One thing you can be sure about with W Hotels is that you are always going to be surprised. When she flew into Hong Kong, the gal was picked up by a Tesla X, apparently the quickest SUV around as it can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. It also has a 295-mile range on one charge. W Hong Kong was to be a transport experience, in fact: just inside the main door, at ground level of this 70-floor luxury hotel, stood the cart installation (see above) created to publicize the opening of the brand’s newest member, W Shanghai, and as luck would have it the installation started its world publicity tour three days before.
Next come elevators: first, glass-sided affairs up to the sixth floor of the 393-room hotel, then change, to emerge, as I did, on the 36th floor. Here the lobby is unique, supposedly lined with books and other artefacts, all of which turn out to be white china, fortunately firmly nailed to their supports. The designer of the hotel, Nic Graham, certainly had quirky originality, which he managed to sell to the owners, SHKP, and, not surprisingly, not only does the concept work here in increasingly trendy Hong Kong but it is proving to be timeless. The hotel is eight and a half years old and it looks as fresh as ever.
Signs outside bedroom doors are original, too – they look like books, and when a room occupant has pushed the Do Not Disturb or Service buttons, the appropriate red or green appears as a discreet display on the book. Inside, 3611, one of this luxury hotel’s WOW Suites, is in fact just that. See the video below to view its kitchenette, its chess set and a superb selection of books that include Assouline tomes on Chanel, Dior, and other fashion names. I was especially struck, however, by anther Assouline book ABC – DCS, an alphabetical arrangement of photos of interior designs by the late David Collins (DCS is his ongoing David Collins Studio).
The book has a very moving foreword by Madonna, obviously a really close friend of the late designer – he called her Muriel and she signs her dedication ‘lots of love, Muriel’. There is art everywhere in this luxury hotel. Down at ground level, the W Boutique features a delightful and oh-so-Chinese sculpture, a smiling Buddha called Happiness AR, a resin piece by Wang Xipeng – it is on loan from OVO Gallery and for sale at HK$ 49,000. Anything obviously modern Chinese is so collectible these days, and I for one really would not mind having him at home, but how on earth would he fit into my crammed-full Porsche Rimowa wheelie? That is one of the problems of always travelling hand-baggage…. NOW SEE A VIDEO OF SUITE 3611