Above: View of Hong Kong from The Peak

Hong Kong Boutique Hotels

In a city with two of the world’s greatest grand hotels, The Peninsula and the Mandarin Oriental, it might seem perverse to go looking for alternatives, but I am always in search of smaller hideaway properties, which may offer greater intimacy and higher levels of personal service. On a recent trip to Asia, I decided therefore to try two Hong Kong boutique hotels, about which I had received favorable reports.

The Upper House, Hong Kong

Steps leading to The Lawn at The Upper House - © Michael Weber

Initially, I thought our driver had made a mistake when we reached the base of a gleaming tower that was clearly labeled as the JW Marriott. But at the last minute, we turned away to an adjacent entrance with a discrete logo that I recognized as that of The Upper House. Set in the Pacific Place complex, which also houses the Island Shangri-La and Conrad hotels, plus offices, serviced apartments and a four-story shopping mall, The Upper House comprises 117 rooms and suites located between Floors 38 and 49 of the Pacific Place tower. It is a sister property to The Opposite House in Beijing and The Temple House in Chengdu, all boutique hotels belonging to the Swire group, a British conglomerate dating to 1816, which also owns the airline Cathay Pacific.

The low-key style of the hotel manifests itself right away. No grand lobby, no imposing counter, just a coterie of young staff in dark suits who briskly check you in at a small podium, while tracking your luggage on iPads. A personable young staffer introduced himself as our “guest experience manager.” The appellation seemed a tad pretentious, but whether via email or in person, he proved invaluable throughout our stay.

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Above: View of Hong Kong from The Peak

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