The Rosewood Revolution
Early in 2019, a new landmark arose on the Hong Kong skyline. Towering above Victoria Harbour on the southern tip of the Kowloon peninsula, the Rosewood Hong Kong is a 43-storey labour of love from group CEO Sonia Cheng.
Where most hotel chains launch new properties purely for reasons of commercial strategy, for Rosewood and Cheng, the opening of this new brand flagship represents something altogether more personal.
Rosewood Hong Kong stands on the site of what was once the New World Centre. Set up by Sonia Cheng’s father and grandfather, the business hub spearheaded the city’s transition to modernity in the 1980s and spawned the hospitality group that bought Rosewood in 2011. Now, nine years on, Sonia has brought the brand home.
Since taking the helm, Sonia Cheng has helped evolve both the Rosewood brand and the global understanding of luxury hospitality, recognising that quality of experience is at the heart of customer loyalty, and that identikit, cookie-cutter hotels have become a turn-off, no matter how finely tuned the formula may be. Rosewood hotels around the world may offer the same standard of service, but no two properties will ever offer the same experience.
One of the ways Rosewood has been able to achieve this is ensuring that ‘a sense of place’ is encoded into the DNA of the brand – that every hotel is a distinct expression of its setting. That’s as true of its new Hong Kong outpost as it is anywhere – if not more so. It’s there in the design, in the home-like, consciously mismatched modern interiors and hand-picked of objets d’art. It’s in the food, care of four in-house restaurants providing an exemplary up-to-the-minute insight into modern Hong Kong dining. And, of course, it’s there in the in the music, too.
When it came to launching a property so close to the heart of the brand, the Rosewood team knew that sound would be integral to their vision, so they asked Music Concierge to craft a signature audio identity for the hotel that would enhance the guest experience and root the hotel in the Hong Kong harbour-side.
The new Rosewood opened its doors in March 2019, marking a new era for the neighbourhood and a new kind of luxury hospitality. Several months on, and it’s clear that Sonia Cheng’s authentic, sensory and experience-driven approach to hotels is paying dividends.