Swire Hotels to open new hotel – ‘The Upper House’ in Hong Kong
Following the successful launch of its first hotel, The Opposite House in Beijing, Swire Hotels is to unveil its second hotel, The Upper House, in Hong Kong this October.
The hotel is conveniently located within Pacific Place in Admiralty, Hong Kong Island’s premier integrated commercial, retail and hospitality complex.
The hotel’s 117 rooms, all featuring scenic harbour or island views, including 21 suites and 2 penthouses, begin at 730sq ft – the largest in Hong Kong. Bathrooms of over 300 sq ft framed with panoramic windows, come with walk-in rain showers, dressing area and deep soaking baths.
Café Gray Deluxe, a 21st century ‘grand café’ located on the 49th floor overlooking Victoria Harbour, marks the return of celebrated chef Gray Kunz to Hong Kong with his unique style of European classics and signature dishes from a lifetime leading the very finest kitchens in Europe, Asia and America. The vibrant restaurant is highlighted by a 14 meter long open kitchen and equally long bar.
The outdoor lawn on the 6th floor and the sky lounge on the 49th floor are both intriguing venues.
The name, ‘The Upper House’, is derived from the design philosophy of an upward journey from Queensway towards Pacific Place, elevating into a serene house above the bustling city.
The Upper House is designed by renowned Hong Kong architect Andre Fu of AFSO with the use of natural materials, distinctive sculptures and original artwork. The contemporary Oriental design echoes the aim to provide an understated feeling of residential calmness.
“Our goal is to create a highly individualised small hotel with a dynamic and busy restaurant, and to help in showcasing the revitalized Pacific Place,” said Brian Williams, Managing Director of Swire Hotels.
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Swire Hotels has been created to manage small luxury hotels in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the United Kingdom, providing a luxury experience for travellers who seek individuality, style and personalised service.
The Opposite House, Beijing, opened in 2008 and will be followed by the opening of a 117-room luxury hotel in Pacific Place, Hong Kong, in the autumn of 2009 and in future a 90-room hotel at TaiKoo Hui in Guangzhou. Swire Hotels will open a 345-room lifestyle business hotel called EAST in Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong, in 2010.
In the United Kingdom, Swire Hotels is developing a collection of stylish boutique hotels in interesting English towns and cities to be launched in 2010.
About Pacific Place
One of the largest commercial and retail centres, Pacific Place is spread over 5,000,000 square feet of prime real estate in the heart of Hong Kong’s business district with direct access to Admiralty MTR station. Since its inception in 1989, the four-level mall has become home to over 130 shops and boutiques and two major department stores, collectively offering a dazzling array of contemporary fashion and internationally renowned and luxurious brand names.
This comprehensive shopping destination is also the location of three five-star hotels, a conference centre, three Grade-A office towers and a luxury serviced apartment. Under the leadership of Swire Properties, Pacific Place remains Hong Kong’s premier shopping destination.
About Pacific Place Design Improvement Project
The Pacific Place Design Improvement Project is part of the on-going regeneration of Pacific Place to meet the ever-changing needs of shoppers. The project – led by famed English architect Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio and themed “A New Frame of Mind” – involves a fluid approach to interior, exterior and architectural refinement of Pacific Place to a new era of style and luxury.
Café Gray Deluxe, a 21st century grand café located on the 49th floor of The Upper House with views of Victoria Harbor, marks the return to Hong Kong of award-winning Chef Gray Kunz, admired around the world for his unique melding of East and West in a signature cuisine that blends the complex flavors, ingredients and classic elegance of Asian and European culinary traditions.
Known among his peers as a Chef’s Chef, the “Kunzian” harmonization of the world’s most refined and sensual culinary cultures has earned him rave reviews and the highest accolades. Kunz earned a four-star rating from The New York Times while at Lespinasse, which was rated as New York’s #1 Best Overall Restaurant for three years in a row by Zagat’s and “Best Restaurant” by Gourmet Magazine. In 2002, he was recognized by The Culinary Institute of America as a Master of Aesthetics, an award bestowed on a select handful of culinary professionals. He was the recipient of the Mobil 5 Diamond Award for 1996, 1997, and 1998, was nominated for Best American Chef in 1995 by the James Beard Foundation, and was inducted into the Restaurant Hall of Fame in 1998.
Born in Singapore and raised in Switzerland, Kunz studied classic French cuisine while cooking in luxury hotels before spending five years working with legendary Swiss culinary master Fredy Girardet. Kunz left Switzerland for Hong Kong to become executive chef at the highly acclaimed Plume restaurant in the Regent Hotel. In 1988, he attended the Restaurant and Hotel Ownership School in Lausanne.
After arriving in New York in 1989, Kunz conquered the city as executive chef of the Adrienne at the Peninsula and Lespinasse at the St. Regis. In 2004, Kunz teamed up with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the opening of Spice Market, hailed by The New York Times with three stars and the first collaborative effort between two four-star chefs. Kunz next launched Café Gray in Manhattan in 2004, an upscale modern take on an old-world European eatery, which was awarded a star by Michelin within a year. In October 2007 he opened Grayz in mid-town Manhattan, where he choreographed a playful dance of smaller plates and spirits.
Kunz is co-author of The Elements of Taste (2001). Café Gray Deluxe marks the next chapter in the globe-trotting and celebrated career of one of the world’s most beloved and influential chefs.