A little less buttoned-up than most business hotels, EAST Hong Kong brings humour and warmth to a stylish space.
Bright, relaxed and thoroughly modern, EAST Hong Kong is about as far from a conventional business hotel as you can get. The 345-room hotel, which opened last year, makes use of intriguing design elements and an unconventional approach to room arrangements to create a stylishly playful atmosphere in surprisingly little space.
“A lot of business hotels in Hong Kong are quite traditional, so we’re trying to provide hotels that are a bit different from the conservative look that you normally find here,” says the hotel’s communications manager, Frances Mak.
Built by conglomerate Swire Group, which owns most of the office and residential development in the surrounding neighbourhoods of Quarry Bay and Taikoo Shing, the hotel was designed by local architecture firm CL3, which is known for Chinese-influenced work that makes use of naturalistic materials.
CL3’s style is on full display at EAST. In the lobby, a bamboo-clad staircase rises to the mezzanine restaurant like a giant bird’s nest. Next to the elevators, floor numbers written in both Chinese and English are glowing through semi-transparent, woodveneered walls. Instead of the extravagant bouquets of flowers found in most hotels, EAST’s open areas are dotted with moss-filled planters. “[Swire] wanted an innovative hotel design that really broke the mould of hotels in Hong Kong,” says CL3’s lead architect, William Lim. Like most hotels in this space-deprived city, however, there wasn’t much room to work with. EAST’s standard rooms are just 260 square feet in size. “We had to rethink the rooms,” he says. “We started to look at the way people use them. Normal hotel rooms have a hallway at the entrance with a closet on one side and a bathroom on the other. We did away with all that.”
Lim and his team opted for a studio-like layout, with an open bathroom and floor-to-ceiling windows that make the rooms feel much more spacious than they actually are. In the corner rooms, the effect is that of floating above the surrounding city. east-hongkong.com