The Pottinger Hong Kong is a hotel located in Hong Kong’s central business district. Until the 1840s, the area known today as Central was little more than a sandy beach with a footpath running along it. But when the British decided to relocate from Stanley to a more suitable spot, Central was their choice. The new centre of commerce and administration quickly attracted many local Chinese looking to work, trade and make money, and the population squeezed into the narrow land between mountain and sea soared to over 25,000 by 1850....
The many trading warehouses or ‘hongs’ built along the waterfront quickly made Central a major hub for local trade, and it eventually replaced Canton (Guangzhou) as the main trading port and business centre in the Pearl River Delta. British Hong Kong boomed, and Central was right at its heart. Pressure of space led to extensive reclamation over the years; Queen’s Road in Central marks the original shoreline, so hotel guests at The Pottinger Hong Kong are within a stone’s-throw of the waterline of 150 years ago.
Pottinger Street, dating from the 1850s, is one of the oldest streets in Central district and is granted Grade I historic status by Antiquities Advisory Board of Hong Kong. It is named after Hong Kong's first Governor, Sir Henry Eldred Curwen Pottinger. Originally, when Queen’s Road ran along the waterfront, Pottinger Street started at Queen’s Road and ran uphill in a series of steep steps to Hollywood Road. Following later reclamation, Pottinger Street was extended along the flat reclaimed land northwards to Connaught Road Central.
The older, steeper part of Pottinger Street is laid out as a series of granite steps, designed for pedestrians and pole-carried vehicles only. This gives it its local Chinese name, which translates as ‘Stone Slab Street’. The unique and atmospheric stone steps have made it a popular location for filming Hong Kong movies and TV series.
During World War II, a 75-metre tunnel was built under Pottinger Street as an air-raid shelter. It was never used and was finally filled in the 1980s amid concerns that it might collapse.