There’s a La Carmina room at Hotel sáv! Hong Kong boutique hotels, Floor of Love art theme rooms.

la carmina themed hotel room

Remember when my team and I went to Hong Kong twice, to participate in the opening of Hotel sáv? At last, I can unveil the colorful fruits of our labor:

1) We decorated a La Carmina themed room at the hotel, featuring original paintings by First Mate Naomi Rubin!

2) And our video about Hong Kong’s most colorful travel attractions — from the Big Buddha statue to Miffy stores — is out. Watch it above, and published on Business Insider.

I’m constantly amazed at the opportunities that come up from travel blogging. Decorating my own room at a boutique hotel is a new milestone, and I was honored when Hotel sáv asked me to take part in their “Floor of Love” project.

hong kong interior designer, bedroom

In a nutshell, artists from around the world are selected to create a themed room on the 22nd floor. We visited last year before the hotel opened, and our room (#2219) was a blank canvas

The team at sáv gave us free reign to decorate the room however we wanted — as long as it fit with their message of love, community and charity. 

hong kong empty apartment, kowloon

Hong Kong is a compact city, and hotel rooms are inevitably on the small side. However, sáv’s modern materials and large windows gave the space an airy feeling. Artist Naomi says, “It was from those initial views that the ideas for these paintings began.”

black white gothic shoes

Our room had a vibrant view of the Hung Hom, Kowloon surroundings. I balanced on the ledge in my black-and-white Steelground Shoes – aren’t the metal heels and buckles marvelous?

blogger designing decorating room

The theme of “love” could take on many different meanings — where to start? I knew I wanted the room to represent the universe seen on this blog — the love for travel, Japan, alternative culture, and wild creativity.

I brought in my First Mate Naomi Rubin, who I run La Carmina & The Pirates with, to put this vision onto canvas.

hong kong hotel construction

In September 2014, the hotel was still under construction — only the bare skeleton was in place. My filmmakers captured the tremendous “before and after” transformation, in our new video.

nails on big wood cross

Leave it to me to find something Gothic, even on a construction site.

(Photos and videos by Borderless Media.)

floor of love, hotel sav

When we returned in February 2015, what a change! The building had blossomed into a stylish, contemporary boutique hotel.

The special 22nd floor looked like a gallery, with beautiful theme rooms and hallways lined with paintings.

tactile art for blind people

Some of the pieces were by artists with disabilities. This one had tactile elements, for a blind person to enjoy.

la carmina bedroom door

So exciting… the placard on 2219 marks our “Love the Dream” room. (Yes, you can request to stay here when you visit!)

la carmina decorated hotel room

And here is what the La Carmina x Naomi Rubin decoration looks like! (Can’t believe this started out as a bare room, as seen at the top of the post.)

The hotel’s website says: “In this room, Naomi and La Carmina jointly created a different perspective that we have never seen through imagination, sub-consciousness and dreams. To spice up the décor, they created 5 paintings based on what they explored during their stay in Hong Kong.”

hong kong art design hotel

I’ll show you more photos from our room later in this post, but first, let’s see some of the other artists’ designs. 

Hotel sáv brought in creative talents working in a variety of genres, from all over the world. It was inspiring to see how they all did their own unique riffs on the “love” theme.

sav floor of love rooms

In this room, Sarah Tse displays her pencil drawings and papermaking, inspired by her childhood memories and dreams. She included shelves of nostalgic found objects throughout the room.

chocolate rain, chinese artist room

Room 2201 – Love the Memory

Remember when we visited the cute character studio, Chocolate Rain in PMQ? Creator Prudence Mak filled her room with her handcrafted, smiling pieces. Her works range from postcards to bedspreads to a giant statue, all evoking the wonderland feeling of childhood.

e herder artist china

Room 2202 – Love the Planet

I spread my wings in this room designed by E Herder, a contemporary artist living in Beijing. His “circles” are reflections on life and connectedness, drawing influences from Zen Buddhism. Meditate on these circles, and you’ll notice unexpected materials like artificial fur pressed into patterns.

janine claase south africa painter

Room 2203 – Love the Community

Hailing from South Africa, Janine Claase hung up works that reflect on our interactions in social media and “real” life. She explores human connections and how modern media can either help or hinder our ability to create communities. 

hong kong hotel room

How did we go about, decorating our own room?

Naomi prepared two circular acrylic paintings, which she cleverly framed with the skeleton of a clock. She brought these works to Hong Kong — and with the help of Eric’s arm, we figured out the best locations to hang them on the walls.

hanging painting on wall

Now that’s what I call “using man-power!”

sav hotel hong kong rooms

Once we had finalized the location of the artworks, Hotel sáv called in a maintenance team to nail them in place.

How many people does it take to hang a painting? 

naomi rubin artist naomiyaki

In this case, a minimum of six!

travel blogger hotel room

“La Carmina Room” #2219 – Love the Dream

And here you have it: our finished room! Of course, we chose purple pillows and lights as our color scheme. (Each room at Hotel sáv comes with a remote, which lets you change the color of the lights in your room.)

hong kong artist exhibit

Artist Naomi Rubin writes: “Floor of Love can be interpreted in many ways, but because the Pirates live on travel, I wanted guests to feel like they could venture out, even while back in their own hotel room. Both pieces explore things we pirates love about travel from different views: one is up in the clouds and the other is grounded, with an aesthetically detailed view of a community.”

naomi rubin painting

She adds, “The framing of the two paintings was chosen to make the pieces feel like additional windows in the room: portholes that would add to the view of the Hong Kong skyline.”

The circular paintings are acrylic on paper, and the Honk Kong drawings are ink wash with pen.

hong kong people sketches

It was Naomi’s first time in Hong Kong. She says, “Above the bed are 5 pieces that I did while in Hong Kong during the hotel Sáv opening. These show a more personal record of how I absorb some of those same elements of travel shown in the window paintings: people, family, fashion, and the balance of nature with human architecture.”

goth steampunk shoes art
“While both porthole paintings feature imagery based on the things that La Carmina & the Pirates focus on when traveling, the Window Community piece goes a bit deeper, drawing from Japanese and neo-victorian fashion and buildings. There is even a reference to one of the Pirate’s favorite Tokyo late-night eateries in the background.”

(See more of Naomi’s art on her Naomiyaki website.)

cool unique hong kong hotels

If you’re coming to Hong Kong, wouldn’t you like to stay in the La Carmina room? Well, you can! Just book Room 2219 via the Hotel sáv website.

Best of all, you’ll be making a contribution to charity. When you stay on the Floor of Love, 15% of your fee will be donated to “Make-A-Wish Foundation” and “Arts with the Disabled Association” in Hong Kong. After a year, all of these art pieces will be auctioned to raise funds for charitable organizations.

miffy cake 東海堂

If you need more reason to stay at Hotel sáv, then watch our travel video about the many cool attractions nearby.

These include Arome Bakery, who make the infamous Miffy cake!

stuffed plush miffy toys dolls

Walk down the street from the hotel, and you’ll find Wonderland. This store that sells every character good imaginable, even pirate Miffy.

blue colorful flowers

This nearby flower shop sums up the “color journey” of the hotel. Sav’s philosophy is that colors can inspire and elevate a guest’s stay, and encourage positive action in the community.

Their name sums it up: S is for style, A for attitude, and V for vision.

hotel sav staff team

Thank you to the staff for inviting us to take part in this artistic love-in! Find out more — and book a stay in the La Carmina room! — through the Hotel sáv website.

cute lion dancers, chinese new year

And please take a moment to watch our travel video here. Wouldn’t you like to visit Hong Kong for yourself? (Above is a joyous memory from the hotel’s Lion Dance, one of the Chinese New Year celebrations that we experienced.)



  1. Melissa Rundle
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    SO colorful and awesome!!!

  2. Sassa
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Hoppin’ ‘Round the World!

  3. Dave
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    thanks for coming in!!!

  4. Jemmy
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Pretty room ^____^

  5. Rose
    Posted June 22, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Looks cool…wouldn’t mind staying there

  6. Renard
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Love your art naomi!

  7. Mar
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:35 am | Permalink


  8. Adriana
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice! The room looks like a comfy bedroom instead of a dark, cold hotel room.

  9. Owen
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Love her work!

    • naomiyaki
      Posted July 1, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much Owen! Glad you like these paintings.

  10. Rich
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    wow – very cool – love the shoes! I must stay some time…

  11. Gail
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Love the story! Love the photos! I want to stay there!!!!

  12. Marilyn
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    so cool!!!!

  13. Judy
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Such an amazing talent Naomi is! Loved this!

  14. Ashley
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    That hotel looks amazing! Any tips for a first time visitor to Hong Kong?

  15. Gloria
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Great Travel Guide! So much cuteness and I loved the art in the Hotel!

  16. Sean4
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    please come back soon

  17. Eimear ♥
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    I will consider staying here…we are going to HK at the end of the year ^_^ It looks awesome.

    • lacarmina
      Posted June 24, 2015 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      That’s Fabulous!! Email me when you have your dates set. Maybe the hotel can give you a special rate, if you blog about staying in the La Carmina room on Cute Travels! You can visit wonderland and the miffy cake store (arome bakery) nearby too!!

  18. フランシス
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


  19. Mandy
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Happy wanderlusting,

  20. Marks
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Amazing and very beautiful , can do the same for my Honeymoon room?

  21. Mary
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    That’s so great and dreamy colonthree emoticon :3

  22. Vand
    Posted June 25, 2015 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    sweet <3

  23. Coralynn
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    That’s awesome!! Gah, I wanna stay there!!! Congrats!

  24. Emily
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    That is truly exciting! Congratulations!

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