“Heritage with a twist: The Pottinger Hong Kong”. I felt this title was apt. I did not know much about the hotel but I had heard good reviews from friends and family who had stayed there during their trip to Hong Kong. A quick google search and a few clicks within miliseconds later, my interest was peaked. To be honest, it must be the floral decor and soft sophisticated palettes and hues that tugged away at the soft corners of my heart but it did the job; and within the next few minutes, an email was sent to the hotel. I was ecstatic when they kindly agreed to the review and packed my bags with excitement the minute I got home.
The last time I was in Hong Kong was almost 10 years ago. It only took less than 10 minutes on the cab from the International Finance Centre (IFC) to reach the hotel. But if you love walking and fancy yourself a little adventure, you could walk to the hotel too. Hidden along the bustling narrow alleyways of Stanley Street is the discreet entrance to The Pottinger Hong Kong. Blink and you’ll miss it – the elegant glass door entrance is made noticeable only by the name plaques strategically placed below two wall lamps on either side of the door. The lobby is immaculate and looked exactly as it did in photos found online. Upon entering, guests are welcomed by a high ceiling and sophisticated soft palettes of pinks, greys and a touch of gold. To the left, floral blooms in vases are neatly placed by the windows next to the hotel’s iconic high-backed chairs; and the walls are lined with delicate nature-inspired hand-painted silk wallpaper. The Pottinger Hong Kong is truly a delight to behold!
Romancing With The Times
The boutique hotel was named after the first governor of Hong Kong. Launched in 2014, it is located in the heart of the vibrant Central district of Hong Kong, offering 68 exquisite guestrooms and suites. To celebrate Hong Kong’s romantic rich heritage and reflect the wealth of its diverse culture, The “Pottinger Suite” and six cosy suites, named after the streets around the Central neighbourhood, feature a bespoke decor with a touch of oriental flavour.
Steeped in history, their ode to heritage is a romantic affair and is noticeable throughout the hotel – from its location on the corner of the historic Pottinger Street in Central (a Grade 1 historic place graded by the Antiquities Advisory Board of Hong Kong) to its well-decorated interiors. Peppered on the walls of the hotel and in the rooms, you’ll find striking images of a bygone era perfectly captured on film in black and white by renowned photographer Fan Ho. In addition, guests are treated to a taste of local snacks in the form of a traditional local biscuit, enhancing the authentic heritage feel of the hotel. Despite its focus on heritage, the hotel is a unique blend of East meets West and exudes an atmosphere of modernity all around.
The staff were lovely and welcoming as they ushered me to my room, eagerly delving bits of information and history of the hotel along the way. I was pleasantly surprised when I entered my room – it was spacious, bright and very pretty. But what made it special were the small finishing touches that were placed around the room. It was finished with soft hues and lightly decorated with antique-looking Chinese vases, clocks and cabinets that mingled perfectly with the otherwise modern interiors.
Books and magazines were also found aplenty and provided some form of respite from the otherwise busy hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. I was very taken in by the educational themes of the books, which included a book dedicated to the photographer Fan Ho. It was nostalgic and felt like home, which was what The Pottinger sought out to achieve and did with aplomb.
The hotel’s location is fantastic for those who love to shop! I was excited to know that the hotel was within walking distance to Joyce Boutique, the IFC mall and The Landmark. In addition, the hotel is surrounded by many international brand stores. Another plus point for me was the fact that the hotel was just minutes away from many popular restaurants and bars. After all, when you are in Hong Kong, you can’t miss out on all the food that Hong Kong has to offer! If you fancy yourself something traditional, you can visit Cantonese-style restaurants including Yung Kee Restaurant, Luk Yu Tea House and Lin Heung Tea House. Or if you prefer to indulge in something a little more modern, popular hot spots including, Duddles, Mott 32, Foxglove and recently opened La Petite Maison are also minutes away from the hotel. And this to me, is what makes staying at The Pottinger Hong Kong totally worth it.
Apart from its fantastic location and nearby amenities, the hotel has a strong reputation for its elegant bar and restaurants. This includes the Gradini Ristorante E Bar Italiano on the ground floor, which presents time-honoured recipes of traditional Italian cooking and classic Italian cocktails. Walking into the restaurant, one can certainly feel the elegant ambience and intimate old-world charm of The Pottinger Hong Kong. The high ceiling and tall windows were a welcoming sight as I made my way to a table right by the window.
Their signature dishes include grilled Mediterranean octopus with citrus salad on a bed of hand-picked baby spinach leaves (Grigliata di polpo con spinaci in balsamico e olio di olive) and pasta with Tuscan sausage in spicy tomato sauce with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese (Rigatoni alla Norcina piccanti). In addition, the restaurant launches seasonal and festive menus that are sure to entice your taste buds should you fancy something different.
Other restaurants available in the hotel include two Michelin-starred restaurant Ta Vie by Chef Hideaki Sato, and British colonial-themed restaurant The Envoy, that is well-known for their cocktails. And if you fancy some chocolate or gelato, Venchi is right next to the hotel to satisfy your sugary cravings.
A Worthwhile Visit
Although my trip to Hong Kong only lasted a mere 24 hrs, it was in its very essence, short and sweet and I was left craving for a little more. For the traveller who is looking for a hotel that embraces the sheer charm of old Hong Kong with a modern luxury twist, we think The Pottinger Hong Kong is definitely worth a stay! We know where we’ll be staying the next time we are in town.