If you zoom in to the satellite view on the map above, you'll see it's not an obvious place to build a hotel. But read these reviews from the 1950s and 60s, and imagine how it used to be:
- Carlton Hotel - 4 milestones out Taipo Road. Just above water; no access to harbor but wonderful view. 37 rooms. (1959, McKay's guide to the Far East and the Middle East)
- The Carlton Hotel Terrace, Taipo Road on the heights overlooking Kowloon and across the bay to Victoria, affords a most romantic vista. Try to be there at twilight for cocktails and stay for dinner. The setting is an absolute fairyland. (1963, Olson's Orient Guide)
- Carlton Hotel on Castle Peak Rd. has fair food, a breathtaking view, ... (1967, Fodor's guide to Japan and East Asia)
I'm making a guess at the location for this, based on the address in a 1958 copy of the FEER as "4 1/2 Milestone, Taipo Road". [12 Oct 2010 UPDATE: I've set the correct location, based on comments below.]
The 1973 Hong Kong Who's Who gives us the 1956 completion date, and an accurate address which unfortunately no longer exists: NKIL 3744. If anyone can give better directions to its location, please let me know. I'm also interested to hear when it closed or at least the latest memory you have of it still open.
Later place(s) at this location
carlton hotel advertisement from 1962
the hotel was famous for its floorshows with live music where famous hong kong singers of the day appeared - joe junior, irene ryder, teddy robin etc. apparently bruce lee was also a patron.
from memory it was still in business in the late seventies
Re: Villa Calton & Monte Calton
The marker is a bit off as I remember the Calton was on Tai Po Road, no Castle Peak Road. Using Google Maps I found there are two probably related estates in Tai Po Road called Villa Calton & Monte Calton respectively.
View Larger Map
I stayed there briefly in
I stayed there briefly in 1978 while waiting to move into a quarter. Pleasant location, seemed very retro even then. Quite a lot of short stay business, if you know what I mean. I think it lasted until the 1990s. Good bar/nightclub which was popular with 30-ish expats and locals.
My wife and I would go there for dinner and a show in the seventies, mainly for the superb harbour view. It must have been on old Tai Po Road roughly where Villa Carlton is now.
We were posted away from HK in the early eighties, and from memory it closed while we were away. Mid eighties, perhaps.
The Carlton Hotel was certainly on Tai Po Road where the new buildings of the same name now stand. Not to be confused with the Shatin Heights Hotel further north on Tai Po Road.
My 1974 A-O-A HKTA Official Guide Book lists only 3 NT hotels: the Pearl Island Hotel (now Pearl Island Garden & Villas), the Rose Garden Hotel (no information found so far) and the Shatin Heights Hotel.
The Carlton Hotel has telephone number 3-866222 confirming its Kowloon location.
So why the reference to the Carlton in Castle Peak Road?
I used to have lunches here on many occassions in the 1970s and 80s. A great spot if one took the Old TaiPo road into the NT.
My guess its just beyond the Gasoline Sign in Google Earth near 22'20'36.95N/114'09'12.58E. On Google maps there appears to be an old building with a disused pool, which could be it.
Can anyone tell me what is the strange looking construction behind the Gasoline sign
RE: Rose Garden Hotel
This is interesting information.
I would love to hear about the Rose Garden Hotel too. I was told about a "Rose Garden" last year on an unrelated search and the best I could do was track it down to somewhere near or in Shui Pin Wai in Yuen Long. However, at the time I was told it was a pub, not a hotel.
If anyone has any information, I would love to hear it.
The map shows the wrong location. The hotel was/is located before the turn-off to Caldecott Road on the Tai Po Road to Shatin. Pan to the right of the location shown on the map. I thought the site had been bought over by a developer
re: Carlton Hotel
Thanks to everyone for their help with the location, and the photos and memories too. Some answers...
Thanks also to everyone who replied by email:
It was located on Tai Po Road a hundred yards or so north of the junction with Ching Cheung Road. The site is currently occupied by Villa Carlton.
The place seemed to be still in pretty good shape, but did ooze with 1950s charm, of the type you'd only be able to see now in old 1950s Hong Kong movies.
I remember that the view was lovely, too, so I'm guessing the value of the land itself was just too much for the owner to resist selling to some developer.
You could watch the flight path as planes came up to the banking turn down to Kaitak.
Re Carlton Hotel
1970s Terrace View of Kowloon
2001 Villa Carlton Flat Sale
Fanny Fan and Margaret Tu Chuan at the Carlton Hotel
I was sent a link to this article by Durian Dave who runs the Softfilm blog site.
Dave's entertaining and informative blog can be found here: http://softfilm.blogspot.com/
Unfortunately the above links are no longer valid (as seems to be the way with the internet) but the Internet archive still has copies:
Sadly Dave has now deleted his blog but the last version of it can still be found here: https://web.archive.org/web/20150821041600/http://softfilm.blogspot.com/
Hi.Stayed at this hotel 4 times for approx 1 month each time whilst working in Yeung Long.It was on the left befor the petrol station on TAI PO ROAD going up the hill.Many fond memories of this old world hotel with swimming pool down the hill overlooking the harbour and HK island(changing rooms below).Very friendly staff and superb meals,breakfast on the outdoor patio.Last time i saw it was about 14 years ago boarded up.Progress??
I live at the Villa
I live at the Villa Carlton....the current view is nothing like the 1965 or 1975 pictures. There are only glimpses of the harbor now, mostly high rises blocking the view....hard to even see all of the fireworks during festive season. From the old pictures the hotel seems to be on a higher foundation than the current apartments......the hotel seems to be closer to the road.......Would really love to see more pics of the old hotel.
"The old building with disused pool"....is a villa next door, was owned by a local newspaper tycoon. Now being cleared for a new housing development and the thing by the gas station is some machinery room for the tunnel.
Travel to the Hotel again
You all may glimpse the hotel in the movie"Asia-Pol, 亞洲秘密警探"produced by Shaw Brothers Studio in 1967. Some scenes were shot in this hotel. I am sure this hotel was run until the late 80's, and or even further, as to the best of my memory, I had patronised this place around this time. But from 1992 or 1993 the hotel was closed and deserted for years. Until around 1997, it was redeveloped into the existing Villa Carlton.
In the 1970's there was a section of dual carraigeway between Yuen Long Police Station in the general direction of Castle Peak.
The Rose Garden was actually on the section running from Castle Peak to Yuen Long.
It was basically a bar, not an hotel, and very comfortable.
The waitresses were very nice. I seem to remember going there once. Well visited by Expat police inspectors based at Yuen Long Police Station.
I seem to recall that there was another Rose Garden in the Jockey Club Road between Fanling roundabout and Sheung Shui circa 1970's.
Some Memory of Carlton Hotel
Roasted Beef in Carvery was HK$70 in early 1980s. Walk in Rate for a naughty night was HK$470-$680 in Mid 1980s , went there a few times with my wife who was then not yet my wife but my GF only. It was owned by my professional colleagues ( Frank Cheung, a solicitor and Temporary Additional District Judge ( an obsoleted title and honour) and Ida Cheung, a lady Crown Counsel and my Dai Si Tse in AG's Chambers )'s father. It was redeveloped once the old man passed the title to his children before his demise and to his regret as reported in the newspaper interviewing him.