A Journey of Upward Discovery at The Upper House in Hong Kong
A sense of arrival awaits guests at The Upper House, Swire Hotels’ new small intimate hotel in Hong Kong. Rising above Pacific Place in Admiralty, the hotel’s Asian influenced and timeless design reveals an understated calmness throughout the hotel above the bustling city.
Andre Fu of AFSO, hailed by Vogue UK as “Design Wunderkind” and Conde Nast Traveler US as an “Asian Design Sensation,” is behind the design of The Upper House. Andre’s previous notable projects include Piacere Italian Restaurant and Nadaman Japanese Restaurant for Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo, Cassia Chinese Restaurant at Singapore’s Capella Resort, Agnes b. La Loggia Flagship Store in Hong Kong, JIA Shanghai’s eclectic lobby as well as the private residence of international actress Michelle Yeoh.
Natural materials, original sculpture installations and seamlessly proportioned spaces are integrated to create a sophisticated and modern Asian-influenced residence. “With an intention to create a small intimate hotel reminiscent of a private residence, I have purposely conjured a sense of tranquility throughout the design and ambience of the hotel,” says Andre Fu.
Dean Winter, general manager of The Upper House, adds: “Our hotel was created to provide a retreat removed from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. We’ve certainly achieved that by appointing Andre Fu as the designer for The Upper House.”
Entry through a Bedonia stone doorway façade by Thomas Heatherwick evokes the image of a curtain being opened to welcome guests to a private residence. A subtly-lit driveway then leads to a dramatic 13 feet high textured nickel front door, enveloped by floor-to-ceiling glass walls that appear to sit on top of pools of water.
Inside the entrance, a circular bamboo enclosure called the Lantern, marks the beginning of the upward journey along a dimly-lit escalator with walls lined with bespoke lamps leading guests into Level 6, flooded with natural daylight. Located at Level 6 is The Lawn, a lush grassed area for relaxing with cocktails and bean bags for lounging under the sun.
Each of the hotel’s 117 spacious guest rooms is designed to provide a sense of understated luxury. The contemporary monochromatic design features natural timber, shoji glass, limestone and lacquered paper panels. All rooms including 21 suites and 2 penthouses are presented in two color schemes: Bamboo, with solid ash flooring, bamboo timber and lilac upholstery, and Celadon, featuring green tea upholstery, limed oak flooring and creme oak timber.
The room layouts offer abundant space, including 300 square feet bathrooms with walk-in rain showers, dressing areas and free-standing bathtubs with breathtaking panoramic harbor or island views. Lined with Italian Perlato Svevo natural limestone floors and Beige Turkish Terre d’Oriente limestone walls, the bathrooms are simple and uncluttered.
The highlight of the “upward journey” is Level 49, which showcases the architecturally intriguing Sky Bridge. Infused with a skylight above a 131 feet high atrium, the Sky Bridge leads to the Sky Lounge and signature restaurant & bar, Café Gray Deluxe.
With a centerpiece fireplace and intimate sofa seating in soft hues of green tea and mineral blue, the warm and inviting Lounge serves drinks and cocktails throughout the day.
Café Gray Deluxe, a 21st century grand café overlooking Victoria Harbor, marks the return of celebrated Chef Gray Kunz to Hong Kong. The vibrant restaurant is highlighted by a 46 feet long open kitchen and equally long bar, serving “everyday dishes” with an accent on local organic produce and relaxed service.
The main dining room seating approximately 100 offers spectacular panoramic views. Semi-private dining areas are designed with full view of the open kitchen stations. A private room for 12 is available for exclusive harbor view dining. The bar and lounge, seating 88, is contemporary and vibrant.
Displayed around the entire hotel are fascinating contemporary artworks and sculptures in sandstone, ceramics, marble and bronze, perfectly complementing Andre Fu’s over-riding concept of serenity.
Opening in October 2009, The Upper House, sister hotel of the award winning The Opposite House, is the second hotel to be opened by new hotel group, Swire Hotels. The Upper House was named to symbolize an “upward journey” to a retreat above the bustling city.
Swire Hotels has been created to manage intriguing urban hotels in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the United Kingdom, providing a luxury experience for travelers who seek individuality, style and personalized service.
The Opposite House, Beijing, opened in 2008 and will be followed by the opening of a 117-room small intimate hotel, The Upper House, in Pacific Place, Hong Kong, in the autumn of 2009 and in the future a 90-room hotel at TaiKoo Hui in Guangzhou. Swire Hotels will open a 345-room lifestyle business hotel called EAST in Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong, in 2010.
In the United Kingdom, Swire Hotels is developing a collection of stylish boutique hotels in interesting English towns and cities to be launched in 2010.
About Pacific Place
One of the largest commercial and retail centers, Pacific Place is spread over 5,000,000 square feet of prime real estate in the heart of Hong Kong’s business district with direct access to Admiralty MTR station. Since its inception in 1989, the four-level mall has become home to over 130 shops and boutiques and two major department stores, collectively offering a dazzling array of contemporary fashion and internationally renowned and luxurious brand names.
This comprehensive shopping destination is also the location of three five-star hotels, a conference centre, three Grade-A office towers and a luxury serviced apartment. Under the leadership of Swire Properties, Pacific Place remains Hong Kong’s premier shopping destination.
About Pacific Place Design Improvement Project
The Pacific Place Design Improvement Project is part of the on-going regeneration of Pacific Place to meet the ever-changing needs of shoppers. The project – led by famed English architect Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio and themed “A New Frame of Mind” – involves a fluid approach to interior, exterior and architectural refinement of Pacific Place to a new era of style and luxury.