Holidaymakers and design enthusiasts, start planning your itineraries—the highly anticipated St. Regis Hong Kong officially raised its curtains yesterday.
One of the most storied and prestigious luxury hotel brands in the world, the newly minted 27-story, 129-suite landmark located in the heart of waterfront Wan Chai is an architectural gem of stately glamour, which characterised the original St. Regis New York built in 1904 by the prominent Astor family as an entertaining space. Eastern design sensibilities infuse every corner of the hotel, which will also be serving up Michelin-starred dining, a newly introduced e-butler service and elegantly-designed accommodations that evoke an intimate yet luxurious residential experience.
The man behind the splendour? Award-winning designer André Fu, who has injected his signature thoughtfulness and a fresh dynamism into this iconic luxury brand, adorning the property with meticulous detailing, East-meets-West accents and lush furnishings and sculptural lighting custom designed by his studio, AFSO.
Ahead of its launch, the lauded designer exclusively sat down with us to reveal some of his most favourite areas and accents within the property—in his own words:
The Spatial Architecture
“There’s that sense of discovery in the hotel. Going through all the panel doors, you turn and suddenly discover this vast volume of space. That curation of proportion gives people that sense of the unexpected. Also, the landscaping that surrounds the outskirts has that feeling of a small oasis. That sense of openness is something I think people wouldn’t expect when coming into the property.”
The most prominent functional zones of the hotel are housed on the second floor. Upon exiting a low ceilinged passage lined with elegant oak panels and topiary, guests will discover a dramatic, open-plan, 380sqm rectangular space with a seamless cinematic flow through two spacious and inviting zones, The Great Room and The Drawing Room, complete with a soaring 10m-high ceiling and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. An outdoor terrace and the St. Regis Bar sit at the far end.
“I’m very fond of the French restaurant because it’s got that sense of modernity and purity we’re trying to express. We know that their clientele is the kind of people who are well-travelled; they’re not just looking for the superficial, decorative type of experience. The inspiration was a woman who’s very cutting-edge of her time, kind of like a Coco Chanel. It’s not so much the classic, decadent French dining room; it's much more bright and ivory.”
The contemporary French restaurant is housed on the third floor atop a sculptural spiral white marble staircase. Alongside fine cuisine, art and couture also inform the ethos of the restaurant headed by Michelin-starred chef Olivier Elzer.
“The Chinese restaurant is one of my favourite areas of the hotel. We took a tea pavilion and kind of made it abstract, distilling it into a contemporary pavilion. Old techniques with the round columns are still being used. For me, L’Envol and Rùn are two kinds of offsprings that stand on their own from the rest of the hotel.”
The Cantonese restaurant perched on the second floor, right across the delicate water fountain across from the striking Great Room, is led by renowned chef Hung Chi-Kwong. Delicate and innovative seasonal dishes will be on offer alongside the chef’s famed contemporary interpretations of the rich gastronomy of Cantonese cuisine.
“This is a very high-end, luxurious but cosy hotel with 129 rooms; the grandeur of the hotel has been brought down to a more intimate level which makes it very unique. One feature that isn’t immediately obvious to the eye is a little corner edge detail that scoops out—we have it in the wardrobe area of the guest rooms, with two of them mirrored side by side so they become the handle for you to grip on to open the cabinet door.”
Carefully thought-out accents—central to André’s aesthetic—are peppered around the hotel and within each of the 129 rooms that span 14 deluxe suites, two premium suites and presidential suites that all enjoy panoramic city or ocean views. Leather and lacquer details in colours ranging from “Hermès orange, royal green, ivory, lilac” elevate an overall European minimalist style, echoing the comfortable elegance of a residence.
For more of our interview with the award-winning designer, pick up a copy of our May issue, on newsstands May 1.