Ever since , the hotel collection founded in 1979 by the Hunt family in Dallas, was sold to the Chow Tai Fook Enterprises group eight years ago, 38-year-old Harvard- educated CEO Sonia Cheng has transformed the brand into an international powerhouse. In the process, Rosewood has acquired and majorly restored some of the world's most iconic extant properties, including Paris's Hotel de Crillon, which boasts the Karl Lagerfeld-designed 3,600-square-foot Les Grands Appartements suites featuring Prelle damask fabrics, trimmings by Maison Declercq, and linens by Porthault.
But the previous openings pale in comparison to the recently-opened Rosewood Hong Kong, which is now the company's flagship. It's a new build, gleaming glass tower by the American architectural (and ED A-List firm) Kohn Pederson Fox, rising 65 stories over the last remaining stretch of harbor front land in the city. The interiors were conceived by master interior designer Tony Chi, who has worked on several properties with Cheng. At a time when the notion of the 21st century 'Grand Tour' has shifted East from the 19th century European one, the hotel could not carry more significance.
Witness nearly every surface covered in a different material: lacquer, lattice, marble, marquetry. "I had a vision of it," Chi told me over perfectly tempered green tea in Darkside, the hotel's bar that gets its name from a (formerly) pejorative term used to describe Kowloon when it was a Hong Kong backwater.
"Of all the projects Sonia and I have worked on, this is the grandest," he said. "It's a stitch of three generations together. You're not going to find another project like this." He's not kidding. Just take a look at the marble bathrooms, which are larger than most New York City apartments.
And if you're one of those people like me who dream about living the suite life, the hotel has you covered as well. The Rosewood boasts 91 suites that can be rented for long-term stays enhanced by personalized butler service and access to the residents-only Manor Club. I can't wait to go back.