Excelsior – Hong Kong – and the Dicken's Bar

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  BPP 10 Oct 2018
at 08:47

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  • Angus Braithwaite

    I read with interest the recent story on businesstraveller.com about doubts surrounding the future of the Excelsior. The possibly that it may close in favour of an office/mall development must send a shudder through those who have stayed there.
    Even more of a shame, would be the loss of the legendary Dicken’s Bar, where for many years I have had some wonderful evenings.
    I wonder if anyone else can share some memories of this venerable watering hole? I recall my first business trip to Hong Kong in the late 1980s when the only mobile technology beside the impractical brick phone was the pager. Alas, even then, I was late into the game with digital apparatus; but thankfully good hotels like the Excelsior had a bell-hop who would alert guests and bar regulars with a large, bright sign if someone left a phone message for you with the reception.
    My first night in Hong Kong was made when along came a bellboy carrying the sign adorned with my name, flashing lights and even ringing a bell.
    Over the years I’ve been able to follow English football in comfortable surroundings thanks to the Dicken’s Bar and made a few friends too, including visiting flight crews such as the lively lot from British Airways.

    Tom Otley

    Here is the article

    The Excelsior Hong Kong’s future in doubt?

    It used to be a favourite with flight crews, I seem to remember….


    I have always loved the place and have used it, on and off, for about 20 years. I stayed there about 3 weeks ago, first time in a while and was struck by how little had changed, so much so that a refurb is probably due. Alas, by the sound of things, this might not happen.

    Dickens Bar was always fun, especially on football nights. Good English comfort food as well!!

    Tom Otley

    I played darts in there several times. Badly. And sport was always on, yes. So much changes in Hong Kong (I’m here this week) that bars like this ought to be listed!


    This has REALLY spoilt my morning, having missed the original article. I have been staying there regularly since the late ’80s and have always enjoyed my stays there. Unlike many of the newer HK hotels it is much more spacious and yes the rooms do need upgrading but they are still very comfortable. As has been mentioned the Dickens Bar is great for a hotel bar with lots of atmosphere. Shame they stopped serving draught Leffe by the pint at the same price as all the other beers though! My next booking there is for November – hope it is still there.


    No room for sentimentaly in Hong Kong.

    Over the years several fine, modern hotels have been demolished to make way for more profitable enterprises.


    Up until about a year ago, The Excelsior was the BA Crew Hotel for many years.

    The Dickens bar was the go to place for Crew each night. I am sure, that not having 20+ Crew in there every day, must have made a dent on the profits of The Dickens Bar, although losing the Crew Hotel Rooms, is most probable a plus for them, due to the low rates BA will get.

    Really liked the location. Haven’t been back to Hong Kong since we moved out of there. Loved the buffet in the hotel.


    A great many fond memories – when I moved to HK in 1977 I stayed there for a while until I found a flat. Wonderful times in the Dickens Bar-the BA crew always livened things up! Enjoyed it (often on my drive back from work, which on many occasions
    made for very late arrival home!) the whole time I lived there and also on my frequent trips back to HK in the many years since.
    It will be sorely missed by a huge number of people the world over if indeed it is not part of future plans for the hotel.


    Stayed here on my first ever visit to HK in 1991. Nothing but fond memories.

    Also featured in the Peter Sellars 1978 caper, Revenge of the Pink Panther


    Wonderful hotel. First stayed there in March 1984 and several times since (last time was April 2015 when I noticed that it was being used by Emirates flight and cabin crew). Enjoyed the Dickens Bar and the roof top terrace bar. Great staff. Very handy for the yacht club. I know from having lived in Hong Kong for 11 years that it is always evolving but I really hope the Excelsior stays as a hotel – at least until my next visit!


    …That’s indeed a blast from the past – Great Hotel, Great Bar – it’s fortunate that they did not produce their own brand of cider…

    Mark Caswell

    Just trying to upload the photo again as it failed on Tom’s previous post…



    Just to add to AlanOrton’s comment, it was in the Excelsior’s lift the famous fart scene was shot – worth looking at the outtakes.

    Chris in Makati

    I fondly remember the curry buffet lunches they used to have in the Dickens Bar on Sunday lunchtimes. We’ve spent many a New Year’s Eve there too.

    Tom Otley

    So farewell, then, Excelsior….

    The Excelsior, Hong Kong is closing next March

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