The Fleming, a Sleek Boutique Hotel That Pays Tribute to the Iconic Star Ferry
There's plenty of quirks and traditions that are ubiquitous in Hong Kong and the mere mention of such can bring back nostalgic memories and cherished childhoods. For some, perhaps the pungent waft of siu mai vendors in Mong Kok or for others, old-school Cantonese opera theatres. Most are familiar with the Star Ferry, a long-time carrier of passengers between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, a quick two-minute journey that has stood the test of time and stayed humble in its barely-altered façade. With Hong Kong's endless roster of new boutiques cropping up, some with unique themes like a Star Ferry-inspired restoration, The Fleming reopened in 2017 with a brand new look. We checked in, albeit a couple years later, to rediscover what's made it such a popular feat since its refurbishment.
The boutique hotel is nestled in Wan Chai district, which seems like an unlikely pairing due to its busy surroundings yet somehow feels quiet from the moment you step foot inside. Designed by Hong Kong firm Substance, the sleek space complements the city's heritage through its quintessential maritime theme, found in the details, from the door front and lobby area, to the cobalt-blue colour palette and subtle red accents with deep woods.
Being in The Fleming feels like you've entered a time capsule. Its retro, industrial yet modern design is an ode to Hong Kong glory days and it's prominently showcased throughout the hotel. Dim, warm-toned brass lamps set the tone for a moody night in amid the hippest, and undoubtedly chaotic, district that is Wan Chai.
There are 66 guest rooms and room types are simple – you can choose from small, medium, large or extra large. Simple and to the point. We stayed in the Extra Large Room, a 36-square-metre abode, equipped with a large desk, swish walk-in wardrobe leading to a small open bathroom with an expansive shower to make up for it. It's not a huge hotel room overall, particularly comparably to other hotel suites, but it's not trying to be over-the-top. As a boutique hotel, its focus remains in the design and details, with little knick knacks like the custom LUXE City Guides booklet and plush Chinese apothecaries-themed AWOS amenities. There's no spa or gym on site, but the hotel is within quick access to nearby fitness and wellness facilities.
All rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV, a mini bar, a sleek study desk, a comfortable mattress with goose-down duvets and crisp linens, while the custom lighting can set your room at your leisure.
There's also a corner with two chic armchairs ideal for guests. The walls are adorned with old photographs of Hong Kong to pay further tribute to its heritage.
Images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times
On the ground floor of the hotel, guests can tuck into the fine Italian seaside delights at Osteria Marzia. The Blacksheep restaurant is an ode to the traditional coastal towns of Amalfi, Positano and Sicily, taking you on a journey to the sea, supported by the nautical theme of the hotel. Inside, the eatery complements a similar colour palette to The Fleming, with sailor blue and deep woods rendered across the furniture and the floor-to-ceiling windows streaming in natural light from outside.
Swipe to see more – Images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times
We instantly felt like we were on vacation – an admittedly far-fetched thought amid COVID – which was a blessing in the middle of Wan Chai. The menu at Osteria Marzia is predominantly seafood, with highlights including the Sorrento lemon-drizzled Mediterranean seabass and the Italian tiger prawn pasta. Meanwhile, a touch of Asian ingredients are integrated with dishes like the hamachi. A must, however, is the fresh catch of the day, deboned by the server in front of you. If you're not feeling peckish enough, the round bar is the perfect retreat for a glass of wine or cocktail.
The Fleming is an unpretentious, authentically boutique hotel in the heart of Wan Chai and if you haven't experienced it yet, be sure to book a stay. The cool maritime theme blended with modern elements like the Apple TV and sumptuous furnishings makes it a memorable stay no matter the guest. Having a top-notch restaurant like Osteria Marzia adds to the luxury-boutique feel and its menu of seafood signatures add to the fishing village roots, from Italy to Hong Kong. With the ever-growing increase in sophisticated boutique hotel openings citywide, The Fleming raises the bar and presents a nostalgic, lavish tribute to old Hong Kong.
The Fleming, 41 Fleming Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3607 2288