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Prestigious Living

Typing the phrase “luxury living in Hong Kong” into a search engine, one is bombarded by images of penthouse-style apartments with commanding views of Victoria Harbour and the peaks and islands of this beautiful city. The teeming city streets lie far below these eagle’s nests, their residents removed from the “real” Hong Kong, living in splendour, opulence and peace.
But these images, created for glossy real estate brochures and designed to sell apartments in new buildings, neglect important and intangible components of true luxury – things like space, nature and history. True luxury living – a lifestyle that includes these vital elements – does not always lie in the sky. In Kowloon, this luxury lies much closer to street level, in the houses and low-rise apartments of The Kadoorie Estate, where the management provides residents with beautiful properties that seem to come from another place and another time...because they do.

First, the concept of space. Consider the homes themselves – art deco masterpieces tucked tastefully behind secure gates and fences, comfortable detached, semi-detached houses and a low-rise apartment block that radiates elegance. Often surrounded by mature trees and gardens, these well-designed homes were designed to offer their residents ample amounts of room – the high ceilings, broad staircases and large rooms speak to a time when space in Hong Kong was still available and did not cost the Earth. With houses running as large as 6,000 square feet, few other luxury properties for rent offer anything like this amount of space to their tenants.
One current resident, who has lived on the Estate for almost two decades, praises the “old-fashioned houses – they are nice houses; very spacious, with a nice kitchen and most bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms”. The kitchens attract particular praise from the occupants – large and spacious, they have been retrofitted with the latest modern appliances, giving those who love to cook and eat the ultimate place and space to create.

Ample access to the natural world is provided by The Kadoorie Estate’s unique “inside-outside” lifestyle. With plenty of windows, ventilation and natural light, the homes and gardens blend into one another, each an integral part of the other. Residents love their well-tended tropical gardens – not necessarily because they enjoy sitting outdoors all year round, but because their lush greenery is pleasant and restful to look at. Private gardens are, needless to say, another rarity in Hong Kong.

This “inside-outside” theme also works on a larger scale – The Kadoorie Estate is a tranquil natural oasis in the middle of energetic Kowloon. Residents have access to a dynamic, thriving hub where anything they want or need can be found in minutes, while at the same time being able to lead private, secluded lives anytime they wish. Being able to access the many conveniences offered by Hong Kong, while living in “a different world” right next door is another dimension to Kadoorie’s luxury living.
What’s more, history looms large at The Kadoorie Estate. While there are many examples of modern luxury in Hong Kong, the relentless pace of development here means that the past is often swept away and buried under ever-rising tower blocks and urban renewal projects. The streetscapes of old Hong Kong are gone forever, as are many of the landmarks that defined Hong Kong in the colonial days.

The Kadoorie Estate is a rare timeless gem in this atmosphere of constant change; a stunning example of what Hong Kong architecture – indeed what buildings across the world – used to look like in the 1930s and 1940s. To live inside a piece of living history, a heritage home that has been meticulously cared for and looked after for generations…what could be more luxurious than that?

This powerful combination of space, nature and history means that residents who find their way to The Kadoorie Estate stay as long as they can. The Estate’s current longest-staying resident has been there more than six decades. Other residents profess that when they come home, they often do not want to go out again: “When I have the chance to enjoy my house, I want to stay here.”

To get the true sense of how much The Kadoorie Estate means to those who live there, we asked a former resident what they missed most about the Estate. Their answers were telling: “I miss the garden, the pool, the neighbourhood, the fabulous rooms, the high ceilings, the service … It was heaven, I miss the perfect life I had there.”

“The perfect life” – this is the essence of true luxury and the reason why The Kadoorie Estate provides the most prestigious luxury lifestyle in all of Hong Kong.