The Kowloon Ritz-Carlton hotel closed February 11th. The 216 room hotel, only 14 years old, will face the wrecking ball to make room for more office space as rental prices reach record highs. Its a sign of the times here in Hong Kong where land is at a premium, and if you have the cash you can re-arrange the city like its made of lego blocks.
While the hotel is set to re-open next year in West Kowloon, more than 250 items from the original hotel will be auctioned off today. These items include antique ballroom chandeliers from HK$3,000 (US $384) each, an 18th-century gilt-framed mirror for HK$9,000, and a century-old, stained-glass screen for HK$100,000. An absolute bargain! Unfortunately, the auction is open only to a priveledged list of previous hotel guests, and although it was rumoured that you could put your name on the list, I found it pretty close to impossible – so alas there will be no hotel silverware for me to bid on today… 🙁
An artists impression of the new Ritz Carlton, set to open 2009.