The Peninsula Hong Kong
|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 (Chinese: 香港半島酒店), located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, is the flagship property of the The Peninsula Hotels group. Opened in 1928, and expanded in 1994, the hotel combines colonial and modern elements, and is notable for its large fleet of Rolls-Royces painted the distinctive "Peninsula green".
Founded by members of the Kadoorie family The Peninsula was built with the idea that it would be "the finest hotel east of Suez". In December 1928 the hotel opened in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, located at junction of Nathan Road and Salisbury Road and 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 he was shipped 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 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 refurbishment
- 1994 Expansion
In 1994, the hotel was expanded with a 30-storey tower that follows the same 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 commenced.
The new Peninsula Tower is topped with a helipad, being one of only two private rooftop helipads in the territory, the other being located on top of the Shun Tak Centre. It is used to transport VIP guests to the Hong Kong International Airport, with flight duration being 7 minutes. The total number of rooms increased to 300 with an addition of 132 rooms and suites. Other new features included 10 floors of office space, shops and hotel facilities.
- 2012 Refurbishment
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, DVD library of 3D movies to High-definition televisions. The decor of the rooms are 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 and remains unchanged.
Restaurants and bars
The Hotel's food and beverage outlets includes the gourmet French restaurant Gaddi's, which has one of the first chef's table in Hong Kong, and the Philippe Starck-designed 'Felix'. Other include '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, Gucci, Prada, Shiatzy Chen, Louis Vuitton and Cartier. 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 culture
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."
- 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 Acrhitects Annual Awards(1997). Hong Kong Architecture 3. Hong Kong: Hinge Marketing.
- "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.
- "Awards and Accolades". The Peninsula Hong Kong official website. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- "Batman to film first scenes out of Gotham in Hong Kong". Monsters and Critics. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- William Warren, Jill Gocher (2007). Asia's legendary hotels: the romance of travel. Singapore: Periplus Editions. ISBN 978-0-7946-0174-4.
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