World tour 2018: 16 best destinations
Inside the most exclusive luxury hotel in Hong Kong
Satin brass and mahogany, industrial-age taste that winks at maritime style, and lots of details, all perfect: the new look is a convincing winner
The new concept of The Fleming Hotel in Hong Kong: contemporary, nautical, and attentive to detail, a celebration of the city’s cultural heritage
After nine years, the Hong Kong luxury Fleming Hotel reopens following a new and original restyling, whose credit goes to the prestigious A Work of Substance Studio, which was able to imbue its first hotel project with a local taste that reflects the spirit of the city. The history of the former British colony is clearly present in the interiors of the hotel, which turned this establishment into the main example of design boutique hotel. The goal of the restoration effort was to render The Fleming the favourite destination of style-conscious travellers who want to experience a link with the history and contemporary life of a city that lives 24 hours a day. Among the sources of inspiration are the typical style and unique maritime heritage of cruise ships, which are often moored in Hong Kong’s immense harbour. The Fleming’s 66 rooms, available in four different sizes, feature hardwood floors, warm and intimate lighting, a chromatic palette ranging between bottle green and navy blue, and embossed finishes that create a welcoming environment. Additionally, every room features photos by Hong Kong artists. Many details and architectural choices of this luxury hotel deserve special mention. Among them, the light switches elegantly surrounded by satin brass frames and the entrance to the lounge, a communal space dedicated to relaxation and to sipping the different types of complimentary teas.
The experience begins already on arrival at the reception, which, drawing inspiration from Hong Kong’s unique cultural heritage, boasts, behind the counter, a background that recalls the old Chinese mail boxes. After this strong initial impact, one goes up to the rooms located in a 1970s building that used to stand in front of the Wan Chai Pier, until an urban regeneration project was carried out. This is a detail that should not be overlooked, since the new concept of the luxury hotel relies mostly on the taste of Hong Kong’s industrial age business hotels. In fact, the Cross-Harbour Ferry doesn’t just connect the two sides of the harbour, but it is the epitome of Hong Kong’s efficiency, culture, and social interactions, all of which are a key part of the city’s heritage and leave a strong mark on the style of the project.
It is, therefore, no coincidence that The Fleming occupies a central position in the lively Wan Chai district, a few minutes from the most important spots in the city, and only 40 minutes from the airport. With its unique and functional style, the hotel uses details to evoke an authentic sense of the place, including the exterior illumination inspired by bamboo structures, the benches in Cross-Harbour Ferry style, and the bathrooms and glittering lifts designed in the traditional red lacquer. The influence of Hong Kong’s seafaring tradition is visible in the contemporary-style frames of beds and desks especially designed for all the 66 rooms. It can also be recognised in the graphics and in the services for the guests, among them, the shower gel with a sandalwood and amber scent created exclusively for the hotel according to the prescriptions of Chinese pharmacology.
Bottle green, navy blue, the many details in satin brass, and tones like gold, the flaming lacquer red, and the warm brown of fine woods — the first hotel project by the A Work of Substance Studio had no qualms about combining the many facets of Hong Kong’s history, to reinterpret them thanks also to the sophisticated and elegant use of colour. To complete its offer, The Fleming chose the cuisine of the starred chef Luca Marinelli, who, at the helm of the Osteria Marzia, offers its dishes rooted in the Italian maritime tradition in interiors inspired by the luminosity of the waters of the Mediterranean. Here, blue-coloured ceramic realises a setting with a contemporary nautical style, and illumination comprises large glass spheres that are reminiscent not just of fishing lights but also of the romanticism of the full moon.
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