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Source text - Chinese 香港的「半島酒店」是一則傳奇，建於1928年，是全港歷史最悠久的酒店，經歷了近80年的榮華富貴。不論外面的世界如何動蕩不安，推開酒店的大門，踏着柔軟的手織地毯，悄然無聲地穿過大堂，世界總給人一種安之若素的印象。空氣中總是有恰到好處的輕歌曼韻，樑柱高聳，飾以歐陸式浮雕，安靜俯視這塊都市中被努力經營着的樂土。對於一家星級酒店來説，這也許是其最重要的職責：把優雅和華麗在時光的河流裏不斷地延續下去。
Translation - English The Peninsula Hong Kong has long been viewed as a legend. Built in 1928, The Peninsula is the most historical hotel in Hong Kong which has gone through nearly 80 years of wealth and rank. No matter how chaotic the outside world, when the guest stepps in onto the soft hand-made carpet and passes through the quiet lobby, he would find the air in The Peninsula was always elegantly peaceful. The soft music, the handsome beams and pillars decorated with European embossment, every little detail reveals the Penisula is a paradise run with great effort. Perhaps this is the most important responsibility of a high-class hotel: Remaining the elegance and magnificence in the river of time.
The Peninsula became a legend partly because it has always kept a mysterious façade. Limousines come and go. Ladies and gentlemen who enter the hotel all dress formally and gracefully, a perfect miniature of the upper world. For someone who has never set his foot in the hotel, it is natural that he has some romantic imagination about it. The occasional helicopter which land on the top floor always drew the passers' attention. It is exactly this misty impression that makes The Peninsula the symbol of nobility, rank and privilege in the mind of Hong Kong people.
As the landmark and the symbol of Hong Kong, The Peninsula often shows up in movies. In the movie Comrades-- almost a love story, it was the glamorous memory of the leading actor's aunt. This once-beautiful old lady had dinner with William Holden, the movie star on whom she had a crush, many years ago. The very instant when she found herself sitting against the night landscape of Victoria Bay became the lifetime bliss for her. The movie attempts to express that everyone has some splendid moments in the life to be remembered forever. The hotel beautifully corresponds to this spirit.
The Peninsula hotel sits in Kowloon, facing Victoria Harbor and can take in the whole Hong Kong Island at one glance. From The Harbor View Suite, Hong Kong seems to be totally saturated by numerous of buildings. In the night, Hong Kong is lit up by millions of lights which never go off in the darkness.
From a normal guest room to a deluxe suite, the rooms here are both traditionally comfortable and appointed with the most modern technology. In The Peninsula, the guests can hire Rolls Royce as means of transportation. When it comes to room service, not surprisingly, the room is appointed with attentive device for temperature controlling communication and recreation. What is special is that even the most common shoe-cleaning service is different from other hotels. In each guest room, a shoe case is set close to the entrance. The guests simply put their shoes in the case and the hotel staff will clean the shoes for them. Most services in the Peninsula are like this, running quietly behind the scenes. As a result, the guests come back to The Peninsula not only for its fame, but for its homelike consideration and comfort.
The pinnacle of luxury is The Peninsula Suites which sits in the 26th floor of the hotel. It is nearly a private mansion, featuring private lobby, private office, master room, private dinning room, fully-equipped kitchen and Butler’s pantry, guest room, conference room. The master room is linked to a well-equipped mini gym. The suite itself could be linked to two harbor view suites on both sides thus becomes one super suite with 3 bedrooms. Meanwhile, as the suite has a direct access to the top floor, the governors and presidents who arrive in helicopters can feel fully at ease. They would be led to the room and protected under the same standard of security as the one of CIA or MI5.
For some, dining in The Peninsula is a usual practice. Some old gentlemen frequent the hotel everyday for decades, integrating the meal at the hotel into their own lives. For some, dining here is a gesture. If couples choose to dine at The Peninsula, it’s mostly for its romantic and formal atmosphere. For some others, this is a must-do in HK. That’s why there is often a long line outside the hotel, waiting to enjoy the typical English afternoon tea. The string band plays classic music, recalling the old time glory. The lobby is a wonderful and relaxing dining venue.
Except for the lobby, there are seven other restaurants in the Peninsula. On the 28th floor, Felix, designed by Philippe Starck, has become a new legend. Philippe Starck is well known for its combination of classic and modern elements, creating an exciting but familiar environment. Felix provides pacific delicacies in which the orient meets the occidental. Felix successfully adds the avant-guard element into the tradition of the hotel.
To describe The Peninsula, we can say it is “luxurious” and “homelike.” Luxury is only the threshold of becoming a high-class hotel. Being homelike is the real tip to success. Life is like a one-way trip. Most of us simply look for some affection when we look back, which can only be provided by family and friends. For some old customers, the fact that they can always find the same affection at The Peninsula despite the time passed might be the greatest consolation. Here, the time is kept in a capsule where bright memory shines forever.
Zoe Y.C. Chuang is a Melbourne-based interpreter/translator. Her working languages are Mandarin Chinese, English and French.
Zoe has a BA in foreign language and literature from one of the top universities in Taiwan (National Tsing-Hua University). Upon graduating she went to the United Kingdom for a professional interpreting training at the University of Bath. From summer 2004 to early spring 2006 she lived in Paris, where she started her career. She was granted an MA in interpreting and translating in 2005. Zoe is currently working as a freelancer in Melbourne. Her recent clients include the bimonthly magazine Vintage-Luxe and TECO SA sector. She is also a sessional teacher at Australian Institute of Translation and Interpretation.Resume available upon request.