As travel settles back into our lives, you won’t have to venture far to rediscover its magic. All across Asia, outstanding hotels deliver unique experiences and world-class stays. A hotel can make or break any travel experience—there are times when exceptional hospitality and a gorgeous room make an already great trip even more special. On the flip side, the temporary home you return to every night could keep you from fully enjoying a new city. In rarer instances, however, we find hotels worth not just booking a night at while you’re in town, but specially flying down for.
The pool rooms at Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul, for example, come with a huge in-room pool and a magnificent view of Mount Namsan’s beautiful landscape for a restorative getaway. A stay at Rosewood Hong Kong’s expansive Grand Harbour Corner Suite affords you panoramic waterfront views and your own butler, while Bali’s Desa Potato Head Studios redefines conscious travel with its pioneering approach to sustainable hospitality.
Other properties, meanwhile, offer a more unusual experience. Shrouded by thick bamboo forest, Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai takes glamping to the next level with a luxurious tented camp modelled after a 19th-century safari adventure theme. Modern Japanese ryokan Hoshinoya Kyoto is accessible only by a 15-minute journey up the serene Oi river on a traditional wooden boat, while Banwa Private Island in the Philippines is a thriving sanctuary of vibrant biodiversity well worth the helicopter, private jet or seaplane ride it takes to get there. From a grand palace in India to a private beachfront resort in Sri Lanka, Vogue Singapore rounds up the best hotels in Asia worth adding to your travel bucket list.
1 / 26
A stay here begins with a 15-minute journey up the serene Oi River on a traditional wooden boat, transporting you to what feels like a different world. Upon arriving at the quiet pier, a line of staff bows in greeting. Enveloped by a stunning landscape that reflects the beauty of each season—cherry blossoms in spring, carnelian foliage in autumn, verdant greenery in summer and snow-capped trees in winter—the modern ryokan is a hidden sanctuary of serene gardens and traditional architecture. Each room, uniquely crafted and carefully secluded, looks out to gorgeous views of the river and Mount Ogura. If you’re lucky, you might even spot local wildlife passing by.
2 / 26
Nestled on the foothills of Kyoto’s Takagamine Mountain, Roku Kyoto offers an experience that is vastly different from hotels located near sacred temple trails or bustling food markets. You’ll wake up to lush forest views which curve against the horizon and crisp, fresh air no matter which season it is. The first Asia-Pacific outpost of Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts—which prides itself on intriguing locations—delivers in its understated design and excellent service that finds the balance between genuine warmth and professionalism. The Roku Spa and its outdoor thermal pool are more than worth a visit. Each treatment is thoughtfully designed to embrace you in a blissful cocoon, while the pool, with its stunning backdrop of chic deck chairs and yellow grass, looks straight out of a scene from the South of France. Book one of thePoolside Deluxe Rooms for direct access to the glistening warm waters, which beckon at any time of the day.
3 / 26
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
As new hotels sprout up every so often in Tokyo’s metropolis, it’s unsurprising if allegiances change. Except for Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, which has been around since 2014 yet often runs on full occupancy. Furnished with elegant walnut interiors and sky-high ceilings, the hotel resides in the city’s tallest building, ensuring guests get unparalleled views of Tokyo Tower and the maze-like streets below. The food here is scrumptious—the avocado toast with blistered tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and micro herbs is a must-try at breakfast, as is the Japanese selection at the morning buffet.
Tip: visit Andaz Lounge during the hotel’s two-hour happy hour window at dusk for a glass of wine, sake or canapés on the house—it’s the perfect way to start your evening wind-down.
4 / 26
The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon
Designed by Ian Schrager Company in partnership with Kengo Kuma, Edition Hotels’ first property in Tokyo is as wondrously sleek as the brand is known for. An oasis of minimalist features, accented by touches of Japanese culture, makes The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon the top pick among the elite fashion, design and art crowd. Eagle-eyed guests will spot the perfectly imperfect faux fur throw on the bed, alongside a delightful confection of Le Labo products in the bathroom. Rooms with wood-panelled terraces are worth shelling out extra coin for because to step out onto your own terrace overlooking Tokyo Tower at sunset is, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.
5 / 26
Bulgari Hotel Shanghai
Despite being a resolutely Roman brand, Bulgari Hotel Shanghai has fully embraced its surroundings. The striking building stands across Suzhou Creek as a marvel of architecture, where the typically masculine and dark Bulgari aesthetic is tailored to suit local conditions, resulting in a captivating fusion of cultures. The rooms—hard-edged and sleek, furnished with teak, bronze and marble—offer some of the best Shanghai skyline views in town, and the impeccable food at the Italian restaurant is hard to beat. Expect to find the rest of the hotel decked out suitably in homage to its namesake—from the archival photographs and Bulgari advertisements that cover the walls, to the indulgent chocolate ‘gems’ for sale in the Il Cioccolato boutique off the lobby.
6 / 26
The Peninsula Shanghai
Extraordinary service bleeds into every aspect of a stay at The Peninsula Shanghai, from the incredible attention to detail in the rooms to staff who go the extra mile to accommodate any requests or questions from guests. An iconic art deco landmark that sets you in the heart of the city, the property is a lavish amalgamation of East and West, old and new, modern and traditional. You’ll find some of the best Cantonese cuisine in the city at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Yi Long Court, and panoramic views of the gorgeous night skyline from rooftop bar Sir Elly’s Terrace. As far as classic luxury hotels go, this one is hard to beat.
7 / 26
Hotel Éclat Beijing
Housed within the futuristic glass pyramid of Parkview Green, Hotel Éclat Beijing’s location is key, putting it in close proximity with designer boutiques and a wealth of top restaurants. Dotted throughout the property, an astounding art collection includes pieces by Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol. A Panasonic massage chair comes as a standard benefit across all rooms, as does a huge 3D television and complimentary breakfast, afternoon snacks and happy hour drinks. The little details—Miller Harris bath products, a Dyson hairdryer and a Philippe Starck chair at the work desk—only add to the experience.
But what truly stands out are the design stories behind the hotel’s suites, each uniquely styled and inspired by different aesthetics. Swiss Chalet, for example, comes inspired by the world-famous ski resort Gstaad, while Miami Suite exudes elegant opulence with a baby grand piano and private jet pool.
8 / 26
Rosewood Hong Kong
Competing in Hong Kong’s luxury hotel market is a difficult task, given the astounding number of five-star hotels the city boasts. But Rosewood Hong Kong’s entry has only elevated the scene, not just in Victoria Dockside where it resides, but in its greater Tsim Sha Tsui district. Each of its 11 restaurants—including the one Michelin-starred Chaat—delivers a stellar gourmet experience, but we think BluHouse and The Legacy House deserve repeat visits. Plan for an early dinner before you take a stroll along the Avenue of Stars in time for the 8pm light show.
The hotel’s 91 suites are the most of any hotel in Hong Kong, and the Grand Harbour Corner Suite is our pick for its panoramic waterfront views. At 1,323 square feet, it affords the quiet luxury of coming back to a generous space, complete with your own butler, twin walk-in showers, a sumptuous freeform bath and Manor Club access.
9 / 26
The Upper House, Hong Kong
We’re certain the Internet has served you a picture of The Upper House’s stylishly pared-down bathroom by Andre Fu at least once in your life. All 117 rooms come with the notable free-standing bathtub, which overlooks the Hong Kong skyline. While you can dip into the swirling waters at any time of day, there’s nothing quite like a deep soak at night, when the city’s twinkling lights offer a riot of colours outside. Book a table at Salisterra—named after the Latin words for salt and earth—for an incredible lunch or dinner experience, or an in-room treatment using Bamford’s body and skincare products
10 / 26
Else Kuala Lumpur
Art fills every inch of Else Kuala Lumpur, from the paintings hanging along the corridors to the intricate swirls that carpet the floor. Situated in the heart of the buzzy Chinatown enclave, the boutique hotel’s prime location immerses its guests in an eclectic blend of heritage and modernity. Around the neighbourhood, a rising wave of creative spaces sits amid historical buildings—with old-school food carts, trendy speakeasies and quirky cafes alike lining the streets. To recharge after a day of exploring, head for the private floatation therapy pods, where stress melts away as you drift in zero gravity.
11 / 26
The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi
Set in a private bay on sprawling rainforest grounds, The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi is built in perfect harmony with its surroundings—an idyllic retreat looking over the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. The villas, spacious and light-filled, sit nicely between island living and modern-day luxury. Among the luscious foliage peeking into the en-suite bathroom, a giant oval tub steals the show. The buffet breakfast holds a smorgasbord of delectable options as friendly staff invite you to experience the teh tarik station and try your hand at concocting your own cocktails. Don’t leave without having the nasi lemak and roti canai—both standout dishes amid the lavish spread.
12 / 26
One&Only Desaru Coast, Johor
This is the place to visit if healing from burnout is top on your list of priorities. Nestled amid lush nature with powder-fine sand and warm tropical seas all around, the resort reveals the beauty of Malaysia’s southeast at its most enchanting. There’s no shortage of activities available at the Kerry Hill-designed property: from golf to tennis to massages at Chenot Spa—but those looking for true dolce far niente will appreciate watching the waves from Ember, a beach club with sumptuous dining options. Also not to be missed: omakase at the modern Japanese restaurant, Hoshi, which serves good vibes and fresh seafood, air-flown daily from Japan.
13 / 26
Cempedak Island, Riau Islands
It takes roughly two hours to get from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Cempedak Island by ferry, car and then a speedboat ride. When you arrive, you are rewarded with a genuine escape from the bustle of the city. With giant bamboo pillars holding up sloped, densely thatched roofs, each villa is the very epitome of island living. Natural design and rustic architecture complement the serene pace of life at Cempedak, as well as the privacy afforded to each guest. Throw on a linen shirt and leave the flip-flops behind. With the beach at your doorstep, all you’ll want to do for the majority of your trip is stroll down to the ocean and dive deep into its cool waters.
14 / 26
Desa Potato Head Studios, Bali
It might come as a surprise that one of Bali’s most famous beach club residences is known not for its party culture, but for its pioneering approach to sustainability. The newest addition to the Potato Head brand in Bali is Desa Potato Head Studios—a collection of 169 sleek and modular rooms. Centred on regenerative design and circularity projects (you won’t find a piece of single-use plastic anywhere in the entire hotel), this is a destination redefining conscious travel. Don’t miss out on a tour of the revolutionary Potato Head waste lab, where the hotel reveal sits groundbreaking system of reducing, reusing and upcycling waste. The restaurants—including Tanaman, an ultraviolet enclave presenting plant-based fare made with Indonesian produce—are also best in class.
15 / 26
Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bali
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve collection embodies the pinnacle of what the hospitality brand has to offer. Each Reserve property is selected for its exceptional natural surroundings and cultural significance. With its open-air lobby overlooking Ayung Valley, bookended by a stunning stone temple, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is no different. From the meticulously crafted villas to the bespoke dining experiences and indulgent spa rituals, guests are immersed in Balinese tradition. The design details leave no stone unturned, from ceiling basketry, gold-speckled glass and specially commissioned Javanese chairs imbuing each room with a regal quality. The attentive staff—in particular, your patih, or ‘king’s assistant’—ensure that every desire is met with genuine warmth.
16 / 26
Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul
Opt for one of the pool rooms at Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul for a stay so luxurious you might find yourself hesitant to leave the suite. The in-room pool, huge and with a gorgeous view of Mount Namsan’s ever-changing landscape, promises the ultimate rejuvenating getaway. A respite from the city, the sprawling property’s impressive list of facilities includes a sauna, golf driving range and an expansive outdoor pool that transforms into an ice rink in the winter.And if there’s one thing worth leaving the room for, it’s a visit to the award-winning Banyan Tree Spa—known for being one of the best hotel spas in Seoul.
17 / 26
JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa
An architectural work of art perched on a cliffside, this property peers over the island’s gorgeous volcanic coastline. All through the property, natural light floods the space though floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to vast skies and clear seas. Sincere hospitality makes for an exceptional stay, and special care is taken to accommodate families—with dedicated family suites, a host of interesting children’s programmes and plenty of space for young ones to run around. Don’t miss the signature brunch buffet at Island Kitchen, a half-day affair in and of itself that begins with unlimited champagne and premium caviar served upon seating
18 / 26
Banwa Private Island, Palawan
To stay on this island is to immerse yourself in the beauty and grandeur of nature. A thriving sanctuary of the vibrant biodiversity the Philippines has to offer, Banwa supports the marine protected area it sits within. Pristine beaches and lush landscapes cover the exclusive all-villa destination as nature comes alive in a new light through once-in-a-lifetime experiences: from firefly spectacles and waterfall trails to deep-sea fishing and diving the house reef.
19 / 26
Six Senses Con Dao
An hour’s flight from Ho Chi Minh City are the Con Dao islands, comprising16 landmasses that form a national and marine park. Here you’ll find an exclusive Six Senses retreat, complete with a spa set in the shadows of the Lo Voi Mountains and surrounded by tropical gardens. Designed to imitate a traditional Vietnamese fishing village, the resort has its own replica high street, arranged around a shop, restaurant and bar. Each spacious villa is made of wood, and many are duplex, with the bedroom, lounge and bathroom spread across two levels. We recommend booking the OceanFront villas for a direct line to the sand for glorious beach sunsets
20 / 26
Each of the 34 Aman properties around the world boasts something special, but few would be able to offer an experience quite as exclusive as the five Amankoras in Bhutan. The design is kept sparse, leaning instead into a heady mix of disquieting verticality and palpable spiritual energy. There is no art in any of these hotels; the authentic wood panelling and stonework are left to shine on their own. Guests will spend their time taking scenic hikes, visiting monasteries, tucking into lunch at the farmhouse and shopping for crafts handmade by locals.
21 / 26
Patina Maldives, Fari Islands
Fari is a man-made archipelago of four islands that hosts some of the world’s best hotels, including Patina Maldives, which is part of Capella’s new offshoot brand. Taking a luxury speedboat to your place of residence is half the appeal, but it is also in the resort’s contemporary touches, fine gastronomy and impeccable service that guests find their utmost joy. Your Essentialist (also known as your private butler) is available round-the-clock via WhatsApp to service any request.
22 / 26
The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon
Fun times and social media fodder are guaranteed the minute you step through The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon’s doors.The brilliant design team at The Standard and Jaime Hayon and Hayon Studios have infused hip Castleton green and rosewood shades with artful objects in the lobby, while indie-pop tunes by local artists play softly in the background. Well-heeled guests tot Chanel bags as they lounge in one of seven dining establishments. The Standard Grill is your best bet for melt-on-the-tongue steaks and hearty sides, while Ojo—located on the connecting building’s 76th floor—delivers one of the best Mexican meals you will ever have. An achingly hip hotel, but with some of the friendliest staff you will encounter.
23 / 26
A resort getaway in the middle of Bangkok might sound impossible, but that is exactly what Capella Bangkok has conjured in the midst of the bustling city. In its design, the hotel trades ornate Thai tradition for quiet elegance, featuring a soft neutral colour palette with warm wood, marble floors, mirrored surfaces and crystalline water features. Seated on the historic Charoenkrung Road by the Chao Phraya River, it is in one of the best locations to explore Thailand’s thriving capital.
The hotel’s surrounding districts of Bang Rakand Talat Noi are home to an eclectic array of art-filled alleys, galleries, cafes and bars, which are alive at all hours of the day, showcasing the veritable creative heart of the city. Don’t miss out on the hotel’s dining crown jewel, either. Helmed by Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco one-Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant Côte is a must-try.
24 / 26
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
Located on a hillside shrouded by thick bamboo forest, this luxury tented camp is taking glamping to the next level. While the all-inclusive resort’s remoteness is its primary distinguishing factor, no stone has been left unturned in its design and build—modelled after a nostalgic 19th-century safari-adventure theme. Handcrafted leather furnishings, mosquito nettings and the soft glow of hurricane lamps add to the ambience, while a vintage military jeep serves as a charming mode of transportation, whisking guests through the property. Fifteen air-conditioned tents accommodate a total of only 51 guests at full capacity, so expect intimate service alongside a plethora of activities embracing the outdoors.
25 / 26
Ani Sri Lanka
Open only to one reservation at a time, guests at this private beachfront resort can count on having a staff of 30—including a chef who whips up fresh Sri Lankan food daily—dedicated to them, tailoring the experience to their taste with utmost attention to detail. The striking Sri Lankan architecture, verdant greenery and two sun-drenched infinity pools are reason enough to visit, but adventurous travellers can also look forward to a host of activities, like tea plantation tours at the nearby Handunugoda Tea Estate or traditional Sri Lankan dances on the lawn. For a unique experience, take tuktuks out to the nearby art academy the resort sponsors, where students are trained free of charge to become world-class artists.
26 / 26
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Built in 1942, Umaid Bhawan Palace in India is one of the world’s oldest heritage hotels. Still partly home to the current maharaja and his family, this magnificently gilded sandstone palace is run by Taj Hotels and offers views of the grand Mehrangarh Fort. Each corner of the hotel is jaw-droppingly beautiful—from the ornate art deco design and the peacocks strutting on the lawn to the lavish suites decorated with mirror-finished terrazzo, metallic accents and bold geometric light fixtures. The impeccably smooth service—intimate yet oozing plenty of pomp—will make you feel, fittingly, like royalty.
published 2023-08-01 09:33:13