The Peninsula Hong Kong is in pink all this October, to benefit The Registry, namely Hong Kong Breast Cancer Family Registry.
I arrived at the hotel at two in the afternoon. Every table in its mammoth two-floor lobby was taken and there was a line of about 50 waiting (the line was the same length, different people, two hours later).
At weekends you need to stand in line about an hour before afternoon tea starts, which is at two. No reservations are taken, it is first-come, first served and, once you have your table, you can stay as long as you like. All this, by the way, is year-round.
But for this very month there are pink-hued cakes among the goodies, and HK$20 of your bill goes to The Registry.
There are similar promotions in Gaddi’s restaurant at lunchtime, and in Peninsula Spa by ESPA. And, what is more, the exterior of the 28-floor hotel is illuminated pink, by night.
No, this girl did not have tea, but she made the most of lots of the other The Peninsula Hong Kong services. It is well worth buying VIP airport arrival. You are met, by a redcoat, right at the plane’s door, and escorted through immigration and baggage.
Then you are handed to a blackcoat, who escorts you to a Peninsula-green Rolls Royce and as you glide silk-smooth to the hotel, about 35 minutes away, you have complimentary and excellent WiFi. What a dream, all your messages done by the time you arrive.
At the hotel you are met (black coats, white coats) and escorted past the waiting tea line and up to your room. Notable points here are the easiest-possible light switches, a bedhead reading light for bedtime books, and a pair of sound-blocking earphones so that you can watch Mad Men late at night without waking your other half. Newspapers are delivered and cleaned shoes returned via a glass-door catflap, to avoid disturbing you.
Everything, indeed, in the room is rosy, as one could say (and yes, there are pink roses among your flower arrangements, and your welcome macaroons are pink, and you have pink grapefruit juice…). There are plenty of sockets, and magnifying mirrors by both washbasins – though both sadly fail to make a girl look like Miss World.
I therefore headed down to the spa, which uses ESPA. I bought my time, deemed it more than worthwhile, and continued on to the pool.
The eighth floor pool is as if The Hon Sir Michael Kadoorie, owner of The Peninsula, bought up some old bits of Rome, say the Coliseum, and dropped two part-columns at one side of the pool. The columns have of course, in typical Peninsula style, been painted pristine white. Walls and ceiling around are either duck-egg blue, or white. A seven-tier decorative stepped-fountain gushes in one side.
Loungers have their towels folded exactly, the word SPA at military-precision height. Down in the changing room, a girl finds stacks of lemon and white cotton robes, and towels folded, military-precision, and slippers stacked exactly, by foot size. The sauna and hot tub are baking, the cold tub is icy, the shower toiletries are ESPA and there is, as one expects, a bikini dryer, with labelled bags to carry gear away (an inside-luxury thoughtfulness).
And when I left this luxury home-from-home, I was checked out by a young woman in a Chanel-type suit, with collarless black jacket, cream rim, over a cream pleated skirt, black horizontal band (a design by one of Australia’s great designers, Barbara Battaglini). I passed standing displays of pink flowers, and went on my way, my pink paper (Financial Times) to hand.