After several weeks in China, I need to start posting on the website and have been advised by Philippe of the Kiwi Collection to stay at the EAST, a new lifestyle business hotel from Swire Hotels, opened in Hong Kong in January 2010 known to have set a dynamic benchmark for travelling executives.
The hotel driver is waiting for me at the entrance door of the Upper House , also belonging to the Swire group. As I enter the car I notice two small bottles of water with a black tag welcoming me aboard and letting me know about the free Wi-Fi service in the car. I am already happy (thank you Philippe ).
Distinguished by its natural vitality and sense of place, creating a neighbourhood vibe for all guests, the hotel per se responds to the essential needs of modern travellers, it has been designed to “rejuvenate you when you are tired; energise you when you are in search of fun; and support you when it’s time for business” adds miss Francis Mak the public relation manager with who I’ve exchanged a few e-mails prior to my arrival.
Designed by award-winning Hong Kong based architect and interior design studio CL3 Architects Ltd, was created with every attention given to physical comfort as well as comfort of the senses to create a balance of the body and soul, the yin and yang.
Responsible for developing all design aspects of the guest rooms, public areas and restaurant facilities, CL3 Architects have successfully produced a contemporary, relaxed, sensuous and environmentally friendly setting using textures, colors and materials to reflect an eastern sophistication whilst incorporating every modern convenience.
The Innovative planning to maximize the feeling of space including harbor and urban views has created 345 well-appointed guest rooms (including 6 suites) ranging from 28 square metres to 60 square meters in size. CL3 Architects utilized natural materials such as limestone, wood and bamboo flooring to make guest rooms feel invitingly natural and cosy whilst a sense of space is created by a free-standing vanity counter blurring the boundary between bedrooms and bathrooms.
I am on my way to the assigned Corner Harbor View suite, apparently called Dinosaur, still not sure why.
The art collection in the hotel hallway, entrance and elevator halls is inspired by the hotel’s location at Swire Island East with its close proximity to many advertising, architectural and fashion companies as well as the rugged stonewalls protruding from the hills immediately surrounding EAST.
The featured artworks include those from artists such as Sui Jianguo from Mainland China, Australian Jayne Dyer currently living in Beijing, Lincoln Seligman from London, British-born Hong Kong resident, Gerard Bookle, and local Hong Kong artist, Danny Lee.
Francis who has kindly waited for me before the chinese new year fesivities days off, is walking with us and explains that Alison Pickett, the art consultant for Swire Hotels figurative direction of the artworks within EAST was loosely based on the colorful Pop Art movement that made its name in the United Kingdom in the 50s, becoming more prevalent in the USA in the 60s and is currently now gaining worldwide recognition again in China.
Designed by William Lim of CL3 Architects Ltd, EAST incorporates the use of natural materials such as wood and stone which provide a neutral backdrop for the many colourful and inspired works of art showcased throughout the property.
All artworks within EAST express nature, youth and vitality in line with the modernity of their surroundings. These include the cave crafting of Horse, the inspired cascade of butterflies and leaping fish by Jayne Dyer and Lincoln Seligman, and the use of bamboo for birdcages by Kum Chi Keung at the lobby, ground floor and first floor.
There you go! As soon as I open the entrance door of my suite, the magic green figure appears strong and powerful!
The figurative dinosaurs olaced in the suites in acid colours of orange, turquoise, pink and yellow in the suites were designed by Sui Jianguo, one of the most promising sculptors of the 21st century, and inject brightness, warmth and a touch of humour into the spaces.
In room, state-of-the-art communications technology and entertainment include 37-inch, high definition LCD TVs with countless satellite and cable channels, latest iHome / iPod touch® technology, simple connectivity for laptops and complimentary broadband / WiFi, which extends throughout and most important of all that view….
The London-born Hong Kong resident, William Furniss is a photographer renowned for capturing the essence of international hubs including New York and Paris. William has photographed the natural surrounding of EAST, keeping in tune with the hotel’s design, and these photographs are displayed through plasma screens in the lobby and rooms.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – School of Design final year students were commissioned by EAST to develop a video themed “Fast Pace Hong Kong”, which symbolizes Hong Kong’s energy and the work-life balance. The video consists of two sessions of each 30-minute and will be re-taken on a bi-annual basis.
Art, history technology and harbor view….Oh God Thank you!