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For a moment, I felt like James Bond.
Exiting the jet bridge after a 16-hour international flight, I spotted a Rosewood Hong Kong employee and an airport concierge holding a sign with my name on it. Although I had expected to find a hotel representative in the baggage area or outside the airport, I certainly didn’t imagine I’d be escorted to immigration and then whisked into a chauffeured Jaguar XJ — equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi access.
And yet, there I was, hands cleansed with a hot towel, sipping mineral water out of a crystal glass and updating my Instagram. If this is what the life of an international spy is like, hand me a shaken martini and sign me up.
One of the newest hotels in Hong Kong, Rosewood Hong Kong is an exquisite representation of what can happen when great minds in hospitality come together. It takes the creativity of designer Tony Chi, architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Rosewood CEO Sonia Cheng, mixed with a masterful food and beverage program, unparalleled views of Victoria Harbour, contemporary artwork from the likes of artist Damien Hirst and a friendly staff dressed in custom designer threads. Combined, you’ve got a product unlike any other.
Indeed, Rosewood spared no expense in building the company’s global flagship, which is apparent in every guestroom, right down to its hand-hammered copper sinks and leather-wrapped closets with matching leather hangers. The 413-room hotel features more suites than any other luxury hotel in Hong Kong, and approximately 80% of guestrooms offer harbor views that double as front-row seats for A Symphony of Lights, the city’s nightly laser show.
My 1,270-square-foot Kowloon Peak View Suite could be easily partitioned into a salon with a private bathroom for entertaining guests or business associates. A bar cart with Rosewood-label spirits made it easy to whip up a cognac Old Fashioned with a dried citrus twist. Artwork by painter William Low, bespoke furnishings and a well-equipped minibar (complete with just about anything a good host could ask for) made the space feel as warm and inviting as if it were my very own condo, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows. I felt as if I had somehow won the lottery.
Guests can also expect white-marble bathrooms with dual showers and huge freestanding bathtubs in each suite, along with amenity kits that put others to shame. On a vanity, I found seasonal bath products displayed in glass bottles, a Dyson hair dryer and eco-friendly amenities such as toothbrushes, a hairbrush and a razor — all fashioned from bamboo. Even the Toto toilet was over the top, with an automatic open and close lid, adjustable heated seats and a self-cleaning feature that’s triggered after each use.
It’s easy to get swept away by Rosewood’s attention to detail, and those traveling on business might not feel the need to venture off-property. For example, on the sixth and seventh floors, travelers will discover Asaya, Rosewood Hong Kong’s wellness concept, which encompasses 40,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space. In addition to a personal training session with exercise physiologist and sports therapist Terry Burge, guests can book a variety of treatments, from massages and facials to unconventional therapies. One such therapy might include singing bowls and hypnosis, while another focuses on the psychology of eating.
And as someone who loves to eat — and wants to try a little bit of everything — I was impressed by the hotel’s eight restaurants, cafes and bars. A standout was Chinese restaurant Legacy House, which was designed by Melbourne’s award-winning BAR Studio. It’s open-kitchen floor plan allowed guests to watch as chefs pinched dumplings and tossed stir fry on huge woks. My favorite dishes were simple but flavorful, such as a bowl of seafood-filled hot and sour soup and a starter of paper-thin, extra-crispy egg rolls stuffed with shrimp and cheese.
The Manor Club, an executive lounge located on the property’s 40th floor, was another favorite dining concept, with an elegant breakfast buffet of Eastern- and Western-style classics and a view of Victoria Harbour that just can’t be beat. (Manor Club, which also offers a relaxing bar area and a pool table, is a perfect location for a nightcap.)
Speaking of nightcaps, there’s a speakeasy on property that some guests may never even know existed. It’s accessed through a secret door in an undisclosed location on property. To get in, ask a staff member for the passcode, which changes daily. Called XX, the speakeasy is billed as Hong Kong’s first women-only bar. With handcrafted cocktails, art deco lighting and velvet chairs, the space feels chic and upscale — just the type of place a Bond villain might turn up.
As a newly minted secret agent, I sat on the outdoor patio and ordered a second drink because, well, “you only live twice,” and I’ve got a license to chill.
The DetailsRosewood Hong Kongwww.rosewoodhotels.com