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Farewell to the Excelsior Hong Kong (and the Dickens Bar in particular)

Farewell to the Excelsior Hong Kong (and the Dickens Bar in particular)

Old Oct 11, 18, 1:49 am
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,549
I accompanied a friend who used to be BA crew on a HKG trip once. It was a celebration of my 30th birthday and a 'get away from it all' break after a close family member had died. I remember staying at The Excelsior, celebrating Chinese new year on the roof top while watching the fireworks over the harbour, landing drinks in Dickens bar with most of the crew present and generally not sleeping very much the entire time we were there. As we were waiting for transport back to HKG for the return flight, I noticed a familiar face sat down waiting with his I assume his wife. It turned out it was one of the flight crew from the BA009 volcanic ash engine fail over Indonesia and I'd recognised him from an episode of Mayday/Air Crash Investigation! What with 2x daily 744 flights arriving and departing at similar times, there were always BA uniforms to be seen in the hotel. I remember another crew arriving and low and behold another friend was part of that crew. Complete surprise. I've got a photo of the three of us in reception somewhere and will always remember The Excelsior with fond memories for these reasons.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 2:25 am
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jersey
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Originally Posted by 1010101 View Post
It was supposed to go in 2016 but was granted a stay of execution. I don't mind it going much, it was a tired old place frequented by tired old businessmen. I remember being very surprised when i found out it was a Marriott hotel. Anyway, many of the airline crew moved to a hotel just round the corner, so it wont make much difference to them.
It's actually a Mandarin Oriental hotel not a Marriott.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 8:08 am
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London
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Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post
BA crews in HKG do typically enjoy themselves downroute, which is good to see, since HKG is also one of my favourite cities. One time, I do remember doing some sort of karaoke with a few BA crew members in the wee small hours at a bar in LKF about 8 or 9 years ago. A great time was had by all.
I'll never forget my first trip there. I was feeling quite awake still after a team dinner and ended up on my own in a little bar a couple of streets from my hotel, where there was a covers band from Kuala Lumpur playing. I think there can't have been more than 5 of us drinking / watching the band and the singer decided he'd had enough towards the end of the set. I'd been sitting at the bar, having a last couple of beers, singing along, and he just walked over, grabbed a beer from the barman and handed me the mic, along with the setlist with the last three songs on (which luckily I knew).

So not quite Karaoke - more an impromptu (and unpaid although I had about another 5 free beers after that) gig as frontman for this Malaysian covers band.

I fell in love with the city right there I think...
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Old Oct 11, 18, 8:19 am
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 25
I remember meeting friends in the hotel as a kid when staying in HK. As I've grown up, visiting HK every year, the hotel has always been a familiar and comforting sight on the Causeway Bay seafront. Whilst undoubtedly it needed some sort of refurb/ rebuilding, it'll be sad to see such a landmark go!
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Old Oct 11, 18, 10:00 am
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
I remember it from when I was little. That hotel is almost as old as Hong Kong itself. Those were the days, the early 1970s, when it was amazing watching from where we lived (Tai Hang Road) planes take off from Kai Tak. The dirtiest were Cathay Pacific, leaving immense amounts of smoke behind them, quite a reputation they had back then.
They would be the old Convair 880's leaving a black cloud behind.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 4:56 pm
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Montreux CH
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Originally Posted by quakered View Post
I saw Tony Hancock perform their when I was 21 in the mid sixties. I have to report that he appeared drunker than us young blokes out for a convivial evening. As a callow youth I have to confess I preferred the Hilton night club in the basement. That hotel also long since gone.....
Ah the Hilton! That was opposite that cricket pitch in Central, wasn't it? My sister used to work there and they had the best onion soup I can ever remember tasting!
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Old Oct 11, 18, 5:27 pm
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: London
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And some truly gorgeous local hookers.....
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Old Oct 11, 18, 7:24 pm
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I used to work on top on the Sino Tower next door. The best office view I ever had, and I've had a view - including the wonderful view of The City i have now.

Even then (2008) nobody went to the Excelsior, less than 50 yards away. and instead headed in to Central for far nice bars with views. Saying that I believe I went there for lunch once - it was crap.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 3:28 am
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Surrey, UK
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Posts: 133
Ahhhh.....the Dickens Bar at the Excelsior - an infamous and obligatory watering hole during HK Sevens week before proceeding elsewhere!

First visit there 1988, last visit there will be next year.

A couple of interesting snippets from the scmp
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