An overview of the key HSH 150th Anniversary events

HONG KONG 25 November, 2016: The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH) proudly celebrates its 150th anniversary today with a series of spectacular events and initiatives to say thank you to Hong Kong and the company’s partners, guests and friends from around the world. 

Originally incorporated on 2 March 1866 as The Hongkong Hotel Company, Limited, the company merged with the Shanghai Hotel Company in 1923 to create The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, which today is the world’s oldest small hotel group in continuous operation. HSH was one of the first companies to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is currently the oldest registered company on the Hong Kong Companies Registry. For a century and a half, the compelling story of HSH has been closely tied to its city of origin, Hong Kong, and our heritage also reflects the story of the stunning developments in global travel and adventure. 
HSH Chairman, The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, commented: “The future is built on the past, and the events that shaped our history also govern our current operations. Behind our international reputation lies our ethos of community responsibility and a belief in the importance of integrity and sustainability. More than a century after they were established, The Peninsula Hotel, The Peak Complex, The Peak Tram and The Repulse Bay remain some of Hong Kong’s most iconic tourist attractions and our brand has been established worldwide with hotels in Asia, the United States and most recently Europe. In this anniversary year, our team reminds Hong Kong of its rich history, thereby hoping to enable the whole community to share in our heritage.”

HSH CEO Mr. Clement Kwok said: “If you look at our history, HSH has always been an adventurous and pioneering company. The company took risks to build The Peninsula Hong Kong in Kowloon, The Repulse Bay and The Peak Tram in the early days of Hong Kong, and these investments proved to be immensely successful. It is due to that pioneering spirit that we now have these amazing assets in both Hong Kong and overseas. We are 150 years old, but we are a company that is still at a youthful stage in our development and growth strategy. We are building for the future and to celebrate our anniversary, we would like to say thank you to the people of Hong Kong.”

The 150th anniversary events and initiatives include: 

1. The world’s first and largest-scale display of helium balloons to be tethered on the façade of a Grade I listed building

As one of the highlights of the HSH 150th anniversary celebration, the company today proudly unveils a series of custom-made giant balloons designed and hand-made by artist Ken Moody of Big Ideas Parade Giants Studio in Arizona, USA. Eight balloons represent the core components of the group’s business units, seven of which are unveiled ahead of the 150th Gala celebration on the evening of Friday 25 November 2016. 

Seven of the eight giant helium balloons have been anchored onto the hotel’s legendary façade for a period of three days from 25-27 November 2016, marking the first time in the world such a large-scale display has been tethered to a Grade I-listed heritage landmark. 

Each balloon was designed, sewn, assembled, and hand-finished, before being shipped to Hong Kong by logistics sponsors GS4 International. This is the first time that seven of HSH’s curated collection of giant helium balloons – including inflated renditions of The Peak Tram; The Peak Tower; The Repulse Bay Complex; The Peninsula’s 1934 Phantom II vintage Rolls-Royce; The Peninsula’s MD902 Helicopter; the HSH-themed Montgolfière-style balloon (named after the inventors of the world’s first passenger-carrying hot air balloon, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier); and even a giant Peninsula Pageboy named “Michael” after Sir Michael Kadoorie - has been showcased together, in what will become a travelling exhibition to HSH properties around the world in 2017. Only The Peninsula Hong Kong-shaped balloon was not displayed so as not to duplicate The Peninsula’s already iconic façade!

The stunning spectacle has been achieved after months of planning in a highly complex feat of engineering and logistics, orchestrated by Hong Kong-based Ironmonger Events and The Peninsula Hong Kong’s engineering team, with policy support from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. 

2. 150 Young Peninsula Pages – A Promise to the Future 

On the morning of 25 November 2016, 150 youth volunteers from exemplary Hong Kong educational institutions including the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU); Vocational Training Council (VTC); Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), dressed in the crisp white uniforms of The Peninsula’s Pageboys and Pagegirls, congregated on the hotel’s Helipad for a dramatic commemorative aerial photo opportunity spelling the words “HSH 150” in human formation. 

The volunteers will also participate in the Gala celebrations and gain experience as future hospitality leaders greeting the guests upon arrival.   

3. A Dazzling 150th Anniversary Gala at the Group’s flagship property, The Peninsula Hong Kong  

From the earliest days of The Hong Kong Hotel’s opening in 1868, to the grand gala openings of The Repulse Bay Hotel in 1920 and The Peninsula Hong Kong in 1928, and many spectacular occasions ever since, HSH parties have welcomed Hong Kong’s high society to a dazzling evening of dancing, flowing champagne and exquisite delicacies. Tonight, Friday 25 November 2016, we celebrate 150 years of the company with a Gala befitting such a momentous occasion, welcoming 2,000 guests from Hong Kong and around the world. 

A sumptuous variety of handmade canapés and deluxe food items will be served to highlight the cuisine of all seven of The Peninsula’s award-winning restaurants, including The Lobby, Gaddi’s, Spring Moon, The Verandah, Imasa and Felix; with a curated list of fine wines, Champagnes and spirits carefully selected to pair perfectly with dishes and keep guests’ glasses overflowing until the early hours of Saturday morning. 

4. 15,000 delectable prizes from The Peninsula Boutique to be won

First established in 1976, Peninsula Merchandising Limited has taken The Peninsula brand beyond its hotels walls to bring the finest gourmet delights and gifts for all occasions. From artisanal chocolates to its now world-famous selection of Chinese and Western teas and traditional Hong Kong treats, The Peninsula Boutique has something for everyone. As s special tribute for the HSH 150th anniversary, The Peninsula Boutique is inviting the people of Hong Kong to "Be an Instant Winner" and draw thousands of fabulous prizes. A total of 15,000 prizes, ranging from selected hampers to chocolates and delicious home-made pastries will be available at the click of a button. 

This link will be available from 25 November 2016 until 11 December 2016.

5. Giving back to Hong Kong: Continuing a Philanthropic Legacy 

HSH has always been a responsible corporate citizen, with a particular focus on charity and community service as a strategic pillar in its Vision 2020 for Sustainable Luxury. Led by the Kadoorie family, an ethos of philanthropy has been at the heart of the group’s culture since the 1880s. HSH plays its role in honouring and protecting the heritage of Hong Kong’s past and the Kadoorie family archives by providing support to The Hong Kong Heritage Project, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2017. 

To mark the 150th anniversary of the group, during the month of November, HSH operations around the world will hold a variety of community activities aimed at benefiting the less privileged in the societies where we live and work. Hong Kong community initiatives include:

A children’s carnival will be held at The Repulse Bay on 10 and 11 December, working with more than 80 partner charities to provide a memorable experience for more than 1,000 underprivileged children and those with special needs.
With the assistance of the Sovereign Art Foundation, a series of art workshops were organised for disadvantaged children, enabling them to learn various artwork creation techniques
The Asian Youth Orchestra held a charity concert on August 4 to honour HSH’s long-term relationship with the Orchestra 
The Peninsula Hong Kong worked with the EQ Ambassador Society Ltd to organise heritage hotel tours for underprivileged elderly people and children, as well as a movie screening of the group’s award-winning documentary Tradition Well Served and a heritage Scavenger Hunt
The Peak Complex will produce 150 umbrellas for the homeless and promote special offers to children and the elderly during November
With the help of the Salvation Army, Tai Pan Laundry will prepare and distribute lunchboxes to the elderly living in the Tai Wo Hau Estate
HSH Head Office will partner with New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and Kadoorie Farm to farm fresh produce and bake organic cookies for underprivileged elderly people
Around the world, each HSH Group property and The Peninsula Hotels have committed to giving back to the community with a variety of initiatives throughout the year. More details can be read in our sustainability reports and on our corporate website. 
Whilst evolving to meet the changing times at home and abroad, HSH has never lost respect for its past and its heritage, and it continually strives to emulate the standards of service and style that earned it the accolade of “The Far East’s leading hotel company”. The concept of “Tradition well served” remains fundamental to HSH’s approach and we look forward to an even more exciting future. 

A full history of the company and a large selection of vintage photos dating from the early days of the company can be found on and on The Hong Kong Heritage Project website




For further information, please contact:

The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels
Lynne Mulholland 
Director, Corporate Affairs
Tel: +852 2840 7152 
Mobile +852 6718 8219  

Lilian Lau 
Manager, Corporate Affairs  
Tel: +852 2840 7743
Mobile: +852 9611 0502

The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH)
Incorporated in 1866 and listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (00045), HSH is the holding company of a Group which is engaged in the ownership, development and management of prestigious hotel, commercial and residential properties in key locations in Asia, the United States and Europe, as well as the provision of transport, club management and other services. The Peninsula Hotels portfolio comprises The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Peninsula Shanghai, The Peninsula Beijing, The Peninsula Tokyo, The Peninsula Bangkok, The Peninsula Manila, The Peninsula New York, The Peninsula Chicago, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, and The Peninsula Paris. Projects under development include The Peninsula London, The Peninsula Yangon and The Peninsula Istanbul. The property portfolio of the Group includes The Repulse Bay Complex, The Peak Tower and St. John’s Building in Hong Kong; The Landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; 1-5 Grosvenor Place in London, UK, and 21 avenue Kléber in Paris, France. The clubs and services portfolio of the Group includes The Peak Tram in Hong Kong; Thai Country Club in Bangkok, Thailand; Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California; Peninsula Clubs and Consultancy Services which includes The Hong Kong Club, The Hong Kong Bankers’ Club and Butterfields; Peninsula Merchandising, and Tai Pan Laundry in Hong Kong.