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The Peninsula Hong Kong
Photograph: Courtesy The Peninsula Hong Kong

Hotel Diaries: The Peninsula’s New Encounters staycation

Discover, learn, and explore new things at this historical hotel

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Written by
Fontaine Cheng
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Considered the Grande Dame of The Far East, The Peninsula Hong Kong is an icon of sophistication and has proudly stood in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui since 1928. Redevelopments in 1994 resulted in a 30-floor tower expansion which was added to the original hotel along with helipads at the top. Today, The Peninsula is an elegant celebration of heritage, seamlessly blending its colonial beginnings, architectural features and design with modern elements, personalised service and luxurious amenities including a large fleet of Rolls-Royces painted Peninsula green. 

Journey the World: New Encounters is a staycation that offers the chance to take a real break. After all, one of the best parts of a vacation is discovering something new, and you can with these ‘New Encounters’ that are curated into five categories including heritage, art and culture, atelier, culinary, and adrenaline, so there is something for every type of guest. Keep reading to find out what we encountered during our stay.

RECOMMENDED: Want to read more hotel diary entries, check out our most recent stays at Eaton HK or The Park Lane for some inspiration on where to go next.

Watch the video for a sneak peek:

First impressions

The lobby

The Peninsula Hong Kong is truly a dame of a hotel. As soon as you enter the vicinity, you’re struck by her grace and refinement. A glorious fountain greets you while a fanfare of dark green Rolls Royces parade the front of the hotel. But you’d be wrong in thinking that this is a pompous establishment with snooty staff and stiff upper lips all around. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. As the doors swing open, staff are quick to welcome me with friendly smiles and warm greetings. The Lobby Lounge, which is a familiar setting for many thanks to the ever-popular afternoon tea available here, is abuzz with activity and I feel the excitement of their oncoming freshly baked scones fill the air. 

We’re taken up to our guest room for a swift and private in-room check-in and as we walk past the concierge team, I hear some other guests being welcomed back to The Peninsula and greeted by name, showing the impeccable level of service that staff are trained to give you. But it’s not just that. It’s very obvious that all the staff are happy to work here, even the chambermaid greets us happily as she goes to clean another room. My first impression? Damn, this hotel is good. A well-oiled machine that runs so smoothly, you can’t even see any cracks.

Services and amenities

Roman-style swimming pool

Service here is exceptional. You may think that I’m exaggerating, but the truth of the matter is that I hardly had to ask for anything. The service is pre-emptive. Before I asked for more water, I realised they'd given me extra. Before I realised I needed an iron for my crinkly shirt, they asked and had one sent to the room immediately. Before I even thought about going swimming, the team asked what time I’d like to go and booked my slot. This is five-star service. There are also flexible check-in and check-out times, and something they call ‘Pen-Chat’, a 24-hour contactless concierge service so you can WhatsApp them in the event that you do need something.

Aside from the 300 opulent guest rooms and suites, and Roman-style swimming pool with epic views overlooking Hong Kong's skyline, The Peninsula also has a spa, fitness centre, and seven dining venues including one-Michelin-starred French restaurant Gaddi’s and Cantonese restaurant Spring Moon, Swiss chalet-style eatery Chesa, sky-high modern European dining room and bar Felix, and more.

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The room

The Grand Deluxe Harbour View Room

We stayed in the Grand Deluxe Harbour View Room, which as the name suggests, comes with jaw-dropping views over Victoria Harbour and the city skyline. The room is contemporary and fitted out with large windows, neutral coloured furnishings, a coffee machine, and technology in the form of LED touch screens and an interactive desk tablet which controls the TV, lights, air-conditioning, curtains, blinds and most important of all, the do not disturb sign. Another highlight is the soft, silky 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets on the bed. Get ready for a great night’s sleep with unbeatable night views in the privacy of your room.

The experience

Photo opportunities on the helipad

The idea behind the New Encounters staycation is to select from their list of encounters that take you from creative masterclasses and craftsmanship workshops to tasting sessions, hotel tours, simulations, activities and more. We chose a varied selection of encounters during our stay. The first was The Art of Fragrance in which we learnt how to create our own fragrance based on our mood and personality. The class was held by fragrance curator Angel Cheung, who also created The Peninsula’s custom fragrances and bathroom amenities. This is a fun and informative workshop that will suit couples, a group of friends or anyone interested in smelling nice.

The Marco Polo Suite

The second encounter we experienced was a portrait-taking session in a nostalgic studio setting, in which case was the grand and gorgeous Marco Polo Suite, with an expert from German camera brand Leica. Here, the photographer helps to capture the moment, be it with friends, family or your significant other, so you can take home the memory. The Leica expert will also answer any of your questions, so it's a good one for photography enthusiasts too.

Photograph: Fontaine Cheng

We also followed a couple of walking tours including the Grande Dame and Aviation tour to discover the history and heritage in different parts of the property, and of course, onto the helipad for photos. But our final encounter came in the form of a Combinations for Connoisseurs experience which is in collaboration with Swiss brand Davidoff and allows guests to enjoy the finer things in life. In this case, it was a cigar and French Cognac tasting paired with hand-crafted chocolates in a very private room, an encounter for those who need a little more me-time.

Photograph: Fontaine Cheng

The staycation package also includes daily breakfast and a $500 dining credit (per room per night) to be used in the hotel’s restaurants (excluding Japanese restaurant Imasa), or for the Peninsula Fare at Home menu and The Peninsula Boutique & Café. We used ours at contemporary European restaurant Felix and enjoyed a tasting menu created by chef Juan Gomez. Dishes such as Mechouia Salad makes use of fresh and flavourful Spanish carabinero prawn and enhances it with liquid olive and quail egg, while a blue lobster ‘caldereta’ is a warming symphony of seafood with saffron aioli, cockles and Spanish potato ‘agria’.

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Final thoughts

Photograph: Fontaine Cheng

The New Encounters package is not just any staycation. You can pick and choose activities, tours, and experiences that will enhance your stay immensely. Plus, with the stay being at The Peninsula, it already means you are going to have one of the best times. There’s a real celebration of heritage at this hotel. The Peninsula is proud of its history and if you look around, there’s a nod to that time of grandeur dotted all around, as if they have stories to tell and secrets to share. The hotel is also very good at making each and every guest feel special here, and if you can indulge, I really don’t think you will regret staying at The Peninsula to experience this staycation.

Journey the World: New Encounters staycation

Some packages include an exclusive 18-minute helicopter tour 

One-night accommodation is available for two guests from $3,880 for a Deluxe Room or $5,380 for Superior Suite (per room per night). Each booking includes:

  • The option of two Peninsula Encounters for a one-night stay, or five Peninsula Encounters for a two-night stay
  • Daily Peninsula breakfast at The Lobby
  • $500 dining credit 

For a more luxe experience, the three-night staycation is available for two guests from $8,800 for the Deluxe Suite (per room per night) and each booking includes:

  • Daily Peninsula breakfast at The Lobby
  • $3,200 spa credit
  • Three dining experiences for lunch or dinner at Gaddi’s, Spring Moon, Chesa, Imasa, or Spices at The Repulse Bay
  • Round-trip hotel transfer
  • And seven Peninsula Encounters
  • If you’re booking the Deluxe Harbour View Suite and Grand Deluxe Harbour View Suite, you’ll also get to enjoy an exclusive 18-minute helicopter tour over Hong Kong. 

Available until November 30, 2021, The Peninsula Hong Kong's Journey the World: New Encounters package can be booked online at peninsula.com.

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