A serene house above the bustling city
Noodlies, Sydney food and travel blog loves Hong Kong – I’ve been making annual pilgrimages here for the past decade. I love the heart-pumping momentum of the fragrant harbour city, the pace is infectious. The Upper House is the ying to Hong Kong’s relentless yang.
Opened in 2009, it’s relatively new and with it comes a new philosophy for the hotel. Designed by Hong Kong architect, Andre Fu, The Upper House reflects an upward journey from Queensway towards Pacific Place (where the hotel is located). It’s about an elevation to a serene house above the bustling city.
This upper elevation is literal, the hotel starts from the 38th floor rising to the 49th floor where Cafe Gray Deluxe, Hong Kong’s popular fine dining restaurant sits above it all. In particular, the Harbour view rooms, with sweeping views of Victoria Harbour and Central, remind guests that they are closer to heaven. Noodlies enjoyed a suite, where even the bath offers an indulgent, cinematic vista.
If you’re lucky enough to stay in a suite, the views unfold in three rooms, the lounge, bath and bedroom. That should give you an idea of the size of these suites, an Upper Suite is 1,230 square feet – around triple the size of an average home in Hong Kong (even the smallest studio rooms are 730 square feet). My Upper Suite includes a walk-in wardrobe and a his-and-hers double vanity that is about the size of most Hong Kong living rooms.
True to the hotel’s philosophy, the environment is ultra quiet delivering on the serenity promise. Several times, I found myself sitting on the window ledge, silently contemplating the view below.
Watch the noodlies video below to get a sense of space and serenity of an Upper Suite at The Upper House.
That homely appeal is extended to the service; there are only 117 rooms (including 21 suites and two penthouses) and all the staff greet you by name, providing a personal level of service that’s impossible if it was a larger hotel. I found this a little concerting at first, not being used to being greeted by name by staff as they pass in the hotel. But soon it felt, well, like home.
While the service was warm, sometimes anticipating my needs (like a courtesy call on the day prior to departure to see if they could help arrange transport to the airport) it was never intrusive – a very hard, fine line to successfully tread.
There are some 350 artworks by renowned artists across Asia commissioned for The Upper House, again adding to the (grand) homely feel. Rise (above) by Japanese artist, Hiroshiwata Sawada is a stainless steel installation at the atrium which spans the height of the hotel and delivers to the elevated philosophy.
Similarly, Forest by Korean artist, Choi Tae Hoon, is made up of blackened steel welded together to form shapes reminiscent of the Chinese and Korean characters for people. The circle formed reflects the world as well as the Chinese philosophy of ying and yang. Located at the entrance on the ground floor, it’s serves as a reminder of the mass of humanity below.
They must have hit on a winning proposition to be the top rated hotel in Hong Kong on TripAdvisor and this week awarded the number 2 hotel in TripAdvisor’s Best Hotels of 2014.
During noodlies stay, guests were a mix of uber-successful suits, artists and a noticeable number of holidaying Australian couples.
The Upper House is part of the Swire Group and sits above Pacific Place, Hong Kong’s premier integrated commercial and retail complex. While it’s at Hong Kong’s business district, the hotel is minutes from Admiralty MTR which is on both Central and mainland train lines. For shopaholics that means endless options from swanky Pacific Place and Central, Causeway Bay, chic Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island to buzzing Tsim Sha Tsui and head-spinning Mong Kok on the mainland.
After shopping and eating myself silly, I always knew when I head back up, there’ll be a tranquil escape waiting at The Upper House.
The Upper House
Pacific Place, 88, Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
+852 2918 1838
Noodlies, Sydney food blog enjoyed this award-winning, superior experience as a guest of the wonderful folks at The Upper House, Hong Kong.