Where to stay in Hong Kong: Review of J Plus by Yoo, the first boutique hotel in Asia designed by Phillipe Starck
Luxury accommodation J Plus Hotel by Yoo in Hong Kong is a home away from home for art and design lovers looking for a hip weekend getaway from Singapore.
Over the past decade, Hong Kong has become known as Asia’s art capital, with collectors, dealers and enthusiasts streaming in from all over the world to attend big-name festivals such as Art Basel Hong Kong, visit internationally acclaimed galleries and see world-class exhibitions. But the city’s creative buzz isn’t just contained within the local art scene: Restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotels around town are luring all the cool cats with their gorgeous, art-focused interiors and progressive offerings.
If you’re up for a full-on, immersive art experience in Hong Kong, a great place to bed down is J Plus Hotel by YOO, a stylish boutique hotel in the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel collection. Formerly known as J Plus Boutique Hotel, the property, also the first in Asia designed by Phillippe Starck, was given a major facelift in 2014 for its 10th anniversary. YOO Studio, founded by Starck and entrepreneur John Hithcox, is the team behind the revamp, which is built on the original design.
Few hotels are as theatrical as J Plus. It’s dramatic even from the outset, with a dark grey façade that’s modelled after a Victorian theatre, complete with pulled-back curtains and neo-classical architectural detailing painted on the wall. Along the walkway to the main entrance of the building, there’s also a Renaissance-style mural of a woman created by Graffiti4hire to complete the look.
Inside, however, is a completely different story – but it’s just as bold as the hotel’s exterior. The furniture at the lobby is unmistakably modern and eclectic: industrial multi-spotlight lighting and ten cocoon-shaped cut crystal pendants hangs from the ceiling; there’s a seat in the shape of a gold hand, a wheelbarrow chair, a graffiti rug, and brightly coloured art made with tinted glass around the space. The art hotel also has an ever-changing artist in residence, so there’s always something new to see at the lobby.
Likewise, the rooms are a celebration of colour. The hotel’s 32 spacious studios and 24 suites come in four colour themes: dreamy pink, tangerine joy, sunshine yellow, and tranquil blue. The façade’s graffiti also finds its way into the apartment-style rooms, in the form of graffiti stickers on the ceiling. Smartphones are also provided throughout your stay, and you get local calls, complimentary calls to selected countries, unlimited 3G, and a city guide right at your fingertips.
While the hotel has no restaurant of its own, there’s complimentary continental breakfast as well as all-day soft beverages, afternoon cakes and evening wine served at the back of the lobby for every guest. Each room also has a fully-equipped kitchenette with a fridge, hob, Smeg microwave, kettle and crockery, if you’d rather stay in and make something. Too lazy? The hotel’s concierge can arrange for meals to be delivered to your room from numerous local restaurants.
Despite its quirky, offbeat vibe, J Plus Hotel is a serious address, one that fits the business traveller as much as the holiday group. And despite being in the heart of buzzing Causeway Bay, there’s peace and quiet back in your abode. Uplifting and spacious interiors, excellent hospitality and the MTR just three minutes away on foot, there really aren’t many boxes this gorgeous hotel don’t tick.
J Plus Hotel by YOO, 1-5 Irving Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, (852) 3196 9000. For more information, visit Mr and Mrs Smith’s website at www.mrandmrssmith.com.