In The man with the golden gun 1974, Bond follows Andrea Anders from Macau in order to track down Francisco Scaramanga. Bond ends up in Hong Kong where Miss Anders is picked up by a green Rolls Royce at the Macau ferry terminal and Agent Mary Goodnight arrives just in time to save Bond a taxi fare.
Goodnight informs Bond that all the green Rolls Royces belongs to The Peninsula Hotel. Famous for being one of the best hotels in the world, The Peninsula's reputation is not exaggerated! The service is beyond imagniation and the interior is more luxurious than the first class section aboard the Titanic.
"-A green Rolls Royce! There can't be that many in Hong Kong."
-Bond to Goodnight-
The entrance is still recognizable, although renovated with a small parking lot for three of their Rolls Royces. The front of the hotel is only seen very briefly thanks to the tedious filming by director Guy Hamilton and the full exterior is never seen in the film. Like all of Hamilton's films, the places, cities and surroundings are not depicted very glamorous or interesting, hence the hotel is here to be experienced without any previous expectations.
Miss Anders is staying at The Peninsula before giving the golden bullets to Scaramanga. Bond is informed that she occupies room 602 and he drops in with a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. The interior scenes, including Miss Anders' suite and the hallway on the sixth floor, were most likely shot in the studios at Pinewood.
During the weeks of filming in Hong Kong, the cast (Sir Roger, Christopher Lee, Maud Adams, Britt Ekland and Hervé Villechaize) and parts of the crew (including director Guy Hamilton and Albert R Broccoli) stayed at The Peninsula. Something that must have suited Sir Roger excellent.
"Courtesy cars. All green Rolls Royces belongs to the Peninsula hotel."
Just like in the film, The Peninsula keeps a fleet of 14 Rolls Royce Phantoms (all painted in the distinctive color "Peninsula green") ready to drive guests to the airport or on a sightseeing tour around town. The cars can be hired by others than guests and the cost for a one hour tour is HK$ 1500. As a guest you can book a car for a one-way transfer to Hong Kong airport. The cost is included in the rate for some of the rooms. When the hotel ordered 14 new Rolls Royce Phantoms (to replace their older fleet of Rolls Royce Silver Spurs in 2006) it was the largest order placed for Rolls Royce in the history of the company.
The hotel was opened in 1928 and has had a fascinating history ever since. For instance when the British surrendered Hong Kong to the Japanese in 1941 the surrendering documents were signed at The Peninsula. It is also fair to assume that almost every important person from the Empire that has ever visited Hong Kong have stayed here for at least one night, or have had afternoon tea in the lobby. The lobby still serves traditional English-style Afternoon tea between 2 p.m.-6 p.m., reminiscent of Hong Kong's colonial era.
Later I will cover the experience of "a night at The Peninsula".