Hong Kong isn’t short of luxury hotel options. But with its colonial links and high percentage of business travellers, some of these luxury offerings can seem a bit, well, predictable. There is however, a game changer in Hong Kong. A hotel so architecturally cool, so stylish and so impossibly trendy that it even has its own signature scent that will have you hooked at the first inhalation.
Designed by renowned architect Andre Fu the hotel somehow manages to take pale wood, paired with occasional soft furnishings and create a welcoming, cosy and enviously aesthetically pleasing space. And more of a surprise, this hotel isn’t housed in its own made to measure building, but has managed to create this evocative space on the uppermost floors of Admiralty’s JW Marriott hotel. If turning left on a plane signifies status, then skirting the “chain” hotel entrances circling Pacific Place drive, gliding past the beautiful doormen and women and ascending the dimly lit escalator to the hotel’s lobby, if you can call it that, is the hotel world’s hierarchical equivalent. There is no tacky reception, check-in is, of course, done in room on an iPad, obviously. Thus allowing for nothing but stylish spaces that don’t have to take functionality into account.
Candle lit lanterns line the corridors and that smell permeates every communal area, shrouding you in its mystical appeal (thanks to its orange and amber bases). On this raised lobby level is the hotel’s only bit of outside space, the one downside of being a vertically situated property. However, The Lawn, a fake turf, sofa lined bit of greenery offering up drinks and snacks, is a suitable appealing space to linger in of an early evening or lazy morning.
But I digress. As you pass through the lobby, music filled lifts whisk you to the hotel’s top deck floors. The rooms all centre around the main atrium creating a beautiful architecturally shaped space. But then there’s the rooms. It’s impossible to simply describe how stylish they are, which admittedly shows me as truly lacking at my job as that’s what I’m supposed to be doing here. But I defy you to find anything to fault. The rooms are sprawling, with lounge space, humongous bathrooms and giant, marshmallow style beds. The colours are muted, the windows all set on corners, and the integrated technology all subtly designed to enhance your stay. You’ll fall in love with all the details from the free in room “maxi” bar with cheeky jars of candy, to the giant corner baths with show stopping views and discreet notes reminding you that if you can see the office workers, they can most likely see you too! Although I must admit, despite being a bit of a prude, I was still loathed to close the blinds and miss out on the view…after all, no one would recognise me fully clothed at street level would they?!
OK, so I was luckily put up in a suite, which was ginormous to say the least at a whopping 1,230 square feet, but all the rooms are generous in their proportions. Feeling the need to explore every corner of the room (and with angled windows there were many of them) I picked up an artfully chosen coffee table book and read it whilst sipping on my free soft drinks first of all perched on my window seats before reclining on my L-shaped sofa. The contemporary luxurious feel continued in the bedroom where the bed was allowed to stand proud as the main feature. If I hadn’t come down with the worst timed stomach bug in history (nothing to do with the hotel’s food I assure you), I would have had one of the best night’s sleep of my life…in fact spending more of that night out of bed than in it is still one of my biggest regrets in life….don’t judge me, I love sleep!
But at least the bathroom was true to form and super cool too. I’ve already mentioned the bath, in the corner, with the view. But throw in oversized dressing gowns, Ren bath products and rain showers and you’ll get the gist of what I mean about this hotel predicting your every need and then some.
At some point you will have to force yourself to leave the room, but at first you probably won’t want to exit the hotel. Instead, head first to the home of the beautiful people, Cafe Gray bar. Corner sofas, delicious cocktails and some of the best views of Hong Kong’s skyline in the city await. The restaurant itself lives up to the rest of the hotel. Delicious French food which whilst expensive, is faultless, promises a night of highly civilised gastronomic perfection. Breakfast served up in the restaurant is no less perfect, with a choice of eggs, pancakes and other delightful indulgent offerings available.
So, if you ask me where to stay in Hong Kong, I’ll first and foremost always say, if money isn’t limited, Upper House. It’s unique not only in Hong Kong but also generally for the style, ambiance and general contemporary luxury on offer. It will remain very much on your “Top 5 hotels every stayed in” list…for a long time…But be warned, if you’re looking to soak up the sun and have some swimming pool time, Upper House isn’t for you, making it perhaps more of a winter hotel…well that justifies long hot baths more anyway doesn’t it?
Rooms from $4,000
The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, 2918 1838