Hotel Merlin [1962-1982]

Submitted by Admin on Sun, 10/11/2009 - 21:53
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
Date closed / demolished
Previous place(s) at this location
Later place(s) at this location


Photos that show this Place


I found a couple of mentions on the internet:

  • 1964. Advertised on pg 5 of this Masonic gazette. The advert says the hotel is part of 'Merlin Hotels (Malaysia) Limited', which also includes a second Hotel Merlin in Kuala Lumpur, and the Cameron Highlands Hotel.
  • 1970. Curtiss Scott Englehorn wrote a couple of letters home from the Hotel Merlin, while in Hong Kong on an R'n'R break from Vietnam.

Any other information out there about this hotel?

I remember staying at the Hotel Merlin in 1970 en route to the US.  My family stayed there as we were passing back through for a week in HK after a nine month stint in Thailand. After just an hour on Nathan road, our nose hairs were black from the filthy air.  Clean air ?  Hah.  Not if you lived in TST or Mong Kok.

Google Books entry for "Commerce, industry, finance: the official guide and directory on commerce, industry and finance in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong" shows:

New hotels which opened in 1962 were the Park (450 rooms) and the Merlin with 180 rooms, both in Kowloon. Hotels to be opened this year include the 660-room Mandarin and the 1,000 room Hongkong Hilton on the Island, the 800-room President and the 166-room Empress in Kowloon.

This fine hotel was situated corner Nathan Road and close to the old Kowloon Train Station. I was staying there in 1963 before boarding a train at Kowloon Station to Lowu, crossing the bridge by foot and, after customs control and immigration, boarding a chinese train to Kanton. Outside the Merlin Hotel one could hire a Rikshah for shopping tours in Kowloon.

In 1963, the hotel was used as a temporary production office by Richard Brooks and co whilst they were filming Lord Jim.

Indeed used by HK Govt for accommodating Govt servants pre/post vacation leave(overseas).Myself and very many single colleagues(RHKP)spent several months in the Merlin from about Aug-Nov 1970-whilst awaiting the opening of the new Homantin Hill Rd Service Flats(for single Govt servants).The downstairs bar at the Merlin remained a favourite for many thru' the 70's.

Well remember the Merlin. Was a stopover venue for US press correspondents travelling to and from Vietnam. Bought my first rather battered black Leica M3 in the bar there from a war photographer short of cash to settle his booze bill.