Posted in Projects on 5 June, 2023

Cinematic artwork of sparkles and dancing clouds of steam add to an aura of optimism at the rebirth of an upscale hotel.

A pleasing blend of grandeur and serenity envelope guests at Regent Hong Kong, which opened in March after a stunning transformation by world-renowned architect and design visionary Chi Wing Lo. It’s the first hotel project undertaken by Lo, whose unique blend of artisan craftsmanship and understated elegance can be seen across America, Greece and Italy. The transformation represents not only a homecoming for the hotel but also the designer as he returns to his roots.

“My vision for the hotel was to provide a sanctuary rather than simply a place to stay. I wanted my design to embody the spirit of The Regent and provide a sense of peace, serenity and balance amid the bustling metropolis,” said Lo.

Inspired by the hotel’s prime location on the edge of Victoria Harbour, Lo’s calming and rejuvenating aesthetic takes guests on a sensory escape from the crowded streets of Tsim Sha Tsui. The arrival experience is both majestic and intimate, showcasing Lo’s passion for merging beauty and practicality. As guests approach the hotel, the tranquil sound of a feng shui fountain draws them towards the 18 golden domes illuminating the gleaming entrance.

The Regent Hong Kong logo sign is backlit against a wall of seamless dark bronze patina with shimmering glass bricks, creating the illusion of green trees on the interior. Regent’s iconic doormen greet guests at majestic wooden doors, offering a glimpse of the interior through solid glass strips secured by metal bolts and marking the transition from the fast-paced city life to the peace and tranquillity of the hotel.

Entering the lobby, guests are captivated by the Golden Illusion passageway. Composed of 16 vertical glass brick screens resembling floor-to-ceiling chandeliers, the screens filter light in motion, creating a mesmerising display of restrained opulence and implicit crystallinity inspired by Chinese LiuLi glass art. Throughout the lobby a variety of surfaces are inspired by the traditional Chinese LiuLi glaze that originated in the East and represents the fusion of thought, emotion and art, with each colour possessing a unique meaning. The Regent Masters warmly greet guests and guide them to a tranquil sanctuary where the senses are heightened by the grand simplicity and subtle details of the design.

Lo plays with light and reflection to create a transportive experience. The space decompresses in the reception vestibule, with a low perforated ceiling and 36m dark granite floor encased in glass inserts, creating a mesmerizing pattern of reflections. At the check-in counter, Regent Experience Agents wait at a stunning long counter made of softly lit translucent onyx set in front of a 15m-long digital art screen showcasing a film capturing the spirit of Nourish. This cinematic artwork by Hong Kong new media artist Hung Keung sets the mood and rhythm, instilling an aura of optimism. Its animated ignitions of charcoals, enchanting sparkles, and dancing clouds of steam celebrate the rebirth of Regent Hong Kong and inspire a new life for the city following its prolonged period of isolation.

The Spirit of Regent Retrospective montage on display in the lobby pays tribute to the hotel’s rich history and art collection. This custom piece of art, displayed on a long, scroll-inspired screen, blends abstract and elaborate brushwork with spontaneous and deliberate compositions, all crafted from pieces of the original art collection. There’s a rare antique Kano golden screen with cranes, once a part of the Plume restaurant, and a glimpse of David Chan’s colourful Chinese calligraphy that previously lined the guest corridors.

“By recalling the past in the context of the present, the history of Regent finds its continuity and the legend lives on,” said Lo.

Approaching the lift lobby area, the deep tone of the granite in the reception area fades, while the soft glow of a round canvas called Lyrical Brush Strokes – an Homage brings back memories of the hotel’s original art collection by David Chan.

Revealed beyond a stunning curved glass wall, The Lobby Lounge is a beacon of luxury and refinement, offering awe-inspiring views of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong Island skyline. A treasured Hong Kong meeting space, this calming oasis continues to provide the perfect backdrop for the city’s discerning guests to see and be seen.

The misty effect on the glass balustrades creates a sense of intimacy, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the breath-taking views that unfold before them. Semi-circular plush sofas and cosy banquettes in a warm palette of beige, taupe and tan, along with touches of mauve and celery green, change subtly from one seating area to the next, while armchairs boast hidden revolving mechanisms, ensuring that every guest can orient their seat to fully appreciate the magnificent view of Victoria Harbour.

As the day transforms into evening, the space undergoes a mesmerising day-to-evening ritual, with luminaires flitting across tabletops and waves shimmering across the harbour. The kaleidoscope of colours that dances across the skyline is a sight to behold.

An inseparable part of the collective memory of all those who have celebrated weddings, galas and milestone occasions in the Regent Ballroom, the rare Calacatta white marble staircase has been meticulously conserved to form a focal point in the extended lobby area. Complementing its solidity is a light, perforated metal staircase in the form of a round lantern tower close to the harbourfront. Its meshwork reveals an enchanting view of the harbour and Avenue of Stars.

For the guestrooms, Lo’s design philosophy centred around creating personal havens for each guest to find a sense of tranquillity and rejuvenation. The rooms focus on stunning framed views of the harbour.

“A beautiful view without a special vantage is merely a postcard anyone can buy,” said Lo. “A view without a frame is simply a view that has not passed through the eyes’ lens.” The views of the Victoria Harbour are brought to life through a multitude of unique interpretation, including the mesh-patterned mirrored sliding door reflecting the ocean to create an interesting viewing perspective.

Impeccably designed, every element has been crafted to evoke contemplation and serenity. The open layout, combined with soft-toned carpets, harmonious furniture and the diminished echo from the patterned mirror, rhythmic vaulted ceiling, and fine craftsmanship in wood, leather, fabric, glass, and stone creates a world of peace and quiet. The window front daybed is a place of inspiration, relaxation and reunion, where time seems to vanish under the comfort of the warmly lit cocooning wavelike canopy that adorns the ceiling.

Lo’s passion for art and design is reflected in his handcrafted furniture, where he draws inspiration from the two fundamentals of geometry – the circle representing the quest for perfection and the square representing the earth and sky in Chinese traditions.

The Oasis Bathroom represents a new standard in luxurious and innovative bathroom design. In select rooms, a sliding door opens to reveal the spectacular view of the harbour from a curved, free-standing soaking tub. In others, a unique moon-gate design of Nero African granite leads to a one-of-a-kind bath and shower experience. The curtainless shower provides a sense of spaciousness and the AXOR overhead showerhead with rain, rain flow and mono modes revitalises and invigorates. The use of flamed and brushed granite, natural oak, split cut granite accents, honed marble vanity counters, and furniture-style washbasins all come together to create an oasis within each guestroom.

At a glance

Brand Owner: IHG
Architect/Design: Chi Wing Lo
Keys: 503


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