The Peninsula Hong Kong
The Peninsula Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港半島酒店; Jyutping: hoeng5 gong2 bun3 dou2 zau2 dim3), located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, is the flagship property of The Peninsula Hotels group, part of the Hong Kong And Shanghai Hotels Group. The hotel opened in 1928, and was the first under The Peninsula brand. Expanded in 1994, the hotel combines colonial and modern elements, and is notable for its large fleet of Rolls-Royces painted a distinctive "Peninsula green".
|The Peninsula Hong Kong|
The Peninsula and the Peninsula Office Tower in 2008
|Location||Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
|Owner||Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels|
|Management||Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels|
|Number of rooms||300|
|Number of restaurants||8|
|The Peninsula Hong Kong official website|
|The Peninsula Hong Kong|
Founded by members of the Kadoorie family The Peninsula was built with the idea that it would be "the finest hotel east of Suez". Originally planned for a 1924 opening, the hotel opened its doors in December 1928. The hotel was located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong at the junction of Nathan Road and Salisbury Road, directly opposite the quays where ocean liner passengers disembarked. Kowloon was also the last stop on the trans-Siberian rail link that brought travellers from Europe.
On 25 December 1941, at the end of the Battle of Hong Kong, British colonial officials led by the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Mark Aitchison Young, surrendered in person at the Japanese headquarters on the third floor of The Peninsula. The Governor was confined for two months in one of the hotel suites before being transferred to a prison in Shanghai. The resort was then renamed "Tōa Hotel" (東亜ホテル "East Asia Hotel"), and the rooms were reserved for Japanese officers and high-ranking dignitaries, while Hong Kong sank into misery and destitution.
In his book God Is My Co-Pilot, Colonel Robert Lee Scott, Jr., USAAF, commander of the 23d Fighter Group, China Air Task Force, described in detail an aerial raid he led on the Japanese shipping anchored in Hong Kong harbour, conducted 25 October 1942, and the lone attack he personally made in his Curtiss P-40K Warhawk (nicknamed Old Exterminator) upon the famous Peninsula Hotel:
"So I looped above Victoria Harbor and dove for the Peninsula Hotel. My tracers ripped into the shining plateglass of the penthouses on its top, and I saw the broken windows cascade like snow to the streets, many floors below. I laughed, for I knew that behind those windows were Japanese high officers, enjoying that modern hotel. When I got closer I could see uniformed figures going down the fire escapes, and I shot at them...I turned for one more run on the packed fire escapes filled with Jap soldiers, but my next burst ended very suddenly. I was out of ammunition."
It was restored to its original name after Japan was defeated and the British regained control of the colony. The hotel today is part of the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels group headed by Sir Michael Kadoorie, is the flagship property of The Peninsula Hotels group.
In 1994, an extension was added to the original hotel in the form of a 30-storey tower, which is topped off by a helipad.
Expansion and refurbishmentEdit
In 1994, the hotel was expanded with a 30-storey tower of a similar architectural style as the existing building. The facade of the existing hotel building was preserved, including the forecourt, the lobby and the front facade. The hotel remained in operation while construction took place.
The new Peninsula Tower is topped with a helipad, one of only two private rooftop helipads in the territory. The other is located on top of the Shun Tak Centre. It is used to transport VIP guests to the Hong Kong International Airport, a seven-minute flight away. World-record holding Australian helicopter pilot Dick Smith, accompanied by Director-General Peter K N Lok of the Civil Aviation Department, piloted the inaugural certifying helicopter flight onto the helipad in 1994.
The redevelopment increased the total number of rooms to 300 with the addition of 132 rooms and suites. Other new features included 10 floors of office space, shops and hotel facilities.
To celebrate the hotel's 85th anniversary in April 2013, it launched a HK$450 million refurbishment programme. In September 2012, the first phase of the Peninsula Tower was completed. New features includes digital enhancements ranging from touch-screen tablets, a DVD library of 3D movies to high-definition televisions. The decor of the rooms is in pared-down Oriental chic, with plain cream upholstery, vintage luggage-inspired drawer handles and Chinese ink painting-inspired ornaments. However the renovation did not include the iconic lobby, restaurants and bars which all remained unchanged.
Restaurants and barsEdit
The Hotel's food and beverage outlets include the gourmet French restaurant Gaddi's, which has one of the first chef's tables in Hong Kong, and the Philippe Starck-designed 'Felix'. Others are 'Spring Moon', 'Imasa', and 'Chesa', which specialise in Cantonese, Japanese, and Swiss cuisine respectively.
The Lobby serves traditional English-style Afternoon Tea, reminiscent of Hong Kong's colonial era.
The Hotel has one of the oldest fashion arcades in Hong Kong. Throughout the years, it has housed international brands such as Chanel, Dior, Hermès, Chrome Hearts, Gucci, Prada, Shiatzy Chen, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, Goyard, Franck Muller, Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co, Baccarat, ST Dupont, Harry Winston, Davidoff, Van Cleef & Arpels and Polo Ralph Lauren. Apart from international fashion houses, it was also home to Hong Kong brands, such as Betty Charnuis Clemos in the 60s, Dickson Poon in the 70s and Joyce Boutique in the 80s.
Since December 2006, the hotel has had a fleet of 14 long wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantoms painted in the hotel's signature green. It was the largest single order placed with Rolls-Royce in the history of the company. It replaced a fleet of Rolls-Royce Silver Spurs.
In popular cultureEdit
The hotel was featured in the TV series Dynasty (Season 6, 1986). It was also prominently displayed in the 1988 NBC television miniseries Noble House. In the same year, Michael Palin visited the Hotel for the BBC's Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days.
In 2007, The Peninsula was used for a scene in the superhero film The Dark Knight, involving actors Morgan Freeman and Chin Han, who played Lucius Fox and Lau, respectively. The hotel was chosen, as it was one of the only two private helipads in the SAR and the producers preferred the roof of The Peninsula over that of Shun Tak Centre.
- "Pick me up: A record order for Rolls-Royce". The Economist. 19 December 2006. p. 1.
The most recent took place on December 14th, when Ian Robertson, Rolls-Royce's chief executive, handed over the keys for 14 "Peninsula Green" Phantoms to Michael Kadoorie, chairman of Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels.
- "How the Post reported The Peninsula's grand opening in 1928". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
- Warren, William. Asia's Legendary Hotels: The Romance of Travel. "The Peninsula: Hong Kong Established 1928". p 20. Periplus Edition (Hong Kong), Ltd.: Singapore 2007.
- Scott, Robert L., LtCol., USAAF. God Is My Co-Pilot. pp 230–231. Charles Scribner's Sons: 1944, pp 194–195.
- Hong Kong Institute of Architects Annual Awards(1997). Hong Kong Architecture 3. Hong Kong: Hinge Marketing.
- "Some say The Peninsula Shanghai is best luxury hotel in China". 14 June 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- "The Peninsula Hong Kong launches US$58 million guestroom makeover". CNN Travel. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Peninsula Hotel Lobby: The Lobby Review". Frommer's. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Patton, Phil (26 September 2012). "For $10,000, the Allure of Bentley With Room Service". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- "Rolls-Royce fleet information". The Peninsula Hong Kong official website. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- "Top Hotels in China: Readers' Choice Awards 2016". Condé Nast Traveler.
- "The Best City Hotels in Asia". Travel + Leisure.
- "Batman to film first scenes out of Gotham in Hong Kong". Monsters and Critics. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2012.