The Fragrant Harbour has a seductive new cocktail destination with the arrival of Qura at the Regent Hong Kong
There’s always been something very sexy about hotel bars. We’re not talking about the homogeneous watering hole at your local Mecure or the questionable lobby lounge at convention hotels where ‘chickens’ roost and where married men make mistakes after a few post-seminar rounds. We’re talking dark, seductive and utterly luxurious spaces dedicated to the greatest spirit creations.
In fact, if you look back through the cocktail archives, you’ll find many of the classic libations that we now take for granted had their origins at luxury hotel bars in the likes of New York and Paris, where bartenders were encouraged to be innovative and to always thrill their patrons.
When the Regent Hong Kong first opened in 1980 (you remember the 80s don’t you?), it was just such a place and now, with the brand’s triumphant return to Victoria Harbour, the hotel has welcomed Qura, as enticing a cocktail bar as you’ll find this side of the Hudson River.
Qura promises to be more than just another cocktail bar. Instead, it’s a shrine to rare spirits, eclectic designs and innovative creations. Designed by renowned BAR Studio, the space takes its inspiration from “The Curator” a fictitious but inspiring and intrepid explorer who has scoured the world’s farthest-flung corners – from the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean to the wind-whipped Scottish highlands – in search of rare and vintage spirits.
The result is one of the city’s most enviable spirit collections, one that reflects a tapestry of tastes celebrating the artistry and diversity of global spirits.
Comprising a seductive entrance that leads through an interlinked drawing room, bar, dining lounge and cigar space, all with spectacular framed views of Victoria Harbour, Qura evokes the allure of a bygone era. Mirroring “The Curator’s” eclectic taste and worldly explorations, the new venue’s design features a whimsical collection of custom-designed furniture, objets d’art -from a whimsical emerald green parrot lamp in the entry hall to quirky table lamps with monkeys holding parasols – and art pieces lovingly curated over two years.
The decadent space is dressed in rich velvets and cooler, tranquil hues, juxtaposed with bursts of colour and texture. In the arrival area and corridor, large vintage photos from the original Regent Hong Kong days recall the rich heritage of the venue and beyond, Art Deco-inspired portals lead guests through a journey of discovery, where every corner is a celebration of global cultures and eras. All the while, mesmerising views of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline take centre stage.
At the heart of Qura is a backlit rose quartzite bar, set in a space richly layered with hand-blown Murano crystal lighting fixtures and decorative textiles, creating an atmosphere of bold fantasy. In the dining lounge, a quirky Timorous Beastie wall covering with playful iguanas conjures images of an exotic tropical rainforest, while hand-blown Venini Murano chandeliers ramp up the glamour, as diners soak in the hypnotic harbourviews.
In the Cigar Lounge, stunning custom-made de Gournay Chinoiserie wall coverings adorned with crystal sconces frame a green marble fireplace. A vintage tiger motif rug and Persian carpets add warmth and a touch of the exotic to cosy seating areas with a vintage quilted leather sofa and armchairs in this clubby haven for cigar aficionados.
But what are you really here for? It’s the drinks, and in this case, that’s a bespoke collection of rare spirits complementing an extensive beverage menu by bar manager Gennaro Pucci that’s packed with imagination. Spirit lovers will revel at finds like the Uniting Nations #3, a rare blend of Japanese and Scottish whisky traditions; and the historic Ferrand circa 1914, offering a taste of pre-World War I craftsmanship, while the Foursquare Shibboleth, a 16-year-old Barbados Single Blended Rum, encapsulates the rich legacy of Caribbean rum-making; and the Fiona Macleod 33-Year Old by The Character of Islay Whisky Company stands out as a masterpiece of the island’s whisky heritage.
Pucci’s cocktails reflect the search for rare and vintage spirits, with each drink – from classic to innovative – telling a story of global discovery. His minimalist, handcrafted style makes every cocktail (the bar’s Vesper Martini is heaven in a coupe glass) a unique journey, offering guests a taste of indulgence and exploration. In addition, Qura’s exclusive wine programme features an exquisite partnership with Château Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, showcasing some of the finest vintages and offering a sublime journey through the celebrated vineyards of Burgundy.
It’s always best not to drink on an empty stomach, and the bar’s menu features familiar favourites ranging from marinated red bell peppers; and baby lamb shoulder “Aveyron”; through to luxurious lobster linguini and black truffle porcini risotto, and if that’s not enough, the venue also boasts a luxurious dining room, with a complete a la carte menu – so you’ll never need to leave!
You’ll also be able to finish your Qura experience with a smoke in the venue’s cigar room, home to prestigious cigar brands like Cohiba, H Upmann, and Montecristo, which are matched with views of Victoria Harbour and vintage leather furniture and a green marble fireplace.