Hongkong Hotel - Queen's Road at Pedder Street [1868-1952] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hongkong Hotel - Queen's Road at Pedder Street [1868-1952]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
Date Place demolished: 

This original section of the Hotel was rebuilt several times, but the "Hongkong Hotel" was started, and remained, in this location for almost 85 years.

The original business plan of the Hongkong Hotel Company was to take over and refurbish the Oriental Hotel on Wellington Street. 

Enter Baron Gustav von Overbeck, Consul for Prussia and Austria-Hungary - and listed as an "assistant" at Dent's & Co.

While Dent and & Co. was going bankrupt in 1865, von Overbeck bought half the land they owned between Queen's Road and the Praya, where the Central Building is today - took over the Chairmanship of the Hongkong Hotel Company, and resold the land to the Company 14 months later for a 300% profit.

NAMES behind the name -
The cast of characters in the early evolution of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels


The Hongkong Hotel  which was partially burned some years ago, was never rebuilt and now, altho they are somewhat limited for rooms, the dining rooms, coffee shops and banquet rooms are in profusion,

Hotel monthly: Volume 45 - John Willy - 1937


On Tuesday December 2nd, (1941) the grand old Eurasian gentleman, Sir Robert Ho Tung, and Lady Ho Tung, celebrated in brilliant fashion their Diamond Jubilee in the Gripps restaurant. This was attended by the Governor and was the largest private function ever held in the Hong Kong Hotel.



The venerable Hongkong Hotel would disappear.  The north wing was sold to Hongkong Land after a fire in 1926 and the southern half with its first-floor Gripps restaurant was pulled down by Central Development in 1952.

Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels



Photos that show this place


1888 - Reminiscences of Twenty-five Years' Yachting in Australia
- read the original eBook

[The Hongkong Hotel - January 1882]

It is four stories high, the rooms being lofty, well ventilated, and spacious, opening in all the upper stories upon wide and massive balconies, the rooms on the lower flights being fully 40 feet long, by about 24 or so feet broad. One comer is screened off for a bedroom, and the remainder being furnished with tables, sofas, &c., is used as a sittingroom. When only one person or a man and his wife are travelling together this is a very good arrangement. The food is good, the attendance all that one need desire, and the house kept clean ; the proprietors are civil and obliging, the wines fair, and the terms not excessive — the price of the rooms varying according to the story. No one with moderate means need hesitate to take this route on the score of expense so far as our experience has hitherto gone.

The hotel's letterhead and luggage labels [1] from the 1900s, 10s, and 20s show:

Telegraphic address "Kremlin"

It seems an odd choice of address. Has anyone heard the story behind it?

Regards, David

[1] seen at the Early Hong Kong Travel exhibition

The Hongkong Daily Press repoted in August 1907 that a part of the hotel collapsed killing two and heavily injuring five Chinese persons. The accident occured in that part of the hotel situated in Queen's Road. The bridgeways and the vereandas extending five bedrooms suddenly went down and crashed Messrs. Kuhn and Komor curio shop. The valuable stock of the curio shop was totally wrecked, Mr. Hoosain Ali was similarly ruined, not speaking about the loss of the hotel company.

Read the article in Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser!

I wonder is there a photo from those days?

Thanks for this information. I see the collapse happened on 1st August 1907. A report in the Hongkong Telegraph on that day says:

[...] From the second floor balcony of the hotel a plainer view of the ruins could be obtained. That section of the old building on the Queen's Road which was at one time used as bedrooms, but had to be vacated to allow repairs being carried out, was no more - an open space was left - the shell of the building alone stood.

That helps date this photo. If you zoom in you can see the old Queen's Road section of the hotel has been demolished, so the photo must have been taken after the 1 Aug 1907 collapse, not 1906 as I first guessed.

Regards, David

According to the PWD report from 1907 the collapse was all floors of the verandah of the south-east wing. 5 Chinese servants were killed

Source PWD Report 1907 (No 30) 

Reconstruction of the Southern portion of the Hong Kong Hotel was completed by December 2010

Source PWD report 1910 (No 36)

According to Wikipedia, Central Building was completed in 1958 with its foundation stone indicating a date of 29 August 1957. I guess the 1952 date is rather early. Perhaps 1957 would be an appropriate year. 

Moddsey's note sparked my curiosity about the demolition date.  I found some information from several (mainly Chinese) newspaper articles.

(1) Last day of the hotel business of Hongkong Hotel was 30th April 1952.

(2) Hongkong Hotel consisted of two wings -- by 1951, the "main building was over 40 years old" and the "rear part of the premises" was "approximately 75 years old".

(3) The main building of Hongkong Hotel (on Peddar Street) was demolished in 1952 or 1953.  Construction of Central Building (first phase) started in December 1955 and was completed in 1958.

(4) After the hotel busines wrapped up, some businesses moved into the Hongkong Hotel building (presumably the annex located on Queen's Road near its junction with Peddar Street).  There were still references to the Hongkong Hotel building as late as May 1958.

I wonder if there is any photographs or aerial photographs with Hongkong Hotel (annex) and Central Building (Phase 1) coexisting.  Actually, there are few photographs of Hongkong Hotel's facade on Queen's Road Central.

I took a look through the 1950s galleries but didn't see any shots that caught the two buildings co-existing. Something to keep an eye out for in future.

I think I found a photograph on this page showing Phase 1 of Central Building and a wing of the Hongkong Hotel both standing.  It is the one at the top left in the section "Hong Kong Panorama - by South China Morning Post".  No date was given but the photo should be from the late 1950s.

Edit:  Caption states, "Aug/Sept 1958 - C.G.O. West Wing under construction. Before Hong Kong Hilton commenced."

My Parents' wedding took place there on 15 Feb 1945. My dad was in Morning Tail Coat completed with Top Hat. Taken on the 1st Floor of the Old Hong Kong Hotel but I don't know how to upload the pic.

Interesting and nice photo Alex. Given the Japanese Occupation.

My Parents' Wedding in Hong Kong Hotel
My Parents' Wedding in Hong Kong Hotel, by Alexander WONG