity. There were even walk-in mainland tourists willing to pay the extra premium for rooms.'