Last week Maura and I finally made the trip out “East” to Taikoo Shing to get our first look at east Hotel and its super-hot bar, Sugar. We’ve been so remiss in checking out this new arrival onto the Hong Kong scene, and we have no excuse other than our terrible inability to motivate ourselves to ever leave the Central area! The east end of the Island is definitely very up-and-coming right now, with restaurants, bars and shops galore opening up to service the needs of the many professionals who live and work in this office district. There’s a real exodus of big firms out of Central to find bigger and cheaper office space, and Swire’s investment in east Hotel, the first real business hotel in their portfolio, shows their faith in the Eastside boom.
We took a taxi from Central and were quite surprised to find it only took us around 15 minutes to arrive in the swish lobby of east. As soon as you walk inside the super-high-ceilinged space, you realize this isn’t your run-of-the-mill Hong Kong hotel. The staff are all wearing slouchy pants, long-sleeved tees and black converse, and they sit behind their macs to check guests in. It’s a paperless check-in, which sets the scene when you arrive for a hotel experience which strives to be as ecologically sensitive as possible.
From the lobby you can walk up the bird’s nest staircase to the hotel’s only restaurant, Feast – another huge and open-plan space which serves breakfast to guests, but which is also open to the public for lunch and dinner. The casual vibe of the hotel extends here, with a self-service antipasti buffet which includes lots of veggie options and which looked just delicious. The dessert selection is certainly mouth-watering and all the cakes and pastries are made in-house – we had to whisk ourselves past that one in order to avoid temptation. We’re actually planning to go back for lunch next week with some friends though, so we can’t wait to get stuck in!
We were shown examples of east’s rooms, which although compact have an amazing feeling of space due to the floor to ceiling windows with their fabulous harbour views (city view rooms are a little more the usual Hong Kong residential tower-scape). Make sure to ask for a corner Harbour View room so that you can get the view from two sides. For a real stay-cation though, we loved the idea of a little HK getaway in one of the amazing suites, which each come with their own bubble chair and dinosaur! Unlike a traditional suite, the suites at east are more like one big open-plan space, with a bathtub in the middle of the room.
The piece de resistance though of the whole hotel is its lounge bar, Sugar, so we carried on up to the very top floor to take a peek and definitely weren’t disappointed. The view is just fantastic, and the space is really cleverly designed as there is an inside section (for us air con addicts) which is also partly open to the outside, so you can still enjoy the view. Furniture is pale and perfect for lounging, with tables doubling as seats and vice versa. Definitely Sugar is going to be the new Friday night drinking spot for those craving a bit of al fresco glamour! Sugar also serves snacks so that if you go after work you can munch away to your heart’s content – I’m certainly planning on going back for a few cocktails at some point soon when I feel the need to escape Central.
29 Taikoo Shing Road