Kristina Snaith-Lense of The Upper House

General Manager Kristina Snaith-Lense is known for expertly executing the day-to-day dynamics of one of the most culturally significant properties in Hong Kong, The Upper House (and the adjacent Pacific Place Apartments). She can now add 'World's Best' to her resume as The Upper House (AKA the House) recently won #4 on The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023 list. Kristina's day sees her bouncing between guests who have chosen the House as their 'Home in Hong Kong', leading the teams who have chosen to develop their hospitality careers within The House Collective, and aligning with strategic partners who trust her to achieve common business synergies. Kristina is a consummate professional with a heart of gold - not to mention a mom of three and a wellness enthusiast.

Kristina Snaith-Lense

The Upper House's Level 38 Atrium

The team celebrating their World's 50 Best Hotels win

A Wellness Residency at The Upper House Meditation Sky Lounge

A Wellness Residency at
The Upper House

Friends Sharing Dinner at Salisterra Pasta Shrimp

Salisterra dining, not prepared
prepared by Kristina!

Reflections
From Yes, Chef! to Meditation

A moment that changed the trajectory of your career: Week 1 in the kitchen at hotel school. I was an utter disaster, absolutely terrible at food prep, chopping and cooking. Shouted at to tears by the Head Chef for my incompetence! Whilst I got through that week, to this day I am a terrible in the kitchen, breakfast is the extent of my repertoire!

Your daily rituals: Apart from my morning walk/ run in nature routine, I find that spiritual practices work well for me and are very much engrained in my habits. These include regular crystal sound healing, meditation and reiki with Stephen and Pervin Clasper at Shakti Healing Circle where I have been going for over 13 years.  I am trying to get better at breathing, and recently met an incredible teacher in transformational coach Anastasia Williams. Our in-house Wellness Residencies really flourished over the last few years, making these experiences so much easier in proximity to dip in and out of during my working day. My personal interest in holistic health made this a real passion project, and it was a privilege to partner with some of the city’s most iconic names in wellness, such as Lindsay Jang, Joyce Tsang and Rinat Perlman. 

The_Upper_House_Level_38_Atrium by Andre Fu

The Upper House's Level 38 Atrium

Tell us more about the hotel's much-lauded design: Hong Kong local André Fu is behind the design of The Upper House and became known overnight when he first redefined notions of hospitality with our property. He has since gone on to create forward-thinking interiors for other leading brands, including St Regis Hong Kong, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok and Villa La Coste in Provence. The House was designed as a sophisticated modern Asian-influenced residence incorporating natural materials, original sculpture installations and seamlessly proportioned spaces. André’s intention was to create a small luxury hotel reminiscent of a private residence, while conjuring a sense of tranquillity through the design and ambience. The Journey Upwards (AKA the experience of entering and traveling the hotel from floor 4 to 49) creates a real sense of arrival and the timeless aesthetic conveys understated calm revealing a private sanctuary for guests away from the bustle of city life below.

A Studio 70 Harbour View Room

An Upper Suite Living Room

Pharrell Williams Joopiter platform Lorraine Schwartz The Upper House Panel Talk

Pharrell Williams at The Upper House
Credit: Sasha Dennnig Snaith

Kristina Snaith-Lense World's Best Hotels 2023 List

Kristina celebrating
The World’s 50 Best Hotels

Happenings
Best/Basel

Most memorable event or experience at the House: We recently celebrated winning #4 in The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023 with drinks and dinner at Salisterra to thank our friends and guests for their continued support over the years. We could not have achieved this incredible accolade without them and it warmed my heart to have our nearest and dearest together in one room to celebrate our mutual passion for hospitality. This is the reason why our House family loves doing what they do! It was an evening that will be etched in my mind forever. We are enormously grateful and feel truly honoured to be included in this fantastic list of hotels. Having two Hong Kong hotels (the other being the Rosewood Hong Kong) in the top five is such an incredible achievement for our local hospitality industry collectively. 

What event are you looking forward to at the House: Art Month in March is a particularly buzzy time of year with The House at the heart of the Art Basel action. Last year, we were delighted to host Pharrell Williams’ Joopiter platform in collaboration with Lorraine Schwartz’s A Journey Through Gems private sale, Up Close with artist Chris Cheung moderated by Princess Alia Al-Senussi and Swire Properties Artist’s Party at The Continental. Highlights of this special time also included the Charles Heidsieck X The House Lounge, and our Open House with Advisory Council featuring Joopiter, Dr Woo, Le Labo, NET-A-PORTER and Galerie Droste. We are already excited for next year which promises to be grand! Stay tuned.

Why is the hotel such a magnet for creatives: Design is such an integral part of The House DNA that it naturally appeals to our guests who are creatives as well as those within the local community.  We have close ties with art aficionados both in Hong Kong and internationally, who appreciate the art that embellished The House, such as fascinating contemporary artworks and sculptures in sandstone, ceramics, marble and bronze, perfectly complementing André Fu’s over-riding concept of serenity.

The Upper House Salisterra Main Dining Room Interior

Salisterra resturant at The Upper House

Recommendations
From Matcha to Drag

The Hong Kong meal you crave: I’m a big fan of comfort food like warming laksas and veggie broths. As I entertain so much for work, I try to eat as cleanly as possible so FAMILY FOOD smoothies and salads at Salisterra are always a go-to. Another favourite is swapping the chicken in Hainan chicken rice for grilled salmon which has become something of a House classic! I’m lucky that all dietary requirements are thoughtfully considered. On the weekends, nothing beats an indulgent brunch with the family at The Continental. And nothing beats a matchali matcha latte for a pick me up.

A cultural happening next up on your list: Our resident drag star Madame Mincemeat was back at the end of September performing in the Green Room. She was sensational as always, literally 90 minutes of non stop belly aching laughs and good times when she is around! I can't wait for her next show. So excited to have her back again for the GAY GAMES 2023 next week and performing at the House!

Drag Evening with Madame Mincemeat in The Green Room at The Upper House Cheers

Madame Mincemeat
in The Green Room

The Upper House Salisterra Madeleines Detail

A decadent brunch
at Salisterra

Describe the guest journey: While we are very generous with in-room surprises at The House, the most important point of difference for us is providing a human touch. Taking the time to say hello in person, being visible in our guest areas, having a coffee or meal together, to really connect on an individual level. Guests expect more personalised services, which are ingrained in The Upper House brand DNA, celebrating authentic, unscripted, and unforgettable experiences to truly set us apart. Ensuring our guests feel at home with us remains at the heart of what we do, and every detail has been carefully designed with this in mind. Our House team enjoys nothing more than curating one-of-a-kind experiences tailored to specific guest interests. We want them to fall in love with the side of Hong Kong that most resonates with them. We hope to create beautiful memories so guests have a story to tell of their stay with us.

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