to be picked up ….

The Peninsula Hong Kong (香港半島酒店)
Salisbury Road,
Kowloon, Hong Kong, SAR
5-Stars, 246 rooms and 54 suites

Now looking the website and on the net a lot has changed since June-78, when I was one of their important guests. Rooms has been refurbished, in 1994 there was a 30-story tower added to the magnificent old building, there is also buildings in front of the hotel and they have changed color on their Rolls-Royces. In “my days” they where cappuccino colored and they where 7 to the number. The hotel have picked up their guest in that luxury since 1970. In “my days” at The Peninsula every guest where picked up on arrival and dropped off on departure.

Today they have a fleet of 14 limousines, liveried in the hotel’s own green and honey trim, is the largest single order of the legendary masque’s new Phantom super-luxury car and come purpose-built for the hotel’s rich customers and four 1934 Phantom’s are still in service. Plus 2 specially bespoke made Mini Cooper’s share the space.

The hotel opened up 1928 in the corner of Salisbury Road and Nathan Road. Today they call their prestige’s lady – The Grand Dame of Asia – and it’s grand.

When there was only 4 weeks left of my year aboard MS Lindblad Explorer and knowing that I would have all my well deserved tax free US dollar in my hand soon – I sat down in Shanghai and hand wrote my reservation request for a corner room with harbour view. HK$500 per night (no breakfast included) and as a signed off sailor – with “style” – I could stay in Hong Kong for 8 days without visa .. so that was it.

7th of July 1979 I was aboard all packed up after a 358 days aboard waiting on my release – it took time – just after lunch the cruise director came out in the galley and told me that there was a Rolls-Royce by the gangway and the driver was asking for me. Didn’t have clue what that was all about. Didn’t know about the Rolls-Royce thing – had seen them in front of the hotel when I been over there for soaking up the atmosphere, afternoon tea and dinner at Gaddi’s. So I handed over my luggage to the driver and when my release had arrived a  I walked over to the hotel with my last belongings in a plastic bag. About 10 min walk from Ocean Terminal. No LV pieces then neither.

It was heaven to stay in that big room with view over the harbour after being in a small cabin for nearly a year – Hong Kong has the most beautiful harbour view at night. It’s like a massive diamond brooch.  1978 they didn’t have the light displays on buildings on Hong Kong Island side. Still it was breathtaking. Slept with the curtains wide open every night – didn’t need a TV. Then there was no building in front of the hotel and my “butler” told me that it will never happen that anything will be built in front of the Peninsula. Today there is museums. The hotels next door neighbour is YMCA – then a big hostel – today a 4-star hotel.

1979 there was a small exclusive shopping arcade long the lobby – today is has expanded – 2 storage arcade with shops like Tiffany, Prada, Chanel, Harry Winston and LV plus local designers

The world has changed around and inside The Peninsula – but this lady is still one of the most beautiful and bold in the world.
Today “my room” will come to HK$4.380 – $565 – £357 per night, with American Breakfast in The Lobby included. Not really more then a 4-star hotel in London cost without breakfast.

If I win enough money – I will go back – do it all again. I will arrive in a  Peninsula Green Phantom and departure in their white helicopter. Do the whole Peninsula experience and then die with a big smile !!!!

Photos provided by and thanks to: / / / / /

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