Style: Modern design
Tsim Sha Tsui
Style: Modern design
Here the high-volume name is justified: Hotel ICON is an ambitious project, with orthography to match. For starters, the team behind the hotel is comprised of international design stars. Space prohibits us from listing them all, but suffice to say that Sir Terence Conran is at the top of the marquee, while relatively minor details such as the flora are handled by the likes of the eminent French botanist Patrick Blanc. (For the record, it’s not just any old flower arrangement, but a visually striking vertical garden — a bloom of green against all the gleaming white marble of a soaring lobby.)
ICON is a teaching hotel, technically, but giving it a miss on that account would be a bit like scoffing at an invitation to dine at Noma because of all those baby-faced prodigies doing stages in the kitchen. This is Hong Kong’s highly regarded School of Hotel and Tourism Management’s vision for the luxury hotel of the future, not so much a place to teach existing hospitality norms but to set them for the next generation.
Here’s one we hope will stick: urban hotel rooms with plenty of space to spread out. They’re made to feel even larger by the views (an old-school technique, but still a good one), all of them impressive and most of them featuring panoramas of Hong Kong Harbour with its famous nightly light show. Spacious bathrooms come with deep tubs and separate walk-in showers, the work desks are big enough to get some work done, and starting one step up from the entry level rooms the closets are walk-in. There are smaller gestures, too, like free snacks and drinks in the mini-bar — another humanizing touch that ought to become more common.
The public spaces, too, are exemplary: a terrace-top pool and bar with still-more-immediate views of the skyline, a pristine spa and health club, and a set of restaurants that span from a casual garden-side cafe to the aptly named Above & Beyond Restaurant, the latter serving exquisite dim sum and seasonal Cantonese on the 28th floor. Did we mention the views?