The Peninsula hotel, Hong Kong review: Inside one of Asia's most iconic properties

Our rating

5 out of 5

Whether staying as a guest or visiting one of the many dining options, it's a must-do in Hong Kong.

The location

The Peninsula sits on Hong Kong's Kowloon Peninsula, from which the hotel derives its name. The building is just one block back from the city's famous Victoria Harbour, so it's just a short walk to catch a ferry across to Hong Kong Island, with access to the extensive MTR subway system also just behind the hotel. Kowloon itself has plenty to offer visitors, with great shopping and dining options, along with cultural sites such as the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Space Museum located just across the road from the hotel.

The space

The first property for the now-global Peninsula group, the Hong Kong hotel has become an icon of the city since it first opened in 1928. The building has undergone extensive development and expansion since then, the most major change being the addition of the hotel tower in 1994, taking the total number of rooms from 165 to 300. The grandness of the hotel strikes you upon entering, with its colonial style lobby of pillars, palms and white-jacketed staff. There are seven restaurants in the hotel, multiple bars and shops, and a spa along with a beautiful indoor pool offering views across the harbour. The hotel offers a variety of in-house activities for guests, including lessons in dumpling making with restaurant chefs and tea-tasting and appreciation sampling to the expansive and diverse selection available at Spring Moon (see The Food, below). Book in advance.

The hotel is also famous for its fleet of green Rolls Royce limosuines, which guests can book for airport transfers. It's an indulgence that's hard to resist. 

The room

My stylish room also offers views over the harbour and it's a treat to watch the city skyline light up as the sun goes down. The room features a king-size bed, a desk, a breakfast table, a couch and a large sideboard housing the big-screen TV, minibar, a fax machine and a multimedia panel which allows you to connect your devices to the main screen.

There are two tablets in the room, used for controlling room functions like the climate control, along with information about the hotel and facilities for restaurant and spa bookings.

The black and white marble bathroom is a grand affair in itself, with two sinks on opposite walls, a huge, deep bath (with a television in the wall, of course) and the shower and toilet hidden away in their own alcoves.

Little touches, such as the phone system that offers free international phones calls via the internet, and the extremely classy stationery supplies, are what make the hotel a cut above most luxury accommodation options.

The food

With seven restaurants (the hotel employs more than 200 chefs) it's nigh on impossible to sample them all. The diversity of the restaurants is impressive: there is the French-themed Gaddi's, the rooftop Felix offering modern European, the Swiss Chesa, done up to emulate a traditional Swiss village inn, the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Spring Moon, the Japanese Imasa, and the Verandah, offering buffet dining, including the hotel breakfast. The Lobby restaurant is home to the hotel's famous high tea, and queues of diners are often seen waiting to get a table (guests of the hotel do not have to wait).

Stepping out

A short trip across the harbour via ferry or MTR can get you to Sheung Wan, Hong Kong's new hotspot for all things hipster and cool. There is a wide variety of cool, edgy restaurants, funky bars and artisan stores to explore. PMQ, a former college and later residences for the police force, has been transformed into a series of studios and shops for local designers, with fashion, homewares, jewellery and much more across the selection of about 100 stores.

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See pmq.org.hk/

The verdict

The Peninsula is truly one of those hotels you never want to leave. It's a huge operation and you could spend days there without setting foot outside. Whether staying as a guest or visiting one of the many dining options, it's a must-do in Hong Kong.

Essentials

Rooms at the Peninsula start from $HK3980 per night (about $A650).

hongkong.peninsula.com

Highlight

The service from the hotel staff is outstanding, as you might expect from a hotel of this calibre.

Lowlight

The Peninsula is so big, with so many different parts, it can be easy to get a bit lost at times.

The writer stayed as a guest of Virgin Australia, The Peninsula and the Hong Kong Tourism Board. 

See also: How an unmarked Peninsula hotel room changed Hong Kong's history

See also: The seven best places to shop in Hong Kong