Hong Kong-based Ovolo launches flagship hotel

11 Oct 2012 by ReggieHo

Hong Kong-based Ovolo has officially re-launched its 10-year-old serviced apartment block on Arbuthnot Road as its flagship hotel Ovolo 2AR. This is the group’s fourth hotel in the city and fifth in the world, with the last two openings being at 19 Little Bourke Street in Melbourne (see story here) and 286 Queen’s Road Central in Hong Kong.

Whereas the Queen’s Road property features compact and functional units (see story here), Ovolo 2AR offer rooms that are much bigger and sleeker. The 42 rooms are identical and each offers some 46 sqm of space. The interior is designed by KplusK Associates and the goal, according to the company’s director Paul Kember, was to create a streamlined space with “layers of luxury materials” such as timber, copper, limestone and onyx.

There are two units on each level, starting from the 3rd floor, which provides a lot of privacy. Each room features a walnut desk and designer ergonomic chair (which costs more than US$1,900 each), an onyx-and-marble bathroom with a sizeable shower space (but no tub), as well as a wall-mounted Apple TV to which guests can stream iPhone and iPad contents.

There are power plugs pre-installed with adaptors at the desk as well as at both sides of the bed, and above the nightstands are master switches with which you can shut off all the lights in the room (but not those in the bathroom). High-speed wifi is complimentary.

Bathroom amenities are by New York brand Malin+Goetz, which has become increasingly popular with design-oriented hotels in the Big Apple, but Ovolo 2AR is the first to use them in Hong Kong. There are peppermint shampoo, coriander conditioner, rum body wash, vitamin B5 lotion and rum bar soap. According to the brand’s co-founder Andrew Goetz, the unique fragrances in the products are meant to evoke memories and make people remember their experience at the hotel.

The offerings at the mini bar are all free and replenished daily, and they include mini bottles of whiskies, vodka and Bailey’s, as well as soft drinks, Perrier and Stella Artois. There are also a "Loot Bag" with snacks and a Nespresso machine. Complimentary a-la-carte breakfast is served at sister business Cafe O next door.

According to Ovolo founder and chief executive Girish Jhunjhnuwala, his group has decided to convert some of its service apartment buildings into hotels as there is rising demand for short-term stays in the city but room supply has failed to keep up. He furthers that Ovolo 2AR is aiming to attract business travellers aged between late 20s to 40 and who want “an effortless stay”.

There is a small lounge on the 2nd floor with all-day refreshments and evening cocktails, and there are also two washers and two dryers for guests to use at no extra cost. The small gym features two treadmills, a step machine and TRX.

The location of the hotel is a draw – it is in the quieter part of the Central District, but the thoroughfares of Queen’s Road and Des Voeux, entertainment hub Lan Kwai Fong and Central MTR Station are all within walking distance.

The rack rate for a night’s stay is HK$3,380 (US$436), but the property is currently offering a special rate of HK$2,190 (US$282).  

Ovolo is looking to open another hotel next year in Wong Chuk Hang, a former industrial area that is being developed into a new office district. Jhunjhnuwala says he is also keen on opening a property in Singapore, among other places, but he has not been able to find a suitable location.


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