When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!
From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
One lampshade in the shape of a rabbit. Another looks like a dog. Mismatching furniture. 3D pop-up frames on the wall. Have I, like Alice, fallen into a rabbit hole? Is this a dream or a fairy tale?
Yes, it’s a dream of the Luxe Manor in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. With a quirky character unique to Hong Kong, the Luxe Manor is ‘… a stylishly surrealism-inspired hotel …’
‘Surrealism inspired’ ?Why not? I didn’t even know there was a such a niche waiting in the hotel trade. Some of Hong Kong’s hotels, especially at the lower end of the accommodation spectrum, could also be termed ‘surreal’, perhaps not intentionally however. More than a gimmick, surrealism infuses most aspects of the Luxe Manor from upholstery to wall decor, to color schemes to individual room decor.
Inspired by Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudi, the lobby is like a portal into another world. With gold and copper highlights, crystal lighting and a whimsical waterfall, the lobby exemplifies the ambiance of this magical place. Most hotels offer a gallery of photos to entice the would-be guest. This one, though, is different, more evocative of the atmosphere of the whole establishment. From the magnificent red and gold Chinese doors to a cock-eyed clock embossed in the marble floors, to the rococo textures behind the desk attendants (who seem to be real), to close ups of chairs covered in cartoons. There’s another chair with a dog (no, not a real dog, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it were) for one of the armrests. The chair, though, is out of focus. The attention is on the texture of the wall. Another picture shows a slit in a wall opening to another space adorned with a red, spidery chandelier ceiling fixture. This is something far different from the ordinary hotel website. It’s – you guessed it – surreal.
Knutsford Terrace, just around the corner from Luxe Manor, is a happening area on the Kowloon Replete with restaurants and bars, it comes alive after, say, eight-ish. French, Spanish, Japanese, Turkish, Russian – one is spoiled for choice. Play a game of billiards. Enjoy shisha with friends or new acquaintances – this is a friendly street, perfect for a stroll or an evening’s entertainment.
Before setting out, though, be apprised that one of Hong Kong’s iconic Nordic dining venues is right in the Luxe Manor. FINDS is the name. Norse style is the game. F-I-N-D-S is an acronym for Finland – Iceland – Norway – Denmark – Sweden. Executive Chef, Jaakko Sorsa, came directly to Kowloon from Helsinki where he presided over Chez Dominique, a two-star Michelin restaurant. Open for lunch, brunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, FINDS has been listed in Hong Kong and Macau’s Best Restaurants as well as city guides and the South China Morning Post’s 100 Top Tables. Characterized by pickling, smoking, curing, fermenting, the cooking techniques produce tantalizing tastes form climes far from Tsim Sha Tsui. Don’t miss Knutsford Terrace. You’ll love it. But you must give FINDS a try. You must!
Like the Luxe Manor, it is something else again. A fairy tale of a hotel.