Envisioned by Hong Kong architect Andre Fu, the Upper House was designed to give guests the experience of staying in a luxury residence within easy reach of the design stores, markets, and nightlife of the Wan Chai neighborhood. Every detail here has been carefully considered, from the reclaimed timber and environmentally friendly paint to the arrangement of the hotel’s 300 works of original art. As they climb the levels of the hotel, guests encounter sculptures with names like Silence, and Rise, and Lifted, which take them on an upward journey that ends at the 49th-floor Sky Bridge—a candle-lined walkway overlooking the atrium that’s lit by a James Turrell–esque skylight.
All the rooms, suites, and penthouses offer a choice between two color schemes: “bamboo,” with ash flooring, bamboo wood, and lilac upholstery, or “celadon,” furnished in tea green and lime- and cream-colored oak. Particular attention was given to the bathrooms. Each is nearly 100 square feet and outfitted with concealed televisions and sound systems as well as open-plan rain showers. Some have soaking tubs carved from Turkish limestone, from which guests can take in views of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon. A contrast to many Hong Kong hotels, the Upper House restaurant, Café Gray Deluxe, emphasizes simple dishes prepared from the best local and organic produce. The result is high quality but not pretentious, much like the hotel itself.
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Situated on the east side of the Pacific Place mall, the Upper House is a short walk or bike ride to Wan Chai, a bastion of local culture. Starstreet Precinct is a fashionable area with design-driven lifestyle stores and cafés; two major computer centers sell discount electronics; Tai Yuen Street brims with clothing stalls; and Stone Nullah Lane is home to some of Hong Kong’s famous wet and dry markets. Queen’s Road East has several traditional rattan and Chinese furniture shops that can arrange overseas shipping. Hong Kong Park is a nearby escape, featuring beautifully landscaped gardens, tea houses, and historic buildings.
Need to Know
Rooms: 94 rooms, 21 suites, 2 penthouses; from $645. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:Café Gray Deluxe, named after head chef Gray Kunz, offers spectacular views of Victoria Harbour from the 49th floor. Kunz scours farmers’ markets every morning for fresh products that star in his “everyday dishes,” which include grilled meats and fish and refreshing starters like the crab salad with watermelon, tomato, and avocado. The bar and lounge features vaulted ceilings and a 46-foot-long bar that complements an open kitchen. Spa and gym details:The hotel’s care for health and wellness is evident in its amenities. A 24-hour gym is equipped with Prevor- and Keiser-brand cardiovascular and weight-training machines as well as apples, cereal bars, and mineral water to recharge between reps. All rooms come with yoga mats, which guests take to an outdoor lawn surrounded by skyscrapers every Saturday and Sunday for free yoga classes. Bikes are on hand for those wishing to explore the neighborhood on two wheels. Workout completed, the Upper House Guest Experience team can arrange an in-room massage by the Strand salon and spa down the road.
Who's it best for: Artists and designers as well as young entrepreneurs with an appreciation for sophisticated interiors. Our favorite rooms: All the accommodations have giant bathrooms, but those in the Studio 70 Harbour View rooms afford the best vistas. Numbers 4607 and 4707 reveal two walls’ worth of views over Victoria Harbour and Kowloon. Pedal power:Guests can hop on one of the Upper House’s complimentary bikes to explore the area, perhaps even pedaling over to Happy Valley Racecourse. One side is studded with tombstones from Hong Kong’s earliest days; the other is shaded by overgrown banyan trees.