The enduring entertainment heart of Hong Kong
Heart of Hong Kong
Heart of Hong Kong Lee Gardens is one of the city’s prime retail destinations, and its building comes with a long history. When Hong Kong tycoon Mr Lee bought ‘East Point Hill’ from Jardine's in 1923, he couldn't have foreseen what Causeway Bay is today. He transformed what was then an industrial wasteland into a thriving commercial district, starting with an amusement park on the East Point hill. Lee Gardens was a hugely popular destination for family outings in those days, much like Ocean Park today. The war years took their toll on the park, and it was demolished after the war. The hill was flattened to make way for a new wave of the entertainment industry.
First 5-star hotel
From 1971 until 1997, this was the famous Lee Garden Hotel. The hotel was a game-changer for the area. It may be difficult to imagine, but cosmopolitan Hong Kong only had a handful of 5-star hotels in the 1970s. For years, Lee Garden Hotel was the undisputed No. of them all: the 22-storey hotel complex had 900 deluxe bedrooms and a ballroom fit for a party of 300 guests. When it opened in 1971, Causeway Bay was on the brink of a drastic transformation from an industrial warehouse area into a commercial leisure district. The arrival of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and MTR Island Line suddenly put the area at the heart of Hong Kong and made it a real hotspot for both locals and tourists.
Many renowned stars stayed at Lee Gardens Hotel, including evergreen singers Bee Gees, Cliff Richard and legendary footballer Pele. For many years, the hotel was also the home of the Miss Hong Kong beauty pageant events, with the competition held just a stone’s throw away at Lee Theatre.