The Upper House. The opposite end of the economic spectrum from these previous posts here and here on “value” meals in Hong Kong, but you can’t say we don’t get around… An invitation to view this stunning new hotel on the upper floors of one of the buildings at Pacific Place on Hong Kong Island was enough to get us on the MTR from our more modest digs on the mainland… Friends of ours were treating themselves to this new (and rapidly being mentioned as one of the say Top 5 hotel properties in Hong Kong) mecca for the chic and ultra-chic crowd. It was rather striking, in a simply luxurious kind of way, sort of a high-rise Aman if you will. A cavernous driveway is punctuated with a large wall of stone blocks with discreet signage announcing you have arrived at The Upper House. The odd smattering of luxury vehicles parked out front is a Hong Kong pre-requisite for not so subtle bragging… a Maserati in fire red, a snazzy Bimmer, a Jaguar perhaps. No, this isn’t the Holiday Inn Golden Mile…
From the driveway, one is greeted by hotel staff at a small reception desk, whereafter you are whisked up the escalators painted matte black and you alight at a “lobby” or sitting area of sorts, just off the bank of stunningly outfitted elevators. The first sign of attention to detail is apparent in the small but striking floral arrangements. This sculptural arrangement in a simple black vase made of horsetail greens with white amaryllis and a small sprig of phalaenopsis orchids. Contrast that with the outrageously gaudy, often massive but leaf filled arrangements you might see in larger “chain” hotels. The public areas in The Upper House weren’t drowned in spectacular flowers like say The Four Seasons in Paris, but this was restraint at its best.
The sitting area was small by hotel standards, yet it seemed incredibly spacious as there was no one else there waiting or milling about looking for their day tour guides… Colors were muted celadons, greys, black, light browns, black and white. Outdoor spaces had sculptural forms of stone or other organic materials. Clearly, an interior designer placed great thought into furnishing this room. But despite its public nature, you could almost see this as being part of one’s luxurious home, and it didn’t feel institutional at all.
I think couches, while as plain looking as can be, were from the venerable house of B&B Italia (I am guessing on this), while low coffee tables held interesting easy read books, chess sets, backgammon, etc. Wire scuptures were strewn around the space and strategic mirrored panels/dividers made everything seem bigger than it really was…
At one coffee table, a book on Chanel was laid next to a metal form of a leaf, and a shagreen box of pale celadon stretched skin of rays. This last piece was almost certainly sourced in Cebu, where they manufacture some of the most incredibly stunning shagreen pieces that are exported to the rest of the world.
Up the 49th floor, at the hotel’s “sala” or library/sitting room, are several sitting areas with phenomenal views of the city. Again, interiors are muted and fabrics and furniture luxurious. Mrs. MM and a friend thought they had amazing public bathrooms on this level, which also housed a small restaurant with a view of the harbour.
Shelves were highly “styled” with knickknacks almost too perfect and matched to be realistic.
The Cafe’s name is imbedded in the stone tiles, and you cross a “bridge” that is suspended over open air, some 49 stories above sea level. If you aren’t a fan of heights, this could give you the momentary hibbie-jibbies…
…so look up instead to see through the skylight framed by blonde sticks.
The 8-10 floors below this top floor houses the guestrooms, and an open “atrium” of sorts allows you to see several floors at the same time. Here, a view towards the elevator banks. Note the soft lightling and the edges of metal scultptures on the walls of the atrium. Thickly carpeted floors and a low density of guests makes for an unbelievably QUIET experience.
Even room numbers are cleverly conceived, with strips of the wood veneer carved away until only the last layer diffuses the back lit numbers.
The guestrooms are ENORMOUS by Hong Kong standards, with the smallest ones measuring in at some 70 square meters or so, and this one with a wonderful view of Victoria harbour from two enormous picture windows and a comfortable couch that hugged the view.
An enormous king sized bed laid with crisp linens and wool blankets was beside a hidden bank of desks, amenities, munchies, etc.
But the really amazing “ooh” factor was to be had in the bathrooms, some 1/2 of the entire space of the hotel room. With a free-standing bath, more stunning views and space enough to hold a small cocktail party.
I checked out the “made for Marketman” sized bath tub and fiddled with the controls for the “in-wall” television in the facing glass panel. I am not typically a fan of baths (more a shower person) but I could definitely get used to this one. :)
Twin sinks and mirrors are a recipe for harmonious marital bliss and the place was decked out with all kinds of doodads and body care products. Sculptures were strewn here and there. Fabrics were subtle but of the finest quality. Other materials were all modern yet Asian, with veneered bamboos, abaca like fibers, etc. were all used so effortlessly.
Another plus? The “maxi-bar” as opposed to the standard “mini-bar” in most hotels. At this maxi-bar, stocked to the rafters with chips, mentos, salted nuts, and other goodies and drinks and champagne, guests can EAT EVERYTHING THEY WANT, with the exception of the champagne which you have to buy. Heehee. In true pinoy fashion, you could make up 5-10% of the cost of the room if you just made “baon” all of the goodies in this “maxi-bar”. Our friends stuffed a couple of cans of Diet Coke and a dozen almond snack packs into our bags before we left. :)
The bar also had an illy nespresso machine, and several dozen cartridges for making your own cup of espresso. Now that is cool.
At roughly US$400 for their smallest rooms and as much as US$1,000+ for this this luxurious suite with views, and all the amenities, I actually thought this was very good value when compared to other luxury hotels in Hong Kong. I know it’s a lot of money, but if you earned it honestly, why not? If after eating, shopping, sightseeing, harbour gazing, luxuriously bathing, snacking and laying on the bed watching television you feel a little chilly, you might also run back down to the lobby to borrow one of these Hermes throw blankets rolled up on the couch for added warmth. Now that’s a final touch of class only a few would appreciate.
The Upper House
Check out their details in the link above.