Hong Kong calling

John Wagner George Sell Uploaded

Ten years ago, when Girish Jhunjhnuwala bought a run-down old office block on Hong Kong's Arbuthnot Road, the area was dismal and deserted.

A decade later, the neighbourhood has sprung to life. Now surrounded by the city's most sought after restaurants, bars, clubs and shops of Soho and Wyndham Street, Number 2 Arbuthnot Road represented an unmistakable opportunity, realised Jhunjhnuwala, chief executive of boutique hotel group Ovolo.

This year Jhunjhnuwala and his team have transformed the building from signature serviced apartments, into a trendy new flagship boutique hotel, called Ovolo 2AR. Launched this week, the hotel has 42 spacious guest rooms filled with plush materials and designer furniture that whisper understated luxury.  

Designed by award-winning Hong Kong firm KplusK Associates, each studio suite comprises a bedroom-cum-office, featuring a walnut desk and designer ergonomic "CEO" chair, a good-sized bathroom decorated in onyx and marble, as well as all of the newest on-demand features. And with only two rooms per floor, guests are ensured the utmost in privacy.

Jhunjhnuwala is targeting business travellers, but discerning ones. What sets the hotel apart from others is the amount of freebies in each room, from national phone calls to premium vodka. "We don't want guests worrying about whether Wifi is included or how much the mini-bar costs, so we decided to make everything in the hotel yours, the moment you enter," he said at the press conference today.

The complimentary mini bar features a premium selection of free miniature liquors, healthy juices and a state-of-the-art Essenza Nespresso machine. In house iPads can be borrowed free, fully loaded with films and documentaries. Each room comes with a Hong Kong Luxe Guide and all guests receive exclusive access to Club Nation - a VIP entertainment and lifestyle 'styling' service that will tailor-make the perfect day or night out.

Guests with a nose for luxury will appreciate the MALIN+GOETZ bathroom amenities. Other facilities include an on-site gym and sister company Café O, where guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast.

Cynics would say "freebies" come at a price, but the rack rate for rooms is cheaper than rivals, at HK$3,380. By comparison rooms at the Four Seasons Hong Kong are priced from HK$4,700, at the Island Shangri La from HK$4,300 and from nearby LKF Hotel from HK$3,993. Plus Ovolo is launching with an introductory offer of HK$2,190 per night.

So what's next? Ovolo will be adding to its portfolio of properties with the opening of a new
hotel in Wong Chuk Hang on Hong Kong Island in the third quarter of next year. Ovolo will also revamp its existing hotel property at 100 Shek Pai Wan in Aberdeen. In September this year, Ovolo opened its first international hotel property in Melbourne, Australia. A family owned business, Ovolo currently owns and operates six hotel and serviced apartment properties in Hong Kong Island and West Kowloon.



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