The Excelsior is checked out after 46 years

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Latest iconic hotel to be demolished for commercial development

Age is a double-edged sword for buildings in Hong Kong. When a building has been in the public eye long enough, it is often called “historic” or “iconic”. But rarely do these labels save it from the demolition. The Excelsior hotel in Causeway Bay is the latest in a long line of luxury hotels that have been razed to unleash its hidden land value as a commercial development. On March 31, this “iconic” hotel closed its doors for the last time, checking out after 46 years of service. The popular hotel will be torn down to make way for a 26-storey office, where rents are expected to be the highest in Causeway Bay.

Back in the late 20th century, the “iconic” Hongkong Hilton, which sat comfortably between the HSBC headquarters and the Bank of China, was also redeveloped into a very tall glass box that now serves Masters of the Universe. Officially opened in June 1963, the Hilton was a grand old hotel. Its dining establishment catered to police officers after hours and imposed a ban on women on weekdays.