Angela Beitz checks into one of Hong Kong’s oldest
hotels to be dazzled by a world where old meets new…
When you are greeted at Hong Kong airport in a Rolls Royce Phantom, it instantly becomes clear this is not going to be any old hotel stay. The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong is all about providing memorable experiences and we’re off to a good start. You can also be picked up at the airport by the hotel’s helicopter and arrive on the rooftop of the hotel and there’s a special rooftop lounge, exclusively for guests travelling by chopper. What a way to leave an impression on your guests before even arriving at the hotel.
The Peninsula Hong Kong opened her doors in 1928 for the first time and has been welcoming guests and patrons from all over the world in true Peninsula fashion ever since. Every great lady has a history, and The Peninsula is no exception. Hers is a remarkable story of vision and evolution with the architects who, in the early 1920s drew plans for “the first hotel east of Suez”, doing so at the behest of men whose foresight and confidence in Hong Kong was considered audacious at the time.
We slide up to the hotel’s main doors in our Rolls Royce and our bags are quickly whisked away while our check-in is attended to flawlessly and we are in our room within about five minutes of arriving. One thing we love about this hotel is that it has a history, you can feel it as you walk through the front doors and are taken back to a whole different era.
We are staying in the Grand Deluxe Harbour View Room and the views from Tsim Sha Tsui looking over Victoria Harbor to Central on Hong Kong Island are simply breathtaking. There is nothing better than being privy to a fabulous view that makes you feel you are really enjoying the best of the city you are visiting.
It’s the small details that explain why The Peninsula Hong Kong is considered as one of the world’s best hotels. The Oscar de le Renta toiletries in the bathroom are such a nice touch along with free wifi and wireless VOIP phones but what we were seriously impressed with was the nail dryer. Yes, that’s right dear Ohlala readers, a nail dryer. The rooms have a gorgeous dressing table with a hairdryer and lit-mirror along with a nail dryer. It seems they’ve thought of everything.
The rooms is controlled by a Samsung tablet that is super easy to use unlike other hotels where it takes half an hour to work out how to close the curtains or turn the lights off. The hotel has worked out how to blend the luxury combination of old world elegance with all the modern gadgets seamlessly.
The rooms have been revamped in the last couple of years and are painfully chic with beige and dark timber furnishings, plush carpets and hints of Asian design. The huge bathrooms are original and decadent, there are twin sinks so you don’t have to share, a huge bathtub that you can watch TV in and a lovely rain shower. There’s a wide selection of Asian teas, a big Nespresso machine, a wine chiller and fresh fruit is delivered daily. Another clever detail is the multi device charger next to the bed so none of your devices will ever go flat. No detail has been overlooked.
There are a few must-dos when staying at this iconic hotel. The first is their high tea. It’s legendary worldwide and if you’re not a guest, there’s a long queue in the foyer that will have you waiting for an hour or two. Everyone should try it at least once. We sip our tea when a three-tier platter of scones with jam and cream, cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches and watercress quiche is delivered in front of us and the top tier is covered in petite fours and cakes. On our visit we were very lucky to be privy to a special Tiffany & Co themed high tea where the top layer of petite fours and cakes were themed in Tiffany & Co blue and small blue boxes. Perfection. This is a timeless and opulent high tea experience that we would highly recommend.
Another must-do at The Peninsula is a visit to the spa. The Peninsula Spa offers guests a deeply personalised spa experience with over 12,000 square feet of the ultimate in luxury and tranquility. The space boasts spectacular views of Victoria Harbour with stylishly designed treatment rooms for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind, body and spirit.
Two exclusive ‘spas within a spa’ are available for a luxurious private spa experience and are ideal for couples. The Spa’s design fuses traditional Chinese elements with contemporary flair featuring warm tones of marble, rustic woods and textured granite. Men’s and women’s relaxation rooms are equally lavish, with hammam-style steam rooms, saunas and crescent-shaped, aromatherapy experience showers.
We were lucky enough to try a facial by Margy’s Monte Carlo during our stay. Launched exclusively at The Peninsula, Margy’s Monte Carlo is an anti-ageing programme created by renowned beauty expert Margie Lombard and used by a who’s who of the world’s most beautiful and famous women. Featuring four unique, highly effective facial treatments that incorporate a range of rare active ingredients and high-quality, Swiss-made products developed specifically to slow down the signs of ageing. We try the Ultimate Aesthetic Facial Treatment by Margy’s (1 hour, 40 minutes) which is a highly effective treatment that uses revolutionary technology to administer ultrasonic waves and controlled warmth to the skin’s deeper tissues. This pioneering treatment transforms the skin from the inside out by stimulating the growth of fresh new collagen and new elastin with collagen refill technology, tightening skin, reducing wrinkles and combating the signs of ageing, leaving skin looking and feeling smoother, visibly firmer and younger, where optimal results will be seen within three months. We can say hands down this is the best facial we have ever tried and it felt like we’d some sort of non-invasive fact lift. Our skin was plump, clear and bright.
When visiting the spa we recommend using the facilities beforehand and the beautiful partially open air Roman-bath style pool, with waiter service. Both the pool and the state of the art fitness center have unobstructed views of the harbor.
The plethora of restaurants at this iconic hotel is very impressive with lots of variety starting with fine dining at the Philippe Starck designed top floor Felix, again with amazing views, classic and upscale Cantonese at Spring Moon, romantic French at Gaddi’s, modern Japanese at Imasa, a cool speakeasy bar hidden below the lobby; and Chesa, serving Swiss alpine classics like spaetzle and fondue in a charming space.
The Verandah is also a standout, with a beautiful breakfast spread with delicious options in a pretty setting which is such a refreshing experience to the usual tired buffet options. The Peninsula is a truly great hotel and we can almost guarantee you will be impressed. It’s certainly opulent and dear but it’s truly worth it and you’ll remember your stay for years to come.
Editor Ohlala Abu Dhabi