In a city steeped in history and elegance, the resurrection of Regent Hong Kong stands as a testament to the enduring allure of timeless luxury. French hotelier Michel Chertouh, the managing director of the revitalized Regent Hong Kong, embarked on a journey to bring back this iconic establishment during the challenging times of the 2021 pandemic lockdowns.
The grand reopening of Regent Hong Kong marks a poignant moment for Chertouh and the Hong Kong community. The hotel, which first opened its doors in 1981, holds a unique place in the hearts of locals despite not being the most historic luxury establishment in the city. Chertouh's arrival in Hong Kong during the lockdowns sparked a series of conversations with taxi drivers and residents, all eager to share their fond memories of the famed Regent.
Chertouh, with over three decades of experience in the industry, recognizes the deep connection that the people of Hong Kong have with the Regent. He describes it as more than just a hotel; it possesses a soul that sets it apart from many others. The reopening of the Regent Hong Kong is not merely a business venture; it is a resurrection of a cultural icon that has left an indelible mark on the community.
The Regent Hong Kong, once a pinnacle of modern luxury, was renowned for its innovative features, including the groundbreaking concept of a five-fixture bathroom. Under the stewardship of Robert Burns, co-founder of Regent, the hotel aimed to be the best in the world, setting new standards for luxury hospitality. The grand ballroom hosted prestigious events, becoming a cherished venue for celebrities, company galas, weddings, and anniversaries, weaving itself into the fabric of Hong Kong's collective memory.
However, in 2001, the hotel changed hands, evolving into the InterContinental Hong Kong. The subsequent years saw various ownership changes for Regent Hotels & Resorts. It wasn't until 2018, when the InterContinental Hotels Group acquired the majority stake in Regent Hotels & Resorts, that plans to revive the Regent brand took shape.
The newly reopened Regent Hong Kong, designed by Hong Kong-born architect Chi Wing Lo, pays homage to the hotel's legacy while embracing a new era of luxury. Lo, known for his high-end furniture line, brings his philosophy of modesty and calmness to the design, creating an atmosphere that reflects timeless Chinese aesthetics. The castle-inspired design, with wooden double doors reminiscent of an ancient Chinese palace, ushers guests into a realm of tranquility.
Noteworthy is the meticulous attention to detail in the hotel's design and service. The new Regent Hong Kong boasts 497 guest rooms, including 129 suites, each designed to exude an air of relaxed luxury. Elements inspired by the original Regent, such as the grand marble staircase and iconic views of Victoria Harbour, have been retained, seamlessly blending the past with the present.
The reopening of Regent Hong Kong is not just a revival; it is a redefinition of luxury hospitality in the bustling city. Chertouh and Lo aim to create a 'new luxury' experience, where simplicity takes center stage. The subtle nuances, from chair heights to fruit bowl compositions, reflect their commitment to providing a sanctuary of tranquility amid the non-stop stimulation of the modern world.
As the doors of Regent Hong Kong swing open once again, it signals not only a return to elegance but a forward march into the future of hospitality. The legacy lives on, and the resurrection of Regent Hong Kong is a beacon of hope, a reminder that amidst challenges, the spirit of timeless luxury prevails.