Luxury Hotels


ARGO bar at FOUR SEASONS HONG KONG hides its bottles until evening. Day long, customers enjoying buffet breakfasts and lunches – with stunning all-wall window views of Victoria Harbour – merely see what looks like ceiling-high bamboos painted pale grey.  At sunset, foods removed, sections of the ‘bamboo’ can be electronically or hand-drawn to reveal liquor.  Named for the Greek fable of Jason and the Argonauts, who sailed in search of the legendary Golden Fleece, the 70-seat ARGO’s designed by AB Concept and beverage master is Lorenzo Antinori (his cocktails, themed, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, indicate today’s shifting political, economic, and environmental landscape – it is possible, however, to get a simple G&T, and ARGO’s own gin is from Never Never Distilling Co, in Australia).Four Seasons’ Hong Kong boss Christian Poda, by the way, is all starry-eyed at the moment – the hotel has no less that six Forbes Travel Guide five-stars (the max), including three for restaurants.

In London RAFFLES OWO, the 120-room hotel that has painstakingly been converted from the UK’s Old War Office – hence the OWO name – will, as has been widely reported, have three Mauro Colagreco restaurants. Now it has been revealed there will also be a Café Lapérouse, a branch of the one that Benjamin Patou’s Moma Group opened at HOTEL DE LA MARINE on Place de la Concorde in 2021 (the name, however, can be traced back to 1766). The London restaurant will be in a glass pavilion in the central courtyard at OWO. It’ll have space for 80 diners. Mark Hastings, with a pedigree of Jason Atherton and Mandarin Oriental London Hyde Park, is hotel F&B.

Also in London, CLARIDGE’S – new Culinary Director Dmitri Magi, from Estonia -adds an ArtSpace Café, ground level, street entrance, interior minimalism with ash, Carrara marble and designer John Pawson’s own black and white photos. Art pads and Claridge’s chevron pencils inspire creativity while elegantly nibbling, say, croque madame, homemade sourdough, oozing mozzarella, Dorrington ham, and cheddar-mascarpone-mozzarella béchamel, topped with a royal-warrant Clarence Court egg.  ArtSpace’s current changing exhibition, incidentally, includes Ron Arad, presented by Ben Brown Fine Arts.

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