Is “depressing, but in a good way” a thing? If it is, then I’d use that to describe my stay at TUVE in Hong Kong’s Tin Hau district. From the moment I opened the heavy, oxidized metal front gate and stepped inside the monolith-like building that houses TUVE, a sense of gloom fell over me. The result of a perfectly balanced combination of subtle sandalwood smell, soothing music, and ambient lighting that offer a sharp contrast with the city’s chaos outside.
The dimly-lit lobby is located on the first floor and consists of nothing more than a huge table on a white marble floor. Service was friendly, but cool – something that actually perfectly fits in a place like this and only adds to its character. Throughout the building, raw, monochrome materials predominate: a harmonious mix of concrete, black and white marble, wood and oxidized metal sets the mood.
Less is more
TUVE’s design is based on a photography project by the Danish landscape photographer Kim Høltermand, who shot a set of misty scenes and gloomy silhouettes at a Swedish lake bearing the same name. The founding team behind the hotel approached Hong Kong design studio Design Systems to translate the mood of these pictures into a hotel – something they successfully did. The rooms are utilitarian, with every piece of furniture having a clear place and function.
The rooms are utilitarian, with every piece of furniture having a clear place and function. Decorations are nonexistent, except for a few hand-painted gold specks on the wall. Despite the raw materials and the moody colors, the rooms feel surprisingly homey thanks to the extremely comfortable bed.
It’s all in the details
Less is more at TUVE, but they managed to add an extra touch in the areas where more actually matters. The minibar, for example, is not stocked with your usual dime-a-dozen range of drinks but features a carefully curated set of high-quality gourmet snacks and beverages. You’ll find a bottle of Antipodes water (the perfect prop for your Instagram #flatlay), Potocki vodka, and Fevertree tonic to name a few. The bathroom, too, is decked out with stuff we love: body lotion, shower gel, and shampoo are provided by the American brand Fresh.
TUVE is luxurious in its simplicity and eye for detail but is missing some of the amenities you’d expect from a 5-star hotel. There’s no gym, nor is there a swimming pool and breakfast area – so we’d only recommend the place if you’re planning to explore the city and not lounge around in the hotel all day.
- Each room is decked out with a smartphone to use throughout your stay. Use it as a pocket-wifi device when exploring the city.
- Rates don’t include breakfast, so opt for a local breakfast at one of the cha chaan tengs (Hong Kong style cafes) around.
- The hotel is a social media darling, so be prepared to stumble into a lot of Instagram photo shoots in front of the building.
16 Tsing Fung St,
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
+852 3995 8899
Rates start at US$ 135/night – Check availability