Take an ‘art-inspired staycation’ in one of Hong Kong’s boutique hotels
Designer-inspired serviced apartments are offering guests a unique experience
You don’t have to be an out-of-towner to find a reason to stay awhile at one of Hong Kong’s swank, designer-inspired serviced apartments. A sojourn in the city makes a welcome break from everyday routine, and the experience is all the finer when a top name is behind the interior décor.
Should you care to snuggle into Frette bed linen beneath a goose down doona, sip wine from crystal stemware or luxuriate in a Hansgrohe rain shower, a serviced suite at 99 Bonham, Sheung Wan, operated by National Hotels, is always on offer (and available on a daily basis). Milan, Italy-headquartered architectural and design firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners is behind the plush interiors, crafted in an understated palette of soft grey tones. Materials include dark woods, back-painted glass, marble and porcelain tiles. Furnishings and window treatments are luxuriant in rich textiles.
Late French designer Andrée Putman has left a legacy at The Putman in Central, another boutique property by National Hotels. Behind the art-deco-inspired glass façade, sumptuously appointed interiors in soothing, neutral hues are accentuated by hand-selected Andrée Putman accessories, including her famous Crescent Moon sofa. Soak in the deep tub for a bath time indulgence most Hongkongers can’t experience at home.
Christian Liaigre is the famous name behind The Jervois, which features custom interiors and furnishings by the renowned French designer. His signature style, emphasising simplicity, elegance and comfort, is interpreted in fine wood, leather and marble finishes. Add to that custom-designed furnishings, lighting and wall panelling. The building’s sleek exterior is the work of architect Florent Nédélec.
You could live the high life in a Joyce Wang-designed suite at the refurbished Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong – complete with its “pantry” suspended on brass rods, and a crystal display case that holds edible treats from the property’s executive chef, Richard Ekkebus. Or book at a suite at The Upper House, a reimagined serviced apartment property from the trophy cabinet of André Fu, Hong Kong’s home-grown celebrity architect.
Vivian Chau, general manager at the plush J Plus Hotel by YOO in Causeway Bay, says a “good crowd” of locals number among the serviced suite guests who visit “for an art-inspired staycation”. “We have been working closely with local and overseas artists to bring in an exclusive art hotel experience since our revamp in 2014 – unique graffiti arts, photography, art installations have been well appreciated by our guests,” Chau says.
“Some of our local guests enjoy visiting with a group of friends to celebrate special happenings such as bridal showers, birthdays, anniversaries and such. With our fully-equipped amenities, we are well-positioned to cater for this market.”
Renowned French architect Philippe Starck originally designed the all-suite apartment hotel now branded as J Plus Hotel by YOO (formerly known as Jia), and when the time came for a design refresh 10 years after its opening, the HK$10 million refurbishment was assigned to YOO Studio, a design studio founded by Starck and entrepreneur John Hitchcox.
Now, as then, the property is styled “for fast-living professionals and style-conscious travellers,” says Mathew Dalby, YOO Studio design director.
Architectural detail in the new-look façade includes street art created by Graffiti4hire – and recently, two more murals by celebrated Chinese urban contemporary artist Fansack.
Inside, tinted glass panels inscribed with Chinese motifs – introduced as symbols of good fortune – sit alongside playful European furniture and cocoon-shaped cut crystal pendants.
Each of the hotel’s luxurious 32 studios and 24 suites is styled in a theme colour, with plush bespoke, handcrafted carpets and unique ceiling graffiti. Their design is “a rejection of all things conventional”, Dalby said – with the sophisticated creativity to surprise.
The exhibition at the hotel’s dedicated lobby art space [email protected] is a pop art collection by the artist Fansack. Titled “Rupa”, it runs until end of February. At [email protected], the open-air terrace located on the 2nd floor of the hotel, Fansack has created two walls of artistry with a local flavour. His statement piece, “Hong Kong Dream”, is inspired by iconic personalities such as Tsang Tsou Choi, a celebrated graffiti artist known as the “King of Kowloon”, and the Lantau Big Buddha in shades of fuchsia, orange, and red emulating the orb of the sun.