The Peninsula Hotel opened in December 1928 located at the junction of Nathan Road and Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Founded by members of the Kadoorie family, the hotel today is part of the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels group. Built with the idea that it would be "the finest hotel east of Suez." Passengers arriving in Hong Kong by ocean liner disembarked onto the quays of Kowloon plus, it was the last stop on the trans-Siberian rail link that brought travelers from Europe.
We must assume Lowry saw the incomplete hotel on his 1927 voyage to the Far East as he stopped in Hong Kong between June 19th and June 21st 1927. Lowry refers to the hotel in his novel Ultramarine; "Behind the ship the Peninsular Hotel at Kowloon loomed darkly" (Pg. 77)