4 minutes after they flung their doorways broad open, we arrived at Hong Kong’s latest lodge, the Rosewood Hong Kong, with a full entourage of lodge managers on the entrance enthusiastically welcoming their visitors for the primary time.
Over the previous few years, Hong Kong has skilled a slew of latest lodge openings, however none extra extremely anticipated, and envied than the Rosewood Hong Kong which lastly threw its doorways open at 3pm on Sunday March 17th, 2019.
Situated in “TST” as locals would say – that means Tsim Sha Tsui which is on the very tip of the Kowloon peninsula, the Rosewood has a billion-dollar view of the sprawling metropolis and sumptuous harbor entrance adjoining to quite a lot of skyscrapers maximizing area to the fullest due to exceedingly excessive land prices. By default, it has robotically turn out to be a brand new Hong Kong landmark, and doubtless, a spot of curiosity to each locals and different hoteliers, most particularly from their comp set – Peninsula, Ritz Carlton, 4 Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Higher Home.
This 66- storey tower sits on floor as soon as occupied by the New World Lodge – a namesake of the proudly owning firm – New World Growth, certainly one of Hong Kong’s actual property conglomerates – based by oligarch Cheng Yu-tong who died on September 29, 2016 (aged 91). Attention-grabbing truth – it’s listed as 0017 within the Hong Kong inventory market, an auspicious quantity. So, this property is on land that the Cheng household should take into account hallowed for its household legacy.
Rosewood USA was taken over by New World in 2011 and its purpose was to transition the New World model to a luxurious stage akin to 4 Seasons, and with the opening of this nearly 400 – room property, time will inform if it has succeeded.
Now, on this second decade of the second millennium, the Lodge division is headed by granddaughter 38-year-old Sonia Cheng who as a millennial – will little doubt be desirous of attracting like-minded souls – well-to-do younger Chinese language which China is just not in need of, since they mint extra billionaires each year there than wherever else. One other feather within the cap of the lodge and utilizing the previous adage – location, location, location, is its shut proximity to the newly opened high-speed rail terminus with China, about 5 minutes away. I think the lodge will provide a limo service from there to its doorways, no totally different from the luxurious Jaguar XJ which serves airport arrivals.
My curiosity for this undertaking piqued when the lodge introduced it was prepared to just accept bookings, and doubtless as one of many very first to take action, I made mine by way of the lodge’s web site on December 31st, 2018.
Since then, I’ve been often contacted by the Reservations group to substantiate my ETA, precise names of visitors for the reserving (self and spouse), and any preferences equivalent to pillows and newspapers.
Making the reserving was a reasonably easy course of, with one of many situations requiring pre- cost of the primary of two nights I had reserved. I used to be given a timeline of three days to make cost – and a safe hyperlink offered to take action. Naturally, I fulfilled that request. Shortly after making the reserving, I acquired an EDM from Marc Brugger – Managing Director thanking me for my reserving, together with the oft-repeated phrase “we stay up for warmly welcoming you to expertise our residence within the metropolis,” message.
Six days earlier than opening, Marc once more wrote to me (utilizing the eSurvey amenities of Cendyn) with an replace on the Lodge amenities that might be out there and requesting me to once more replace my preferences; I diligently replied.
In a dialog on the launch of this prestigious property, one hotelier declared, “I find it irresistible… it’s good for Kowloon, we’ll now not be on the darkish aspect!!! That is nice!.”
As to the opening of the lodge itself, with two days to go, one Rosewood Exec advised me “It is all hands-on deck” – and I’ve to say that assertion comes as no shock particularly as this flagship lodge might be on dwelling turf.
Sunday 17th March 2019 – Day 1
At present is D-day and as we sit within the CX lounge at Manila airport ready to board our barely delayed flight to Hong Kong, I can’t assist however suppose there have to be orderly pandemonium going down as I write – with the GM, I think about, standing in entrance of The Crew, some probably selectively poached from varied different inns round city, utilizing phrases of thanks and inspiration as “Properly, immediately is The Day we have all been ready for, and dreaming of. Your collective exhausting work has helped convey us to this momentous second – and for that I can’t thanks sufficient. Now it is time to make it occur and ship the dream we’ve got all been working in the direction of. So, with that in thoughts, let’s get on the market and make historical past and many others. and many others. – Thanks everybody.” I’m wondering how near the reality I’m?
Now again to our journey, apparently, I used to be to have acquired an e-mail just a few days previous to arrival relating to pickup data for the complimentary limo that is included in my room price – however three hours earlier than my departing flight to Hong Kong, nothing was acquired – so I despatched them a chaser. Eleven minutes after sending, I acquired an apologetic reply with the small print of the meet and greet course of.
Rosewood Hong Kong Scales To New Heights In Luxurious…
The ArrivalUpon exiting the restricted space of Hong Kong airport and coming into Corridor B, we had been greeted by a Visitor Relations officer (I think he had my picture) who escorted us to the realm the place we might board our limo. He then radioed the motive force who was shut by and we walked over to fulfill him.
While anticipating a Jaguar, we had been knowledgeable that we might the truth is been upgraded to a Vary Rover – no complaints from us – because it was equally luxurious. Each are produced by the identical India-owned firm.
The car was plushily decked out in beige coloration leather-based with all of the bells and whistles you’d count on from this premium class car. And oh sure – it had that desirous new automobile odor. Chilly towels awaited us within the automobile as did bottles of Hildon water which one may imbibe out of crystal glasses and in case you had been peckish, there was a packet of flavored nuts and a few breath mints. The automobile was additionally outfitted with a telephone charging cable, wi-fi charger in addition to cellular Wi-Fi.
The temperature was pleasantly set at 21c versus the 25c outdoors and ambient music enjoying within the background. The driving force was very pleasant and defined the amenities of the automobile, including the journey would take about 30 minutes. Other than some visitors over the past 10 minutes, it was a nice trip by way of the ever-changing environs in Hong Kong.
As we traversed the winding driveway and entered the porte-cochère we had been greeted by a welcome committee to incorporate varied front-line workers, the MD (Marc Brugger) and Resident Supervisor (Alexander Lahmer). Absent was a purple carpet – LOL.
We had been then greeted by a staffer who knew us from one other lodge (we might clearly been profiled from the Arrival Listing) and who would later escort us to our ready room. The Foyer space was fairly busy, little doubt full of individuals curious concerning the amenities, visitors checking-in, secret consumers on reconnaissance missions, and well-wishers.
First impressions of the foyer – tastefully embellished – understated class – some character and a nice, welcoming area.
We had been then whisked as much as stage 29 and our room – 2901. On the best way out of the elevate, we walked by way of an space referred to as “the salon”, a lounge-like set-up decked out with some fruit-infused water and some munchies in addition to varied artworks the place you possibly can maintain casual conferences with mates or enterprise associates that you do not want to take to your room or an F&B outlet. Apparently, every flooring has certainly one of these.
Rosewood Hong Kong Scales To New Heights In Luxurious…
The RoomInitial impressions: welcoming – modern design – spacious and effectively laid out.
Digging deeper I noticed there was no pen for the writing paper and the facial tissue field which surprisingly had no case, there was additionally no spare bathroom roll, and the Mini bar value record and occasional menu had been lacking – however delivered on request by housekeeping. It was very considerate to have been given an extra energy bar on the bedside – most likely recognized by my wants from one other lodge go to and the GRO who met us?
It appeared odd that the kettle was not linked to an influence socket because the Nespresso machine was. This meant looking round for one which we quickly found behind some paintings on high of the cupboard. Maybe this oversight was an absence of coordination between the ID and operations individuals. Having stated that, the choice of Chinese language Teas and Nespresso pods was wonderful – and whereas my spouse loved the Jasmine Tea, I loved the Indonesia espresso.
One aspect of the mattress has a wall mounted – telescopic studying mild, whereas the opposite had one positioned within the ceiling – so it initiatives right down to your head and actually produces a large area of sunshine slightly than focused. Undecided I preferred that.
Blackout curtains silently glided down and the Roman blinds while spectacular in type and performance, will probably be a headache for housekeeping to scrub after they turn out to be dusty.
The toilet is a mixture of chrome and mirrors – with a double vainness in reverse corners. I like that because it offers each I and my spouse our personal area and no combating as to the place every beauty bag sits. We designated who took which aspect by a peony flower being just one – so she obtained that aspect. One factor to level is that the sliding mirror-fronted door main from the bed room to the lavatory has a small crack on the underside entrance left-hand aspect nook. One other is that each pump Hand cleaning soap dispensers had not been stuffed.
The hairdryer is seen and was one of many gadgets identified to us in the course of the fast room familiarization given as we checked in. There’s additionally ample facilities and a few new manufacturers I’ve not seen earlier than which allegedly had been luxurious and on the similar time environmentally pleasant. Nonetheless, please verify the placement of Shampoo, Conditioner and Physique wash earlier than eradicating your eye glasses and coming into the double- sided bathe. As is just too usually the case in inns, labels are exhausting to establish. If you happen to like bathtub tubs, one is positioned within the middle of the lavatory and features a tray desk the place you possibly can relaxation a guide, a pill, cell phone, candle or perhaps a glass of bubbly. Tub equipment are saved in a glass field on an adjoining wall.
The walk-in wardrobe is positioned subsequent to the lavatory and has an ample provide of hangers together with a built-in baggage rack that may accommodate one giant suitcase. If like us, you journey “heavy” then an appropriate area to put out a second bag is simply not there. We tried placing the bag in one of many cabinets utilizing a stand-alone baggage rack, however the door wouldn’t shut. Appears the one remaining possibility is to position it within the room itself – thereby spoiling the general atmosphere.
For people who want to make use of an iron versus the lodge’s urgent service, there’s one within the room together with a full-size ironing board.
Lighting, curtain and local weather controls are dotted across the room as are Grasp switches that immediately kill every little thing. In my view, I want a progressive shut down of lights with perhaps a 15 second delay. Waking up within the night time and on the lookout for simply the fitting swap to provide sufficient lighting to make your strategy to the lavatory may very well be a problem except you fully familiarized your self with swap places or left the night time mild on – in all equity, this drawback is just not distinctive to Rosewood Hong Kong.
For the techies and geeks – there are fairly just a few energy sockets positioned across the room – most being simply accessible and conveniently positioned are two worldwide adaptors. Most sockets embrace USB energy, and though there’s a charging cable, there was no wi-fi charging or USB-C cable. Wi-fi streaming to the TV was a quite simple course of with help for Airplay and Chromecast. TV channel choice was complete, and there’s additionally a VOD part with free motion pictures.
A little bit cable administration wouldn’t go amiss in the bathroom cubicle (uncovered cable connector) and beneath the window-side bedside desk – uncovered extreme prolonged cables.
Subsequent to the couch in entrance of the harbor dealing with window is a hidden compartment – proven to us after we obtained into the room which homes a few energy sockets, a LAN port, an HDMI socket for connecting to the TV and a few USB charging ports. Neither an HDMI or LAN cable had been offered – however, I assume, one may ask Visitor Providers to borrow.
There’s a very full minibar with greater than enough temptations starting from classic Rum, Brunello di Montalcino, Rosewood branded beers, Billecart Salmon Champagne, flavored coconut water, varied infused shortbread cookies, milk and darkish chocolate, energy bars, hummus chips, mango chips, salted egg chips, nuts and the compulsory pot noodles.
If I’ve one gripe concerning the room, it’s that there isn’t a actual place to work. No desk that one may name an actual desk – it is only a round espresso desk in entrance of a low-level couch. Maybe they do not count on their visitors to be working whereas in residence, taking out a pc, making final minute adjustments to a PowerPoint or write prolonged tomes as I am doing on my iPhone, nevertheless it’s one thing I personally use on journeys and miss, if not there. Name me quaint (even analog in that regard) – however in that sense I nonetheless use a lodge as a house away from dwelling, or an workplace away from workplace. To resolve this subject, I positioned myself within the elegantly embellished Butterfly Lounge decked with artwork items by Damien Hirst. It’s adjoining to the Butterfly Cake Store which jogs my memory of a jewellery atelier – with muffins and pastries on provide trying like actual (pastry) gems – particularly the lemons…
The darkish aspect….To at least one aspect of the foyer is the “Darkish Facet” bar the place we opted to have a nightcap to take a look at the band.
As we sat within the entrance row seats, we had been served a complimentary welcome drink made from kombucha and different fragrant flavors, adopted by saucers of olives and combined glazed nuts with a chili kick. All had been pleasing.
Simply after 8:30pm, the jazz duo comprising a Marilyn Monroe-esque singer, Kitty La Roar accompanied by Nick Shankland started their first-ever set at this newly opened venue. Sadly, they skilled some tech points with the audio system which precipitated acoustic suggestions and appeared to upset Nick the piano participant – who additionally complained concerning the BGM which apparently couldn’t be absolutely turned off till tomorrow. He then set free a “Jesus Christ!” remark, which was comprehensible, contemplating this was their opening set. Nick and Kitty who had been flown in from Rosewood London, are right here for the subsequent three weeks.
If you’re a lover of advantageous wines and uncommon spirits, you then’ll really feel at dwelling right here – simply keep in mind your Black card, particularly if you wish to order a glass of say Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon or aged Hibiki Whiskey. We referred to as it an evening on the finish of the primary set.
Rosewood Hong Kong Scales To New Heights In Luxurious…
Again to the room…Housekeeping did a pleasant job of turndown to incorporate tidying up of toilet facilities, nonetheless, they didn’t tidy up varied charging cables to incorporate the inns personal one, as some inns usually do. Nor did they empty the Chinese language tea pot which had tea leaves from early morning.
Absent was a turndown amenity – not even a chocolate, a flower or perhaps a bookmark with some form of inspirational message – as present in so many luxe inns to provide that further private contact earlier than one calls it a day. I felt disenchanted by this absence – however I do perceive. Because the saying goes, “service is greater than a mint on the pillow”.
Lastly, as I lay in mattress, I now have the prospect to make use of the TV – nonetheless, it will have been higher if it sat on a 2-3″ thick plinth thereby elevating it off the sideboard unit and giving a greater and fewer obstructed view from the couch that is positioned in entrance of the mattress.
Monday 18th March 2019 – Day 2
My spouse and I each awoke with sore decrease backs as a result of we felt the mattress was too delicate, despite the fact that we got posturepedic pillows. Upon expressing this, the housekeeping workers eliminated the comforter lining the mattress to make the mattress firmer.
Rosewood Hong Kong Scales To New Heights In Luxurious…
BreakfastThe Demi-buffet included a veritable cornucopia of delights starting from Balik Salmon, cheeses, all method of breads and varied fruits, chilly cuts and cereals.
The a la carte menu options native delights equivalent to Lo Bak Go and a Dim Sum Basket and they’re all served with scrumptious in-house made XO sauce. Regrettably, at this stage, it is not for retail sale.
Service is attentive and pleasant, and when added to the good choice of preserves, one can’t assist walkaway satiated.
DinnerTwo decisions introduced themselves, both return to Holt’s the place we had breakfast, or check out the Chinese language Restaurant – Legacy Home. After being advised the restaurant was absolutely booked at 6:30 pm, we took an opportunity as walk-ins and had been fortunately admitted to-dine after a lot deliberation amongst restaurant workers. It was an intriguing scenario because the restaurant was empty.
After inserting our orders for drinks – the vodka martini was pleasant with a inexperienced plum substituting an olive – it was prompt that while there’s an in depth menu, we must always choose the Shounde gadgets since these had been the specialty of the home, as was the contemporary seafood.
As soon as we might studied the twenty plus web page menu, we positioned our order for a choice of roasted, fried, steamed, boiled and BBQ’d gadgets. For the reason that restaurant was empty, the meals began to look fairly rapidly, and every dish was effectively ready and fairly tasty. One dish was introduced to us as “the most effective in Hong Kong” and I’ve to say after tasting it, that the assertion is just a little too subjective.
We did encounter just a few points in the course of the dinner with one being that the desk was too small to accommodate all of the ordered gadgets, and secondly, that the service was both overly attentive with wait workers wanting to scrub away an empty dish as quickly as we put down our chopsticks, or that nobody got here to refill our water glasses and needed to pour the water ourselves. Not an enormous deal, however one thing that ought to have been achieved.
Total the meal was good and topped off properly by the pomelo, mango and sago dessert. However contemplating the value level, this may probably be someplace you’d go for that “big day” – or an opportunity to flex the company card to impress a consumer.
Returning to the room after housekeeping had achieved their factor, we observed the turndown amenity – a big orange coloured bowl that jogged my memory of a large M&M on one aspect of the mattress containing two candies nestling on sugar crystals. We solely realized this as there have been now two of them – they had been closed and initially we had thought it was simply object d’artwork. Good contact however we might have missed it altogether if we weren’t observant.
Tuesday 19th March 2019 – Day 3
The Second NightThis was comparatively uneventful – this time sleeping with the night time mild on in order to information our strategy to the bathroom.
Leaving the room temperature set at 22c made us really feel considerably uncomfortable – so at nearly 4am we diminished it to 20c to have some elevated airflow. The in a single day set again temperatures might have to be checked out.
BreakfastHighlights included Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and a wide range of baked items.
Disappointingly when my plate was eliminated and a few sauce drips had been left on the desk, nobody bothered to scrub it up even thought not less than 4 staffers noticed it to incorporate some supervisors. My used cutlery which was egg stained was lifted off the plate and put down on the desk. Widespread sense and coaching would have dictated that the desk ought to have been cleaned and cutlery changed – it took a immediate from us to make that occur.
CheckoutPretty simple. Needed to inquire what was meant by the 10% “Bundle surcharge” on my folio and this was defined to me that in HKG there isn’t a tax, however it is a form of Service Cost such as you discover in eating places.
Settlement was accomplished and receipt introduced in an envelope. The clerk requested if I loved my keep and in addition made certain to verify that the security field was emptied. She then walked me out of the doorways as I waited for my Uber to reach.
One of many individuals we interacted fairly just a few occasions within the foyer and varied public areas was the Resident Supervisor – Alexander Lahmer who was charming and useful. As we ran into him within the elevator, he stated, “Sooner or later you must open the lodge – you do the easiest you may to get up to now, however you understand deep down there might be points, and it is the way you cope with these after they arrive that counts.”
I couldn’t have put it any higher myself…Good Luck Crew Rosewood!
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