World’s Highest Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA in Hong Kong

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    HBA London has completed the interior design of The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA, located in the International Commerce Centre (ICC) – the tallest building in Hong Kong and the fourth tallest in the world. The Ritz-Carlton occupies the uppermost 15 levels of the 118-floor building, qualifying it as the world’s highest hotel. The design of the spa on the 116th and 118th floors has made the ESPA a focal point of the city’s skyline and a jewelled urban escape atop Hong Kong’s crown of lights.Those who stay at The Ritz-Carlton or indulge in the over 900 m2 ESPA have the unique opportunity to view the sweeping panorama of the city from its highest vantage point, including the awe-inspiring vistas of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories.

    The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA is more than 300 metres above the frenetic streets of Hong Kong, allowing guests to simultaneously feel attached to the city with its breathtaking views yet totally insulated from the hustle and bustle below. To enhance the sense of being “cocooned amongst the clouds”, the space plan has been designed to have no sharp corners; walls are curved as if providing a protective embrace.

    Upon entering, guests are greeted by soft forms and natural finishes. Overhead, a floating art installation is suspended from the ceiling; strands of “butterfly cocoons” delicately fashioned from porcelain introduce a calming connotation of renewal. The walls are clad with finely textured horsehair, while the bronze metal-infused timber of the floor’s perimeter contrasts with the central reception area’s cool ivory stone tiles. Plush seating and the curved alabaster reception desk, backlit to cast an ethereal glow, reinforce the feeling of being comfortably enveloped.

    The treatment rooms are located on the 116th floor and provide floor-to-ceiling fenestration framing spectacular views of the cityscape. Suspended like streams of ribbons against the glass, gracefully twisted strips of ivory coloured metal act as screens and create a playful dialogue between light beams and shadows within the sinuous lines of the treatment room. A glass lighting pendant shaped like a raindrop glistens in contrast to the textured horsehair and brushed bronze wall treatments. Sliding doors hide the room’s amenities, resulting in a clean and tranquil style.

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    Daniel Fountain / 22.09.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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