TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
OZO Wesley Hong Kong
TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
by Melisa Kaya
The history of the Thailand-based ONYX Hospitality Group dates back to 1965. In March 2010, the ONYX started on a multi-brand expansion plan. OZO is one of its new brands that established to meet the needs of today's business and leisure travellers. OZO Wesley Hong Kong opened its doors on 12 September 2013 with the grand opening. Since its first day, OZO Wesley Hong Kong promises a great sleep experience for travellers. I talked with Jay Wong, Director of Operations in Hong Kong at ONYX Hospitality Group, about OZO Wesley Hong Kong and their services for both business and leisure travellers.
Jay, before talking about the OZO Wesley Hong Kong, could you tell us about yourself and your career in ONYX Hospitality Group?
My first job in the hospitality industry was in 2004. In my first year, I trained in all disciplines and areas from housekeeping to front office, and also the food & beverage function. After my initial training, I decided to specialise in the Rooms Division. This made sense and was the best fit for my personality, and so for the next year, I flourished in this specific division until I received a call in 2012 with an offer to join the new hotel opening team for our first OZO property in the ONYX portfolio. This new and exciting adventure offered a great opportunity to spread my wings and here I am still to this day working with ONYX.
Today, I am in my Director of Operations role in our company, having had the opportunity to experience the opening of three hotels of three different brands in Hong Kong and Mainland China. This shows that ONYX develops its people, but also retains talent by supporting further career opportunities that respect our personal interests and career goals.
First of all, I would like to know about the location of OZO Wesley Hong Kong. Where is OZO Wesley Hong Kong located in? What are the advantages of being there?
Located on Hennessy Road, a prime business and commercial district on Hong Kong Island, OZO Wesley Hong Kong is just a five-minute stroll from the brands and boutiques of Pacific Place, the fashionable dining neighbourhood Star Street Precinct, one of the city’s major convention venues Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, as well as other sights, restaurants, and bars that give the city its buzz. With Admiralty and Wanchai stations just minutes’ walk away from OZO Wesley, and tram station and bus stop right at the door, travelling around Hong Kong while staying at OZO Wesley is just an easy breeze. OZO Wesley is also surrounded by the offices of major corporates in Hong Kong, making it an ideal accommodation choice for both leisure and business travellers.
OZO Wesley is the first OZO property of ONYX Hospitality Group. Currently, we have four operating OZO properties within our portfolio, with the three others located in Colombo and Kandy in Sri Lanka and Koh Samui in Thailand. We have five more properties opening over the next 18 months in destinations such as Phuket and Pattaya in Thailand, Penang in Malaysia, as well as in the Maldives.
OZO Wesley Hong Kong - The Spot
Could you tell us about the OZO Wesley Hong Kong and the overall concept?
OZO Wesley is a stylishly designed urban pitstop for on-the-go global nomads right at the heart of all the action. Our Snooze Zone incorporates 251 guestrooms and suites with superb bedding and intuitively designed rooms giving guests just what they need for the perfect night’s sleep. The rooms come in four categories - Sleep, Dream, Dreamspace and OZO Suite. Apart from free high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the establishment, our rooms are also equipped with a flexible workspace with height adjustable desks, a multimedia panel with built-in connectors and a wall mounted ergonomic IPTV system, meeting the needs of guests with business requirements. Our property also features a well-equipped fitness room Tone for guests to keep up their workout routine while away from home. At the Spot reception counter, apart from enjoying a speedy paperless check-in, guests can request anything they need including advice from a Vocal Local on the hottest and coolest spots in town to explore.
OZO is a hotel brand created around a core concept of fewer frills and more control. It offers guests quality services that count and amenities they actually want, enabling them to maximise their time on the road. With Sleep.Connect.Explore as our brand hallmarks, we are committed to offering an enhanced sleep experience and seamless connectivity for travellers who are keen to embark on a deeper exploration of the destination. However you spend your day, OZO wants you to wake up feeling inspired, recharged, and ready to roll.
OZO provides guests with practical yet stylish accommodation where simplicity combined with quality is the key. OZO properties feature a lively atmosphere in its public areas that contrasts strongly with the haven of comfort and tranquillity that the guestrooms embody. We offer all the services and facilities you would expect in a three-star hotel and more. We position ourselves as being a three-star brand, but the contemporary design and innovative service place the hotel well above the competition in this category.
We know our guests are hungry for new experiences and always on the lookout for new discoveries. We stay in the know about the local best, so guests can form a connection with the places they visit - after all, we call them home.
At OZO, we seek out exceptional cultural sites and the tastiest local food, so that guests can easily explore the essence of a place. Our property is not just a place to get away - it is the gateway into the best Hong Kong has to offer.
OZO Wesley Hong Kong - Sleep Room (King)
As you said 'At OZO Wesley Hong Kong, sleep is everything'. Could you tell us about your rooms and suites? What are their features?
At OZO, everything we do is designed to offer a great sleep experience for smart, savvy travellers on the go. We understand the importance of a good night’s sleep and believe that when it comes to sleep, it is all about quality, not quantity. That is why we invest in quality sleep amenities, so you can get a great night’s rest. Our signature beds, noise-free rooms, and blackout curtains are just the basics that keep the buzz and zest from downstairs at bay. For an even better sleep experience, guests can also choose between hard and soft pillows complemented with 250-thread count sheets and linen. Our guestrooms are equipped with power massage showers, allowing guests to set the shower to a gentle slow massage and let the body unwind. During bedtime, they can turn on the LED TV in their guestrooms and switch to our special channel with a rolling video of “counting sheep”, which helps put them straight to their sleep zone. In addition, every night, our reception counter, the Spot, provides a selection of hot beverages that help prepare a guest’s body for a good sleep.
OZO Wesley Hong Kong - Boost Breakfast
Hong Kong is one of the gastronomic capitals of the world. Could you tell us about the gastronomic diversity of Hong Kong? How do your guests live this at OZO Wesley Hong Kong?
Well known as the “gourmet paradise”, Hong Kong houses an uncountable number of local and international eateries, offering locals and tourists almost every kind of cuisine they can think of - Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, American, French, Mediterranean, Italian, Hong Kong-style or even fusion - anything you want. Hong Kong also offers a great variety of interesting street food, such as curry fish balls, pineapple buns, marinated squid and pig intestines, egg tarts and egg waffles. Most important of all, you can get your tummy filled almost everywhere in Hong Kong 24/7.
Guests staying at OZO Wesley do not have to wander too far from our neighbourhood of Wanchai, which is a “mini food paradise”. Two of our local recommendations are Under Bridge Spicy Crab, a restaurant which had early beginnings as a humble stall, and Joy Hing Roasted Meat, an award-winning eatery famous for Cantonese roasted meat (also known as “siumei”) which was founded in the late Qing Dynasty. Our surroundings are also full of local dim sum restaurants and Dai Pai Dong food stalls (Hong Kong-style open-air food stall).
OZO Wesley Hong Kong
Could you tell us about your meeting spaces and your services?
At OZO Wesley, we offer multifunctional meeting space Talk with natural daylight and a fully equipped audiovisual system. According to individual needs, the meeting space can accommodate 12 people in a boardroom setting, up to 80 people with a round table set-up, or 100 people for a cocktail reception. The space is suitable for local corporate groups or for small groups from overseas corporates. Every guest is kept connected with Wi-Fi internet access.
Which features of OZO Wesley Hong Kong sets it apart from other hotels in Hong Kong?
Hotels in Admiralty are mainly five-star, such as Conrad, JW Marriot, and Shangri-La, so OZO Wesley, which has rooms offered at a competitive price, will be an appealing alternative to the accommodation offerings in the area around Admiralty and Pacific Place. This is especially ideal for guests who are looking for a great night’s sleep without needing facilities such as a full-range business centre and swimming pool.
When compared to the hotels in Wanchai, our superb location would be a distinctive advantage as it is only a few minutes’ walks from Admiralty MTR station, which is one of the key interchange stations that connect guests to the Island line, South Island line and Tsuen Wan line. The brand concept Sleep.Connect.Explore and the quality guestrooms guaranteeing a great sleep experience are also stand out, refreshing aspects that every traveller will enjoy.
OZO Wesley Hong Kong - OZO Suite
What kind of additional services do you offer for business travellers?
Apart from free high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the establishment, we also offer a printing and photocopy service, limousine service, foreign currency exchange, and express and regular laundry service to meet both leisure and business travellers’ needs. We also offer a lounge area in our lobby for casual meetings, relaxation or working.
How can travellers make their individual or business/group reservations? Do you have any advantage packs that you offer to your regular and long-term guests?
Guests can book directly with us on our official website at www.ozohotels.com to enjoy some of the best rates and web-exclusive privileges such as guaranteed late check-out and advance purchase offers.
For group reservations, guests can reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for special group offers and booking.
Which is the top season for travellers who want to visit Hong Kong? What is the reason?
Hong Kong is good for a visit all year round as it offers different charms across the four seasons. However, if one has to pick a season, autumn might be a good time as the weather is sunny, cool and less humid - making it ideal for any kind of outdoor activity.
OZO Wesley Hong Kong - Bay window sitting area
What can your guests do when they step out of the OZO Wesley Hong Kong and step into the streets of Hong Kong? What are the most famous attractions near you?
Guests can hop onto the Hong Kong tramways, known locally as the “ding ding”, and travel east and west of Hong Kong Island. They can enjoy the sights of the streetscapes and alleyways by sitting on the top deck of the “ding ding”. It is one of the city’s earliest forms of public transport.
One of the most famous attractions is Victoria Peak. It offers a view that will take one’s breath away. On a clear day, a simply stunning panorama can be seen from the pinnacle of this landmark on Hong Kong Island, and the best vista is from Sky Terrace 428, which is located at the very top. Guests can take bus 15 from right behind OZO Wesley to go directly to The Peak, or take the iconic Peak Tram from The Peak Tram Lower Terminus, which is about a five-minute drive away from our property.
If you have only one weekend in Hong Kong as a first-time visitor, in this limited time, what are the best things to do?
If guests have only a limited time during their first visit to Hong Kong, here are some of the key spots that one should not miss:
1. A visit to Lantau Island: Take a cable car to visit the Big Buddha statue at Po Lin Monastery, followed by a boat ride to explore Tai O, a quaint fishing village on stilts that is also known as the “Venice of Hong Kong”.
2. A walk along Hollywood Road: You can find numerous antique shops and galleries selling contemporary Chinese art, as well as colourful street art and graffiti along the road. You can also spend time in PMQ, the design and creative hub, and the new centre for heritage and arts, Tai Kwun, along the way.
3. A drink in Lan Kwai Fong: This is one of the most popular nightlife zones in Hong Kong. When evening comes, locals and tourists will go there for drinking, clubbing, and dining.
4. Shop and see in Tsim Sha Tsui: Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hong Kong - it offers not only some of the signature sightseeing spots such as the Clock Tower, Avenue of Stars and Kowloon Mosque, but it also houses some of the city’s largest shopping malls, such as Harbour City, The One and 1881 Heritage.
Guests are always encouraged to visit our official website and follow the OZO Destination Guide for our suggested 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour travel itineraries.
How do you describe Hong Kong in one sentence?
A tiny spot on the globe where East meets West, a great place for you to explore, shop and eat, as the city never goes to rest.
Thank you Jay for this enjoyable interview.