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HOTEL of the month

The Murray, Hong Kong, A Niccolo Hotel

May 2018

The Murray, Hong Kong has catapulted Niccolo Hotels, a luxury hotel brand, into the limelight since opening on January 15, 2018. The Murray is part of the government’s Conserving Central Project, on Cotton Tree Drive in Central, with 336 oversized rooms and five restaurants and bars, truly encapsulating luxury hospitality.

HOTEL INFORMATION

ADDRESS: 22 Cotton Tree Drive
Central, Hong Kong, SAR, China

TELEPHONE: +852 3141 8888

WEBSITE: www.themurrayaniccolohotel.com

"Today, modern luxury should be entertaining not only in the visual sense, but also sophisticated in terms of atmosphere in an efficient environment."

Duncan Palmer

Managing Director

Duncan Palmer

Managing Director

the INTERVIEW

We had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Mr. Palmer, the Managing Director of The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel.

Tell us about the design of The Murray.

The Murray, Hong Kong is entirely designed by Foster + Partners, a global studio for architecture, urbanism and design. Redefining the luxury hospitality scene, the iconic landmark has been transformed into an international luxury hotel. The practice has been responsible for the restoration and renewal of the emblematic building – including its interiors, creating a unique destination for Hong Kong. It is an outstanding example of an important civil landmark and 1960s Hong Kong architecture that has been reconnected with the city.

It is defined by its distinctive three-storey arches and unique recessed windows. The original structure was designed by British modernist architect Ron Phillips in 1969 and is seen as an early pioneer in sustainable and energy efficient design. Led by Colin Ward in Hong Kong and Armstrong Yakubu in London, Partners at Foster + Partners, the new design retains elements of tradition and adapts to the needs of sophisticated contemporary living and discerning global travellers.

Located on Cotton Tree Drive, this stand-alone luxury hotel showcases the grandeur of what has been somewhat lost in new hotels. It is surrounded by the opulent greenery of Hong Kong Park, creating an urban chic sanctuary for guests. At 11 metres tall, the arches are a unique and discerning feature that demonstrates the award-winning design that has been maintained throughout the redevelopment of this iconic landmark.

The interiors of the hotel were designed to not only be sympathetic to the original structure but to also be timeless. The use of white and black marble floors paired with a signature ‘bronze’ polished stainless steel finish emphasises how the attention to detail has been maintained throughout and the forethought of how one travels through the building to the services and finishes.

What are three fun facts about the property that many are surprised to learn?

1. Guest rooms have uniquely recessed windows allowing abundant daylight without direct heat from the morning sun

2. It is one of eight buildings identified by the Hong Kong Government as part of the Conserving Central project

3. The 26-story hotel offers some of Hong Kong’s most spacious rooms and suites with more than 75% at 50 square meters or grander

What touches do you believe make a room or suite feel like a home-away-from-home?

Residential books, simplicity of design, uncluttered and functional layout of the room, materials and linen, very much keeping with The Murray’s positioning.

Walk us through your ideal stay at The Murray.

The Suite Sensation package. It provides unique accommodation and signature experiences. This ultimate indulgence includes a stay within one of the city’s largest suites, from the Cotton Tree Suite through to The Murray Suite, and incorporates an in-suite epicurean experience of creative cocktails designed by the hotel’s resident mixologist. Guests will also experience a Grown Alchemist facial and a personal consultation with the hotel’s Director of Wellness.

For those who are looking to enjoy a unique view of the city, the Hong Kong Explorer package includes access to the ‘Niccolo Insiders,’ who have been specially trained to ensure guests are guided to the best possible experiences around Hong Kong.

What is your greatest indulgence at a hotel when you travel?

Sharing a great vintage bottle of wine with close friends and family in a sophisticated yet elegant setting.

Can you share your go-to in-room dining order?

I’ll enjoy a good steak with peppercorn sauce and half bottle of red wine while sitting back and watching a movie with a chocolate soufflé on order or indulgent dessert in the privacy of your own room.

What is the most unique experience the hotel has put together for a guest?

The Murray, Hong Kong aims to offer the highest levels of luxury hospitality, creating personalised experiences, luxury adventures and urban discoveries. The hotel’s City Insiders, a new breed of in-the-know concierges, will impart personal insider tips and open doors to uncover unique destinations for art, design, food and local Hong Kong culture. Our associates have an energy and zest for life so whether you fancy a wet shave on your way to the office, visit an artist’s studio to shop for a new painting, or hunt for an original Macintosh raincoat, we’ll have a talented team of people who’ll make every stay unique.

If you only had 24 hours in Hong Kong, where would you visit?

To start the day at The Murray, enjoy the elegant breakfast at the rooftop restaurant, Popinjays, then walk across to the Hong Kong Park and Botanical Gardens. You can easily hop on the Peak Tram for an exhilarating ride to the summit of one of Hong Kong’s highest mountains, Victoria Peak, to enjoy a breath-taking view of the city. In the afternoon, I’d go to one of the beaches and enjoy a beer.

What do you believe is the greatest hidden gem in Hong Kong?

To get away from the bustle of the city, I enjoy visiting the Asia Society. Not only for its strong roster of exhibitions, curated talks and workshops situated within former British military barracks, but especially for their landscaped roof garden, which offers great views of the city and is accessible free of charge to the public.

In your opinion, why is spring / summer a great time of year to visit Hong Kong?

In Spring, the city revels in the annual Hong Kong Arts Month, when local and overseas artists converge to bring about inspiring programmes including art exhibitions, dance, music, theatre and more. For example, The Murray is the official hotel partner for the annual Art Basel event in Hong Kong. This is a great opportunity for supporting the local creative community.

There is also an ancient Chinese festival - Dragon Boat Carnival, where you can watch the water games on the beaches with the cheers of thousands of spectators. You can visit numbers of great beaches along the Hong Kong's coastline, like Shek O and Repulse Bay in Hong Kong island.

Why do you travel?

When I travel for business, it’s only essential and I’m mindful to reduce the carbon footprint. When traveling for leisure, I prefer to have an experiential and memorable trip with my family.

How do you define luxury?

Today, modern luxury should be entertaining not only in the visual sense, but also sophisticated in terms of atmosphere in an efficient environment. There will be longevity in the chic design of The Murray’s interiors and these can be interpreted in the placement of art and accessories, selection of day and night uniforms, equipment, down to the music, scent and most importantly the depth of the varied experiences in people.

What does it feel like to wrap yourself in Frette?

Wrapping yourself in Frette is an experience of pure indulgence. The high quality of the linens is immediately noticeable allowing the guest to truly relax in the soft, delicate fabrics.

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