In a city where the average living space is the lowest in the world, one hopes that this doesn’t apply to hotels. So of course, I found the one hotel with the largest rooms in all of Hong Kong: The Upper House. Hong Kong is many things, but calm and relaxing isn’t one of them. For this reason, your choice of hotel is even more important. After spending the day in a city filled with sensory overload, I was more than happy to retreat to my castle in the sky. The Upper House: A Hidden Gem In The Heart Of Hong Kong’s Central is where we spend all of 8 nights and I am glad we did.
Location: Hong Kong Central Hotel
There is no shortage of hotels in Hong Kong, but I wanted to try something different this time around and avoid the big hotel chains. The hubby’s conference was taking place at the JW Marriott, which meant we couldn’t go too far. So why not book the hotel right above it? As the name states, The Upper House occupies the upper part of the high rise that houses the JW Marriott.
As we made our way past the lobby we had to take an escalator followed by elevators to get to our room. Our first elevator journey was quite interesting, my husband and I both had a puzzled look on our faces as the elevator went up but the numbers weren’t budging. Turns out the hotel skips all the JW Marriott floors and begins at around floor 38 all the way up to 49. The Upper House is conveniently located next to Pacific Place, one of Hong Kong’s premier shopping locations where you’ll find restaurants, mid-range to high-end stores and a movie theater.
Impressive Boutique Hotel Rooms
When you travel for long periods of time, size does matter. Having the necessary space to lounge, enough room to store your belongings and not have to feel like your roommate is glued to your side is always nice. This is what you can expect at The Upper House. As we walked into our room I was a little worried that we would be in a cramped space especially after spending a week in Bali in very large villas. Well, I was wrong! When I opened the door, I expected to find a bathroom but ended up discovering a whole other section of our room.
The dressing area had enough room to store our luggage and hang all our clothes for the week in separate his and her closets. I also had a little sitting area with a mirror where I could do my make up, blow dry my hair and get ready without being in my husband’s way.
The toilet is at the far end and enclosed from the rest of the space which means you don’t have to take turns in the bathroom. My favorite part was the shower and bath area; the views are amazing. There is a little note by the window reminding guests that people can see them and that they may want to close the curtains while they shower. Had I been alone, the curtains would’ve remained up since I couldn’t care less who sees me. But my more reserved husband made sure they were closed at all times. So much for being an exhibitionist…
Luxury Hotel Design
If I must choose between classic and modern design, the latter always wins. The Upper House is sophisticated and modern while maintaining a sense of tranquility throughout the property. I love uncluttered simple spaces and Andre Fu has done an incredible job with The Upper House. There are several eye-catching contemporary art pieces and sculptures showcased throughout the hotel and in the guestrooms for guests to admire. I even got design inspiration for our new home and the Marvin Minto Fang, Cocoon is likely to show up somewhere. But shh, don’t tell my husband.
Special Little Touches
Most hotels offer a mini bar with absurd pricing but not The Upper House, theirs is a complimentary in-room bar! All soft drinks, water, juice, milk, wine, beer and bubbly are complimentary except for a few premium bottles. One evening, I returned from a day of exploring and found a leather tote bag, a tea canister and a bundle of postcards with a lovely note thanking us for our stay.
The staff was incredible, and I don’t say this lightly as I normally don’t interact with them much because I am not very needy in general. This time around, I was a pain in the ass. Needy AF is an understatement and I am sure they were rejoicing when I left. Ok, I’m sure I wasn’t that bad, but I found myself annoying, so I can only imagine how they must have felt.
Scratch An Itch And More
Turns out Hong Kong and I didn’t hit it off, I am not sure if I was allergic to the city, the food or everything but I broke out into major hives. It was so bad that I got the hotel to send their on-call in-house doctor to assess the situation and he confirmed it was allergies. My symptoms were not getting any better despite the allergy meds and cream the doctor prescribed so I contacted management. What for? Well, Google can sometimes put ideas into your head and I was convinced it had something to do with the room. Which by the way was spotless and Google was wrong.
The patient member of management offered to have our room deep cleaned and even sent someone out to buy me tiger balm which is said to help alleviate itchiness. They were so attentive that they even called a few times to see how I was doing and if I needed anything else. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to break out into hives, seriously. And guess what! Tiger Balm actually works.
In Room Botox Or Vitamin Drip Anyone?
There is no spa on the property, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have access to these services and more. The hotel requires a few hours advanced notice and depending on availability you can have your hair done, get a massage, Botox, and a vitamin drip all in the comfort of your room. Not so sure how I feel about doing the last two on a whim, but I can see the appeal if you’re a busy business person in need of a little boost.
Yoga At The Lawn
Fancy a yoga session with a Yoga Master? Well, you’re in luck! The Upper House offers complimentary yoga sessions every Saturday and Sunday morning on The Lawn. All you need to do is pack your yoga clothes; the mats, towels, and water are provided by the hotel. I missed out on this since I forgot to pack workout clothes!
The Upper House Restaurants And Bars
Café Gray Deluxe is The Upper House’s only restaurant and although breakfast was delicious, the dinner options were underwhelming. The restaurant is located on the 49th floor and The Sky Lounge offers great views of Victoria Harbour where you can enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail prior to a reservation elsewhere. Hong Kong is a foodie’s dream so don’t waste a meal on a mediocre restaurant when there are a million better options. Just the opinion of a major foodie.
There is no shortage of bars at The Upper House and guests have a few options offering very different settings. Bar and Lounge, as the name states, is a city bar that serves unique cocktails, an extensive wine list, and a great view. A little further down on the 6th floor there is an outdoor secret garden called Lawn Bar, where guests can enjoy cocktails and snacks under the Hong Kong skyline.
Up Close With…
The Upper House hosts an event every month at the Sky Lounge called ‘Up Close With…’. Each month, they feature artists, designers, musicians, and experts in the field of travel and fashion. During these 90-minute sessions, guests can interact with speakers and share ideas. Some of the previous speakers include Victoria Beckham, Philip Lim, Christian Louboutin, only to name a few.
Swire Hotels Boutique Hotels Around the World
Swire Hotels is the group that manages The Upper House and several other boutique hotels in mainland China, Hong Kong, and the U.S. They manage two different hotel brands: The House Collective, small luxury hotels, and EAST, lifestyle business hotels. I genuinely believe that they are the next big thing and are very welcome in an overly saturated hotel chain market. The non-cookie cutter approach is something I enjoy the more I travel and boutique hotels offer just that.
If you haven’t experienced a luxury boutique hotel and are more inclined to book a stay at a hotel chain, I recommend giving it a try. I guarantee you’ll get a personalized experience with extra attention to detail.
If you are visiting Hong Kong, I highly recommend The Upper House. It is conveniently located, spacious, elegant, the service is fantastic and the experience is unique. I know I can’t wait to try another one of their properties! Maybe Miami next.
Have you stayed in a luxury boutique hotel? I’d love to hear about your experience!
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