first_imgA sense of arrival awaits guests at The Upper House, Swire Hotels’ new small intimate hotel in Hong Kong. Rising above Pacific Place in Admiralty, the hotel’s Asian influenced and timeless design reveals an understated calmness throughout the hotel above the bustling city.Andre Fu of AFSO, hailed by Vogue UK as “Design Wunderkind” and Conde Nast Traveler US as an “Asian Design Sensation,” is behind the design of The Upper House. Andre’s previous notable projects include Piacere Italian Restaurant and Nadaman Japanese Restaurant for Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo, Cassia Chinese Restaurant at Singapore’s Capella Resort, Agnes b. La Loggia Flagship Store in Hong Kong, JIA Shanghai’s eclectic lobby as well as the private residence of international actress Michelle Yeoh.Natural materials, original sculpture installations and seamlessly proportioned spaces are integrated to create a sophisticated and modern Asian-influenced residence. “With an intention to create a small intimate hotel reminiscent of a private residence, I have purposely conjured a sense of tranquility throughout the design and ambience of the hotel,” says Andre Fu.Dean Winter, general manager of The Upper House, adds: “Our hotel was created to provide a retreat removed from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. We’ve certainly achieved that by appointing Andre Fu as the designer for The Upper House.”Entry through a Bedonia stone doorway façade by Thomas Heatherwick evokes the image of a curtain being opened to welcome guests to a private residence. A subtly-lit driveway then leads to a dramatic 13 feet high textured nickel front door, enveloped by floor-to-ceiling glass walls that appear to sit on top of pools of water.Inside the entrance, a circular bamboo enclosure called the Lantern, marks the beginning of the upward journey along a dimly-lit escalator with walls lined with bespoke lamps leading guests into Level 6, flooded with natural daylight. Located at Level 6 is The Lawn, a lush grassed area for relaxing with cocktails and bean bags for lounging under the sun.Each of the hotel’s 117 spacious guest rooms is designed to provide a sense of understated luxury. The contemporary monochromatic design features natural timber, shoji glass, limestone and lacquered paper panels. All rooms including 21 suites and 2 penthouses are presented in two color schemes: Bamboo, with solid ash flooring, bamboo timber and lilac upholstery, and Celadon, featuring green tea upholstery, limed oak flooring and creme oak timber.The room layouts offer abundant space, including 300 square feet bathrooms with walk-in rain showers, dressing areas and free-standing bathtubs with breathtaking panoramic harbor or island views. Lined with Italian Perlato Svevo natural limestone floors and Beige Turkish Terre d’Oriente limestone walls, the bathrooms are simple and uncluttered.The highlight of the “upward journey” is Level 49, which showcases the architecturally intriguing Sky Bridge. Infused with a skylight above a 131 feet high atrium, the Sky Bridge leads to the Sky Lounge and signature restaurant & bar, Café Gray Deluxe. With a centerpiece fireplace and intimate sofa seating in soft hues of green tea and mineral blue, the warm and inviting Lounge serves drinks and cocktails throughout the day.Café Gray Deluxe, a 21st century grand café overlooking Victoria Harbor, marks the return of celebrated Chef Gray Kunz to Hong Kong. The vibrant restaurant is highlighted by a 46 feet long open kitchen and equally long bar, serving “everyday dishes” with an accent on local organic produce and relaxed service.The main dining room seating approximately 100 offers spectacular panoramic views. Semi-private dining areas are designed with full view of the open kitchen stations. A private room for 12 is available for exclusive harbor view dining. The bar and lounge, seating 88, is contemporary and vibrant.Displayed around the entire hotel are fascinating contemporary artworks and sculptures in sandstone, ceramics, marble and bronze, perfectly complementing Andre Fu’s over-riding concept of serenity.Opening in October 2009, The Upper House, sister hotel of the award winning The Opposite House, is the second hotel to be opened by new hotel group, Swire Hotels. The Upper House was named to symbolize an “upward journey” to a retreat above the bustling city.www.preferredhotels.comlast_img read more

first_imgCounty Championship Division One Fri 9 May 2008 19.03 EDT … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. County Championship 2008 Division One Share on Facebook Shares00 David Hopps Support The Guardian Topics Share via Email Chris Read continued his sparkling start to the championship season for Nottinghamshire with 88 off 132 balls against Kent at Trent Bridge yesterday and there were nine catches in the match for Geraint Jones, which equalled his best for Kent.The respective achievements of the two rejected England wicketkeepers were captured in a single moment: a springing catch by Jones to dismiss Read, one of six wickets for the Kent seamer Ryan McLaren.Kent were on course for victory when Nottinghamshire were 134 for six, a lead of 98, but Read shared partnerships of 70 with Stuart Broad and 67 with Mark Ealham to leave them needing 244. Broad then took three Kent wickets in his first five overs, including Matthew Walker to a top-edged hook. Martin van Jaarsveld, who looked unimpressed with several loose Kent dismissals en route to 129 for four, is unbeaten on 45. Since you’re here… First published on Fri 9 May 2008 19.03 EDT County Championship Division One Kent Share on Twitter Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire 202 & 279; Kent 238 & 129-4 match reports Cricket Read keeps up formlast_img read more