Royal Buildings South / King Edward Hotel / Chung Tin Building [1902-c.1953] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Royal Buildings South / King Edward Hotel / Chung Tin Building [1902-c.1953]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
c.1902-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Date Place demolished: 
c.1953-12-31 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)

The original Royal Building, built in two phases, ran the length of Ice House Street between Des Voeux Road C. and Chater Road. It was on the west side of the street. Part of Alexandra House now occupies this site.

This page describes the south section. For the north section, which housed the Cecil Hotel, see:


Photos that show this place


I've found these bits on the Internet: King Edward Hotel - 3 Des Voeux Road (entrance on the corner of Ice House and Des Voeux - big fire in 1929) Chung Tin Building - 5 Des Voeux Road (address from in a court case) There was an alleyway between the King Edward Hotel and Alexandra Building. The top floor of the adjoining Savoy hotel, was gutted in the fire. (newspaper hotel fire story 11 March 1929) In 1952 the, Alexandra Building, Royal Building and Chung Tin Building — were demolished and the 13-storey Alexandra House was erected (Hong Kong Land 1889/1989)

The the Early Hong Kong Travel exhibition shows a 1907 letterhead from the King Edward Hotel. It shows Dorabjee & Co as proprietors, and gives the telegraphic address as "Victoria". Possibly there's a connection with the older Victoria Hotel?

Regards, David

Barbara Anslow writes:

[I was in Hong Kong] in late 1928 or early 1929 when the King Edward Hotel in Central caught fire.   With some other children  from the Garrison School on Garden Road, we trotted down to Central in our tiffin hour to view the scene.  The fire was out by then, but hoses were still dribbling water in the gutters.   About 7 lives were lost, we were told that some of the victims missed the safety nets held out by firemen below.

A few more notes from the newspapers, marking the fire, its reconstruction, and eventual re-opening:

  • 11 March 1929, China Mail, page 1: "The King Edward Hotel was the scene of a disastrous fire in the early hours of this morning, the outbreak being attended with loss of life, European and Chinese.
  • 7 August 1930, Hongkong Telegraph, page 10: "When the building which was known as the King Edward Hotel until fire devastated it in March last year emerges from the builders' hands, some three months hence, a fine structure will have evolved, which will be ranked as one of the impressive edifices of its kind in the Colony.
    The whole of the interior structural arrangements have been reconstructed with reinforced concrete as the best means of attaining the desired immunity from fire, while careful regard has also been given to the provision of fire escapes. After consultation with Fire Department and Building authorities, it is understood their approval has been obtained for the construction of iron ladder escapes joining the verandahs of the different floors, on both the Ice House Street and Des Voeux Road frontages.
  • 1st April 1931, Hong Kong Daily Press, page 11: "Royal Building, which was once the King Edward Hotel, will be the new home of the Hong Kong branch of the Nederlansch Indische Handelsbank.
    The bank will move into its new quarters on the ground floor of Royal Building during the Easter holidays and will resume business after the holidays without any interruption.

I've pushed the demolition date back from 1952 to 1953, as the building was still standing in the 1953 photo above. Also see this sequence of photos.

Regards, David

Royal/ Chung Tin buildings


Inland Lot 1724, secured July 1900

Architect was Leigh & Orange


Phase 1 (King Edward Hotel end) completed in 1902, leased to Dhunjeebhoy Dorabjee, severely damaged by fire in March 1929

Rebuilt as office block which opened in 1931 (original façade kept), rebuilt portion renamed Chung Tin Building


Phase 2 completed in 1904, lower five floors leased to Lane Crawford until 1924

After 1924 building was leased as Hotel Savoy which became Hotel Cecil


Buildings sold to Lau Kwai Cheuk after construction in 1904 but possession regained by HK land on his death in 1936 due to unpaid HKD500,000 mortgage


Demolished in 1954 to build Alexandra House


Source: HK Land at 125

The Royal Building were effectively two seperate buildings. Can you please change the name to:

Royal Buildings South/King Edward Hotel/Chung Tin Building

I have created a place for the north building here:

Dates are 1902 -1954

Location is corner of Des Voeux  and Ice Hosue Street


I agree.  Please change title as above.

Title updated. I've also updated the description to give a link to the Place for the north section.