First Look: Lodgewood by L’hotel, Hong Kong

Lodgewood, a new boutique hotel-cum-serviced apartment property has opened its doors in Mongkok, one of Hong Kong’s busiest districts famous for its wide range of retail options. The establishment is managed by L’hotel Management Company, a member of the Chinachem Group, that also oversees four other hotels in the city including L’hotel élan (see here).

Once mostly referred to as an “old neighbourhood” famous for cheap goods, street food and sex workers, Mongkok has seen much gentrification in recent years, most notably with the opening of Langham Place commercial complex around Portland Street in 2005. But the block on which Lodgewood is located, although not far from Langham Place, still consists of many old buildings and little no-frills shops and the new hotel forms an interesting juxaposition with the surroundings. But accessibility is not an issue as the hotel, located in the middle of Canton Road, is a 5-10 minutes’ walk away from the Mongkok MTR station and also within walking distance to Prince Edward, where there is also an MTR station. In the evening, as the streets light up, there is a real buzz to the area and guests have many dining, shopping and entertainment options at their disposal.

Lodgewood features 87 guestrooms and suites within the 20-floor building. As typical in Hong Kong, room sizes are fairly small, with both the w.room and the l.room measuring 23 sqm. The lw.corner rooms are more spacious at 32 sqm, while the two suite configurations – m.suite and k.suite – are 47 sqm and 54 sqm respectively with both offering dedicated living and dining areas.

All rooms are modern and contemporary looking, and the interior furnishings are ergonomically designed and built. Light switches and air-condition controls are conveniently located, and there are power sockets above the night stands for easy accessibility – although they are British three-pin ones and not the universal variety. Another small complaint is that the desks in all non-suites are placed right underneath the wall-mounted flatscreen TVs because of space contraint, which means trying to watch the news while working might prove uncomfortable.

The hotel has a number of distinctive features worth noting. The first is the “white tea” scent that fills all the rooms, tailor-made by the hotel. In addition, each room features an artwork collage of different images of Hong Kong, giving the space a sense of place. There are six different collages featured between the rooms, and they are all hung on the wall behind the bed.

Lodgewood provides iDocking and DVD players in all the rooms. Blu-ray players are also available for the suites, thereby allowing guests to experience full high-definition experiences on their 40 inch+ LCD televisions. Wifi is complimentary and available throughout the property, and there is no limit to how many devices each guest can have connected simultaneously. In the lobby area, three latest-generation iMacs are available for users to access the internet for free.

The hotel has made a point to be environmentally friendly by making use of technology: LED lights are installed in all guest rooms to reduce power consumption, staff uniforms are made of eco-friendly material, and many services are done paperless. For example, the hotel has a touchscreen eConcierge in the lobby providing updated information for guests to explore the city.

While space at Lodgewood is relatively limited, the interior designer has done well in mitigating that shortcoming. This is particularly evident in the lobby area, which is essentially a large rectangular room but the textures on the walls have given it character and a sense of space. The same principle has also been applied to the rooms, creating a sense of balance and order.

In terms of facilities and services, Lodgewood offers free shuttle transfers to the Kowloon Airport Express Station. The hotel lobby is also home to a complimentary “grab and go” breakfast corner, where guests can get take-away for the road in minutes. Freshly brewed coffee is also available for free 24 hours a day. Laundry and dry cleaning services are offered upon request, along with the more affordable self-service coin laundry equipment. Finally, the hotel will open a restaurant in September, on the second floor of the hotel, to offer Asian hot pot cuisine.

The opening room rates start from HK$2,000 (US$258) per room per night (not including service charge), and serviced apartments start from HK$19,800 (US$2,552) for 14 consecutive days of accommodation.

Visit www.lodgewood.com.hk

Clement Huang

L’hotel élan opens in Hong Kong’s Kwun Tong area

Hong Kong-based L’hotel group has opened its fourth property in the city in the up-and-coming business district of Kwun Tong.

The 254-room L’hotel élan exudes a boutique ambience, with locally sourced contemporary art work adorning many of the walls, including a huge, bird-shaped concierge desk that catches the eye upon entering the reception area.

The guestrooms, of which two are duplex suites, all come with standard amenities, as well as a complimentary minibar and free wifi, an iDocking station and iPads programmed with eGuest systems which allow residents to check in, order food, review their bill and even facilitate self-check out. The desk is also equipped with an ergonomic Herman Miller chair, ideal for business travellers.

Other facilities include a skyline pool on the top floor – which is where the front desk is also located – a 24-hour gym, Forte restaurant, an outdoor terrace and two meeting facilities that can fit 150 and 70 participants respectively.

Kwun Tong, formerly an industrial hub in Hong Kong, is fast becoming commercialised, with buildings such as Manulife Financial Centre and Millenium City cropping up in place of factory sites. L’hotel élan hopes to service the anticipated influx of commercial exchange that will come with continued development in this direction. The property is a 5-minute walk from Ngau Tau Kok MTR station, and will be located directly adjacent to Hong Kong’s new cruise terminal, scheduled to open mid-2013.

The 6-year-old L’hotel group is currently looking into expanding into locations in mainland China, said General Manager Sylvia Chung. Their other Hong Kong properties include L’hotel Island South, L’hotel Causeway Bay Harbour View and L’hotel Nina Et Convention Centre.

For more information, visit www.lhotelelan.com/en/

Alex Andersson