As of March 10, 2021, Hong Kong’s borders are closed to all visitors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic except for Hong Kong citizens and residents. A negative COVID-19 test is required prior to arrival from high-risk countries and a 21-day hotel quarantine is mandatory for all arrivals. Please note that this blog post serves as a reference for travel later in the future. Nonessential travel is not recommended at this time.
Hong Kong is a very vertical city, with skyscrapers and buildings towering over the winding streets below. It’s difficult to have a bad view of Hong Kong from pretty much any point, however being up in the sky provides you an opportunity to oversee everything in the city. Towering over the neighborhood of Admiralty on Hong Kong Island is the JW Marriott, and on the top few floors of that houses one of the most luxurious hotels in the city – The Upper House.
The Upper House had been high on my “must list” for a long time, and so in September 2020 we finally indulged in a personal staycation at this famous spot. Consistently rated the #1 hotel in Hong Kong, it’s not difficult to see why from the moment you arrive. Designed by one of Asia’s most renowned designers André Fu, The Upper House is a modern haven up in the sky as you’re surrounded by calming bamboo and rich limestone inside, and the bustling city of Hong Kong on the outside.
With a bird’s eye view of Hong Kong and the gorgeous, tranquil green mountains behind her, we happily settled into our room – a Studio 80 – for 2 nights. Our studio was extremely spacious, with the bed facing the window providing a romantic backdrop of the city behind elegant white curtains. The cushioned window seats invite you to sit with a cup of tea and take in the the city and mountain view around you. Despite being in the heart of Hong Kong, it was peacefully quiet which made the room feel like a serene haven as I was surrounded by bamboo and earthy green wool. The main attraction of the studio, however, happens to be the giant limestone bathtub situated near floor to ceiling corner windows that overlook the city and mountains. There’s a TV by the bathtub, but honestly it was never turned on because I was too mesmerized by the view.
As soon as we arrived at The Upper House, we knew we were in for a treat. Despite my beau living in Hong Kong for some time, he had never stayed at The Upper House so this was a new experience for us both. We were immediately greeted and whisked up to our room in no time, as everything is fast at check-in so you can enjoy every minute exploring, indulging, and admiring. Of course the first thing I wanted to do was soak in the massive bathtub, but activities on The Lawn were calling me.
For the past year, there have been exciting pop-ups hosted at The Lawn of The Upper House. While we were there, it was their first week of the C’est Cheese pop-up, where they had delicious selections of cheese and wines from around the world that you could enjoy. And you did not even have to be a hotel guest to enjoy it all. On the weekends, dogs are allowed on The Lawn (although dogs are not allowed to stay at the hotel), and at 9 am there is yoga and meditation.
The Upper House is consistently named the #1 hotel in Hong Kong, so it should come as no surprise that they take their restaurants and even in their in-room dining very seriously as well. During our stay, we not only got to indulge in their famous Café Gray Deluxe (reopening this spring as a new concept) which offers a panoramic view of Hong Kong, but we also got to enjoy a few of our favorite restaurants that are not too far from The Upper House including Wooloomooloo Wan Chai and Ta-Ke. I’m very excited to see the new restaurant coming to The Upper House this year, and I’m feeling grateful I got to dine at Café Gray Deluxe for some delicious brunch before it closed on New Year’s Eve. No matter what opens at The Upper House, it’s bound to be one-of-a-kind and in a league of its own.
This will also seem a bit weird to dedicate so much time to, but I must say that the breakfast at The Upper House is SO GOOD. Since I first visited Hong Kong a year and a half ago, I’ve always been super impressed by breakfast at hotels. Of course they have typical Western cuisine such as eggs and pancakes, but it’s the Chinese and Japanese breakfasts that steal the show. At The Upper House, I ordered their Japanese breakfast for both mornings and honestly I am even craving it now and it’s not even breakfast time. Perfectly seasoned and marinated salmon, rice, and miso soup doesn’t sound like it would be some oh-my-gosh-amazing or groundbreaking breakfast, but honestly whatever The Upper House does to their dishes is not only a work of art but tastes like heaven.
2 nights at The Upper House went by way too quickly. We had befriended so many at The Upper House that it truly did start to feel like home. Being made to feel at home is something The Upper House makes a priority and why they are considered one of the best in all of Hong Kong. From the moment I entered my studio suite, I took notice of the feng shui and immediately felt calm and at peace. For a weekend escape, this staycation was perfect. I’d also happily recommend this spot to visiting friends and family (once the borders reopen). I can imagine after traveling 15 hours over the Pacific you’d want someplace to rest your head that has lots of space but a sense of tranquility. This is the place. If you’re looking for a modern escape within the city, The Upper House is the home away from home for you. Just don’t forget to bring your favorite at-home slippers and loungewear.
Don’t miss my Hong Kong travel guide for all my activity and dining recommendations.