Overview: A very good larger “boutique” hotel
Strengths: Rooms, Bathrooms, Services, Views, F&B
Drawbacks: Slight service snafu at breakfast, Nearby buildings can see in your bathroom, In-room breakfast not included with Virtuoso (restaurant only)
While I hadn’t heard a lot of first-hand feedback about this property, what I had heard was very good. While I am a big fan of the Four Seasons Hong Kong, for a recent one night stay in Central, I decided to give Upper House a try. I was very impressed.
My assistant arranged for a hotel driver to pick me up upon arrival at Hong Kong airport. I was greeted just outside of immigration and customs and was escorted to the small waiting area at the airport while my driver retrieved his vehicle. He drove a Lexus RX. My driver had cold water ready and the wifi in the car was very fast.
The hotel is located on the upper floors of a high-rise in Central. The lower floors of the building are occupied by the JW Marriott.
Upon exiting the car in the hotel’s porte-cochère around midnight, I was greeted by the manager on duty who assisted with my bags and escorted me directly to my room. She had my keys ready and handled the brief check-in formalities in my room.
I booked via a Virtuoso agent and was pleased that the second-level Studio 80 room that I reserved was upgraded to an Upper Suite. This was just a one-category upgrade, but the rack rate for the upgraded room was just shy of triple the rate for the room I reserved. Some hotels, such as the Four Seasons Orlando and Four Seasons Palm Beach, have a policy of not providing suite upgrades, even on Virtuoso or FSPP bookings (though I am aware of a few exceptions).
The suite was gorgeous and offered expansive views of Hong Kong Harbor and Kowloon. The manager was very nice and she showed me some of the less obvious features of the suite.
The bedroom was fully separated from the living room.
The mini-bar was mostly free (except for certain higher-end alcohols).
A hotel-branded candle was waiting for me in the room as a token gift.
The bathroom was quite large (but not with obvious wasted space like at the Chicago Waldorf) and had steps up to the bath and shower area.
The manager assisting me with check-in warned me about the windows in the bathroom.
Having a fair number of calls with the office back in New York upon arrival, I ordered a Club Sandwich from in-room dining. My order arrived within 20 minutes and was very tasty.
The property’s principal dining venue is Cafe Gray Deluxe, located on the top floor. A Hong Kong outpost of Chef Gray Kunz, it is a high-end dining venue that doesn’t feel stuffy. I had a delicious breakfast and enjoyed similar views to those from my room. Despite being 9:30am, the restaurant was quite full. Many of the patrons appeared to be locals and not hotel guests. The couple at the table next to me was visiting from a different hotel.
My omelet was presented in a very contemporary manner. All of the food was very good.
Service, however, was a little lacking. It took two requests to get coffee and two separate requests to track down cream for my coffee. While the staff here were friendly, it wasn’t the seamless experience that I anticipated.
Off to the side of one of the lower-level lobbies, the hotel has a small outdoor area called “The Lawn.” Clearly a spot for smokers (plenty of ash trays), The Lawn was a little bit of an outdoor oasis within the city. On pleasant evenings, assuming not too many smokers are around, this would be a very good spot to enjoy a cocktail.
Room numbers and marker signs in the hallways were subtlely lit from within the wood on the walls.
For my departure, I simply headed down to the porte-cochère where my driver for the day was waiting. I handed my key to the staffer on duty near the door, giving her my room number and asking her to email the bill. My bill arrived within minutes and was completely accurate with all of the Virutoso credits properly applied.
The property has a small gym which I did not visit. Sadly, the property does not have a pool. Compared to the pool offerings of several of the other leading Hong Kong hotels, for me, this omission is fairly notable. The building has a pool – too bad it is just for guests of the JW Marriott!
* * * * *
While I describe this as a “boutique” property, even if you’re not a fan of small boutique hotels, don’t let the description keep you away. This property isn’t big (the Four Seasons Hong Kong is big), but it has essentially all of the services you’d expect from a large hotel – just with fewer rooms (perhaps like the Four Seasons Marunouchi in Tokyo?).
This property will be in my Hong Kong rotation going forward.
Upper House Hong Kong
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
+852 2918 1838