I met Carrie (from their PR team) in the lobby and I soon realised we were kindred spirits, with our mutual interest in teddy bears and luxury hotels. She gave me a Peninsula teddy bear, that is limited edition and is no longer sold, and explained the long history (since 1928) of the hotel and the various Feng Shui elements in the lobby to bring good fortune. Carrie had planned a very special tour for me.
We started in the kitchens where I saw the Chef’s Table (directly in the kitchen) and I was told they were the first Hong Kong hotel to provide this, then I was shown various restaurants, including a Swiss one (Chesa) that is the most affordable at The Peninsula and fine dining Gaddi’s (French), where lots of people propose. Carrie had many interesting stories about wedding proposals, including a high profile event at which the bride declined the proposal while on The Peninsula helicopter.
It was fascinating to wander through the central kitchens, where various of the restaurants have their food cooked and interesting to find that one kitchen has doors to so many different styles of restaurant. We then went to the Chocolate Room, which few customers get to see and I was stunned by the pieces they had made and also the ones being made for VIP guests.
Then we went to view one of the Deluxe Harbour View suites. It was beautifully furnished in an art deco Oriental style with stunning views across the harbour to Central. The suite was full of impressive technology (eg a tablet controlling the room) and the bathroom luxurious, with Oscar de la Renta bathroom products and an incredible view too.
We went to view the pool. It was another indoor pool but a contrast to the Mandarin one. I was not able to take photos but this one is Roman style, with a large pool and views over the harbour from huge windows. The area has a light and airy feel.
Carrie explained that almost all of their guests are leisure customers, and many were repeat families. As we left the hotel there was a long queue for taxis, relating to the popularity of their afternoon tea.
6 out of 5 ‘teddies’ - for Carries’ brilliant ‘private’ tour and our special new friend Peter. The Peninsula is a luxurious landmark hotel which people wanting to stay in Kowloon should consider. However, like with The Ritz in London, their popular afternoon tea may be a problem. I was frustrated by the queues for taxis at the huge Waldorf Astoria in New York and The Peninsula may have the same issue.