H o n g K o n g
Kowloon, Hong Kong
GPS: 22° 17′ 42.9″ N 114° 10′ 18.3″ E
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On 11th December 1928, a legend of Asian hospitality was born – The Peninsula Hong Kong opened its doors for the first time, and has been welcoming guests and patrons from all over the world ever since. Founded by members of the Kadoorie family, Hong Kong’s “Grand Old Lady” is today part of the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels group and considered as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
As every great lady has a history, and The Peninsula is no exception. The architects who in the early 1920s drew up plans for “the finest hotel east of Suez” did so at the behest of men whose foresight and confidence in Hong Kong set them on what was considered an audacious path. Passengers arriving in Hong Kong by ocean liner disembarked onto the quays of Kowloon and also it was the last stop on the trans-Siberian rail link that brought travelers from Europe.
As luxury ocean liners began to steam into Victoria Harbour, The Peninsula welcomed the rich and the famous, the titled and the tycoons, with an embrace of unsurpassed luxury and warmth. From the moment she opened its doors in 1928, it transformed almost immediately Kowloon from a sleepy backwater to the focal point of a vibrant social life.
Over the years, Hong Kong and The Peninsula became synonymous. Hotel has been witness to and participant in the history of Hong Kong, celebrating its dramatic progress, weathering the turbulence of war and military occupation and meeting the challenges posed by the changing needs of the international traveller.
In autumn of 1994, new 30-storey tower was added to the original hotel, topped off by a two helipads. Together with the 168 rooms in the old part, the number of guestrooms increased to 300.
During the 2007, The Peninsula was used for filming a scene in the movie “The Dark Knight”, starring Morgan Freeman and Chin Han.
Throughout the years, number of personalities made one more or less long stay at “The Pen”: Emperor Haile Selassie, The King and Queen of Nepal, The Maharajah of Jaipur, Prince and Princess Peter of Greece, Princess Margaret of Great Britain, The Begum Aga Khan, Princess Akeda Atsuko of Japan, Princess Soraya Esfandiary of Monaco, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Arthur Rubinstein, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Clark, Roman Polanski, Francis Ford Coppola, Jim Henson, Pat Boone, Paul Anka, Elton John, Charlie Chaplin, Julie Andrews, Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O’Toole, John Wayne, Warren Beatty, Candice Bergen, Yul Brynner, Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, Sir Roger Moore, Peter Sellers, Sylvester Stallone, Zino Davidoff, Aldo Gucci, Muhammad Ali…
# Peter Hibbard: Beyond Hospitality – The History of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited;
2010; ISBN: 978-981-4302-05-0; English language, 205 pages, hardback
# Frances Bartlett: The Peninsula – Portrait of a Grand Old Lady;
1997; ISBN: 962-7992-04-6
# Andreas Augustin: The Peninsula Hong Kong;
Part of “The Most Famous Hotels in the World” series
# Andreas Augustin: Secrets of a Grand Old Lady – The Peninsula Treasury;
1988; ISBN: 962-7317-02-0