Published on June 13th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard0
48 Hours in Hong Kong
The newly opened Hotel Indigo in the Wan Chai district in Hong Kong soars to claim its sliver of sky amongst a forest of skyscrapers. This new boutique hotel, a slender, gleaming skyscraper, is the talk of Wan Chai.
Its rooftop swimming pool extends out of the building to hang in space. Swimmers do their laps looking through the pool’s glass bottom to the busy street way below.
A swim at the Hotel Indigo will give you a hotel experience you wouldn’t find anywhere else in Hong Kong.
The hotel is proud to be in the Wan Chai neighbourhood and its respect and fondness for its neighbours shows in the fascinating art work in the reception area, the rooms and hallways. Three dimensional dioramas depict street scenes of old Wan Chai: narrow old shops crammed with sacks of mysterious (to us) produce, roasted ducks hanging from hooks, workers carrying out furniture and car repairs on the footpaths.
The iconic trams trundle through Wan Chai with ceaseless traffic as hundreds of people cross the roads at traffic lights in one mass flow. Wan Chai has more buzz than any other district in Hong Kong. More than 600,000 people go to Wan Chai every day to work, shop, eat and play. It’s a world away from the modern skyline of the Hong Kong Harbour.
The hotel is perfectly positioned, next to the Wan Chai markets and just a few steps away from the Blue House, one of a few remaining old communal housing projects of the area.. (In the 1970s the government used surplus blue paint from the Water Supplies Department to paint the houses and the name stuck.)
Even better than the Hotel Indigo’s roof-top, glass-bottom, space-defying swimming pool is its mini bar policy.
The mini bar items are at prices you would find in the local shops and wine bars. We’ve all experienced the midnight craving for a chocolate bar in a hotel, but don’t dare touch the mini bar for fear of paying…oh, let’s $300 for a Mars Bar. Not at the Hotel Indigo. A can of Coke will cost you the same as it would at the local 711 shop.
The General Manager, a fabulous flamboyant bloke called Bryan Gabriel, decided to take all his hotel pet hates, and eliminate them from his. To celebrate this hotel first, we opened the bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Now that’s not something you could say in a hotel without first telephoning your bank manager to see if he’ll give you a loan.
The hotel rooms are spacious, the bed one of the most comfortable we’ve slept in, the furnishings contemporary, and when you’re up there on the 18th floor as we were, you pretty much feel as though you own Wan Chai.