The Upper House
- Style Celestial sleek
- Setting Admiralty eyrie
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.
Need to know
- Rooms 117, including 23 suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $619.02 (HK$4,800), 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 exclude breakfast, except for the Upper Suite.
- Facilities 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.
- Check–out A civilised 12.00pm, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Children Children are welcome, and cots 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.
- 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 Printed hotel directories have been replaced by whizzy iPod-touches and check-out is paperless.
- 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.
In the know
- 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 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.
Food and drink at The Upper House
- 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?
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.