BEST OF CLASS
Yes, a business hotel can be a lifestyle hotelBy Maja Olivares-Co
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Imagine yourself on the rooftop bar of East Hotel, sipping an ice cold San Miguel Pale Pilsen, looking out on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. Not the harbor of 2012, but of a century ago, in 1912.
You would have seen cargo ships of China Navigation unloading cane sugar from the Philippines. Just one of many connections between our country, East Hotel, and its conglomerate shareholder, Swire & Sons.
From 1883 until 1972, Swire’s Tai Koo sugar refinery operated on the present site, where Island East now stands. Today, Island East is one of Hong Kong’s best planned business districts.
East is located in Tai Koo at Island East, which incorporates a new landmark developed by Swire, One Island East in Quarry Bay, a new home to over 300 multinationals and Fortune 500 companies like Louis Vuitton, CNN, McDonalds, Club 21, and JP Morgan to name a few.
East offers 339 rooms and six suites with harbor or urban views and state-of-the-art communications technology.
On the first floor, the casual all-day dining restaurant Feast (Food by East) serves international cuisine and authentic specialties of Asia. Feast’s philosophy is “simple things, done well.” The Feastaway counter is a new alternative for lunch on the go with great value. The lunch takeaway includes an array of salads, a wide sandwich selection, plus daily curry and pasta choices. The takeaway menu changes every week, providing something new to choose from all the time. Breakfast on the go is offered—convenient for a businessman rushing to get to his desk.
On the 32nd floor, rooftop lounge bar Sugar (Bar.Deck.Lounge) has an extensive al fresco terrace with views of the harbor. It is likened to the ultra-successful Rooftop Bar of the Four Seasons Mumbai. Sugar is a place to unwind, chill out on the outside deck, and offers signature and classic cocktails, tapas and nightly DJs. It’s a different personality by day vs by night.
The public and private spaces are clean, well-planned, maximized and very modern. CL3 architects have successfully produced ergonomic spaces with a strong balance of aesthetics. The attention to ergonomics allows one to quickly shift from work mode to downtime.
Rooms are well-appointed, and sensible planning maximizes the feeling of space. Full glass curtain walls and very light and neutral color schemes make the standard 28-sq m rooms feel much bigger and relaxing. Nothing like a good night’s sleep!
The integration of a very deliberate and strong commissioned art program from local and international artists is a nice touch. “The birds nest,” a functional architectural staircase is used as a form of artistic expression. It’s not only living art, it’s using art!
On the fourth floor, Beast (Body by East) will offer 24-hour access to a spacious and naturally-lit gym, outdoor swimming pool and a juice bar. The gym is enclosed by strikingly decorated perforated metal panels, and features a unisex changing room in intimate wood and stone cladding.
To accommodate guests from all regions, the in-room dining and gym are intended to remain accessible around the clock, ideal for those who have yet to adjust to a new time zone.
To have a healthy start to your day, there is a complimentary 45-minute boot camp every morning at 6:30 (Monday-Friday). The boot camp leader will take you for a workout in the Taikoo area, including running, stretching and physical exercising.
In case of rain, the team leader will arrange a hotel run-up between the fourth and 20th floors. The boot camp leader is in the lobby at 6:30 am.
Sugar is open in the daytime for corporate events. Sunday BBQ is 12 a.m.–3 p.m. (with family). Night time is cocktail hour and party time!
The most well-appointed desk is in your room. All plugs and sockets are easy to find and use, there are customized East Post-Its, a great orange bag that’s a perfect size for documents or shopping, and a very cute cotton duck laundry bag that you are encouraged to take. An ergonomic desk chair on wheels comes with the wellsized desk.
‘Young at heart’
Just like its Upper House big sister, the staff is young or “young at heart” and always willing to do what it takes to make one’s stay pleasant and efficient. (I hear the staff only work five days a week contrary to the standard six days a week. I guess a well-rested employee is able to deliver better service.)
Hotels are generally categorized by location, price, services and amenities. Categories used to be as basic as budget, business, and luxury. Today however, the categories have become blurred, with each hotel trying to be unique in its brand positioning.
By being guest-focused, East has distinguished itself in a special niche, responding to the most essential needs of the frequent modern traveler. Do check this hotel out. Rates are super friendly and the weekend family packages are very accessible.
Swire Island East is Hong Kong’s largest privately owned business district, comprising the retail and office centers of Cityplaza and TaiKoo Place. This includes Cityplaza shopping center, Butterfield’s private members club, lifestyle business hotel East, multipurpose venue ArtisTree, over 60 restaurants and cafes with parking for over 6,000 cars. It’s very accessible by MTR and car, and in close proximity to Causeway Bay and Central.
For more information, please contact Ms. Frances Mak, public relations manager, tel. no. (852) 3968-3838, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ms. Selina Tang, public relations officer, tel. no. (852) 3968 3838, e-mail: email@example.com.