The Peninsula celebrates its 85 year anniversary this year, which is commemorated with a light show this weekend…
The hotel opened in 1928 and aimed to be “the finest hotel east of Suez“…
The building itself was completed a year earlier but was used temporarily by British military authorities.
It offered unobstructed views of Nathan Road and Lion Rock at the rear…
…and overlooked Kowloon Railway Station and Victoria Harbour at the front.
The Peninsula marked the final stop on the Trans-Siberian railway, offering respite to newly arrived rich Europeans…
On Christmas Day, 1941, the hotel played host to the dramatic climax of the Battle of Hong Kong…
The city was surrendered to the Japanese and HK’s governor was held at the Peninsula before being sent to a prison in Shanghai. The resort itself was renamed the ‘Toa Hotel’ (East Asia Hotel), with rooms reserved for Japanese officers and dignitaries.
After the war, the hotel became home to Jewish refugees who had been living in Shanghai. They camped out in the ballroom for 6 months after their ship to Australia was commandeered by the Australian army.
Over the years, the hotel found its harbour view further obscured as waterfront reclamation continued.
In 1994, a 30-storey tower was added along with a helipad to transport VIPs from the airport within 7 minutes. The extension added 132 rooms and suites in addition to 10 floors of office space and shops. The hotel remained open throughout construction…
In 2006, a fleet of 14 green Rolls-Royce Phantoms was purchased – the largest single order in the history of the car company.
‘High tea’ in the lobby often tops lists of ‘things to do before you die‘…
To celebrate its 85th year, the hotel launched a HK$450 million refurbishment programme.
Felix Bar at the top of the building offers possibly the world’s best view from a urinal…
As well as annual festive lighting, the hotel also bathes its façade in pink each year for breast cancer awareness…
More historical entries below…
Pictorial histories of local landmarks and events…
- A Brief Visual History: HK Police Vehicles & Uniforms
- A Brief Visual History: HK’s Old Airport, Kai Tak
- A Brief Visual History: Kowloon Walled City
- A Brief Visual History: The Evolution of the Hong Kong Skyline.
- A Brief Visual History: The Peak Tram
- A Brief Visual History: Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower
- A Brief Visual History: Yau Ma Tei Theatre
Blog posts charting Hong Kong’s colourful past…
- 1000+ ‘Before and After’ Photos of Old & New Hong Kong.
- Cool Vintage Hong Kong Tourism Posters.
- Execution of Namoa Pirates in Kowloon, 1891.
- Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong: Photos from 1942, Beautifully Restored.
- HK’s Boom Years: The Best of Fan Ho.
- Hong Kong’s Most Offensive Place Names.
- How Hong Kong Was Made: Iconic Buildings Under Construction.
- Mainland Refugees Fleeing Famine Rejected by HK.
- Margaret Thatcher in Hong Kong.
- More Vintage Photos of Old Hong Kong.
- Newly Unearthed Photos of 1950s Hong Kong.
- Pictures of Hong Kong in 1972.
- Rare Shots from Inside the Old Kowloon Walled City.
- Shing Mun Redoubt, HK’s Secret WWII Tunnels.
- Street Scenes in Dreamy Colour 1954-2004.
- The ‘Great Chinese Takeaway’ – the 1997 Handover.
- The 1958 Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship Winner (Bruce Lee).
- The 1967 Hong Kong Riots.
- The Bombing of Hong Kong by the U.S. 14th Air Force.
- The Day a Cargo Ship Washed up on Cheung Chau Beach.
- The Hakka Walled Village of Tsang Tai Uk, Sha Tin.
- The Iconic ‘Two Girls’ Kwong Sang Hong Cosmetics Brand
- The Luxury British Liner at the Bottom of Victoria Harbour.
- Unseen Royal Geographic Photos.
- When the MTR Was New.