Perched above chic Pacific Place, Hong Kong Island's revamped shopping and business complex, the Upper House enjoys a super-convenient location in Admiralty district, just a stroll east of Central.
Fly into Hong Kong International Airport (www.hkairport.com), on Chek Lap Kok just north of Lantau Island, a 35-minute drive from the hotel. One-way airport transfers are from HK$1,200 per car.
The Upper House is a just a few minutes' stroll from Admiralty station on the cheap and slick MTR (Mass Transit Railway; www.mtr.com.hk), Hong Kong's well-connected subway. The MTR's speedy, regular Airport Express takes about 23 minutes to reach Central; from there just change to the blue Island Line (direction Chai Wan) for the one-stop ride to Admiralty or grab a cab. It's also on the red Tsuen Wan Line. The nearest major rail station is in Hung Hom on Kowloon, 25 minutes' drive away, for connections from Guangzhou.
The famous Star Ferry crosses the harbour from Kowloon to Central or Wan Chai ferry pier, both of which are close to the hotel. Atmospheric trams also serve the area.
Worth getting out of bed for
Within the hotel, you can enjoy free Saturday and Sunday morning yoga classes out on the Lawn, or work off those cocktail calories at the airy gym. Two guest bikes are free for exploring the area, although take water as Hong Kong can be humid. Art works commissioned throughout the Upper House are also worth a look, forming a vertical gallery of original pieces.
You don't need to stray far for a serious shopping hit. The Upper House is perched above the vast Pacific Place mall at 88 Queensway (www.pacificplace.com.hk), home to a wallet-numbing array of upscale designer boutiques, as well as a cinema, food hall, and copious drinking and dining dens. Alongside branches of local favourite Lane Crawford (for elegant homewares) and Shanghai Tang for fashion and accessories, you'll find international department stores such as Harvey Nichols, and chic global fashion brands including Agnès b, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chloé, Miu Miu, Prada and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Men and women are equally well catered for, and you can score bargains at accessible high-street labels such as Bally, Ted Baker and Zara. Recent additions include covetable British stationers Smythson and Italian power brand Valentino. You're also within striking distance of Central's classy malls, including Landmark (www.landmark.hk) and the IFC (www.ifc.com.hk).
For a more mellow experience, stroll to the hip nearby Starstreet precinct (www.starstreet.com.hk), nestled against the hills at the back of Wan Chai, just a hop from Admiralty MTR station. Once home to humble, low-rise Chinese tenements, today this compact network of laneways, including Star, Sun and Moon streets, conceals edgy, independent boutiques, quirky vintage stores, gentrified galleries, laid-back cafés and bars. Highlights include modern design store Kapok (www.ka-pok/webshop) at 3 Sun Street and 5 St Francis Yard for local and international exclusives, and Chen Mi Ji (www.chenmiji.com) at 4 Sun Street for vintage furniture and homewares. You'll also find global style brands such as Monocle, 3.1 Phillip Lim and men's concept store Club Monaco here.
Escape into tropical Hong Kong Park, just five minutes' walk from the hotel, 20 acres of green ideal for walking, jogging or watching locals perform t'ai chi. As well as fountains and an aviary, you'll find the Museum of Tea Ware, located in Flagstaff House, an elegant white colonial building at 10 Cotton Tree Drive. Part of the Hong Kong Museum of Art (hk.art.museum), it displays exquisite ceramic Chinese tea ware and hosts exhibitions, lectures and even tea drinking sessions. From the park, it's just a short stroll to the Garden Road Lower Terminus, where you can buy tickets for the famous Peak Tram (www.thepeak.com.hk) up to Victoria Peak. The sloping ride up is fun by day or night, with jaw-dropping views both en route and at the summit. You'll find look-outs at the top, as well as a clutch of short walking trails with guaranteed vistas (see the Peak website for details). The 3.5-kilometre Peak Circle Walk, from Lugard to Harlech roads, takes about an hour and a half. Hong Kong Zoological Gardens and Botanical Gardens (www.lcsd.gov.hk/parks), behind Government House, is another verdant spot for stretching your pins, within easy reach of the Upper House. It's small, but you can see a range of monkeys, reptiles and birds, as well as exotic flowers.
If modern art is your bag, check out the cutting-edge shows at Agnès b's Librairie Galerie (asia.agnesb.com/en/bside), at 118 Hollywood Road. Running from Central into Sheung Wan, Hollywood Road and parallel Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street) are the go-to spots for antiques, Mao-era curios and fleamarket finds, as well as niche galleries. Don't miss the Cat Street Gallery (www.thecatstreetgallery.com) at 222 Hollywood Road, which shows international contemporary art, including emerging names.
Pacific Place (www.pacificplace.com.hk) is handy for refuelling just minutes' from the Upper House. For formal Italian dining, head to Domani (Level 4, 406; www.domani.hk); for steamed pork dumplings and baked crab shells make for Ye Shanghai (Level 3, 332; www.elite-concepts.com); for northern Thai flavours including chargrilled cod and tiger prawn try Thai Basil (LG, 001; www.maxconcepts.com.hk); for Japanese robata grill fare sample Roka (LG, 002; www.rokarestaurant.com), or for casual, contemporary Spanish offerings, including funky tea sets, swing by Zelo (LG, 007).
Tucked away on a quiet corner at 1 Sun Street in the Starstreet district, adorable little Spoil Café (+852 3589 5678) is a top spot to linger over coffee and cakes. You'll also find pasta, salads and other savouries. At Pacific Place, Milan-founded Cova Patisserie (Level 1, 301; cova.com.hk) is ideal for afternoon tea, coffee and cakes, or pop to café-bar C'est La B (Level 2, 202; msbscakery.hk) to sample tasty cakes and desserts by Bonnae Gokson, legendary founder of Sevva bar.
Although it's hard to tear yourself away from Café Gray Deluxe's stellar harbour views atop the hotel, Sevva (+852 2537 1388; www.sevva.hk), on the 25th floor of the Prince's Building at 10 Chater Road in Central, boasts one of the city's most seductive rooftop bars, as well as serving a famously fine line in cakes and other delicacies. Ted's Lookout (+852 2520 0076), at Moonful Court, 17A Moon Street in Wan Chai, offers natty cocktails in a quirky industrial space, with southern States-inspired bites such as tacos and sliders, as well as pastas and risottos. It gets busy, so works best for small groups.