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The Great Room: co-working gets classy


Think about that feeling of walking into a five-star, contemporary, high-design hotel. That airy yet bustling vibe; the sumptuous seating beneath sleek light fixtures; the attentive service that’s not intrusive; and groups congregating around tables or with drinks. Hong Kong’s newest co-working space The Great Room aims to offer that hospitality experience for busy professionals getting work done.

“What we offer is an elevated environment,” says Jaelle Ang, co-founder of The Great Room, which is set to open in One Taikoo Place early this year. “Designed to look professional yet warm and inviting, with Instagram-perfect lighting, our aesthetics draw influence from the best hotel lobbies. We always work with hotel designers.”

Co-working spaces are nothing new. In the past five years, these places that rent desk space to individuals and businesses have flourished in Hong Kong, offering not only comfortable work stations but also a collegiate atmosphere that encourages collaboration and interaction with fellow workers. Co-working spaces also typically organise networking and pitch events, with the target customer largely being young startups and freelancers.

But The Great Room, which started in Singapore and also has a branch in Bangkok, seeks higher-level executives as its clientele. This is a “clincher” that sets The Great Room apart, says Ang: the chance to be “sitting around the table with winners, because the conversation is decidedly different.” Taking a page from the newest hotel concepts, the co-working space is also designed in a way that encourages members to interact – opportunities for “casual collisions,” as Ang puts it.

“In Swire Properties, we found a partner more in sync with our aspirations than we ever imagined.”
Jaelle Ang, co-founder of The Great Room

When it came time to choose a new location, Hong Kong made sense with its vibrancy, but so did Quarry Bay and brand-new office tower One Taikoo Place. “We wanted a well-appointed building within an energetic neighbourhood where the curious and ambitious gather – whether they be an established corporate titan or a rising tech unicorn,” says Ang. “At Taikoo Place, we found it to be all that and more – an engaging community which echoes with The Great Room’s philosophy ‘it’s all work, it’s all play’.”

Members can rent private offices or hot desks, or simply designate the location as their postal address. Professionals in town for a short period can purchase day passes. And there is the option of joining not for the work space but only for the community events and networking. The social scene’s main draw is a more sophisticated experience that doesn’t waste anyone’s time; organised events are intended to be exclusive and profoundly educational.

“Time is the most precious currency for high-level executives,” says Ang. “We craft experiences that our members can relate to and would spend their time and energy on. No to beer pong, pizza and frat parties. Lunch and Learn sessions might be CEO media interview training. After hours, we may host salons with formidable founders over whisky tastings or even pick the great minds of the latest in AI or Fintech who are global field-tested experts passing through Hong Kong.”

Amid all the work talk, seminars and high productivity, The Great Room endeavours to enhance the workday with outstanding hospitality, providing a discreet concierge to organise meetings between members and food to keep up morale.

“It’s our mission to banish Monday blues, and we start each week with a complimentary breakfast spread, good tunes and a barista serving up your favourite coffee,” says Ang. “Similar to the turn-down service at a hotel, as the day winds down a turn-down cart brings around a warm cookie for those who are staying late to work.”

With service like this, you might not want to leave – just like at your favourite hotels.

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