Editor's Review: Hong Kong Parkview Serviced Apartment

With the rise of serviced apartments in the CBD area, Hong Kong Parkview retains its niche thanks to uniquely curated interiors that allows visitors to wallow in its art.

This is perhaps the one and only “art museum” in Hong Kong, or I dare say in the world, where you can actually touch and feel the art pieces on display.

Then again, the rigid format of an art museum was never Hong Kong Parkview’s owner George Wong’s intention. The avid art collector believes the brilliance of a good piece of art can only be grasped by experiencing and appreciating it up close and personal.

Today, the Hong Kong Parkview is much more than a place for travellers to rest their heads. It is more of an art treasury for Wong’s personal show-stealing art collection; home to thousands of museum-grade art pieces from East to West, ancient to contemporary, steely to fragile, world-acclaimed to newly minted, and most of them exposed to air to let you touch and feel.

Here, the intrinsic value of art transcends beyond price tags to the unlimited possibilities for illumination via physical connection between the artworks and the viewers.

Precious works from a bewildering range of genres and timelines are scattered across the property. Look out for a selection of rusted hundred-year-old glass bottles from the sea with a Chinese painting made by hairs hanging atop; a cache of intriguing and peaceful mountain sculptures hollowed out with sutra, contrasted with several Iron Man Armors standing nearby; or a cache of Salvador Dali’s sculptures mixed with “Old Master Q” comic statues – making this place a treasure hunt that seems to never end.

I’ve never taken that long snooping around a lobby, but the show-stealing art museum on the second floor is honestly a necessary stop.

You don’t even need to be an art aficionado to appreciate the artwork, even if you’ve truly never heard of Picasso, Monet, Francis Bacon or René Magritte (these you can’t touch, sorry), but you can always pick up a guidebook outside the museum that tells at length the bios and work descriptions of the artists who are featured in the museum; even the security on site can help explain, if you don’t feel like reading.

An art tour is hosted once a month for residents, among the many monthly activities covered, including hiking and wine tasting.

Opening in 1989, Parkview’s serviced apartments underwent a major refurbishment to its 223 rooms more than two years ago to allow each room to possess its own character, giving birth to five different colourways and eight thematic floors, including an enigmatic vampire theme.

Looking over the swimming pool and a gurgling artificial waterfall, my room on the sixth “New York Neo” floor translates the retro glamour of New York’s boom year in music into a black and white sensation, enhanced by monogram wall photos featuring coquettish women from the 1960s, guitar décors and, bewilderingly, sensor lamp switches in the shape of guns on the bedside tables.

The New York aura proceeds into an oriental charm in the bathroom, equipped with a mini sauna for one, a good gimmick, but rather too cramped. I prefer disappearing into a bathtub facing a wall-mounted TV, aimlessly flipping through the channels while trying not to get my toes stuck in the taps. But I end up spending nearly two hours in there.

Dinner is superb, too. I settle with the five-course tasting menu at George’s, the Western semi-fine dining outlet out of the seven restaurants at Parkview.

The solicitous waiter says the portions were for the smaller appetite, but they were far from it. I start to feel full when the third course is up, a pan-dried duck liver served with stew mango; I’m truly full half way through the fourth course, grilled Spanish Duroc Pork Rack.

The wine pairing is brilliant, though. Most memorably the Famille Perrin Muscat Beaumes de Venise Blanc for dessert, fruitfully sweet with lasting aromas of apricots and honey.

The fact of living in a plush room and being able to physically feel the millions of dollars worth of artwork is incomparable, and you simply cannot help, but be amazed by the marvellous job that Wong has done to glam up the 27-year-old property with his passion of art, while succeeding in preserving its erstwhile beauty.

Rating (5 is the highest)

Environment: 5/5 Location: 3/5 Amenities: 4/5 Sleep Quality: 5/5