LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTEL: Hotel Indigo, Hong Kong, CHINA
Style: Designer witty
Scene: Wan Chai wonderland
Seen in the lobby: Real travellers with style
AT 6AM EVERY morning the elegant General Manager of the newly opened Hotel Indigo Hong Kong can be found kick-boxing in Victoria Park.
Like its GM* the hotel has embraced its surroundings. While some less-than-friendly-five-stars like to operate in a luxury bubble, Hotel Indigo's catch phrase is "you don't just book into a hotel, you book into a neighbourhood'.
Hong Kong shoehorns building into every available gap, so Indigo really is the quintessential HK hotel, squeezed into an impossibly small space between chopstick-thin skyscrapers in Wan Chai.
Its stylish design has already picked up architecture awards with good reason.
A geometrical golden dragon curls around the outside of the building; its tail is the steps that lead down to
the restaurant below, its head lusts after the pearl that is the roof top hotel pool (so do I - more of that later).
Inside, coloured walls of light and a sweeping staircase set the scene. Yellow 'Susie Wong' cushions on the settee in the lobby are a splash of wit.
I've decide Hotel Indigo is a TARDIS - bigger on the side. I'm booked into a Premier Suite and there seems to be a vast amount of room in here. Just as well, because I'm about to go shopping in Hong Kong, so it may soon have to accommodate several new suitcases. In the sitting room a red leather corner sofa rests in front of wide walls of glass. I can see out over Hong Kong; cranes, new buildings and all.
In my bedroom another wall of glass makes me feel as if I am floating amongst the skyscrapers.
At the touch of a bedside button see-through curtains turn the scene into a muted Chinese watercolour; heavier blinds shut it out completely at night.
Blinds down or not this hotel never lets you forget where you are. A witty in-room guide encourages guest to step outside and explore, while clever design brings the outside vibe in.
On the wall of my suite is a mosaic of the Wan Chai waterfront in the days when the area was all about seafaring and sex.
There is more designer homage to Chinese culture too.
I love the lucky goldfish that swim across my bathmat and the fat orange carp on my cushions, so beautifully designed I want to take them home. Luckily I can.
Most of the object d'art is available for purchase .The fat fish cushion would set me back HK$300, Then there's the ceramic Kung Fu master (HK $3,500) and the turquoise lacquered amenities box (HK$1700). The list goes on... Hmm maybe I won't have to go out to shop after all.
Boutique hotels are a great option for those who don't want to be (silver) spoon-fed, which is why TLTB readers are asking us for more about them.
If you don't need butlers and bling a whole suite at Hotel Indigo will cost a similar price to a harbour view room at it Indigo's Big Sister hotel, InterContinental Hong Kong across town (although I'd still go there for dinner - the views are spectacular).
There are plenty of luxurious touches too. My bed is piled high with pillows as plump as dim sum dumplings. An extensive pillow menu is on offer so one night I order mine infused with Chinese chrysanthemum and experience the best sleep of the trip. By my bed a push-button console allows me to do everything from switch off lights to closing curtains. Every night a new 'present' appears on my pillow: a Rubik's cube, a Slinky, a scented eye mask. Beats hotel chocolates any day. Brownie points too for a proper clock by the bed - no glowing green dial in the middle of the night.
My rainforest shower is lavish and large and I love the fact that the feng shui -inspired round mirror in the bathroom area can be adjusted depending on my height. Another plus is that the mini bar has realistic prices and some nice little quirks of humour, such as Nobby's Nuts and Gummi Bears and jelly snakes for the young at heart.
The room is tech'd-up too.
There are HD TV's in both bedroom and lounge, and the one the lounge has 3D with complimentary glasses. The desk behind the bed has a whole range of adapter plugs and there is no need for a morning paper when Indigo can deliver over 2,000 choices online to a screen of your choice.
Biggest coup of all is the hotel smart phone which gives you free international calls for the duration of your stay and how many major five stars offer that?
Your personal 3G phone with private phone number also gives you free local calls and is loaded with Google Maps, Skype, transport guides and a currency converter, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all for just HK$68 ($9).
You can get a very decent coffee at the hotel's Café Post
but it is the hotel's rooftop Sky Bar that is attracting attention.
Everything here glitters: the champagne in my glass, the gold bar, the starry ceiling, the city's neon skyline. The clientele are pretty glittery too.
Outside, coloured lights play on the glass bottomed pool which juts out beyond the side of the building in watery defiance of gravity, 29 floors above the street.
The next day I take an early swim and look down on a busy Hong Kong morning as everyone hurries to work far below me.
Now that's what I call a view.
*The lovely GM has moved on but you can still see kickboxing in the park.17/11/14
|Ultimate Luxury: Champagne in the roof top bar with the lights of the Hong Kong skyline all around
|Most Indulgent Moment:
A swim in the glass bottomed pool, so you can look down at all those pool people not lucky enough to be staying here
|Insider Secrets: The owner's gold Bentley is often parked outside
|The Little Things: We love the 'presents' placed on pillows each night and the helpful staff. What they lack in language they make up for in charm.
|Junior Luxies: Not specifically catered for but they'll fight you for the pillow presents.
|Dress code: Smart Casual
|Dent in the platinum:
|Luxury Hotels Link: www.hotelindigo.com/
Hilary Doling 26/6/13
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