The cab driver didn’t exactly know where he was headed, but I had gotten used to that. Arguably Hong Kong’s best boutique luxury hotel, The Upper House Hong Kong isn’t an “in your face” kind of hotel. No, instead this high-end property excels in what I can only call a softer, more refined style of elegance. It’s a property that caters to casual travelers as well as celebrities, ensuring them both the same high level of service and seclusion – it’s this unique combination of service, style, luxury and privacy that makes The Upper House one of my favorite hotels not just in Hong Kong, but the world. My visit to the Upper House Hong Kong was part of my Cathay Pacific delivery flight experience, which you read more about by clicking the link.
The Upper House is part of the House Collective; a group of luxury hotels that, thanks to their small size, each offer personalized service to their patrons. The Upper House was my first experience with them and honestly, I couldn’t think of a better first introduction. Perched high in the clouds on Hong Kong Island, the 123 rooms of the Upper House start on the 38th floor, guaranteeing guests amazing views of this always-interesting city. Wanting guests to truly feel at home, the rooms are a mix of studios and suites and even the most basic will seem oversized in a city where smaller rooms can at times be the norm.
The Room Experience
Walking into my room at the Upper House felt more like walking into an apartment than a hotel room, and I was in a standard room! A spacious living area and bedroom morph stylishly into the oversized bathroom and tub area. Bathtubs are a big deal at the Upper House, positioned so that guests can enjoy not only a tranquil and private experience, but one with a view as well. The amenity kits are also like none other I’ve seen – airline style amenity bags contain Ren toiletries and everything you could possibly need to pamper yourself during what is already a luxurious hotel experience. Warm and soothing colors, natural bamboo elements and cool limestone all come together perfectly in these Andre Fu designed spaces, fusing art, style, fashion and ultra-luxury in a perfect marriage.
In the rooms everything is available at the touch of a finger, from the window blinds to room service and even the mini-bar is an approachable space with complimentary snacks and soft drinks. Every room features a changing area and walk-in closet and of course those enormous bathrooms I mentioned before. But there’s a lot more to this luxury hotel than the rooms; the public spaces are ones you’ll want to actually enjoy instead of simply avoiding.
In Hong Kong the concept of hotel bars and restaurants is elevated to an almost impossibly high level, and that’s certainly the case at the Upper House’s Café Gray Deluxe. Perched high on the 49th floor of the hotel, the restaurant is the brainchild of New Yorker Chef Gray Kunz. This isn’t a staid and tired eatery; the food is a departure from traditional fine dining and instead relies on so-called everyday dishes, emphasizing local and organic foods. An open-kitchen and some of the best views in town guarantee a dining experience you’ll never forget, as the scores of local diners at the Café will prove.
Art is also an important aspect of staying at the Upper House and you’ll find fine examples from registration to the hallways leading to your spacious room. All carefully selected to share not only stories, but to inspire feelings of peace and serenity in guests; you may not always notice them, but there’s no doubt they’re the perfect accompaniment to your stay.
Calling Hong Kong Island home, the Upper House is in a great position to allow guests to explore the city easily and without hassle. Located above the Pacific Place Mall, guests have easy access to some of the best known (and high-end) stores in the city, from Burberry and Chanel to Miu Miu and Prada. The mall is also home to bars, restaurants and the convenient metro system the MTR. That’s actually how I got around town most of the time, and getting there from the Upper House couldn’t have been easier. If you’re a Hong Kong novice though it’s best to ask the front desk for guidance, as the massive malls in the city can be a little confusing at first. If you want to avoid the subway, the hotel can help there too with complimentary car shuttle service to anywhere on Hong Kong Island in their hybrid cars. That’s actually just one of many ways in which the Upper House strives to be eco-friendly, they also rely on locally sourced foods, use body sensors in the rooms and check-out is even paperless.
Beyond shopping there’s plenty more to see and do all within easy reach of the hotel. Starstreet precinct, Hong Kong Park, the Peak Tram and the Botanical Gardens are all a nice walk or bike ride (also complimentary) from the Upper House. Add to that more restaurants than can be named and any number of other ways to enjoy your time in Hong Kong, and I honestly couldn’t have been happier with the location – one of the most important aspects of any hotel stay in my opinion.
I didn’t know a lot about The Upper House Hong Kong before my first stay there; a little research returned only the cold and sterile facts. But almost immediately I understood why everyone raves about the House Collective properties. They’re different from most other luxury accommodations in a way that is almost hard to put into words. It’s the feeling you get as you stretch out on the large and luxuriously comfortable beds or standing under the soothing waters of the rain showers or even sitting down for a cocktail in the Café Gray Lounge. It all just works and comes together in a special kind of harmony that is akin to feng shui for hospitality. A place where all of the elements work together in unison creating an experience that isn’t only emblematic of Hong Kong but of how luxury travel really should be.