Rosewood Hong Kong Review: Bigger, Badder, And Bougier On The Kowloon Waterfront
— Updated on 7 November 2023

Rosewood Hong Kong Review: Bigger, Badder, And Bougier On The Kowloon Waterfront

— Updated on 7 November 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

8 years and $2.6 billion in the making, the Rosewood is a relatively recent addition to Hong Kong’s teeming landscape of ultra-premium luxury hotels. Pitched as the Asian flagship in the group’s burgeoning portfolio, the property has successfully managed to make its mark in short order: a testament to the wisdom of that old maxim (so often eschewed by penny pinching hoteliers) about nothing succeeding like excess.

Located inside a gilded 264-metre skyscraper, which looms high above the various commercial and cultural organs of Victoria Dockside, I find it’s best to conceive of Rosewood Hong Kong as the ultimate ‘destination’ hotel – somewhere you make a conscious effort to retreat to when the cacophony of central Hong Kong Island all begins to feel a bit much.

That being said, insofar as fortresses of solitude go, the Rosewood brand’s flagship offering is no less bombastic. Sure, guests can easily hole up in any one of the property’s 413 sumptuously decorated rooms – about 80 percent of which sport harbour views of Wanchai and Causeway Bay – but the frankly Homerian scale at which Rosewood operates makes exploring its various on-site restaurants, clubs and facilities a beguiling pastime.

Read our full Rosewood Hong Kong review below.

Rosewood Hong Kong Review – Contents

  1. Location
  2. Design & Aesthetic
  3. Rooms
  4. Food & Drink
  5. Service
  6. Verdict & Value


For those who are accustomed to the gestalt of hotels in Central and Admiralty, Rosewood’s positioning on the Kowloon waterfront can feel disproportionately remote. The closest MTR station and Star Ferry terminal, both located in Tsim Sha Tsui, are a 15-minute walk; while a cross-harbour trip in one of the city’s vivid red taxicabs will have you Island-side in 20 minutes.

Rosewood Hong Kong review
(Image Credit: Owen Raggatt)

That said, the best way to make the journey to Rosewood – pivotally, for the first time – is to requisition one of the hotel’s Range Rover Autobiographies. Large, lavishly appointed and impervious to the doldrums of the outside world, they’re a fitting metaphor for the stay that awaits you: announcing guests’ ascent up the hotel’s palatial cobblestone driveway with a throaty 6-cylinder exhaust note.

Design & Aesthetic

Rosewood’s place at the heart of the surrounding Victoria Dockside arts precinct (both figuratively and literally) takes shape in a number of interesting ways. Most viscerally, the hotel itself often doubles as a platform for showcasing top-shelf artwork: there are Damien Hirst acrylics in the high tea-slinging Butterfly Room; a lobby-bound sculpture in the form of Sleeping Lady (by Thomas Houseago); and a suitably populous contingent of Asian artists, including Chinese-American painter William Low – whose modernist illustrations of Hong Kong street life can be found within the hotel’s many rooms.

Rosewood Hong Kong review

Much attention has been lavished on the task of injecting the various communal spaces – particularly the dining outlets and executive-level Manor Club – with their own distinct personality; and though this strategy (involving a theatrical variety of staff uniforms and interior fit-outs) occasionally clashes with the hotel’s nominal aesthetic, I’ve always appreciated that, at a glance, each experience you’ll have at Rosewood is informed by its own kitschy style of worldbuilding.


Rosewood Hong Kong review

Freed from the constraints of having to zone a hotel for the middle of downtown Hong Kong, Rosewood’s sprawling array of 400+ suites and rooms goes bigger, badder and bougier in every conceivable way. For reference, the Grand Harbour View room in which the hotel opts to host me clocks in at 53㎡ – a princely floorplan when one considers that the average apartment size over on neighbouring Hong Kong Island is around half that.

Regardless of whether guests opt for one of the hotel’s Signature Suites or even just a standard room, interior design comes courtesy of Taiwanese-born celebrity designer Tony Chi. Known for crafting ‘transformative’ hospitality spaces, all of the rooms at Rosewood’s Hong Kong flagship possess Chi’s irreverent, site-specific touch.

Hong Kong’s rich mirepoix of Chinese and Anglophile culture can be found in easter eggs like lacquered green entryways, stag’s head door knobs and upholstery woven in tweed – though such details fade into the background when you’re confronted with the room’s titular harbour view. Offering painterly scenes of ferries streaking across the water by day and a shimmering skyline by night, I almost forget I’m surrounded by all the comforts of a superlative luxury hotel: a smart TV, mini bar trolley, toiletries by Votary – the whole shebang, really.

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Food & Drink

When Rosewood Hong Kong originally opened its doors in 2019, only the initial phase of restaurants (including Chinese fine diner, The Legacy House; and all-day venue, Holt’s Café) had been available to guests. Since then, the property has added a steakhouse (Henry), food court-style concept (Bayfare Social) and al fresco Mediterranean restaurant (Asaya Kitchen) to its repertoire – so it’s fair to say that, with 10 different venues spread across the hotel’s palatial grounds, there are a multitude of cuisines to accommodate the notoriously peripatetic palettes of Hongkongers.

Rosewood Hong Kong review

Having already tried – and enjoyed – the Chinese cuisine coming out of Legacy House when I was based in the city (highlighting cookery from the very specific Cantonese locale of Shunde), for this stay I was invited to try BluHouse – a self-styled “Italian dining hall” offering a revolving door of casual crowd-pleasers such as pizza al taglio, rosticceria and gelato (the latter supplied by artisanal chocolatier Venchi). Set across a vast, high-ceilinged space that spills directly onto the Victoria Dockside promenade, the atmosphere here is certainly a relaxed one; dovetailing elegantly with the kind of light, bitter aperitivos you’d expect to sip in a street-side coffee shop in Milan (order a round of Garibaldis for your table to start).

For those who prefer a stiff drink – one that’ll put the proverbial hairs on your back -DarkSide remains an excellent option. Part of Rosewood’s first raft of venues, it remains consistently popular thanks to the ever-evolving menus and tireless ministrations of Simone Rossi, the hotel’s dashing Director of Bars. Named for the pejorative term Islanders use to refer to the densely populated Kowloon Peninsula, this is a must-do spot for drinkers who love classics. The bar’s granular menu of stirred, spirit-forward cocktails and focus on all things broodin’ and boozy (i.e. cigars and cognac) are just the tip of the iceberg – as I find out firsthand when Rossi introduces a collection of 8 new cocktails, all inspired by the iconic game of Mahjong.


An area in which Rosewood suffered some hiccups in its initial days of opening, service has improved significantly in 2023 and is now at a standard consistent with that of a world-class luxury hotel group. Still, the very friendly staff occasionally misread the room when it comes to perfunctory aspects of service: fumbling the tally of in-room expenses or helicoptering over diners who’d probably prefer to eat their breakfast uninterrupted.

Assuming that you splurge for Manor Club access, these (admittedly tiny) gripes all but disappear. Set across the 40th floor, this is Rosewood’s latter-day answer to the banal executive’s lounge: complete with complimentary food presentations three times a day, its own self-contained bar and an L-shaped terrace that, in all honesty, ought to be soundtracked by the Nicholas Britell theme for Succession.

Naturally, such access does come at a not-insubstantial premium, but another ancillary benefit is that those staying on club floors are attended to be a dedicated butler team: clad in a distinctive blue-and-white, waistcoated livery they remain on-call 24 hours a day to attend to your every conceivable need – restaurant bookings, cultural recommendations, in-room check-in et al.

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The operatic size of Rosewood Hong Kong’s built environment also allows for wellness to be incorporated on a hitherto unparalleled scale. On the 6th floor, guests will find an outdoor pool blessed with down-the-barrel views of Hong Kong Island’s eastern districts; while the adjacent gym features almost every modern-day torture device (i.e. TRXs and the Technogym Kinesis Wall) you’ll need to work off all those signature DarkSide Old Fashioneds.

Finally, there’s Asaya Spa: the two-storey retreat – also accessed via the 6th floor – where guests can indulge in one of Rosewood’s signature ‘Wellcations’ – up to and including a truly indulgent overnight getaway in one of the two upstairs ‘Lodges’ (which you can read about here).

Verdict & Value

Assuming you avoid booking over weekends and during peak holiday periods like the Lunar New Year, the same Grand Harbour View King Room I stayed in for this review starts at the best available rate of $1,039. Tacking on Manor Club access brings that figure up an additional $445 – money well-spent if you plan on whiling at least half of your day exploring Rosewood’s many attractions.

One or two minor quibbles aside, I don’t think any self-styled luxury traveler should eschew the opportunity to sample what Rosewood Hong Kong has to offer, at least once in their lifetime. In a city where hotels are often defined by their capacity to make use of a prime location and finite space, Rosewood’s Asian flagship remains firmly in its own stratosphere: an epic and staggeringly layered odyssey of a hotel, where every visit is accompanied by a renewed sense of wonderment.

Rosewood, Hong Kong

Address: Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, HKSAR
+852 3891 8888

Manor Club rooms with Grand Harbour View starting at $1,484.
The author stayed for two nights as a guest of Rosewood Hong Kong.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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