Editor's Review: Madera Hollywood

Madera Hollywood Exterior

I have always been somewhat perplexed by Hong Kong’s Hollywood Road. As the former colony’s second oldest street that dates back to well before the mid 19th century, it is a mere kilometer in length. Along its western section, it boasts numerous antique and trinket shops, while its eastern section has been dominated by contemporary art galleries and trendy restaurants in recent years. Yet there has been no attempt by its many entrepreneurs to capitalise on the road's movie land moniker. That is, until Madera opened last February. 

It was easy to spot Madera. Whether coming down Peel Street or from either side of Hollywood Road, the building’s façade is entirely embellished with graffiti courtesy of Hong Kong artist Rob Sketcherman. Five storey high coloured illustrations of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Charlie Chaplin smiled down at me as I entered the lobby.

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As I waited for the paperwork to be completed, I examined the various memorabilia on display behind the glass. There was the bamboo cane and bowler hat worn by Chaplin dating back to 1914. There was a breezy portrait spread of Monroe by photographer George Barris, which sadly were the last ones taken before her death. The décor suited the theme; the Mid-Century Modern style taupe coloured sofa was paired with a chrome and glass Art Deco style side table. I discovered this Hollywood Regency style of shiny, colour saturated décor was to continue throughout the 38-key property.

Madera’s all suite inventory means that my neighbours are primarily singles and couples who work nearby. It is an international set, with many Americans who appreciate the Tinsel Town décor. Each floor contains a 570 and a 750 square foot, one bedroom apartment; my smaller unit boasted an open kitchen, adjacent dining counter, generous bathroom with walk-in rainshower, and bedroom. I learned that there were even suites decorated for fans of Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe.

The majority of units are operated as hotel guestrooms, though the management is flexible if there are more longer staying guests as the suites are interchangeable. In addition, there is a lounge where I can grab a cup of coffee, and a well equipped gym open 24/7 stocked with Technogym machines. I noticed that there was a signed portrait of basketball legend Michael Jordan gracing one of the walls, and was told that Madera’s owner was an avid collector who wanted to bring the golden age of Hollywood to Hong Kong.      
    Madera Hollywood

As I made my way to my suite, I appreciated that even the lift lobbies were treated with the rainbow of hues and Hollywood Regency styling found in the rest of Madera. I made myself a cup of Nespresso coffee with my in-room machine, and plopped down on the plush stuffed sofa to contemplate my dinner choices. Either I could reheat something in the microwave available, or call down for an induction hob to be brought up so I could whip up an omelette. Instead, I opted for a long, leisurely shower in the white marble and blue tile clad bathroom, ordered take away, and relaxed with a black and white classic movie on the 52-inch flatscreen TV. I thought it was a fitting way to enjoy a vintage Hollywood style abode.

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