Upper House, Hong Kong $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Occupying a former apartment tower slap-bang in the center of the Admiralty district, Swire Hotels' second boutique property treads in the creative footsteps of its Beijing sibling, Opposite House. This one has been styled by Hong Kong–based Andre Fu, and the 117 rooms (including 21 suites and 2 penthouses) and signature Café Gray Deluxe restaurant—with former New York chef Gray Kunz at the helm—are aimed unerringly at the design-conscious set. The high-rise rooms, in soft gray and blue with blond wood, start at a sizable 730 square feet and feature expansive windows with cushioned banquettes, allowing for a relaxed appreciation of the city views. All rooms are well laid out and come with a walk-in closet, free Wi-Fi, complimentary minibar, and a bathtub set on a plinth for long soaks overlooking either Victoria Harbor or the Peak. From ground-floor entry to the 49th-floor check-in lounge and restaurant/bar, the entire anti–chain hotel experience is deliberately minimalist, though at times the coveted coolness is a little overplayed—the restaurant staff in particular seem brusque and self-satisfied. That said, the hotel's relatively small size and intimate public areas—especially the Café Gray Deluxe bar's semiprivate window-front recesses with cushioned seats—retain a palpable stylish buzz, especially after dark. The central location is another plus, with Hong Kong's liveliest restaurant and nightlife districts within easy reach.—Gary Bowerman
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Paperless check-in/check-out and guest rooms equipped with energy-saving sensors and an iPod Touch loaded with in-room dining and guest services menus are some of the smart high-tech touches that help set the streamlined tone at this high-rise hotel 38 stories above the Pacific Place retail complex. Well-trained staff have had operations running smoothly since the hotel's opening last autumn. Local boy wonder Andre Fu has designed a calming atmosphere with Bedonia stone, bamboo, and shoji glass. Neutral-hued yet provocative sculptures complement the dramatic public spaces and the 117 guest rooms, the smallest measuring 730 square feet. Everything in the appropriately titled in-room Maxi-bars (beer, soda, mineral water, snacks) is gratis, and the spacious bathrooms have a walk-in rain shower and a deep soaking tub angled to allow spectacular views of Victoria Harbour or The Peak. Hong Kong's designer-clad crowd elbow their way to window seats at the panoramic forty-ninth-floor lounge before dining at the instantly acclaimed Café Gray Deluxe, to which chef Gray Kunz decamped after winning a Michelin star for his Café Gray in New York City. 2010 Hot List
Which room to book: Harbor-view rooms, which are even more desirable at Chinese New Year, when the sky lights up with extraordinary fireworks.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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