Wandering Repulse Bay 漫步淺水灣


懷舊漫步淺水灣酒店 + 沙灘及鎮海公園
2017 Repulse Bay Hotel & Pulse Complex


Repulse Bay is located in the south of Hong Kong Island, to the east of Deep Water Bay and to the west of Middle Bay and South Bay. Middle Island, Hong Kong is located off Hong Kong Island, between Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay.

The origins of the bay's English name have become extremely obscure. There are, however, many stories — none resting on any solid evidence that has so far been established. A typical example is that in 1841, the bay was used as a base by pirates and caused serious concern to foreign merchant ships trading with China. The pirates were subsequently repulsed by the Royal Navy, hence the name. There is no evidence of any such origin in the extensive British naval log books of the period.

Another story holds that the bay was named after HMS Repulse which was stationed at the bay at one point. No HMS Repulse ever visited Hong Kong, let alone Repulse Bay and the 1868 Repulse served only on the west coast of the Americas (1872-77) and thereafter in British waters. It is known that the name appeared on the earliest British official map of Hong Kong by Lt TB Collinson RE in 1845. However, British Admiralty charts never used the name until the 20th century, instead sticking to the quite erroneous name given by Commander Edward Belcher RN in his 1841 survey, Chonghom Bay. The source of the name remains unknown.

In the 1910s, Repulse Bay was developed into a beach, and the Repulse Bay Hotel was built in 1920. To attract swimmers, a bus route from Central to Repulse Bay was created, and now stands as one of Hong Kong's oldest bus routes. During the Battle of Hong Kong in World War II, Repulse Bay was an important strategic location.
The beach was extended artificially, and thus the sand closer to the shore is coarser in texture than the sand further away.

Until the early 1960s, residential buildings were quite restricted. Three blocks of six storey apartments were developed by Dr. P. P. Chiu and his brother P. W. Chiu, part way up the mountain overlooking Repulse Bay. These were luxury apartments with servants' quarters, with only two apartments per floor in Blocks A and B. Apartments in Block C are smaller. For a long time, these were the only apartments allowed on the mountain.

The "building with a hole" - The Repulse Bay, site of the former Repulse Bay Hotel
Occupying the whole of the west side cliff above the beach was a large castle with a swimming pool, greenhouse and tennis court called Eucliffe, one of three castles owned by the millionaire Eu Tong Sween. The Eucliffe structure and historical site was demolished to make way for a row of low apartments.

The Repulse Bay shopping mall was constructed on part of the old hotel site to mimic some of the lost colonial architecture

The Pulse is the new shopping mall completed in 2014.

The Repulse Bay area is one of the most expensive housing areas in Hong Kong. In 2012, some townhouses reached HK$50,000 (US$6,500) per square foot.

The former Repulse Bay Hotel was demolished in 2 stages during the 1970s and 1980s. Later a boutique shopping mall was constructed on part of the old hotel site to mimic some of the lost colonial architecture.

Emperor International Holdings Limited bought Lido Mall at Repulse Bay and renamed it The Pulse, but due to its expansion to five storeys and 143,000 sq ft, it has been in negotiations with the government over the land premium. On 15 May 2012, Emperor announced an agreement with the government with the land premium at HK$798 million. Emperor will put The Pulse up for lease after receiving the occupation permit. The 143,000-square-foot, five-story shopping mall will be rented out at HK$50 to HK$60 per square foot. Wikipedia

20世紀初,南區其實非常偏僻,因為港島南與港島北被中間一堆山脈所隔。如果要去南區,一是從東區筲箕灣,一是從西邊的薄扶林繞道而至。

當時一位叫塔加特(James Taggart)的經常在南區露營,看見淺水灣沙灘水清沙幼,有意計劃在那裡建酒店。他深知要在淺水灣起酒店,第一件事就要興建淺水灣去市區的道路。於是,他與總督司徒拔磋商,達成協議。政府承諾興建今日的黃泥涌峽道及淺水灣道,塔加特則答允投資酒店。當塔加特宣布起淺水灣酒店,當日的報紙這樣說淺水灣:「海灣被兩旁的山咀保護,向南的視野一望無際,夏日閃爍爍的海面上,遠近的小島點綴着。背後的高山,帶來夏季的涼風,阻擋冬季的寒風,是全島最佳的海灘。」就在1921年,他建成淺水灣酒店,這間酒店後來與半島酒店齊名。

淺水灣酒店以白色為主,門前有意式花園園景及羅馬噴泉,正面的石階兩旁則有球形銅柱燈把守,都是當時最潮流的建築。當時外國人最怕香港夏天,因為外國夏天其實都很冷,但香港的夏天太熱,所以初期洋人經常患「熱病」。因此,酒店天花很高,窗也非常高,增加空氣的流通,維持較涼的室溫。酒店的露台長廊,是整間酒店最特別的建築。長廊總長150英呎,高14呎。當時客人在露台一邊休息,一邊hightea,既可以品嚐佳餚,亦可以享受海上的微風,是當時最賞心的樂事。本來露台吃飯只是潮流,未至於出名。淺水灣酒店露台之所以聞名,大部份得助於張愛玲的小說《傾城之戀》。她筆下主角白流蘇及范柳原就在酒店露台第一次邂逅,然後譜出戀曲。《傾城之戀》轟動社會,令淺水灣酒店聞名全國。因此,後來淺水灣酒店在1982年拆卸,發展商保留了一部份淺水灣酒店的露台,改為露台餐廳,成為今日馳名中外的高級下午茶去處。

淺水灣酒店另一個賣點就是游水。一來淺水灣較偏僻,二來酒店價錢不菲,一般華人都少去淺水灣。所以在20、30年代,淺水灣可說是富人的後花園,有錢人才去淺水灣游水,鬆高尚玩意。在張愛玲的《第一爐香》及《傾城之戀》,就多次提到有錢人去淺水灣游水。當時,有錢人會在沙灘上自置帳棚及桌椅野餐,甚至舉行派對。至於一般市民,其實在五十年代才開始去淺水灣遊玩。不論景色、娛樂,甚至食物,淺水灣酒店都達頂級,所以它有「遠東最佳的渡假酒店」之稱。多年來,不少國際巨星都曾在酒店住宿或用膳,例如著名的劇作家蕭伯納(George Bernard Shaw)、《老人與海》的作家海明威(Ernest Miller Hemingway)及國際影星馬龍白蘭度(Marlon Brando),甚至是愛因斯坦等等。既然淺水灣酒店如此知名,那為甚麼要清拆呢?原來是半島集團想擴展業務,認為單靠酒店賺得有限,於是將它拆卸,改建豪宅、商場及高級餐廳。結果,酒店在在1982年關閉及清拆,變成今日的影灣園。如果想懷緬張愛玲筆下的淺水灣酒店,只能夠去今日露台餐廳了。昔日淺水灣雙輝,淺水灣酒店及余園,今日已經看不到,剩下是一張張舊相片及一段段舊回憶。Dd Tai Channel


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