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Weekend Property

Lounges enhance the appeal for residents at Hong Kong’s serviced apartments

Serviced apartments see value of providing multipurpose lounge facilities where busy residents can grab a quick breakfast on the go, or nightly cocktails after work

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 December, 2016, 9:12am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 December, 2016, 3:18pm

There’s nothing like an airport-lounge access to make a traveller feel special. A cocoon of exclusivity shielding the busy atmosphere outside, with charging points aplenty and food and drink laid on, the lounge transforms what would otherwise be boring and tiring downtime into a relaxing experience.

Savvy serviced apartment providers have cottoned on. They understand that, no matter how nice your four walls might be, sometimes residents want more. The club lounge of a residential property, or executive floor of a serviced suite hotel, fills that niche. Think a quick breakfast on the go, or nightly cocktails after work, to imagine how much such perks would be appreciated.

Alicia Too, general manager of Lanson Place Hotel, believes lounge facilities are a priority for residents weighing up their accommodation options. “A lounge is very important to long-staying residents, as it’s the only place [where] they can entertain,” she explains. In addition to facilities such as a gym and business centre, the Causeway Bay property has a multi-purpose living area provided for the exclusive use of hotel/serviced suite tenants and their invited guests.

Located on the first floor, the inviting 133 Lounge opens for breakfast at 7am. This is convenient for busy professionals who can pop in for a quick bite on their way to work, avoiding the rush hour of a typical hotel dining room.

In the evening, cocktails and canapes are served. A library corner beckons those who long to curl up with a good book or magazine. A pianist may tinkle on the grand piano, or a jazz band gently play.

“All needs will be taken care [of] by the team of attentive staff who are always available for personalised services,” Too says.

She explains that outside, Causeway Bay bustles. “But step inside, and you enter the calming environment of a very Zen, exclusive home. People need that to wind down at the end of a busy day.”

The hotel is part of the Lanson Place group which operates luxury serviced apartments in Asian gateway cities such as Shanghai, Chengdu, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Across all properties, the design philosophy incorporates guest lounges equipped with what management considers “must-have facilities” for serviced apartment residents.

The lounge is an extension of the resident’s suite. When they go home, they can bring friends or colleagues for drinks, or even host a party
Alicia Too, general manager, Lanson Place Hotel

“We came up with the concept to recreate a true home away from home,” Too says. “The lounge is an extension of the resident’s suite. When they go home, they can bring friends or colleagues for drinks, or even host a party.” Its exclusivity – for residents only – differentiates the space from a regular hotel lounge, which is open to the public.

“It’s like a home living room – quiet, peaceful.” Adding to the luxury feel, the residents’ lounge will often have spectacular city views.

In some cases, the club floor/lounge offering of a serviced apartment property may include additional services such as personalised check-in and express checkout. Harbour Plaza Hotel Management offers this as part of its Harbour Club privileges. The dedicated Harbour Club Lounge at Harbour Grand Hong Kong, located in North Point, includes daily breakfast, and complimentary soft drinks, tea and coffee available throughout the day. Evening cocktails are served in the privacy of a club floor not accessible to mainstream hotel guests.

Sister property Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees, in Kowloon East, offers serviced suite guests access to the Club Floor lounge for a monthly supplement

(HK$4,400 with breakfast, HK$2,000 without), while a separate floor for long-staying guests is also provided at Harbour Plaza North Point.

Edina Wong, head of the residential leasing department at Savills Hong Kong, says the provision of at least a coffee lounge/breakfast area is increasingly being incorporated into even the smaller boutique serviced apartment properties.

“Even if the suites have their own kitchenette, it’s easier [for residents] to grab and go,” she says. “They can get a proper espresso coffee, and don’t have to clean up afterwards.”

It also gives a place to socialise outside of their rooms. “People appreciate that,” Wong says.