It’s been about seven years in the making, but Hong Kong-based Rosewood Hotels and Resorts finally has a hotel in its home city following the opening of the new Rosewood Hong Kong.
The property, which is located on the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront on the site of the former New World Centre, is the 26th hotel in the Rosewood portfolio. The hotel occupies 43 of the building’s 65 storeys offering 322 rooms and 91 suites.
Speaking to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific about the significance of Rosewood’s Hong Kong debut, the hotel’s managing director, Marc Brugger, said: “It’s pivotal. In every brand there are milestones happening that define the brand for the 10 to 20 years to come, and I think the Rosewood Hong Kong is that [for us]. It is, without a doubt, the fullest expression of the brand so far.”
Brugger says the Hong Kong property is “an evolution of what we did in Beijing” with the Rosewood Beijing hotel, which was “in many ways the first expression of the brand in Asia”.
The Rosewood Hong Kong is designed to have the feeling of a private manor with a focus on making guests feel like they’re part of a community – a theme reflected in a number of areas of the hotel. The check-in desks are placed in a separate cloister to the right side of the entrance, giving the lobby (pictured above) a more residential and less typically hotel feel.
Meanwhile, every guest floor has communal seating areas called “salons” (pictured above) outside the rooms where guests can socialise. The hotel even offers a service that sees butlers serving cocktails and other beverages from trolleys to guests in these areas from 5pm to 8pm. These are complimentary to guests on suite floors, while guests in standard rooms are required to pay for their beverages.
“There was this overall goal of ‘how do we break the mould?’ without entirely knowing how we would break it. That’s where the journey started for this hotel,” adds Brugger.
There are, of course, more traditional offerings at the hotel as well. The 40th floor is home to the hotel’s Manor Club executive lounge, which features a small balcony with a few seats that has phenomenal views of the Central skyline and Victoria Harbour.
Meanwhile on the food and beverage front, the hotel currently has three outlets, though this will jump to eight when the property is fully open. These three include: Chinese tea house and chan chan teng (tea restaurant) inspired Holt’s Café; Cantonese restaurant The Legacy House, and bar Darkside – a play on the nickname often given to the Kowloon peninsula as “the dark side of Hong Kong” by residents of Hong Kong Island.
Along with the guestrooms and suites, the Rosewood Hong Kong also offers a series of long-stay serviced Rosewood Residences, which range from 44-61 sqm Studios to 130-191 sqm Premium Two-Bedroom accommodations.
Explaining how the serviced residences at the Rosewood Hong Kong will differ from those at the neighbouring K11 Artus, a fully serviced residence property due to open soon that is also owned by New World Development, Brugger said: “If you look at both, they are two very strong visions. In terms of the residential units, there is a certain amount of – I wouldn’t say overlap – but there is competition between the two. We do discuss overall strategies, and we see them complement each other rather than being competition.
“If you look at the residential offering, especially on this side on Kowloon, there really is not much of high quality. We follow the style seen in the hotel side and that extends to the residences – very large rooms, the square meterage is quite significant. It is maybe more geared towards a small family, an individual or couple. Whereas K11 has a use of space that is, if you want, more efficient allowing potentially a larger number of people for the same square meterage.”
Despite the two properties together forming what Brugger describes as a “revival” of the former New World destination, he adds that there are currently no plans for guests at either property to have access to facilities and services provided by the other.
“There’s no plan for being able to cross-utilise – I think it would take away from the experience one way or the other.”
Along with its property in Hong Kong, Rosewood has a number of other openings in the pipeline, particularly in Asia-Pacific. This notably includes the Rosewood Bangkok, which is due to open at the end of this month, along with new properties in Guangzhou and Yangon later this year.
Business Traveller Asia-Pacific will be publishing a First Look of the Rosewood Hotel soon.