The Peninsula Hotels
PROFILE & PHILOSOPHY
The Peninsula name is synonymous with romance, glamour and style – hotels in some of the world’s most exciting cities, stunning facilities, world-class service and a unique combination of tradition, heritage, innovation and glamour offer guests a hotel stay unlike any other, whether on business or leisure.
As the world’s leading small luxury hotel group, The Peninsula Hotels has a proud heritage as Asia’s oldest hotel company. The company philosophy is to invest in each property rather than just manage them, thus giving a much longer-term outlook and a very particular, very focused growth pattern. The group currently owns and manages nine hotels across Asia and the USA, and signaling the debut into Europe, The Peninsula Paris opens this summer, while two upcoming projects in Yangon and London have just been announced.
THE PENINSULA TODAY
Today, we celebrate new milestones and turn a new page in our history, as the Peninsula brand claims footholds in nine gateway cities across Asia, North America and soon to be a presence in Europe.
The Peninsula Hotels constantly works on developing new measures and experiential initiatives to deliver a more inspiring travel experience. For instance, The Peninsula Academy has been created to give guests an insider introduction to key aspects of culture, lifestyle, cuisine, arts and history through individualised classes, tours and activities. Each hotel has meticulously curated their programmes by sourcing the very best tour guides and local partners, bringing to life the destination through exclusive activities, all accomplished with the celebrated Peninsula attention to detail.
The Peninsula Hotels is also a pioneer and industry leader in the research and development of innovative guestroom technology. Unveiled in 2012, The Peninsula Hong Kong set new standards of guest personalisation with tablet technology. The customised tablets and panels around the room can be set in one of 11 languages – English, French, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Spanish, German, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Japanese and Portuguese – enabling the entire room to transform into the guest’s choice of language at a fingertip.
HISTORY IN TEN DATES
The history of the company that became The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (parent company of The Peninsula Hotels) stretches back almost as far as Hong Kong itself. In 1880, two brothers from Baghdad, Ellis and Elly Kadoorie, arrived in Shanghai, marking the beginning of the establishment of a remarkable family business. Sir Elly Kadoorie purchased 25 shares in the The Hongkong Hotel Company Limited 10 years later, which was founded and registered on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1866.
In Shanghai, The Shanghai Hotel Company (founded in 1896 as Central Stores Limited, and renamed in 1917) had purchased the Central Hotel (built in 1875), aiming to make it the largest and most modern hotel in China. It re-opened in 1909 as The Palace Hotel, followed by The Astor House Hotel (1911), the Kalee Hotel (1920) and the Majestic Hotel (1924).
In May, The Shanghai Hotel Company purchased 60% of Beijing’s finest hotel, The Grand Hotel des Wagons-Lits, in the heart of the Legation Quarter at the terminus of the Trans-Siberian railway route from Europe to China. In the same month, with some of the world’s most prominent hotels in its portfolio, The Hongkong Hotel Company, under the stewardship of Sir Elly and Sir Ellis Kadoorie, acquired an 85% controlling interest in The Shanghai Hotel Company.
The Shanghai Hotels, Limited merged with The Hongkong Hotel Company, Limited in October, forming The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH), parent company of The Peninsula Hotels, with its head office in Hong Kong.
The Peninsula Hong Kong opened on 11December 1928. Over the years, The Peninsula has been witness to and participant in the history of Hong Kong, celebrating its dramatic progress, weathering the turbulence of war and military occupation and meeting the challenges posed by the changing needs of the international traveller. Hong Kong dubbed her “The Pen”, and she is referred to thus around the world.
The Peninsula Hotels and Rolls-Royce have been associated in excellence for over 45 years, in a record-breaking partnership that began with The Peninsula Hong Kong’s first order for seven Silver Shadows in 1970. That purchase made history for being the largest ever single order for Rolls-Royce.
HSH was honoured as the first hotel company to be invited by the Chinese government to form a joint venture, and in 1982 entered into a five-year management contract for the 480-room Jianguo Hotel. The country’s first joint-venture hotel was a huge success, lauded by the government as a model for others to emulate and famed for the fine cuisine on offer at Justine’s Restaurant.
HSH entered the North American market in December 1988 with the acquisition of a landmark Beaux-Arts building in New York, which began life as the Gotham Hotel. The building, completed in 1905, is situated at the junction of 55th Street and Fifth Avenue, in the heart of Manhattan. It still stands proudly as The Peninsula’s first venture into North America.
The Peninsula Tower was unveiled in 1994, rising 29 floors from the original six-storey building and adding more rooms and suites with spectacular views, a pool and spa, a helipad and a rooftop restaurant designed by Philippe Starck. The hotel also took delivery of a new fleet of nine Rolls-Royce Silver Spur IIIs and a Vintage 1934 Phantom II, and the first hotel roof-based helicopter landing pad in Hong Kong was commissioned at The Grande Dame of the Far East.
The site of The Peninsula Shanghai, at No. 32 The Bund, was originally part of the grounds of the British Consulate, and today the hotel stands amongst its illustrious historical neighbours along the length of The Bund – the first new building in over 60 years. Opened in October 2009 and in homage to the era when the “Paris of the East” came of age, The Peninsula Shanghai recreates the look and feel of that flamboyant age of glamour.
To be unveiled on 1 August 2014, The Peninsula Hotels makes its grand entrance into Europe with The Peninsula Paris, setting spectacular new standards in design, luxury and comfort. The century-old classic building has been meticulously restored and modernized to create the latest example of Peninsula excellence.
TRAVELLER MADE HOTEL PARTNERS
FUTURE OPENINGS & PROJECTS
- The Peninsula Yangon (project under development)
- The Peninsula London (project under development)
The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited
8/F., St. George’s Building
2 Ice House Street
Central, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2840 7788
MORE ABOUT THE PENINSULA ORIENTATION
The legendary Peninsula combination of heritage, glamour and service unfolds through the hallmarks that distinguish the brand from the rest – magnificent lobbies (the heart of each Peninsula hotel) with signature Afternoon Teas, cutting edge in-room technology, fleets of Rolls-Royces and vintage 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantoms and, for a more playful aspect, MINI Clubman cars in some hotels to zip guests around town, helicopters, river boats, tuk-tuks, stunning rooftop swimming pools and fitness centres, 1930’s Shanghai-themed Salon de Ning lounges, Peninsula pageboys and much, much more.
The Peninsula Spas offer a range of treatments and products which are bespoke or unique to their locale to suit the needs of each hotel’s clientele. For example, the Vital Qi and Bamboo Harmoniser ceremonies, at our hotels in Beijing and Shanghai respectively, were created to incorporate local elements in the treatments. In addition, Naturally Peninsula cuisine has been especially created by the culinary teams of The Peninsula Hotels to introduce a variety of lighter and healthier dining options, with each dish maintaining its own unique and pristine flavours without compromise. Recipes are well-balanced and use organic produce from reputable and sustainable sources wherever possible.
The Peninsula always offers the best of its local cuisine for guests. Local dishes appear on local menus and room service menus to allow guests to have a taste of and get inspired by the destination. Celebrating the group’s heritage and roots in China, guests can find a Chinese restaurant in almost every Peninsula hotel. The sophisticated and delicate design of each hotel’s restaurants adds to the elegance and glamour of The Peninsula Hotels as well.
HSH owns and manages the Thai Country Club near Bangkok, one of the finest golf clubs in Asia; as well as Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel, California, USA. Under Peninsula Clubs and Consultancy Services, HSH manages the prestigious Hong Kong Club, The Hong Kong Bankers Club and Butterfield’s Club in Hong Kong as well.
The Peninsula is a living legend, the name synonymous with luxurious comfort and impeccable service, which is always deemed to be one of the world’s best hotel groups. In 2013, The Peninsula was honoured as “Best Hotel Brand for Business Travel” in the 2013 Business Travel Awards by Conde Nast Traveler, while Mr Peter Borer, HSH’s Chief Operating Officer, received 2013 Corporate Hotelier of the World from HOTELS Magazine. The Peninsula is also known as having the “Best Hotel Club Floor” in 2012 Global Traveler Tested Awards by Global Traveler.
Each hotel offers a bespoke and luxurious Fitness Centre, featuring cutting-edge workout facilities and swimming pools, most with panoramic views over the destination. Guests can often find fitness-related Peninsula Academy programmes as well, such as Thai Martial Art class offered by The Peninsula Bangkok and private surfing lessons with Rod Samper by The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Private fitness classes and personal trainers are available at some of the hotels, too.
The Peninsula Hotels creates brand preference and loyalty by delivering enjoyable shopping experiences at The Peninsula Boutiques and by offering top quality products that are synonymous with The Peninsula name. The Peninsula Boutique outlets are located at The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Peninsula Beijing, The Peninsula Shanghai, The Peninsula Tokyo, The Peninsula Manila, The Peninsula Bangkok and The Peninsula Chicago. The Peninsula merchandise is also available at selected retail outlets throughout Asia including Hong Kong, Beijing, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Osaka, Tokyo, Yokohama, Seoul and Taipei.
What is more, guests can enjoy a seamless shopping experience in The Peninsula Arcade. The Peninsula Arcade’s philosophy entails the identification and careful selection of first class international retail operators who are prepared to manage single brand boutiques in Beijing’s most highly recognized shopping arcade. So far the goal has been successfully achieved, with the most well-known international brands with the highest quality merchandise under one roof. At the same time, it renders an international standard of service to these retail operators and the international shoppers alike.