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Carlyle & Co in Hong Kong

Rosewood Hotel Group launches ‘new breed’ of private members’ clubs

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood Hotel Group launches ‘new breed’ of private members’ clubs

Rosewood Hotel Group, which has been loudly expanding its global portfolio during the pandemic period with hotel development in destinations such as Rome, Amsterdam, London and most recently Mexico City, has just changed the narrative once more by announcing the opening of Carlyle & Co., a landmark private members’ club in Hong Kong designed by British designer Ilse Crawford. Here’s what we know…

Carlyle & Co in Hong Kong

With the world of hospitality shaken up following more than a year of uncertainty, many would agree that now is the perfect time for a brand to evolve in order to cater for the new demands among modern travellers. Rosewood Hotel Group, which has been anything but quiet during its forced hibernation over the last year, has just unveiled a plot twist by introducing its first landmark social club onto the hospitality scene.

Cue the arrival of Carlyle & Co., which presents a new style of the private membership experience. Carlyle & Co. is expected to welcome a carefully curated community of members drawn together by personalities, passions, interests and stories, rather than status or profession, to experience exceptional dining and lifestyle moments, a rich cultural calendar and unrivalled entertainment. Grounded in what the brand has described as “the timeless spirit of its namesake, The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel in New York City”, Carlyle & Co.’s diverse and dynamic community is unlike any other, curated with unswerving integrity and meticulous focus, with each member connected by a shared attitude to living life to the fullest.

 The Reading Room

Image credit: Rosewood Hotel Group

Located above Rosewood Hong Kong, which opened in 2019, Carlyle & Co. offers a 25,000-square-foot social sanctuary with a lush outdoor terrace boasting sweeping views of Hong Kong. A selection of beautifully appointed spaces are designed for a carousel of day-to-night experiences – from the Music Room, Games Room, Barber and Tailor to the Wine Cellar, Brasserie and more – each offering the ultimate setting to connect, work, dine and celebrate. With this opening, Carlyle & Co. will launch the first chapter of the legendary Café Carlyle – which has been perfecting the quintessential supper club experience for 65 years – outside of New York. Here, members will be invited to enjoy live entertainment on the most intimate stage in town. Furthermore, a private floor with eight individually designed bedrooms are available for members and their guests who wish to stay overnight. 

“I am thrilled to bring the irrepressible spirit, inimitable style and intangible sense of magic that I fell in love with at The Carlyle in New York to Hong Kong with the inaugural Carlyle & Co.,” said Sonia Cheng, CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group and Founder of Carlyle & Co. “A progressive concept created for today, Carlyle & Co. will offer a unique experience in the private members’ club landscape while providing the community and connection that people are longing for.”

“The bedrooms themselves are named after legendary characters connected to the long history of The Carlyle, each one individually decorated for a more personal and unique overnight experience.”

Designed by British designer Ilse Crawford of Studioilse, who is arguably most known for her work on Babington House and for creating a cosy and personal hospitality experience inside Ett Hem, Carlyle & Co. establishes a distinct sense of its locale while simultaneously evoking the timeless glamour and playful whimsy of The Carlyle in New York. Murals by Jean-Philippe Delhomme and Christina Zimpel bring a whimsical spirit reminiscent of the legendary Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle. The bedrooms themselves are named after legendary characters connected to the long history of The Carlyle, each one individually decorated for a more personal and unique overnight experience.    

At the soul of Carlyle & Co. is a rich and varied cultural program that is as wide-ranging in topics as its Members are diverse. From cutting-edge business insights and experimental wellness workshops, to connoisseur wine tastings and innovative panel discussions, the club’s one-of-a-kind experiences will ignite personal passions and spark debate. The Rosewood brand believes that Carlyle & Co. will inform, inspire and unite its members, empowering them to truly live life to the fullest at one single address. 

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Image of calm water

BREAKING: Rosewood Miyakojima to open in 2024

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: Rosewood Miyakojima to open in 2024

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed by Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. to manage Rosewood Miyakojima on Mikayo Island in the Okinawan archipelago, opening in 2024…

Image of calm water

Rosewood Hotels is just the gift that keeps on giving us new destinations to look forward to visiting once international travel bans have lifted. Following announcements of new hotels arriving in Rome, Sardinia, Amsterdam, Madrid and its second hotel in London, the luxury hotel group has just announced that it will take on the management of Rosewood Miyakojima on Mikayo Island in the Okinawan archipelago, which will open in 2024. 

The 55-villa, ultra-luxury resort represents the first Rosewood property in Japan, in a destination acclaimed for its exquisite beaches with several of the country’s most scenic locations.  

Miyako Island and nearby isles offer miles of soft, white sand with endless vistas of turquoise-blue sea. Aquatic adventures range from snorkeling at Yabiji, the largest coral reef expanse in Japan, to diving through underwater caverns teeming with marine life and outstanding deep-sea fishing.  

Approached through verdant sugar cane fields, Rosewood Miyakojima will occupy a secluded peninsula surrounded on three sides by white sand beaches, dramatic rock formations and stunning ocean vistas.  Arriving visitors will feel the sand beneath their feet within a 20-minute drive from Miyako Airport and 30-minute drive from Shimojishima Airport which receives direct flights from Hong Kong and major cities in Japan.

The resort’s 55 villa accommodations will feature private pools, landscaped gardens and unobstructed sea views. Conceived by Netherlands-based Studio Piet Boon, the architecture and interiors are seamlessly designed to immerse guests in the natural surroundings and express harmony with the island through the extensive use of local materials. Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc. is providing local architectural expertise and support in realizing the design vision.

Four restaurants and bars will include relaxed beachfront concepts showcasing fresh seafood, prized island-raised beef, locally distilled spirits and craft beer. With a stunning seascape as a backdrop, the resort’s indoor and outdoor event venues will host unforgettable destination weddings and private celebrations. 

On-site recreation will include a standalone Rosewood Explorer’s Club, Rosewood’s program for younger guests designed to inspire creativity and imagination, encourage adventure, discovery and social responsibility through unique experiences attuned to the destination. Asaya, Rosewood’s pioneering integrated wellness concept, will offer treatment rooms set amid private gardens, indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy facilities and a menu of programs and services influenced by local healing traditions.

Beyond the resort, guests will discover an abundance of vividly picturesque sites, from the majestic natural stone arch of nearby Sunayama beach to the perfectly poised lighthouse at Higashi-Hennazaki Cape (a nationally designated “Place of Scenic Beauty”) and the seven-kilometer stretch of Yonaha Maehama, regularly ranked as Japan’s best beach and renowned for its cinematic sunsets.  Even a brief sojourn will reveal distinctive customs, culture, dialects, cuisine and crafts as well as the beguiling ways of the Okinawan uchinanchu (“sea people”) who inhabit the island.  

“We are tremendously excited that our first presence in Japan will be in this exquisite location, where Rosewood’s signature A Sense of Place concept will be expressed amidst such a spectacular setting and rich culture,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group.  “We are honored to have Mitsubishi Estate as our partner and very grateful for the trust they have placed in us to offer this exceptional experience.”   

“Rosewood’s sensitivity to its locales and its dedication to the highest levels of hospitality excellence, which are perfectly in line with our philosophy of urban developments, inspired us to appoint them to manage this very special resort,” said Atsushi Nakajima, senior executive officer, Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.  “We are fully confident that Rosewood Miyakojima will become one of the world’s most coveted vacation destinations when it opens its doors.”

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

Render of W Rome

W Rome on track for Q3 opening

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Rome on track for Q3 opening

For many hotel projects, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in unavoidable delays. Not for the W Rome, which we first heard about in 2017 and is impressively on track to open as the W Hotels brand’s debut property in Italy in Q3 this year. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Render of W Rome

2021 is proving to be a significant year for the W Hotels brand, with debuts in Japan and Portugal, while its sister brand Moxy has recently opened Moxy South Beach in Miami and is expecting to arrive in Lisbon in the coming weeks. With the lifestyle brands getting geared up to be ready to welcome the influx of modern travellers once the floodgates of international travel opens once more, one of the most highly anticipated openings from W Hotels this year will land in Rome.

W Rome, which is slated to open in Q3 of this year – the same predicted opening date that was predicted back in 2017 when plans for the 162-key hotel were released – is ideally situated near the famous Spanish steps and fashionable boutiques of Via Condotti. Spanning two adjacent 19th century properties on Via Liguria, the hotel will offer dynamic guestrooms and suites and one of the very few rooftop bars that will boast unmatched views across the city.

Foodies rejoice, the hotel will see unrivalled culinary offerings spearheaded by Michelin-starred chef Ciccio Sultano.

The hotel brand is being incredibly tight-lipped about this particular opening, with only one rendering that has been released. Although there’s little information regarding the hotel and its interior design details, rest assured that we will be the first to publish more when we are able to.

Meanwhile, Rome is proving to be a popular hotel development hotspot, with other brands such as Rosewood Hotels and Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts also announcing debut property openings.

Watch this space!

Main image credit: W Hotels

Rosewood to open luxury hotel in Ningbo

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood to open luxury hotel in Ningbo

Rosewood has unveiled drawings for a new luxury hotel in Ningbo, China, which is slated to open in 2024…

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has announced that it will continue to strengthen its presence in China with the opening of Rosewood Ningbo in 2024. The latest project adds to Rosewood’s growing pipeline in China’s ‘megacities’ including Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen, further expanding the brand’s established presence in Beijing, Sanya and the recently opened Rosewood Hong Kong.

Rosewood Ningbo is an example of the brand’s selective approach to strategic growth with unique and highly differentiated projects in locations that are finely attuned to the next generation of ultra-luxury travellers. One of China’s oldest cities, Ningbo has both a storied international trading history and a contemporary culture of dynamic innovation that combined provide a perfect backdrop for Rosewood’s newest project. “Ningbo is a vibrant city attracting a growing wave of young entrepreneurs and technology companies and is at the heart of innovation in China,” says Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “Combined with its rich history, the destination makes an ideal choice for Rosewood’s growing presence in China. Rosewood Ningbo will join its sister properties across China to create a rich collection of distinct and unique properties for our affluential explorer guests to access the rich diversity of China’s local cultures.”

Rosewood Ningbo will be the main anchor of the integrated property complex Ningbo New World Plaza, a CNY15 billion worth project encompassing 100,000 square meters, in the city’s central business district of Sanjiangkou (Three Rivers Junction), owned by New World China Land. Developed in three phases, Ningbo New World Plaza will comprise Rosewood Ningbo, the latest K11 Art Mall, K11 Atelier offices, high-end residences and the first art park in the city.

Rosewood Ningbo will be ideally situated at the city’s junction of three major rivers and two prominent commercial axes, at the intersection of Zhongshan Road East and Jiangdong Road North. The area will be a new green landmark for the city with Ningbo New World Plaza designed as an eco-friendly environment with key sustainable concepts, including a bioretention pond, a rain-water garden, permeable pavements and ecological rooftops. Within walking distance from the hotel, guests will be able to access Ningbo’s bustling city life at the adjacent commercial districts of Heyi Avenue and the shopping area of Tianyi Square, with its multiple entertainment and dining venues. Rosewood Ningbo will be a perfect springboard from which to experience the city’s many historical attractions, such as Chenghuang Temple, Baoguo Temple, Tianfeng Pagoda and Tianyi Pavilion. Rosewood Ningbo will occupy levels 43-56 of a striking mixed-use high-rise tower. The hotel’s 185 guestrooms and 15 oversized suites will feature unobstructed views of the urban landscape.

Complementing the hotel’s guestrooms, generous and versatile spaces for meetings and events will be a hallmark of Rosewood Ningbo, including a 1,125-square-meter grand ballroom and other meeting facilities totaling an additional 1,055 square meters. Five innovative food and beverage venues promise an exciting addition to the dynamic local gastronomical landscape. The hotel will also feature Sense, A Rosewood Spa, an urban haven to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city, on the 55th floor. An indoor pool and a fitness centre will complete this sanctuary of wellness for holidaymakers and business travellers alike.

Rosewood Ningbo will join a growing collection of distinctive Rosewood properties in Asia including Rosewood Phnom Penh, Rosewood Bangkok, Rosewood Phuket and Rosewood Luang Prabang. Upcoming locations include Taipei, Yangon, and Hermana Mayor.

The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

730 565 Hamish Kilburn

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The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. Editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel…

The interior designer Celia Chu has worked for many leading international hotel brands across Europe, Africa and Asia & North America including The Grand Hyatt,  Hyatt Regency, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental, to name but a few.

Since establishing the design firm Celia Chu Design, the combination of inspired creativity and comprehensive design strategy has been the main driving force and much of the time its competitive edge. Chu’s reputation of being a global modern designer, who can balance trendsetting statements with timeless style, inspired Rosewood Hotels, which turned to Chu to design its next luxury statement located in the ever-changing landscape of Bangkok.

With its luxury arm expanding 24 prestigious properties around the globe, being responsible for the interior design direction of a hotel branded by Rosewood requires a tenacious mindset. Balancing the interiors to be sensitive to the heritage of the brand as well as to be an ultra-modern, timeless hotel that challenges conventional design is a hurdle faced by most designers in today’s industry. However, designing a 159-key luxury hotel within the shell of a new architectural landmark – one which takes statement architecture to new global heights – was a totally new quest. Despite the boundaries, mental and physical, that were ahead when receiving the brief in 2016, interior designer Celia Chu took it all in her stride, and her vision slowly became the Rosewood Bangkok.

“It sometimes felt like I was writing a novel, taking one chapter of the story at a time.” – Celia Chu

Slated to open this Summer, the hotel has all the ingredients required to not only raise the awareness of the Rosewood Brand, but also to elevate the overall image of the city below. “To me, it’s important to first understand what kind of a story you want to tell and how you want the guests to feel,” says Chu. “When designing the concept, we become heavily involved with the culture, and all decisions have to come from the heart. Shanghai is a very modern city with a high population. As well as striving to achieve a more international look and feel, Bangkok is also very humble and it was therefore integral respect the nature of the area. I have kept this in mind throughout the entire project in order to create personal moments; it sometimes felt like I was writing a novel, taking one chapter of the story at a time.”

As well as the obvious, the sheer scale of the building and its angular architecture, there were other minor details of the site to consider when beginning the design journey. The first task for Chu and her team in the bustling Asian city of Bangkok, was to imagine a theme that would stand out from the other hotels in the area. While many designers would ‘go big or go home’, Chu opted for a more refined way of thinking. “Although it is hard to believe, because of the noise that the architecture renders have created, the site is actually very small,” Chu explains. “The design has always been very informed to feel, once completed, more like a luxury residence rather than a hotel. Therefore, the devil was absolutely in the detail.” Chu’s relationship with the architects, KFP Architect, became the fuel to the success of the overall project.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image credit: KPF Architects/Rosewood Hotels

The building itself is visually striking – a bold move for Rosewood, which has traditionally decided to shelter its luxury abodes within classic buildings. The architecture of the 33-storey building was inspired by the Thai hand gesture of ‘wei’. “Working closely with the architects throughout the whole process, our goal for the interior design was to continue this theme of local gestures inside the property. “I love the building and our challenge was to ensure that both the architecture and the interior design blend into each other,” Chu says. “As an extension from the ‘wei’ on the exterior, in the interior design we have created all these different cultural areas, some more abstract on this theme than others. For example, while the architecture uses ‘wei’ as inspiration, there’s an area within the hotel that is inspired by another hand gesture used in Thai dance.” What many designers would consider a challenge when faced with the striking face of the architecture, Chu saw this as an opportunity to create an interesting chapter within the novel.

For Chu and her team, creating the residential look to create sophisticated tones throughout the hotel was key. To do this, she considered interesting surfaces, colours and textures. “I typically use a lot of materials the way that I design – I like to pile up layers from a base,” Chu explains. “For example, as a base I have used luxurious heavy materials such as marble, metal, leather, but to add layers I looked at traditional local materials such as wood carvings and textiles.”

Plush bathroom

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

Within the design of a hotel of this scale, there is of course a larger context. Being a modern global designer is arguably more challenging than ever before. The double-edge sword that is technology and trends continue to divide opinions among the hotel designers in the 21st century. Chu’s experience highlights, like most, a challenge to establish ‘timeless décor’ in the ever-shifting landscape of design. “From the time we start a project start to time we finish can be up to eight years. With hotels that need to stand as a statement for a minimum of 15 years, this creates a variety of challenges when selecting styles and interior pieces,” says Chu. “My aim as a modern global designer is to support local artists, especially those who manufacturer locally. I believe I have an ethical duty to help establish the economy of where I am designing.”

Image caption: Celia Chu

If the beating heart of a luxury hotel is the lobby, then the soul within the body of the property is by far the guestrooms and suites. These areas within the Rosewood Bangkok will use night and day as an obvious theme. “Think modern Thai when imagining what the guestrooms and suites will look like,” explains Chu. “We have used a colour scheme to incorporate dark areas and light areas.” The result of this, I can envision, is a district residential feel, which echoes a similar style to that of the public areas.

While the surfaces will be layered, the lighting will be simple and effective. “Our aim in the lighting was to steer away from being complicated and instead create different light directions,” says Chu. “I find that designers are using more decorative lighting to make the whole system within the guestroom or suite easier to use.”

Lots of time they are trying to peruse an international look. In Bangkok we are trying to respect the humble nature of the area. Especially this client, we design the space I want to make it even more Thai with the history. Like writing a novel for a client. Maybe not on the scale of it, but we are certainly making an impact.

As Chu approaches writing the final pages of what she describes is her novel, complete with thick, textured and timeless pages, I am interested to go where few design enthusiasts dare to go. I am eager, before we say farewell, to unearth which area of the hotel Chu would consider to be her favourite. “That is so difficult to question, as all areas are so different and mean different things to me,” says Chu. “However, the living room/lobby lounge is such an interesting space. It is designed appropriately for an area where guests can enjoy afternoon tea and dinner. Locals too will enjoy this area, which I am very excited about. Therefore, I wanted to tell the story of the client’s memories and is inspired by a music box.”

The end of March will mark the grand opening of the Rosewood Bangkok. As Chu puts the finishing touches to her masterpiece ‘novel’, which will be unveiled to the world shortly, Bangkok’s presence as a rising modern design hub continues to develop in many interesting shapes, colours and sizes.