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Hotel Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Salisbury Road Kowloon Hong Kong City, Hong Kong -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Since it first opened in 1928, this legendary hotel, the first lady of Hong Kong, has played host to many a leading figure from all corners of the world. The very luxurious Peninsula offers a plethora of features to marvel at, from its lobby to its various dining areas and superb spa... not the mention the exceptional service! Of course, it goes without saying that the high level of comfort and many first-class facilities mean its rooms are extremely sought after.

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    • Hotel Peninsula Hong Kong

      Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong   -   © The Peninsula Hong Kong

    • Hotel Peninsula Hong Kong

      Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong   -   © The Peninsula Hong Kong

       
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    Location 7.15 /10

    The Peninsula stands facing the Hong Kong Convention Centre and the Planetarium, both of which are built on the seafront, and shares breathtaking views across Victoria Harbour with several other hotels in the city. The hotel is surrounded by the constant hustle and bustle of Tsim Sha Tsui in the business district of Kowloon, as well as a great number of shopping centres and various cultural attractions. The hotel is around 40 minutes by taxi from Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok International Airport, but the journey can end up taking longer due to the traffic jams around the city!

    Accommodation 9.45 /10

    The Peninsula has a total of 300 guest rooms, including 153 suites, ranging from 441 sq ft to 3982 sq ft, with wooden doors and wall lights adorning the communal areas and long, thick blue and cream-carpeted corridors leading to the rooms. Although the rooms are distinctly European in style, Asian touches are also present in the private areas in the form of various objects such as the television unit, pots, etc. The various rooms are decorated in two colours, namely the ever-present ivory, and an additional colour, either blue, green or red. The thick carpets, incredibly comfortable sofas and carefully chosen furniture make for very inviting surroundings, and the bedding choices the hotel offers (single, king-size, queen-size, etc.) are sure to guarantee a good night's sleep. Guests at the Peninsula will also come across the famous 'Shoeshine box', a small space where you can leave your shoes to have them polished - just push the relevant button and the staff will come and collect them without disturbing you in your room. This is also where your newspapers will be left in the mornings.

    The rooms housed in the hotel's large tower block start on the 17th floor, meaning that they offer breath-taking views of Victoria Harbour and the rest of the city. The 10 'Deluxe Harbour' suites, for example, offer superb 270° panoramic views across Victoria Harbour, and the Deluxe Courtyard room, located in the original building, where the rooms have higher ceilings and are decorated more quaintly, overlooks the Planetarium and the hotel courtyard.

    The very traditional but no less comfortable rooms offer a maximum of high-tech equipment, including several large plasma-screen televisions broadcasting 43 local and international channels, several very sophisticated telephones, a rather outdated fax machine with a personalised number and a CD/DVD-player (with a slot to hold your memory card, which is then immediately detected by the television, enabling you to scroll through your images on the screen), and all rooms enjoy free Wi-Fi Internet access. The brightness of the various light fittings in the room (including the reading lights), the television, curtains, radio, air-conditioning and even the alarm clock are all electronically controlled from the same panel, with two sound outputs in the headboard, tucked away in a little recess.

    The suites feature superb grey and white marble bathrooms, which can be a little on the small side in the standard rooms, though all have a separate toilet, a lovely separate all-marble shower (including hydro-jets in the suites), a bathtub (including a superb corner jacuzzi in the suites) with a television built into the wall, a double washbasin, a make-up mirror, beautiful Davi (California) hospitality products, a hair-dryer, bathrobes and slippers, etc. There is even a control panel in the dressing room between the bedroom and the bathroom which displays the humidity and temperature in the room.

    Guests are served a tea to welcome them on arrival, and you can also order more later on. Room service is available 24 hours a day, as is the butler service.

    Overview 9.90 /10

    The Peninsula was Hong Kong's very first hotel when it opened in 1928, making it over 80 years old. It was also the first hotel in this prestigious chain, and is unashamedly proud of its glorious history. An additional 30-storey building was added to the initial 6-storey U-shaped structure in 1994, and the two buildings now stand harmoniously side by side. The impressive long, cream entrance to the lobby is punctuated with tall columns, and if you glance upwards you'll notice the beautiful floral motifs, not to mention the monumental staircase, whose main purpose is for guests to see and be seen. As for the famous afternoon tea served in the very popular cafe in the lobby from 2:00pm to 7:00pm, be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

    Travel enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate the 'Salon de Ning' lounge in the lower ground floor. This 1930s middle-class Shanghai lounge-style area consists of a series of four rooms designed around the theme of travel, each very busy and providing a stark contrast to the others, from the 'Africa' room, to the 'Ski' room, which is fitted out as a Swiss chalet, via the 'Boudoir' and the 'Ballroom' (because Madame Ning loved to dance!). This character from the 1930's is entirely fictitious, but does bring the period to life and was an excuse for the designers to go crazy, with a total of five crystal ball chandeliers and a selection of jewels and hats dotted here and there. Live music is staged during the week, whilst at the weekend, various DJs take to the decks. The three floors below the hotel's facilities are taken up by some 80 luxury boutiques, including Cartier, Prada and Dior. Some brands have their only Hong Kong outlet here. Most of the restaurants, on the other hand, are located on the first floor.

    The split-level 12,013 sq ft spa (by ESPA) is located on the 7th floor and boasts an all-marble entrance, a water wall feature, soft lighting and its own private lift A wide variety of treatments can be enjoyed in the spa's 14 treatment rooms, whilst more active guests might prefer to head down the corridor to the beautiful gym, complete with light parquet flooring and many high-tech machines. The large picture window offers pleasant views over the wooden decking covering part of the terrace, making it ideal for enjoying a spot of high-altitude yoga overlooking the Hong Kong Convention Centre. The hotel's pool area on the 8th floor has been designed in a Roman style, as demonstrated by the two enormous contoured columns which dominate the space. Stairs offer easy access to the 59 ft rectangular white marble and ochre pool, complete with two blue mosaic jacuzzis and superb thick-cushioned wooden deckchairs in these luxurious and spacious surroundings right at the heart of the city. Plenty of light floods in through the large picture windows on either side (which can even be opened), offering direct views of Hong Kong Island. The relaxed decor here is similar in style, with lots of wood, and one section is devoted to healthy eating. Outside, down below, bathers can top up their tan amid the vegetation on the large decked solarium terrace. On the top floor of the hotel you'll find the 'China Clipper', named after the legendary seaplane and bringing to mind the feats of the pioneers. As you wait for your helicopter, you can wait in the comfortable setting and enjoy the superb views across Hong Kong Bay, the photographs of famous aircraft and the enormous engine showcased in the room.

    Food and drink 9.70 /10

    Guests at the Peninsula are spoilt for choice with no fewer than 10 restaurants and bars to choose from at the hotel. The blue and cream-coloured French restaurant, 'Gaddi's', is part of the history of the hotel, given that it has been there for over 50 years, since 1953, and opens for both lunch and dinner. As you might expect, silver (in the way of tableware) and crystal (the enormous chandeliers) feature heavily in the decor here, setting an appropriate scene for the pianist and singer who perform here every evening. A selection of French dishes including pan-cooked foie gras, Bresse squab pigeon and a variety of vegetarian dishes are prepared under the watchful eye of an international chef, who happens to be British. The oldest bottle on the very extensive wine list dates back to 1928, as you might expect, but the sommelier is also happy to suggest a "Château Rauzan-Grassies", 2nd Cru Classe, a "Château Lafite-Rothschild", 1st Cru Classe, or even the Château Petrus, an exceptional vintage and the most expensive bottle of the lot!

    The Swiss restaurant, 'Chesa', is one of only two in the city and is designed like the inside of a chalet, long but with no windows looking outside. It certainly offers rustic surroundings, as well as a very cosy ambience, complete with red carpet, wooden ceiling and white cob walls.

    The hotel's main restaurant, 'The Verandah', serves its starters and desserts on buffet stations, whilst the main course is chosen 'à la carte'. The long dining room offers beautiful views across to the Planetarium, and you feel like you're in some sort of indoor garden.

    The split-level Chinese restaurant, 'Spring Moon', features dark, all-wood, 20's-style decor including small round wooden tables, columns, etc. and serves authentic Cantonese cuisine. The real focus here, though, is the tea counter, where you sample your choice of the 25 different teas on offer, served by an actual tea master.

    'Isama', the Japanese restaurant, is rather less exciting due to its simple and slightly outdated decor, but the cuisine served offers a delicious insight into traditional Japanese cooking.

    Up on the 28th floor, and open from 7:00pm onwards, you'll be amazed by the large and very trendy space created by Starck and opened in 1994. The backs of the chairs arranged around the large illuminated frosted glass table are decorated with black and white photographs of some of the hotel's employees, such as Johnny, who has been a barman at the Peninsula for 51 years! One spiral staircase leads to the stylish bar, whilst another, which is also illuminated, leads to a small table, the perfect romantic corner. The city stretches out behind the large picture windows on either side of the room, and tucked away under one of the staircases you'll find the nightclub, the 'Crazy Box', complete with leather walls. Under the other staircase is a small sort of wine cellar furnished with three small round tables. There is also, of course 'The Bar', the unmissable 'The Lobby', and also the 'Salon de Ning'.

    To know

    Whether you are staying here or not, you really should come and visit this jewel in the Hong Kong crown, and perhaps even sample the famous afternoon tea served here. As you might expect, the Peninsula is one of those hotels you are unlikely to forget, and has made its way onto many a prestigious listing. As a result, it is regularly featured in numerous international publications, including Travel and Leisure, the Gallivanter's Guide, Forbes Traveller and Condé Nast Traveller, to name but a few.

    The Peninsula also boasts the city's only two heliports, ideal for travelling to and from the international airport, or even for enjoying an aerial view of Hong Kong's beauty (a 15-minute flight will set you back around HK$5,500). You might also be interested to know that the most recent Batman film, 'The Dark Knight, was filmed at the hotel. The ultimate in luxury, the Peninsula also has a fleet of 14 incredibly beautiful Rolls Royces, including a Phantom II in what has come to be known as Peninsula green. Basically, there really is no other hotel in the world to rival this one!

    The emphasis on service is evident, as demonstrated by the ratio of employees to the number of guest rooms (the highest in the city). The staff here have a strong connection to the place, and two of them have even been here for 50 years!

    The hotel's collection of silver is incredible, with some 48,000 pieces in daily use, including the Christofle candelabra, and the extensive wine menu features no fewer than 716 different wines, including the Peninsula collection.

    Cookery classes with the hotel's chefs are organised and geared separately towards adults and children, and the other activities on offer include cultural excursions, an introduction to Feng Shui or Chinese medicinal herbs, tai-chi, coaching and even a consultation with a dietician, among other things.

    Four of the guest rooms have disabled access.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, stretching, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, aerobics, basketball, fitness

    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • A legendary hotel.
    • Exceptional service.
    • A vast range of high-quality restaurants.
    • A very large and superb spa.
    • The magnificent lobby.
    • The luxurious decor.
    • The heliports.
    • The Rolls Royce fleet.

    disadvantages

    • The very traditional surroundings.
    • This level of luxury comes at a price!

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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