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Hotel Highlights

  • Superb styling – Andre Fu design, contemporary art and ultra-luxe accessories
  • Eye-popping views to the Harbour, Kowloon-side, Hong Kong Island and the hills
  • High-rise fine-dining at Café Gray Deluxe on the 49th floor

Overview

WINNER: ABOVE AND BEYOND – SMITH HOTEL AWARDS 2013

With the Upper House hotel, of-the-moment designer Andre Fu has fashioned a high-style Mt Olympus in the heavens over Hong Kong. Live like a lord of the city from your spacious studio or suite's perch overlooking the skyline, then head down to join the mere mortals for some retail therapy at sleek designer mega-mall Pacific Place.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Upper House with us:

A bespoke Upper House candle with holder

Facilities

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The Upper House - Hong Kong - China

Need To Know

Rooms

117, including 23 suites.

Check–out

A civilised 12.00pm, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $645.15 (HK$5,000), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 10% per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates usually exclude breakfast, except for the Upper Suite.

Also

Beautifully set in Hong Kong-born wunderkind Andre Fu's serene, sophisticated design are a series of specially commissioned artworks, which follow the upward journey from fourth floor lobby, on the wooden-arched escalator to Level 6, to the grand, candle-lit columnades of the 49th floor and Café Gray. British designer Thomas Heatherwick's clever outside cladding, Stone Curtain, begins this artistic odyssey at street-level and a highlight is the inner atrium's 10-storey, water-inspired installation, Rise, by Hiroshiwata Sawada.

At the hotel

Lounge, gym, garden. In rooms: free broadband/WiFi, flatscreen satellite TV, interactive iPod touch, dual-temperature wine fridge, free maxibar snacks, soft drinks and beer (excluding wine and champagne), espresso machine, yoga mat, Ren toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Soothing bamboo, luxe limestone and warm woolens are the materials of choice in all the subtly opulent rooms, which start from the 38th floor. We love the cushioned window seats, harbour views and L-shaped loungers of the Upper Suites, but the inland-facing Island and mountain view Studios have the best feng shui. All rooms have walk-in wardrobes and bathrooms big enough to sleep in, with roomy rain showers and giant tubs (complete with TV concealed behind a mirror). But remember – just as you can see all of Hong Kong as you soak, so can all of Hong Kong see you. Blinds are electronic and remote-controlled.

Packing tips

Home comforts abound – shoe-trees, yoga mats, arty coffee-table books and more Ren toiletries than you can fit in your washbag – so some skyscraper-scoping binoculars should suffice.

Also

An extra bed for additional persons, can be added for HK$500 a night. When the Hong Kong climate allows, rest on the upward journey to your room with a break on the Lawn, a secret garden on Level 6. Complimentary morning yoga classes on weekends.

Children

Children are welcome, and cribs and sofabeds are available free of charge. Babysitting can be arranged with a local nanny. Beyond that, kids' facilities are limited and there's no pool.

Read more

Eco‐friendly

The Upper House uses in-room body motion sensors to save electricity, hybrid cars for private hire and sources locally-grown, organic food. Printed hotel directories have been replaced by whizzy iPod-touches and check-out is paperless.

Food & Drink

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The Upper House - Hong Kong - China

Hotel Restaurant

Café Gray Deluxe is already a Hong Kong institution. Mid-week you may share it with a few sharp-suited financiers, but it's just more new China, high-life grist to the mill as you all revel in the killer harbour views and classic cuisine of masterchef Gray Kunz. Try the tarragon-infused Crab Bisque or the delicate saffron-scented Pasta Fiore; the heirloom-tomato salad from the hills of Hong Kong Island was also a revelation. Who'd of thunk it?

Hotel Bar

Powder-blue, curved banquettes and a 14-metre-long marble bar make Café Gray Deluxe Bar and Lounge, alongside the restaurant, a suitably showy outpost of the Upper House home away from home. Snuggle up for a crazy cocktail creation from master mixologist Sam Jeveons, or swing by in the afternoon to check your email in style (WiFi is free). The gorgeous Skylounge across the aerial bridge is a more chilled-out spot for relaxing with a drink or snack, board game or good book, with a warming fire in winter and savvy 'guest experience managers' on tap if you need advice or help.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 11.00am; lunch runs from 12.00pm to 2.30pm (with an 11.30am start on Sunday); and dinner goes from 6.00pm to 11.00pm.

Room service

Available 24 hours, with a good selection from Café Gray Deluxe. Browse and order on your iPod touch. In-room maxibars come stocked with free jars of cookies, chocolates and sweets, as well as tasty teas, coffee, juices and beer (wine costs extra).

Smith Insider

Dress code

International urban chic (linens, neutrals) with a colonial flourish (blazer, shiny shoes).

Top table

All tables come with jaw-dropping vistas, but window seats offer pole-position, especially the more copious corner spots. Book ahead for intimate booth tables adjacent to the bar or one of the private dining pods lining the open kitchen.

Local Guide

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The Upper House - Hong Kong - China
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Within the hotel, you can enjoy free Saturday and Sunday morning yoga classes out on the Lawn, or work off those cocktail calories at the airy gym. Two guest bikes are free for exploring the area, although take water as Hong Kong can be humid. Art works commissioned throughout the Upper House are also worth a look, forming a vertical gallery of original pieces.

 

You don't need to stray far for a serious shopping hit. The Upper House is perched above the vast Pacific Place mall at 88 Queensway (www.pacificplace.com.hk), home to a wallet-numbing array of upscale designer boutiques, as well as a cinema, food hall, and copious drinking and dining dens. Alongside branches of local favourite Lane Crawford (for elegant homewares) and Shanghai Tang for fashion and accessories, you'll find international department stores such as Harvey Nichols, and chic global fashion brands including Agnès b, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chloé, Miu Miu, Prada and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Men and women are equally well catered for, and you can score bargains at accessible high-street labels such as Bally, Ted Baker and Zara. Recent additions include covetable British stationers Smythson and Italian power brand Valentino. You're also within striking distance of Central's classy malls, including Landmark (www.landmark.hk) and the IFC (www.ifc.com.hk).

 

For a more mellow experience, stroll to the hip nearby Starstreet precinct (www.starstreet.com.hk), nestled against the hills at the back of Wan Chai, just a hop from Admiralty MTR station. Once home to humble, low-rise Chinese tenements, today this compact network of laneways, including Star, Sun and Moon streets, conceals edgy, independent boutiques, quirky vintage stores, gentrified galleries, laid-back cafés and bars. Highlights include modern design store Kapok (www.ka-pok/webshop) at 3 Sun Street and 5 St Francis Yard for local and international exclusives, and Chen Mi Ji (www.chenmiji.com) at 4 Sun Street for vintage furniture and homewares. You'll also find global style brands such as Monocle, 3.1 Phillip Lim and men's concept store Club Monaco here.

 

Escape into tropical Hong Kong Park, just five minutes' walk from the hotel, 20 acres of green ideal for walking, jogging or watching locals perform t'ai chi. As well as fountains and an aviary, you'll find the Museum of Tea Ware, located in Flagstaff House, an elegant white colonial building at 10 Cotton Tree Drive. Part of the Hong Kong Museum of Art (hk.art.museum), it displays exquisite ceramic Chinese tea ware and hosts exhibitions, lectures and even tea drinking sessions. From the park, it's just a short stroll to the Garden Road Lower Terminus, where you can buy tickets for the famous Peak Tram (www.thepeak.com.hk) up to Victoria Peak. The sloping ride up is fun by day or night, with jaw-dropping views both en route and at the summit. You'll find look-outs at the top, as well as a clutch of short walking trails with guaranteed vistas (see the Peak website for details). The 3.5-kilometre Peak Circle Walk, from Lugard to Harlech roads, takes about an hour and a half. Hong Kong Zoological Gardens and Botanical Gardens (www.lcsd.gov.hk/parks), behind Government House, is another verdant spot for stretching your pins, within easy reach of the Upper House. It's small, but you can see a range of monkeys, reptiles and birds, as well as exotic flowers.

 

If modern art is your bag, check out the cutting-edge shows at Agnès b's Librairie Galerie (asia.agnesb.com/en/bside), at 118 Hollywood Road. Running from Central into Sheung Wan, Hollywood Road and parallel Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street) are the go-to spots for antiques, Mao-era curios and fleamarket finds, as well as niche galleries. Don't miss the Cat Street Gallery (www.thecatstreetgallery.com) at 222 Hollywood Road, which shows international contemporary art, including emerging names.

Local restaurants

Pacific Place (www.pacificplace.com.hk) is handy for refuelling just minutes' from the Upper House. For formal Italian dining, head to Domani (Level 4, 406; www.domani.hk); for steamed pork dumplings and baked crab shells make for Ye Shanghai (Level 3, 332; www.elite-concepts.com); for northern Thai flavours including chargrilled cod and tiger prawn try Thai Basil (LG, 001; www.maxconcepts.com.hk); for Japanese robata grill fare sample Roka (LG, 002; www.rokarestaurant.com), or for casual, contemporary Spanish offerings, including funky tea sets, swing by Zelo (LG, 007; www.zelo.com.hk).

Local bars

Although it's hard to tear yourself away from Café Gray Deluxe's stellar harbour views atop the hotel, Sevva (+852 2537 1388; www.sevva.hk), on the 25th floor of the Prince's Building at 10 Chater Road in Central, boasts one of the city's most seductive rooftop bars, as well as serving a famously fine line in cakes and other delicacies. Ted's Lookout (+852 2520 0076), at Moonful Court, 17A Moon Street in Wan Chai, offers natty cocktails in a quirky industrial space, with southern States-inspired bites such as tacos and sliders, as well as pastas and risottos. It gets busy, so works best for small groups.

Local cafés

Tucked away on a quiet corner at 1 Sun Street in the Starstreet district, adorable little Spoil Café (+852 3589 5678; www.starstreet.com.hk) is a top spot to linger over coffee and cakes. You'll also find pasta, salads and other savouries. At Pacific Place, Milan-founded Cova Patisserie (Level 1, 301; cova.com.hk) is ideal for afternoon tea, coffee and cakes, or pop to café-bar C'est La B (Level 2, 202; msbscakery.hk) to sample tasty cakes and desserts by Bonnae Gokson, legendary founder of Sevva bar.

+ Enlarge
Admiralty eyrie

The Upper House

Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong, HK

Perched above chic Pacific Place, Hong Kong Island's revamped shopping and business complex, the Upper House enjoys a super-convenient location in Admiralty district, just a stroll east of Central.

Planes

Fly into Hong Kong International Airport (www.hkairport.com), on Chek Lap Kok just north of Lantau Island, a 35-minute drive from the hotel. Single airport transfers (in a Lexus Hybrid HX450h) are HK$900 per car.

Trains

The Upper House is a just a few minutes' stroll from Admiralty station on the cheap and slick MTR (Mass Transit Railway; www.mtr.com.hk), Hong Kong's well-connected subway. The MTR's speedy, regular Airport Express takes about 23 minutes to reach Central; from there just change to the blue Island Line (direction Chai Wan) for the one-stop ride to Admiralty or grab a cab. It's also on the red Tsuen Wan Line. The nearest major rail station is in Hung Hom on Kowloon, 25 minutes' drive away, for connections from Guangzhou.

Other

The famous Star Ferry crosses the harbour from Kowloon to Central or Wan Chai ferry pier, both of which are close to the hotel. Atmospheric trams also serve the area.

Reviews

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The Upper House - Hong Kong - China

Anonymous review

by Immodesty Blaize , Burlesque beauty

Within a nanosecond of my convoy pulling into the Upper House’s driveway, bearing a ridiculous nine pieces of luggage bursting with tools of the showgirl trade, three friendly faces appear and effortlessly whisk away my cases. Having come from a hectic London straight to an even more frenetic Hong Kong, my heart sinks to see a shiny escalator rearing up ahead and disappearing into a very bei…
Read more

The Upper House

Anonymous review by Immodesty Blaize, Burlesque beauty

Within a nanosecond of my convoy pulling into the Upper House’s driveway, bearing a ridiculous nine pieces of luggage bursting with tools of the showgirl trade, three friendly faces appear and effortlessly whisk away my cases. Having come from a hectic London straight to an even more frenetic Hong Kong, my heart sinks to see a shiny escalator rearing up ahead and disappearing into a very beige and cream-coloured hotel interior. The Upper House is in Admiralty, slap-bang in the heart of the financial district, and I worry that I’m about to be sucked into a corporate rat-race in some soulless, futuristic metropolis. How wrong I was.

Not only does my Studio 70 Island View room have incredible vistas of Hong Kong from its picture windows, 43 floors up, but it feels more like staying at your best friend’s sleek-and-chic, Asian-style pad in Los Angeles, complete with jars of ‘help yourself’ cookies and sweeties, an iPod Touch, palatial (for Hong Kong) spa-style bathroom and – nice detail – complimentary drinks; none of that extortion-by-minibar business. The goodies keep Mr Smith quiet while our hostess discreetly checks us in on her iPad, right there in the room.

Needing to fend off looming jet-lag, I drag Mr Smith to the Temple Street Night Market. We take the Star Ferry from Central to Kowloon, a whole dollar for the best views of Hong Kong harbour, the Peak and the city’s amazing lightshow, a nightly son et lumière extravaganza played out over Hong Kong’s skyscrapers. As vintage travel methods go, it’s charming. Once at the market, things I have no need for suddenly become glittery and desirable. I manage to bypass Hello Kitty merchandise, non-waterproof Rolexes, fortune-tellers and all manner of ‘lucky chillies’ unscathed, but after spotting Hong Kong girls with pugs dressed in matching fur coats in prams, I’m determined not to be upstaged and snap up an all-in-one zip-up tiger suit for my little dog.

We grab delicious noodles in a street café with the locals before the market frenzy becomes too much for my travel-weary head. I realise as I arrive back at the hotel that the Upper House really is as its name suggests: a supremely chic but homely respite. There’s such an overwhelming sense of speed, height and scale in Hong Kong. When you’re not rushing around you spend your time looking up at the distorted reflections on angular towers of glass, with jagged slices of blue sky filling the gaps; or looking down at the metropolis from a great height. Now, lounging on the sofa and gazing out over the city at night from my cosy ivory tower is strangely therapeutic.

I soon succumb to a hot bubble bath with rose oil. As I survey the twinkling night-scape from the huge tub, Mr Smith alerts me to the following note on the marble windowsill: ‘Sneaky peaky – please remember that the view you enjoy through our large windows may, at times, be a two-way one. If you prefer that others in the buildings surrounding our hotel don’t enjoy the view too, we recommend that you close the curtains when seeking some privacy, particularly when it’s dark and your lights are on.’ But I love the thought that there might be a whole world of high-rise voyeurism between consenting skyscrapers!

The next morning, after working up a sweat in the hotel gym, I undo all my hard work with an unbelievable breakfast – for goodness sake, don’t leave without trying the fluffiest choc-chip waffles. Fancying an excursion and some more vintage transport, we take the 120-year-old tram up to Hong Kong’s highest point, the Peak. Being bad with heights, I just manage to cling to the edge of the look-out to take in the view but I’m scared witless when a dozen or so Chinese girls jump on me, all wanting their photo taken next to the tall lady with platinum blonde hair and elbow-length black leather gloves. My new fanclub amuses Mr Smith. One girl then asks if I’m a friend of Lady Gaga and I realise why I’d found it so easy to haggle at the market the night before.

That night we enjoy excellent cocktails and platters at the Upper House’s chi-chi Café Gray Deluxe Bar, which, on a Saturday night, is wall-to-wall stylish thirtysomethings. Mischievously, I test the barstaff, ordering obscure cocktails and changing my mind a few times. They’re unfazed and mix perfect martinis. In fact, all the staff at the hotel are singularly young, good-looking, friendly and exceptionally efficient – no trace of cloying insincerity, just pitch-perfect kindness and helpfulness.

The next day, with a disgustingly early flight to catch, I’m grateful for the amazing staff as they ferry my ridiculous luggage down to the waiting people carrier under the cover of darkness. I regret that it’s too early to have ordered breakfast and the prospect of rubbery scrambled eggs at the airport is making me feel queasy. As we say our goodbyes, the staff hand me and Mr Smith a paper bag. Inside? Steaming hot coffee, warm croissants and pots of jam for the journey – just the sort of thing my mum would have done. And it’s that kind of thoughtful detail that makes the Upper House worthy of its name.

The Guestbook

Reviews of The Upper House from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I stayed in a stunning appartment with a great view of Hong Kong Harbour; the staff was amazing.

Rating: 10/10 stars