I stayed for two nights in a Harbourview Suite the week before Christmas while visiting friends in Hong Kong and doing some light sightseeing.
- Beautiful, historic building
- Fantastic views of Hong Kong
- Flawless service
- Lots of wonderful little details in the rooms
- Nothing really, except the cost!
In my opinion, this is the quintessential Hong Kong hotel experience. While I’ve stayed in better rooms, overall The Peninsula has a style and sense of place that few hotels can match. You owe it to yourself to stay here at least once in your life.
ARRIVAL: I requested a transfer from the airport. A Peninsula representative met me at the end of the jetbridge, drove me to immigration, collected my bags, and then whisked me out a back door into one of their signature green Rolls Royce Phantoms. By far the most over-the-top arrival I’ve ever seen, but certainly worth trying once. Check in is done in your room, no standing around at a desk in the lobby.
ROOM: I booked the harbourview suite with a stay one night, get one free package (worked out to roughly $1400 US for 2 nights incl tax). The suite included a nicely-sized living room, an absurdly spacious bedroom, a walk-in-closet nearly the size of the living room, and a beautiful white marble bathroom with the usual setup for a hotel of this caliber (double sinks with separate vanities, separate tub & shower, toilet in separate room).
Décor was a vaguely antique oriental style (Ming vases and the like) – it all fit together well and seemed to fit the Peninsula’s image. Some of the furniture was a bit impractical (like a very ornate and uncomfortable couch in the living room), but most of it was quite good: two chairs with tables for drinks facing out the window to watch the views, large desk with a fax machine hidden inside. Bed was quite comfortable, but certainly not the best I’ve seen. There are tons of helpful details in the rooms, like a telescope to look at boats in the harbour, a little book that explains the origins of the unusual fruits they keep in the room, guide to the skyline as seen from your windows, waterproof bags in the closet to carry your swimsuit down to the pool, etc. It seems they really thought through everything carefully.
The Peninsula’s usual omnipresent room technology was all there – close the drapes, call the valet, turn on do-not disturb, etc all from your bedside. There was quite a media center setup in the bedroom, although I never did figure out how to connect my iPod to it (Peninsula needs one of those easy connection kits with all the required wires, like Mandarin keeps in their rooms). Otherwise, all the buttons and light switches were clearly labeled. Most of the main lights, including the overhead chandeliers, had dimmers, which is great for keeping reflections off the windows to a minimum at night to better enjoy the view. There was also an outside temperature display near the door, which I found useful.
VIEWS: The views of the Hong Kong skyline are as impressive as you may have heard. Just make sure you get a room on the harbour side, and preferably in the tower, as the rooms in the original building below are now partially blocked by the HK museum of art and other structures on the waterfront across the street.
AMENITIES: While the room was impressive, it was all of the other facilities that really make this one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in. The lobby is beautiful, one of those rare spaces that has a feeling of both grandeur and intimacy at the same time. The common spaces are without a doubt the best of the 5-stars in HK: the cold, empty atrium at the FS and the dark 1960s lounges at the Mandarin just don’t have the grace of the 1920’s Peninsula. They serve a lovely afternoon tea in the lobby – I recommend the Chinese teas over the English ones, personally I think they’ve put more effort into choosing the former. There is a shopping arcade spanning three floors; while it is mostly filled with the usual overpriced/overhyped luxury brands you find everywhere, there are some really unique stores, including the Peninsula Boutique, where you can buy their tea, chocolates, etc. to take home with you. The little bit of the spa I saw seemed equally beautiful (I only used the hot tub, not the treatment rooms). The pool is amazing – again, great views of the skyline, good poolside service and food. Pool and hot tub both open at 6am, which is a godsend for the jetlagged. The business center is nothing special and quite overpriced - it turned out to be cheaper to surf the web and check email on my US blackberry on roaming than to pay to use their computers.
FOOD: In addition to tea and food by the pool, I also used room service for breakfast (both Cantonese and western), and while I would have preferred a buffet I was happy with the quality and service. I did not try any of the restaurants.
SERVICE: I didn’t have any out-of-the ordinary service requests, just standard check-in and room service, but everything was handled flawlessly. I did not use the concierge except to make reservations for restaurants others had recommended, but again no problems. They send a fax to your room when they confirm reservations for you, and a light blinks near your door when you enter to let you know a message is waiting.
LOCATION: I know some people have strong preferences as to the Kowloon vs. Central debate. As someone who has stayed on both sides, I really don’t think it makes a bit of difference unless you’re rushing to business meetings and need to take a taxi. Five minutes on the star ferry or the MTR is all the separates the Peninsula from the island.
- Also Known As:
- The Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel Hong Kong
- The Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel
- Peninsula Hong Kong
- Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Peninsula
- The Peninsula Hong Kong
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On 11th December 1928, a legend of Asian hospitality was born – The Peninsula Hong Kong opened its doors for the first time. Classic, contemporary chic arrives at The Peninsula Hong Kong, as this legend of the East redefines luxury once more. Heralding the latest guest-focused technology and a new era of personalisation, the launch of the newly renovated guestrooms in The Peninsula Tower have paved the way for the transformation of guestrooms in the Original Building, which will be unveiled in April 2013 to usher in the hotel’s 85th anniversary celebrations. Accenting simplicity and elegance, the new rooms aesthetic melds the distinctive design touches and high-tech extras present in today’s luxury yachts, motorcars, and private jets, taking The Peninsula guest experience to a new level of comfort. Extensive facilities include a Roman-style swimming pool, a 12,000-square-foot Peninsula Spa, nine award-winning restaurants and bars, superb banqueting and meeting areas, plus a Shopping Arcade.A fleet of fourteen Rolls-Royce limousines is available for luxurious airport transfers, and two MINI Cooper S Clubmen reflect the legendary Grande Dame’s youthful spirit, while the hotel's own helicopter service provides the ultimate in speed and style. ... more less
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