I had a meeting scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Hong Kong which brought me to such a state of euphoria and glee -- I would be back in my second favorite city in the world!
I decided to fly in early, on a Saturday to give myself more time for solo wandering and to indulge in what I love to do best, in Hong Kong or any other destination -- to walk alone and to eat by myself.
Kowloon has always been my favorite stomping grounds but it was time to explore other places.
The internet, that wonderful resource, led me to J + Hotel in Causeway Bay.
Their web page claimed that this was the first boutique hotel in Hong Kong designed by Philippe Starck and boldly challenged the reader to "dream and be inspired".
I was taken in -- that was just what I wanted on my extra day alone!
J + Hotel is at the corner of Irving and Pennington Street, right across the bigger and more traditional Regal Hotel. It's in an old building, tucked discreetly at the corner with no signage at all save for a small sign at the door.
Don't be put off by the building's exterior and facade because you'll be charmed the minute you walk in. The front desk where you check in is literally that, an antique, ornate desk. The floors are wood and they gleam, a sheer curtain separates the front desk from the rest of the small lobby.
The chairs and the sofas are deliberately stylish and eclectic and it's all just a shade away from being too frou-frou for me. There are different sizes and shapes of small footstools which can double as trays that you can perch your coffee cup on.
Off to the side is where one can enjoy the continental buffet breakfast in the morning. Even the breakfast is studiedly chic -- warm croissants, artfully cut fresh fruits and homemade yoghurt and jams.
Surprise, surprise! I was upgraded from my regular room to a one bedroom suite! Must have been a slow week-end. I was completely enchanted by my room -- all 780 sleek square feet of it! This is the view as you enter the room. Note the writing desk conveniently positioned behind the sofa, the comfortable looking day bed that separates the living area from the small dining nook. The coffee table is in bright green and red and is actually a large poster converted to a small table. It makes for a bright pop of color in an otherwise all white room.
I was suitably impressed! White flowing sheer curtains block out the light but not the noise -- this is right in Causeway Bay after all so I can hear the traffic down below.
Behind the flat screen tv and the sheer curtains is this hidden, wall to wall divan where you can sit, dream, read and yes, be inspired as their web page says. The footstools with the dwarves are such an eye catching touch that I am momentarily swept with thoughts of how to smuggle one out in my suitcase.
Since J + Hotel touts itself not just as a boutique hotel but also as service apartments, it comes equipped with the amenities of home, if your home had been designed by Philippe Starck.
The dining area has a faux marble top table for four with the requisite statement seat made of fiber and wood.
The service apartment feel is carried over in the generous storage space. One wall is lined with cabinets with more than enough space for a long staying guest.
The bedroom makes me feel so cosseted and pampered. A small flat screen tv mounted on the wall is just right for spending the whole day in bed. This room speaks to my inner slothful self.
While small, the bathroom is complete and has a rain shower for good measure. The small footstool is a thoughtful and useful touch.
I just had to take a photo of the "statement seat" which surprisingly was quite comfortable to sit on.
A small kitchenette is just as elegant as the rest of the room. To save on space, the microwave is mounted and recessed into the wall.
The fridge is not just a small hotel bar but a full sized cooler complete with freezer. I am happy to see that San Miguel beer is their beer of choice.
Should you wish to cook and eat in, the modern four burner smooth top range is there for your use. Complete cutlery, plates and other utensils are also provided.
Even the door knob and the door signs are so contemporary and humorous! Should you wish your room to be made up, please hang this sign on the door.
Choosing the J+ Hotel for my extra night in Hong Kong was definitely a great decision.
And one that I seriously did not mess up, no matter what the sign on my door said.