The oldest hotel in Kowloon, the Peninsula is the Grand Dame of the Hong Kong hotel scene, but don’t let the history fool you, there’s plenty of nifty tech touches and modernity to go with the renowned service, tradition, and golden age nostalgia that lingers over the place. The Peninsula is the standout name in Hong Kong hotels, so expect to mingle with a clientele that’s either used to luxury trappings or willing to pay the high price to enjoy the lifestyle for a weekend.
To step onto the famous forecourt in style, have the hotel arrange Rolls Royce transfer for you.
While the hotel is all about history, it doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of progress when it comes to interior design and tech. The spacious rooms here all feature thick carpets, huge beds, floor to ceiling windows and relaxing neutral tones, capturing a contemporary spirit with a nod to its eastern origins in the form of the cherry blossom motifs that snake around the borders. Temperature and lighting can be manipulated from one of several touchscreen pads conveniently perched around the room.
Personalised letterheads for your private correspondence are just one of the ways the hotel goes above and beyond in search of perfect service.
Choose from walk-in showers or deep soaking tubs in the luxurious marble bathrooms.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Service is fastidious, so expect regular room and bathroom turndowns. If you’re in, make sure to switch on your Do Not Disturb sign because room spruce ups at the Peninsula are no half-hearted affair.
Many will only get as far as the lobby (or the bars) here, which makes the hotel’s palatial entrance and signature space one of its most important. Sound tracked by twinkling piano, the ballroom space doesn’t disappoint in aesthetic grandeur or atmosphere. You might struggle to put your finger on what exactly feels different about the Pen but there’s an unmistakeable feeling that the place is special, with the warren of corridors and landings extending from the lobby providing an alluring pull towards the luxury of its bars, restaurants and designer boutiques.
Like the spa, the pool looks out over Victoria Harbour, which makes for a stunning sight after dark. Designed to represent the ruins of an ancient Roman baths, the grand marble pillars, friezes and statues strike a grand statement.
The hotel’s six treatment rooms provide a range of spa services that combine traditional Chinese medicine elements with contemporary wellness. Views overlooking Victoria Harbour add an extra touch of class.
The well-equipped gym has everything you need for a full workout. Beyond the cardio machines and free weights, the changing rooms have a jacuzzi and hot and cold plunge pools to finish off.
Choose from Michelin-starred Cantonese cuisine, Swiss alpine feasts and French fine dining at the hotel’s numerous dining options. We particularly love Chesa, the cozy Swiss restaurant that goes big and bold on mountain cabin chic and represents something different to anything else you’ll likely find in the city.
Afternoon tea (preferably with Champagne) in the lobby is a classic Peninsula experience that shouldn’t be missed. Book in advance to avoid the serious queues.
If you want a quiet, Mad Men style evening of short whiskeys and crisp martinis then head to the basement where The Bar will provide. Otherwise, take the elevator up to the roof where Felix awaits, a spectacular hotel bar whose energizing atmosphere is only matched by the exhilarating bathroom experience, which we’ll leave at that.
Sat on the tip of Kowloon, the hotel is well-connected to Hong Kong Island via the Star ferry and the nearby Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station. The harbour promenade is close by and the area is filled with great shops, restaurants and bars, so don’t be too hasty to rush over to the Island when you leave.
While there’s no way you can tire of dining at the Peninsula, when you want a change of scenery there are plenty of great restaurants close by. The beautifully refined interior of the Kowloon Shangri-La’s Shang Palace (12-minute walk) is the perfect spot for beautiful dim sum, while the two Michelin starred Sun Tung Lok (13-minute walk) restaurant serves some of the finest Chinese food in the city.
Fans of the views at Felix will enjoy more of the same at Acqua Spirit (10-minute walk), whose 30th floor location is as much of a pull as the cocktails. For a more intimate bar experience, try Where Bar & Lounge (9-minute walk) for creative cocktails.
WHY WE LIKE IT
We love the stories attached to The Peninsula (like the one about the staff member who started as a 15-year-old at the hotel fifty-five years ago and currently works a special retirement shift, rising early from his room in the hotel) and the nostalgia that’s felt throughout its regal interior. On top of the remnants of Golden Age glamour, there’s the ostentatious Roman baths, the impeccable service, the high-tech rooms and the exceptional drinking and dining options to certify the Peninsula as one of the city’s most illustrious hotels.