INTRODUCTION TO THE UPPER HOUSE
Redefining boutique city hotels, The Upper House, designed by local Hong Kong designer Andre Fu, combines the comforts of a well-designed home with the amenities of a world-class hotel, by creating “a haven of calm and quiet taste”.
Date of stay: Latest stay in June 2020, with frequent annual revisits
Room: Upper Suite
Reviewed by: Chinmoy Lad
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PHOTOS AND VIDEOS by CHINMOYLAD
WHAT I LOVED
- Location. The Upper House has somehow managed to create a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of central, bustling Hong Kong. Located in Admiralty, a part of Hong Kong’s central business district, the hotel is well-connected via elevated walkways to Pacific Place, one of Hong Kong’s most prominent shopping malls, as well as several other malls. The location is also a stone’s throw away from the peaceful respite of Hong Kong Park, as well as the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. Also in the vicinity are the JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong (which shares the building with The Upper House), Island Shangri-La and Conrad Hong Kong hotels.
- Design. Utilising clever combinations of light materials and colour and subtle, subdued lighting, the hotel, which, despite having its own entrance, is housed in the upper floors of the same building as the JW Marriott (and occupying a space that formerly housed Swire’s serviced apartments), is an ‘upward journey to a serene house’ that encapsulates a stay – at a home, rather than at a hotel.
- Rooms. Boasting some of the most spacious rooms in the city, the lead-in category rooms start at 68 sqm/730 sqft with island and harbour views. The suites are 114 sqm/1,230 sqft and featuring expansive harbour views and living space.
- Bathrooms. Large stand-alone limestone-clad baths are the centre piece of one of the most stunning urban hotel bathrooms, and this is true of each bathroom in each room category, some which come with views of Victoria Harbour in the background. The bathrooms feature twin vanities with very thoughtful branded amenity kit (that you can take away), an open shower (rain and handheld) and a TV that can actually be watched when soaking in the tub (and doesn’t black out). Toiletries are by Bamford, a British brand.
- Service. Other than the relatively low room-count (for a city hotel in a skyscraper), the service is where The Upper House really earns its ’boutique’ moniker, with dedicated Guest Experience Managers taking care of your every need from the moment you arrive, including arranging cute little in-room gifts suited to your needs and wants.
- Paperless. The check-in is in-room and paperless, as is much of the experience. For example, there are no printed menus for in-room dining. Technology is embedded into the hotel so guests can order room service, among other requests, direct from using the controls for the TV.
- Cafe Gray Bar. The bar, set at the far end of the restaurant, features a 14-metre stone bar as well as private nooks with stunning views. This is one of Hong Kong’s coolest bars, and can get crowded in the evenings, but always maintains a sophisticated yet casual vibe.
- The Lawn. Featuring a secluded green space on the 6th level, The Lawn is perfect for hosting guests for garden bites and picnic cocktails, beers and a few glasses of wine.
POINTS TO NOTE
- Gym, spa and pool. The Upper House houses a small but adequate gym (since no one else is usually using it anyway!), but there is no spa or pool facility. Guests can enjoy paid day-passes for spa/pool at the other hotels in the complex. However, The Upper House continues to offer incredible options featuring fitness around the city. The House hosts complimentary yoga sessions three times a week on The Lawn, as well as jogging trails around the city (the hotel is just behind the greenery of Hong Kong Park). Additionally, the hotel can arrange in-room massages, facials, nail treatments and styling sessions.
- Restaurant. The hotel only houses one restaurant, Cafe Gray Deluxe which serves modern European cuisine with harbour views. The restaurant is headed by Chef Gray Kunz. We have had mixed experiences with this restaurant so it’s really hard to rate it (from exceptional to average). In general, we have enjoyed the breakfasts and afternoon teas, and some of the food at the Bar itself can be truly exceptional, although we have been left wanting more with some lunches and dinners. However, due to its location above Pacific Place, there is a slew of restaurants in the immediate vicinity, and Central, Lan Kwai Fong and Soho are only a few minutes drive (or one station on the MTR [metro/subway] or a short tram ride) away.
- The hotel is about a 40-minute drive from Hong Kong International Airport.
HOTEL FACT SHEET
- LOCATION: Hong Kong S.A.R.
- OPENED: 2009
- HOTEL ROOMS: 117
- RESIDENCE VILLAS: N/A
- RATES FROM: USD 500/night++
Rates are only an approximation and subject to change and availability
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