The Peninsula Hong Kong

22 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Built in 1928 by Asia’s oldest hotel brand, the Peninsula Hong Kong is one of the most historic properties on the Kowloon Peninsula, just across Victoria Harbour from Hong Kong Island. Designed originally as an upscale accommodation for passengers riding the adjacent Kowloon-Canton railway, the Peninsula has been a fixture of Hong Kong society throughout the region’s history. It was a magnet for Hollywood stars and dignitaries, the site of Hong Kong’s surrender to Japanese forces at the start of World War II, and temporary housing for residents following the war.

In 1994, a 30-story tower was added to house 135 additional rooms and suites as well as shops, a spa, a fitness center, twin rooftop helipads, and Felix—the hotel’s 28th-floor fine-dining restaurant, designed by Philippe Starck. The entire property was renovated in 2013 to update rooms with creamy colors, polished wood, and stitched leather and introduce high-tech extras that include a bedside control panel allowing guests to adjust the room’s light, sound, and temperature without getting out from under the covers. Today, the hotel is sleek and modern, but historic relics evoke the glory days that established the Peninsula as the “Grande Dame of the Far East.”

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Stay High-Tech in The Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel

The Peninsula has long been the classic place to stay in Hong Kong, with its historic lobby, great views, and amazing staff who pay close attention to detail. The hotel, originally built in the 1920s and nicknamed the Grand Dame of the East, completed a multimillion-dollar refurbishment in May 2013 that added beautiful furnishings and the latest in-room technology. Touch-screen tablets control climate, lighting, and the entertainment system. Peninsula Academy programs allow foodies to learn to make dim sum with Peninsula chef Henry Fong, and art lovers can visit the studios of some of Hong Kong’s top contemporary artists.

Over-the-Top Hotels: Peninsula Hong Kong

At the Peninsula Hong Kong, a glass box built into the wall allows shined shoes to be delivered silently to rooms, and light switches display the outside temperature, recorded by the hotel’s weather station.

Superior Stay

The Peninsula Hong Kong is the ultimate haven for a city getaway. The hotel’s rooms have been updated with sleek, modern designs and state-of-the-art accommodations. My comfortable Superior Suite provided an extravagant stay. The spacious living room came equipped with a large flat-screen TV, 3D glasses, a plush sofa, and a desk overlooking Salisbury Road. The view of the rotund Space Museum across the street immediately brought a smile to my face. The suite offered unique amenities that covered all aspects of a guest’s stay, such as the bedside multi-outlet charging station, nail dryer, and free VOIP long distance calls. The suite includes a mirror tucked into the vanity, which pops out at the touch of a button, but stays hidden to keep the room’s aesthetics sleek when not in use. The clever Valet Box, with doors both in and outside of the room, provided a discreet way for guest services to deliver the daily paper and to retrieve/deliver laundry without interruption. The Oscar de la Renta toiletries came in handy for use in the bathtub with spa jets, which faced a TV for ultimate indulgence. But best of all, each room comes with a multi-lingual tablet, especially developed by The Peninsula, that controls the temperature and lighting, and provides a menu of guest services at the touch of your fingertips.

Fairy Tale Accommodations

It seems as though everyone from Hong Kong has a fond story about The Peninsula, whether it’s one of their own, or one told to them by their family or friends. The Peninsula, which opened over 80 years ago, has played an important part in Hong Kong’s history, and generations of locals and visitors have fallen in love with its opulence and grandeur. The Peninsula lived up to its reputation during my stay—my room was immaculately designed and planned with guests’ comfort as the priority. In-room services were attentive, yet unobtrusive. While there is plenty to do in the area, exploring the hotel is an experience in itself. Spend the day sunbathing poolside or enjoying decadent tea service in the lobby. There’s a story behind everything here (like the Concierge nook’s former life as the Cathay Pacific ticketing counter), so be sure to investigate. The bustling, beautiful lobby, filled with guests and tourists who come in just for a peek of The Pen, hasn’t changed with the hotel’s recent facelift–and we hope that it never does. As a guest at the Peninsula, it’s fascinating to consider the stories that have already been created there, and the stories that continue to be written.

Journeys to Wellness

The Peninsula Spa, whose signature Spa Journeys are sure to maximize your blissful stay at the hotel, is nestled on the seventh floor. For total relaxation indulge in the De-Stress package, which includes a full body massage and a facial with ingredients tailored to your skin type. Your half-day treatment is followed by an exclusive poolside lunch of delicious and healthy cuisine. The spa also offers packages catering to moms-to-be, brides-to-be, and a detox package to help ward off that pesky cellulite. Be sure to claim a room with a beautiful harbour view. For couples looking to be pampered together, there are “spa within a spa” rooms designed especially for romantic relaxation. The Spa’s decor pairs elements of traditional Chinese design with stylish modern twists, offering a unique atmosphere to escape from the hustle and bustle of traveling and metropolitan life.

Legendary High Tea

If you’re looking to add a little elegance to your Hong Kong visit, make a stop at the legendary Peninsula Hotel for their famed afternoon tea. To accompany your choice of tea, including the signature Peninsula Blend, you get three-tiered tower of sweet and savoury tea treats, including cakes, tarts, macaroons, finger sandwiches (including the hotel’s famous cucumber-filled ones), and scones with fresh clotted cream and preserves. The lobby’s grand neo-classical decor adds to the overall lux experience. Reservations are not accepted so be ready to line up for a table, but the melodies of the hotel string quartet provide entertainment while you wait. Also, note that there is a smart casual dress code in place: no flip-flops allowed.

A Regal Commute

My visit to The Peninsula began with a pick-up in one of the hotel’s Rolls-Royce Phantoms. Painted in the hotel’s signature Brewster Green, the luxurious vehicle was customized with a refrigerator, iPod connectivity, and reading materials to keep me relaxed and entertained during the journey to the hotel. Guests of The Peninsula have access to the hotel’s fleet of 14 Rolls-Royces. One of the Rolls-Royce Phantoms can be booked for airport transfers or for an extravagant drive around town. The hotel also offers two MINI Coopers that are available to suite guests for a complimentary three hours per day. For extra special occasions, the hotel provides a classic restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II, which is very popular for weddings in particular.

Flight of Fancy

In addition to an impressive fleet of deluxe automobiles, The Peninsula offers another extravagant mode of transportation: helicopters. Guests who opt for the helicopter arrive via the hotel’s helipad, enjoy access to the exclusive China Clipper lounge, and may discreetly check into their rooms without the need to pass through the hotel lobby. Furthermore, the hotel offers a special Flight-Seeing tour. Guests may choose between a 15, 30, 45, or 60 minute minute helicopter ride high above Hong Kong for an extraordinary tour of the territory. As an additional treat, Fly & Dine and Fly & Relax packages are offered. The former offers guest a flight experience paired with a meal at one of the hotel’s famed restaurants, while the latter includes a heli-tour and a pampering session at the Peninsula Spa.


It was an auspicious night some time in the 1950s when Hollywood star Clark Gable strode into the bar at the legendary Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong and ordered a screwdriver. The bartender wanted to do something special for Gable so he put a little extra effort into it, hand-squeezing the OJ, using the premium-est of premium vodka, and carving out a baseball-sized ice cube. That drink, made pretty much the same way, is still on the menu at the moody, wood-paneled first-floor hotel bar.

A Chocolate Lovers Paradise

The two level shopping arcade at the Peninsula Hotel may not be on the top of everyones list. However, it should be! It addition to some great small shops like Kinji that sells silks and cashmere, the Peninsula has a fabulous chocolate shop. The chocolates are displayed like jewels in lit showcases. The individual chocolates sold by the piece were amazing. They are not cheap but worth an indulgence.

Holiday theme at the Peninsula

Picked up some amazing praline and truffle chocolates, as well as classic Asian sauces, for gifts from the Peninsula boutique. They were a tremendous hit with family and friends back home.

Best Beds in Hong Kong

I often stay with friends now when I visit Hong Kong, but the city is home to fantastic hotels. In the past I was lucky enough to stay in some top-notch properties. Some of my favorites include The Peninsula (shown), the Luxe Manor, the Ritz Carlton in Kowloon, and I think Island Shangri-La in Central is great. I would argue that Hong Kong has more beautiful and well-designed hotels than any other city in the world. —Mark Bright

Through the Clouds

When we left Shanghai it was a smoggy and gloomy day, but upon descent into Hong Kong, when the clouds broke we were greeted by lush green hills and the sea. Of course, I was getting dirty looks the entire time because I had my phone out (it was on airplane mode!) but it was totally worth it to capture my first glimpse of this beautiful city!

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