One of Hong Kong’s most diverse and historic neighbourhoods, Wan Chai is about to welcome a new kid on the block, with Hotel Indigo, the latest addition to the city’s skyline, due to open its doors for the first time next month.
Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island, opening in mid April, will be a dynamic addition to the fabric of Wan Chai, with its environmental design and individually styled rooms evoking the history and rich culture of one of Hong Kong’s busiest commercial districts.
Set across 29 floors, and housing 138 rooms, the hotel has been designed with the influences of local history and culture, but with a modern twist.
The building’s exterior is wrapped in what designers are calling the gold dragon – burnished bronze solar fins that function as an eco-screen to counteract hot spots and solar gain. The hotel structure is strategically positioned so to utilise the shading effect of neighbouring buildings and create a distinct pattern of sun and shade. This then creates the dramatic image of a dragon, folded around the tall structure and reaching towards a pearl at the very top of the building – a pearl otherwise known as the hotel’s glass-bottom rooftop pool.
The intimate rooftop Skybar is another interesting – and much anticipated – feature of the hotel, serving up classic cocktails, bubbles and a selection of wine as well as some tasty nibbles. But the urban views are reason enough to visit the bar and, of course, the rooftop infinity pool, where you can literally float above the Wan Chai neighbourhood.
An arresting addition to the traditional and modern architecture of Wan Chai, the hotel’s design was inspired by local stories.
Hotel General Manager, Bryan Gabriel, says, “What really sets the hotel apart is the grass roots engagement we have with our intriguing and culturally rich neighbourhood”.
“A big part of our philosophy is to inspire curiosity in our well travelled and savvy guests, connecting them with the neighbourhood from a welcoming and comfortable base that is both striking in design and intimate in its service.”
Wan Chai has many long tau, or tenement houses steeped in history. These days many are still little grocery stores and barber shops that feel distinctly like time stopped back in1962, but some have been restored and transformed, like The Pawn, one of Hong Kong’s first pawn shops and now a charming restaurant.
The old Wan Chai market and flea market at Canal Road East are nearby, and places where locals have gathered for decades – telling stories and haggling and exchanging goods. The last letter is long gone from the old colonial Wan Chai Post Office, but in it’s new guise as the Environment Resource Centre, it’s still well worth a visit.
Along with the hotel, the local government in Hong Kong has recently undertaken several urban renewal projects, including the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), Central Plaza and Hopewell Centre.