Hotel Review: The Upper House Does Understated Luxury That Stays with You


As one of the city’s favourite luxury boutique hotels, The Upper House hasn’t aged a day.

The Upper House, which was the first Swire Hotels property in Hong Kong, has remained one of the city’s stylish destinations for stays, events, food and drink, from the day it first opened its doors in October 2009. Featuring a total of 117 rooms, including 21 suites and 2 penthouses, the hotel reaches impressive heights (with 49 floors) in hospitality.

Location: 10/10

Perched just above luxury shopping mall Pacific Place, The Upper House not only enjoys the connivence of the centrally-located Admiralty district, but it’s also a mere lift ride down to a good collection of restaurants, bars and designer stores, as well as a cinema. What’s more, nestled just behind Wan Chai (and walkable distance) is the neighbourly Starstreet precinct, a happening area with lifestyle stores, boutiques and eateries to explore. Plus if you’re going to and from Central, then you can opt to walk, board a tram or a taxi.

Design: 10/10

The chic and contemporary hotel was designed by Hong Kong architect André Fu. It was the first hotel design project in which helped propel his career, making him one of Asia’s most sought after design talents today. For The Upper House, his concept was to bring a relaxed and modern luxury to the interior, combining Asian influences with timeless design that hasn’t aged, and gracefully resulted in a very calming atmosphere in a seriously good looking and refined space, filled with natural materials and subtle lighting.

Ambience: 9/10

Owing mostly to the calming design concept, the serene ambience at The Upper House is supremely zen. The upward journey from the entrance’s escalators, towards The Lawn and lounge area, creates a sense of what’s to come. The hotel is tempered with repose, setting a peaceful tone as if to make breathing space away from the hustle and bustle of the city below. During our stay, we saw mostly young couples and individuals, while the restaurant during breakfast was occupied by more business folk.

Rooms: 10/10

The rooms, separated into four different categories, range from Studio 70, Studio 80, Upper Suites and Penthouse Suites. Our room, a Studio 70, offered stunning harbour views that seem to slow time down. The spacious studio, about 730 sq. ft. (68 sq. metres), features a comfortable king-size bed which lays low enough for you to continue cloud watching even when horizontal. Over in the spa-inspired bathroom, a gorgeous limestone-clad bathtub makes the room extra special. While a walk-in rain shower, dressing area and amenities add touches of luxury also.

Service & Facilities: 9/10

The luxury service begins the moment a House BMW comes to pick you up from your designated pick up point. Upon entering the hotel, no paper forms need to be filled out and check-in is completed in record timing, before you’re escorted to your room to relax, where thoughtfully prepared gifts (such as a leather garment bag and magazines) are laid out for you to discover. Moreover, a selection of chocolates, snacks and fresh popcorn (which they will bring to your room) is available while you watch movies on demand. Other facilities and services at the hotel include a well-equipped gym (not open during our stay), a lawn area for yoga classes, and in room spa treatments.

Food & Drink: 9/10

There may only be one restaurant at The Upper House, but with great modern European dining, and champagne and cocktails available at Café Gray Deluxe, there’s almost no reason to leave the hotel at all. There’s also The Upper House’s grassy lawn area which is a fantastic spot for a picnic and drinks in good weather. During our stay, it’s also a great space to take your coffee and cookies, courtesy of the Cookie DPT‘s pop up, to enjoy. In the evening, however, is when you’ll be able to dine at The Nightery, an elevated and intimate in-room dining experience that transforms one of the Upper Suites and services it with a dinner by Chef de Cuisine Krzysztof Czerwinski and drinks with full service. This experience was one of the highlights during our staycation, and one I would like very much like to experience again.

Rates: start from HK$3,900/night for a Studio 70 room with island view and HK$4,500 with harbour view, to HK$18,000/night for the Upper Suite with harbour view. Prices for penthouse options require a quote depending on dates. The price may vary depending on availability and season. Current room packages can be found here.

Rating: 9.5/10

Perfect for: a staycation in understated luxury with thoughtful service that makes you feel at home.