Above: The hotel’s fleet of Rolls-Royce cars was introduced in 2006.
The Peninsula Hong Kong was built in 1928 next to the last stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway to be “the finest hotel east of Suez,” and in the intervening years it has welcomed guests from far and wide into its iconic main building—to which a 30-story tower and helipad were appended in 1994. For those who are yet to visit this “Grand Dame of the East,” its newly completed US$58 million renovation of the Tower guest rooms and suites may be the catalyst you need.
After eight months of work in the Peninsula Tower, all 300 of its guest rooms have been transformed—the finishing touches on the original building’s rooms are due in April, 2013.
The design has been a collaboration between The Peninsula’s in-house team and Chicago-based Gettys. Soft tones under warm lighting lend the rooms a welcoming feel without ceding the scale of the Hong Kong skyline outside. At no point do the rooms look stark, or the wardrobe stitching and burl cabinetry seem overdone. Cassina-designed sofas and Poltrona Frau dining chairs are complemented by hardwood dining tables.
Technology is one of the standout results of the renovation. In-room tablets control a menu of over 90 internet TV stations, and over 450 radio channels. A 64-inch TV and a 55-inch Blu-ray TV are on hand, as are a library of HD movies, iPad docking station, and first-class sound system. Multi-device chargers are located in the bedside drawers.
The Pensinula’s marble bathrooms have been not been ignored. The rooms have been redesigned entirely. Integrated into the room as a whole, LED touch-screen panels—located on the wall and by the bath—enable viewing of internet TV and control of the radio.
There are some things that will remain the same, however—from the iconic Rolls-Royce fleet to the emphasis on first-class service—but the Grand Dame of the East, soon to reach its 85th anniversary, is growing old gracefully.