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Our History

Built on the site of Hong Kong’s famous Repulse Bay Hotel (1920 to 1982), The Repulse Bay has preserved much of the grandeur and charm of its historical counterpart. The elegant Repulse Bay Hotel attracted the best and brightest of both local and international society. From George Bernard Shaw and Marlon Brando to Spain’s Crown Prince Juan Carlos and Crown Princess Sofia, royalty and celebrities enjoyed the same breathtaking view and socialised in our iconic lobby.

With its luxury apartments, modern shopping arcade and superb clubhouse, The Repulse Bay continues to be an epitome of gracious and sophisticated living.

  • Before 1918
  • 1918
  • 1919
  • 1919
  • 1920
  • 1920
  • 1921
  • 1921
  • 1921
  • 1922
  • 1922
  • 1924
  • 1925
  • 1932
  • 1932
  • 1932
  • 1932
  • 1932
  • 1932
  • 1934
  • 1941
  • 1941
  • 1941
  • 1942
  • 1943
  • 1943
  • 1945
  • 1955
  • 1956
  • 1957
  • 1960
  • 1973
  • 1982
  • 1986
  • 1987
  • 1989
  • 1994
  • 2006
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2010
  • 2013
  • 2013
  • 2013

Before 1918

Mr. James Taggart, a highly respected hotelier of his time who was responsible for the management of the first Hongkong Hotel, was selected by his company to commence the construction of a new hotel. He finally decided on Repulse Bay for its resemblance to European resort towns.

1918

Architectural firm Denison, Ram and Gibbs – the trio behind Hong Kong landmarks such as the Matilda Hospital and the student residences at the University of Hong Kong – was commissioned by local contracting company Messrs. Tsang Ying to design the Repulse Bay Hotel.

1919

Our company negotiated with the government that if we built a hotel, they would build a road to provide access. Prior to that, the only way to access the South Side was by boat or on foot. In 1919 the road from Aberdeen to Stanley was finally completed, giving future guests a more convenient route to access the hotel.

1919

Our company negotiated with the government that if we built a hotel, they would build a road to provide access. Prior to that, the only way to access the South Side was by boat or on foot. In 1919 the road from Aberdeen to Stanley was finally completed, giving future guests a more convenient route to access the hotel.

1920

His Excellency the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Edward Stubbs K.C.M.G., officially opened the Repulse Bay Hotel to much fanfare on New Year's Day.

1920

His Excellency the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Edward Stubbs K.C.M.G., officially opened the Repulse Bay Hotel to much fanfare on New Year's Day.

1921

To accommodate the growing number of guests, the West Wing extension was completed, adding 29 rooms to the hotel.

1921

To accommodate the growing number of guests, the West Wing extension was completed, adding 29 rooms to the hotel.

1921

With the dawn of a new era of aviation travel, Monsieur Charles de Ricou launched his Macau Aerial Transport Company (MAT). Taking advantage of surplus aircraft from the First World War, de Ricou’s company offered scenic flights by sea plane around Hong Kong from the Repulse Bay.

1922

A regular bus service between Repulse Bay and Pokfulam was established, giving visitors even more transportation options.

1922

A regular bus service between Repulse Bay and Pokfulam was established, giving visitors even more transportation options.

1924

Construction of Stubb’s Road commenced, eventually connecting Wong Nei Chung Gap and Repulse Bay.

1925

With more and more guests visiting the Repulse Bay Hotel, expansion of the hotel was inevitable. Plans for an additional wing of 52 rooms were drawn up, to be constructed by Lam Woo, a local architectural firm.

1932

Construction of Stubb's Road was completed, reducing access to the hotel by car to only half an hour from Central.

1932

In keeping with the jovial spirit of the era, tiffin concerts and tea dances were regularly held at the hotel to the music of the Andre’s and Revellers bands. Saturday programmes featured music by Joe Futura and his group of musicians.

1932

In keeping with the jovial spirit of the era, tiffin concerts and tea dances were regularly held at the hotel to the music of the Andre’s and Revellers bands. Saturday programmes featured music by Joe Futura and his group of musicians.

1932

In keeping with the jovial spirit of the era, tiffin concerts and tea dances were regularly held at the hotel to the music of the Andre's and Revellers bands. Saturday programmes featured music by Joe Futura and his group of musicians.

1932

An expert on roses, Mr. R. A. Nicholson, begun work on the rose garden at the Repulse Bay Hotel. In order to find the perfect roses, Nicholson imported nearly 2,000 rose bushes from England to be planted around the hotel.

1932

An expert on roses, Mr. R. A. Nicholson, begun work on the rose garden at the Repulse Bay Hotel. In order to find the perfect roses, Nicholson imported nearly 2,000 rose bushes from England to be planted around the hotel.

1934

Irish playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics George Bernard Shaw visited the Repulse Bay Hotel.

1941

Writer Ernest Hemingway and his wife, journalist Martha Gellhorn, travelled to Hong Kong to witness first-hand the Chinese wartime struggle during the Second World War. The Repulse Bay was their choice of accommodation during this trip.

1941

Writer Ernest Hemingway and his wife, journalist Martha Gellhorn, travelled to Hong Kong to witness first-hand the Chinese wartime struggle during the Second World War. The Repulse Bay was their choice of accommodation during this trip.

1941

The Repulse Bay Hotel was seized by the Imperial Japanese Army, led by General Sakai, from December 20th to 23rd.

1942

The Repulse Bay Hotel was used as a military hospital and a recuperation centre for wounded Japanese troops.

1943

Writer Eileen Chang wrote Love in a Fallen City, a novella about a love story during the Japanese invasion of China. Parts of the story are set at the Repulse Bay Hotel.

1943

The Repulse Bay Hotel was temporarily renamed the Midorigahama Hotel during the war. The hotel was initially reserved for the use of the Japanese military, and later for the citizens of the Occupied Territory.

1945

After the defeat of the Japanese, The Midorigahama Hotel name was abolished, and the Repuse Bay Hotel reinstated. However, all the original furniture and fittings were stripped away.

1955

A full-scale replica of the Repulse Bay Hotel was constructed in the Shaw Studios during the filming of ‘Love Is A Many Splendored Thing’, a Hollywood drama-romance starring Jennifer Jones and William Holden. William Holden visited the real hotel while filming.

1956

Actor and director Marlon Brando, most famous for his roles in A Streetcar Named Desire and The Godfather, stayed at Repulse Bay Hotel.

1957

An extension wing to the west of the main hotel block was completed, providing even more rooms for the rapidly increasing stream of guests.

1960

Continual improvements and modern conveniences were introduced to the hotel, including a full air-conditioning system.
The Fuk Tsien Tong Temple bell, now displayed on the property, was discovered in the basement by workers, and no one knows how it got from The Canton Hotel to the Repulse Bay Hotel.

1973

The new annex constructed in 1925 was demolished to make way for the Repulse Bay Apartments, a cluster of high-rise apartment blocks. There were only 32 suites left in the hotel.

1982

As part of the hotel’s farewell celebrations in June, a series of events were held, including balls, dinner dances, and classic car rallies.
The Repulse Bay Hotel was closed at the end of June and demolished soon after taking care to retain many important parts of the hotel.

1986

A spectacular restaurant of the front part of the old hotel, the famous Verandah, was rebuilt using many of the items preserved. The Verandah restaurant serving fine Continental cuisine, was officially opened. With the aging of the hotel and a drop in demand for a luxury seaside resort in Hong Kong, the directors decided that the hotel would have to be closed.

1987

Spices, an East Asian-inspired restaurant evocative of exotic spice markets, was officially opened.

1989

The Repulse Bay, the complex's iconic residential towers, and The Arcade, a comprehensive shopping arcade, were opened.

1994

Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales paid a visit to The Repulse Bay during a tour of Hong Kong.

2006

Scenes from Lust, Caution, an erotic espionage thriller starring Tony Leung and Tang Wei, were filmed at The Verandah Restaurant. The film went on to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, garnering a second win for director Ang Lee.

2008

The Health Wing, offering services from a variety of health providers, including a day spa, was opened at The Repulse Bay.

2009

The Repulse Bay Arcade underwent major revitalisation, revealing a new look to residents and guests.

2009

The newly refurnished Verandah Restaurant was re-opened in September.

2010

The refurnished Spices restaurant was re-opened in January.

2010

The refurnished Spices restaurant was re-opened in January.

2013

The fully renovated de Ricou Apartments were opened in August. The de Ricou Apartments were the first development in Hong Kong to win the LEED Gold Certification for an Alteration & Additions (A&A) project.

2013

The fully renovated de Ricou Apartments were opened in August. The de Ricou Apartments were the first development in Hong Kong to win the LEED Gold Certification for an Alteration & Additions (A&A) project.

2013

The fully renovated de Ricou Apartments were opened in August. The de Ricou Apartments were the first development in Hong Kong to win the LEED Gold Certification for an Alteration & Additions (A&A) project.

History Gallery

The opening of The Repulse Bay Historical Gallery illustrates the Company’s continuous efforts to preserve the legacy of The Repulse Bay for the enjoyment of both local and overseas visitors. Visitors can explore the unique story of The Repulse Bay through a series of exhibits located at the Lower Lobby, Ground FloorThe Verandah and in The Reading Room. In each location, guests will find images and artefacts from the Repulse Bay Hotel’s early years as one of Hong Kong’s premier hotels.