Hong Kong heritage hotel pays homage to Star Ferry

Hong Kong Heritage Hotel Pays Homage To Star Ferry

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(CNN) — A must-do experience for anyone visiting Hong Kong, the Star Ferry has been cruising back as well as forth across Victoria Harbour for more than a century.

as well as today you can get a taste of the journey in an unlikely place — on land.

Hong Kong Heritage Hotel Pays Homage To Star Ferry

After a beast of a renovation, The Fleming boutique hotel re-emerged in Wan Chai late last year using a brand new look, inspired by the green-as well as-white cross-harbor ferries.

The design features contemporary maritime accents, such as porthole-like mirrors, industrial lamps as well as navy-striped rugs.

Hong Kong Heritage Hotel Pays Homage To Star Ferry

Then there are the ultraprecise details of which encapsulate Hong Kong’s spirit in hotel form. coming from the red typeface within the hallways to the brass newspaper-holders, every detail incorporates a purpose.

Hong Kong Heritage Hotel Pays Homage To Star Ferry

Even the furniture provides subtle hints: within the lobby, the sofa sports adjustable backrests which flip back as well as forth, just like the benches aboard the Star Ferry.

Hong Kong Heritage Hotel Pays Homage To Star Ferry

“We wanted to create something of which is actually very Hong Kong, which embraces the city’s history,” hotel owner John Hui tells CNN Travel.

“I used to take the Star Ferry all the time as a kid, going with my parents over to Kowloon side. the item’s usually the most convenient as well as the quickest way to cross the harbor, as well as I think the item’s something very unique in Hong Kong — if you look at any photos of the skyline, the Star Ferry is actually within the item.”

Hong Kong Heritage Hotel Pays Homage To Star Ferry

Hong Kong Heritage Hotel Pays Homage To Star Ferry

A landlocked voyage

Hong Kong’s beloved Star Ferry has been crossing Victoria Harbour since 1888.

coming from Hong Kong Tourism Board

Born as well as raised in Hong Kong, Hui has been the city’s highest-ranked men’s tennis player (peaking at 157 within the globe) since 2002. In 2004, he retired coming from professional tennis as well as transitioned into the family business as well as ran The Fleming for 10 years.

“I’ve spent a lot of my life traveling for tennis, living in a suitcase, as well as have a lot of experience in hotels — I know what an enjoyable hotel should be like,” says Hui.

Before the renovation, The Fleming was a serviced apartment-style hotel, aimed at long-stay business travelers.

“If you look at any photos of the skyline, the Star Ferry is actually within the item.”

John Hui, The Fleming

however in 2016, Hui felt the item was time to take the place in a brand new direction.

“We had three characteristics of which we wanted to communicate: efficient, social as well as cultural,” Maxime Dautresme, an AWOS founding partner, tells CNN Travel.

“Efficient, because the item is actually a business hotel in a practical location near the Hong Kong Convention as well as Exhibition Centre; cultural, because the item’s a 1970s building as well as we want to celebrate Hong Kong; as well as social, because we want to rejuvenate the district using a destination restaurant on the ground floor.”

Sail away in an “Extra Large” bedroom.

coming from The Fleming

Of course, working with an older building was both a blessing as well as a curse.

“We stripped down the whole building to its bare bones as well as had to work around a lot of restrictions,” says Hui.

For example, AWOS couldn’t change the number of rooms or the elevator shafts, without going through a long as well as arduous government approval process.

“the item was a challenge to work in those confines, however the building’s heritage gave us another reason to embrace old Hong Kong,” says Hui. “The industrial vibe, the modest side streets as well as dim lights — of which kind of thing.”

Devil’s within the details

The entrance corridor feels like walking down a little lane in Wan Chai — the item’s narrow as well as dimly lit, opening into a modest foyer where there’s not much aside coming from an elevator.

The doors open to reveal a flaming red lift with an oversized, porthole-shaped mirror.

Up one floor, the crimson reception comes alive using a wall full of Hong Kong-inspired mailboxes as well as navy-striped couches.

“We examined the Star Ferry, stripped the item down, as well as examined what makes the item so special. the item’s about efficiency, history, community … the item is actually truly the perfect way to celebrate Hong Kong within the hotel,” Dautresme tells CNN Travel.

“coming from there, we basically started off working on how to express the idea through the design.”

“We examined the Star Ferry, stripped the item down, as well as examined what makes the item so special. ”

Maxime Dautresme, A Work of Substance

within the 66 rooms, guests will discover glass-green walls, eggshell-white linens, smoked oak floors, leather drapes as well as old-school brass lighting fixtures.

Meanwhile, tiny terrariums of moss as well as mini ficus trees bring to mind the renegade vines of which grow through Hong Kong’s stone walls as well as sidewalks.

Everything here has been custom-made, even the complimentary Luxe Travel Guides as well as bathroom amenities.

Drawing inspiration coming from Chinese apothecaries (traditional Chinese medicine dispensaries), AWOS-designed shower gels in scents such as amber, ginseng, mint as well as sandalwood.

“You’re basically embracing of which very mysterious journey on land,” says Dautresme. “We considered every detail, down to the typeface on the walls, which you’d see on Hong Kong ferries.”

A neighborhood hangout

Osteria Marzia is actually a seafood lover’s paradise.

What The Fox Studio / IB Photography

In addition to capturing the essence of the cross-harbor ferries, AWOS also embedded surprising details of the city itself.

“The goal is actually for guests to truly experience Hong Kong in a way they’ve never felt before, because we’re giving them visual cues of which they might pick up as they wander around the streets,” says Dautresme.

“We want to engage guests as well as make them aware of how rich the Cantonese culture is actually.”

On the hotel’s facade, there’s retro-inspired neon signage as well as a triangular-shaped wraparound light fixture of which resembles bamboo scaffolding — a fixture in Hong Kong construction.

“We want to engage guests as well as make them aware of how rich the Cantonese culture is actually.”

Maxime Dautresme, A Work of Substance

“I’m a big fan of the ryokan [Japanese guesthouse] in Japan however I have a hard time finding authenticity in Asian hotels, in general, because they have taken out the neighborhood feel,” says Dautresme.

“The ryokan is actually the only thing of which’s left on of which scale where you feel you have of which intimate conversation with somebody who’s much more knowledgeable about the immediate surroundings.”

To create a neighborhood focal point, The Fleming opened Osteria Marzia on the ground floor.

The hotel’s all-day dining restaurant marries coastal Italian food — think crudos, grilled turbot as well as tuna tartare — using a contemporary nautical atmosphere as well as an enticing Italian wine list.

“Restaurants are often the first step in revitalizing a neighborhood or area, because people have to eat three times a day as well as tend to come together over not bad food,” says Dautresme.

“the item’s on street level, so the item provides more visibility, as well as [adding] a point of interest as well as energy for the neighborhood.”

Hong Kong heritage hotel pays homage to Star Ferry

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