Hong Kong to Belgravia: The Grand Opening of The Peninsula London

Words by
Sphere Editors

2nd July 2024

The red carpet was rolled out for the long-awaited grand opening of 5-Star hotel, The Peninsula. SPHERE Digital Editor and CEO of ILN, Lisa Barnard, attended alongside names from Billie Piper to the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. Now we dive into the details of the lavish evening along with an exciting collaborative release from Assouline.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - view from rooftop
The view looking down over Wellington Arch from The Peninsula's rooftop restaurant, Brooklands

Welcoming guests in Brewster green vehicles since September 2023, The Peninsula London has allowed some suspense to build between their opening of doors and official grand opening. Now we can confidently say that the celebrations were worth the wait. Originally starting in Hong Kong in 1866, before cutting ribbons in major cities throughout Asia and the US. It was about time for The Peninsula to make its mark on the UK’s cosmopolitan capital. The palatial development sits in an unmissable spot within London’s Belgravia. Neighbouring Hyde Park Corner and glancing over the iconic Wellington Arch. And naturally, with such a grand hotel came a very grand opening…

Grand Opening Peninsula London - assouline book pic
The lion draon statues at The Peninsula's entrance can be seen in this image from Assouline's The Peninsula London book, photographed by Oliver Pilcher

Inside The Peninsula London Grand Opening

SPHERE Digital Editor and CEO of ILN, Lisa Barnard, joined a plethora of notable names on the red carpet at the end of June. Appearances were made by familiar figures from modern British television. Including James Bond co-star, Lashana Lynch and Billie Piper, best known for her role alongside David Tennant in Doctor Who.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - Lisa and Marek
Lisa Barnard, SPHERE Digital Edior and CEO of ILN and Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin

The presence didn’t stop at celebrity. Their royal highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh attended the momentous occasion. Making an appearance to unveil a commemorative plaque alongside The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels. Marking the culmination of this major project, that has nearly been 40 years in the making.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - Kadoorie and Prince Edward
Michael Kadoorie and the Duke of Edinburgh

The Peninsula is guarded by a series of stone lion statues, an ode to the hotel group's Chinese beginning. At the grand opening these statues were brought to life by a vibrant lion dancing performance. With a copious 2,500 guests in attendance, a memorable night of entertainment was in order, and it did much more than deliver.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - lion dancing
Entertainment included a lion dancing performance as an ode to The Peninsula's Chinese origin
Grand Opening Peninsula London - brooklyn soul
Nine different live bands were lined up - including jazz group, Brooklyn Soul

Alongside the traditional lion dancing spectacles were a series of musical performances. The London Philharmonic Orchestra rocked up to knock out some tunes, along with nine other live bands. Stepping out into the hotel's courtyard, several gourmet food trucks were lined up for guests to indulge in. It seemed to be all the elements of an amazing music festival, tucked into the opulent setting of a 5-star hotel.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - ice cream cart
The Peninsula's fun addition of a traditional ice cream cart
Grand Opening Peninsula London - Caviar Selection
The food selection was high-class, including a caviar bar featuring Exmoor Caviar

To capture an essence of the sensational surroundings, we have included an Instagram reel from the event below.

It's safe to say that The Peninsula London hit some immediate but triumphant milestones, all before their official grand opening. Their rooftop restaurant, Brooklands by Claude Bosi, achieved two Michelin stars within the first four months after opening. Guests travel up to the aviation and motorsport-inspired restaurant in a hot air balloon lift. As visitors travelled up time and time again, Brooklands also seemed to swiftly float its way to glory.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - brooklands
The Napier Railton Room in The Peninsula's two Michelin-starred restaurant, Brooklands

Moving from sky to sea... Their second restaurant, Canton Blue, offers contemporary Cantonese in a vibrant maritime setting. Read more about Canton Blue and its exquisite ambience via our article here.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - Canton Blue
Canton Blue's Private Dining Room

The Peninsula London X Assouline

Coffee-table book collectors, here’s a new one to put on your radar (and on your table).  Alongside the grand opening, Assouline have combined their luxury publishing with captivating images of The Peninsula by photographer, Oliver Pilcher. Whilst coffee table books notoriously focus on imagery, the text throughout this one is certainly worth a read. Written by Catherine Shaw, the book includes interviews with key visionaries behind the development of The Peninsula London. From the company chairman, The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, to the man who designed the hotel inside and out, Pater Marino.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - Assouline book cover
The silk book cover features a photograph of Wellington Arch, taken from inside the hotel

Uniquely, the book is also dotted with 200 original illustrations by Lydia Bourhill and Caroline Tomlinson. In addition to a poem by none other than Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage. If you can’t make it to The Peninsula London, this book will transport you there. Dropping readers into the hotel’s magnificent marble lobby and enveloping them in new levels of luxury with the turn of each glossy page.

Grand Opening Peninsula London - inside Assouline book
Inside the pages of Assouline's new book in collaboration with The Peninsula London

Assouline’s The Peninsula London is available now via assouline.com/products/the-peninsula-london

Learn more about the stylish grandeur of The Peninsula London and book via peninsula.com/en/london/5-star-luxury-hotel-belgravia