The Peninsula Hong Kong

The Peninsula with its fleet of Rolls Royces

You might have been to the Ritz in London or

the Waldorf -Astoria in New York where the rich & famous haunt, The

Peninsula is a truly special hotel, dating back to the days

when few of us were born.

It’s opulent & has a class of its own unmatched by any comparison.

It’s legendary & the talk of the town.

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This stately Peninsula, erected in 1928, the heyday of colonialism, has a charm and charisma to it that most other hotels would like to bottle and buy. The building itself is recognized as one of the best in Hong Kong and has found its way onto many tourist itineraries. The Peninsula is arguably the height of hotel luxury in the city. Spacious and tasteful suites are designed with Victorian granduer in mind and  have lost little of their stately appeal. Be sure to ask for a room in the original building, otherwise you may be stored in the somewhat lackluster new towers.

It has been the playground of governors and mandarins, diplomats and powerbrokers for over a century. The place to stay and been seen to stay for anyone eager to impress. For many people it’s still the only address in town worth talking about.

As a five star lap of luxury property the Peninsula still lives up to its legend – this is after all the home to more the world’s largest fleet of Rolls Royces – yet it’s fair to say that the Peninsula Hong Kong has been edged out as the most luxurious stay in town by competitors – the Four Seasons is a particular stand out. If you’re looking for titanic-sized hot tub bathtubs and the most TV channels as well as all the other bells and whistles attached to luxury hotels – you can arguably find it done with a little more finesse for a little bit less money elsewhere in Hong Kong. But that shouldn’t stop you booking in.

This is more than a hotel stay. The Peninsula Hong Kong has what’s often lacking at a five star – character – and bags of it; the history and stately surroundings make for a truly special stay. In a city that often ignores – or bulldozes its history – this is a step back into a city and a style long lost. It’s a true experience.

This is a truly special hotel. Like the Ritz in London and the Waldorf Astoria in New York, the Peninsula is synonymous with Hong Kong – a landmark that has stood for much of the city’s short history. It was here that British governors held their opulent balls and where the British would surrender to the Japanese in World War Two. In recent years the hotel has not only featured between the pages of Conde Naste and National Geographic but as a city icon in Bond and Batman films.

It’s fair to say that other Hong Kong hotels have edged the Peninsula for luxury – particularly with modern touches such as iPod docks and even telescopes – but for pure class – the Peninsula Hong Kong remains in a league of its own. From the marble gilded lobby and string quartet that accompanies high tea to the fleet of Rolls Royces that can be used for airport transfers there is a turn of the century charm that makes you want to don top coat and tails.

The hotels’ façade is still the 1920s’ original – new 30 storey tower addition aside – and the interiors still strive to tell the tale of the roaring twenties. Stylish rooms retain their classical elegance with high ceilings, marble bathrooms and polished wood furnishings, with modern fixtures, such as 42 inch flatscreen TVs and in room safes – sympathetically included into the decor. The inclusion of a sofa or armchair in each room adds an extra bit of home comfort to any stay.

While the rooms are universally impressive, there are a lot of different grades of room on offer and what you get for your money does vary. This is not only your basic difference between your standard rooms and swankier suites but there is the Hong Kong difference between harbour views, street views and…at the Pen, courtyard views. More importantly is the difference between stays in the original hotel and the new 30 storey tower now bolted on top. Built in 1994, every effort has been made to build the tower true to the original design– and the rooms are almost carbon copies – but it’s just not the same.

The Peninsula can boast an ESPA spa, a rooftop fitness centre fitted out with state of the art equipment and personal trainers and a Roman inspired pool. There are even helipad and Rolls Royce transfers on offer – all for an extra wad of cash. Many want to know if the Peninsula Hong Kong has the best facilities in town. In a city flush with five stars constantly striving to out do each other it’s hard to say. Are there better facilities on offer at other Hong Kong hotels?

The Peninsula is home to some of the best restaurants in the city. These include the starched white table clothes of Gaddi’s, a neo classical dining room that has been considered the city’s best spot for French haute-cuisine since opening in 1953 – a lifetime in Hong Kong restaurant terms.It’s also an entrant into the Hong Kong Michelin Guide and perhaps the last restaurant in Hong Kong to require a jacket for dinner.

The Peninsula’s other award winning restaurant is Felix – a complete departure in both style and atmosphere.

The highlight of any stay is – in the lobby. Set amongst the gilded columns and marble floors, drinking earl grey tea and eating finger sandwiches and cream cakes while being serenaded by a string quartet is a must try experience.

Just try it even if you could not afford the luxury of staying at the Peninsula!

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