As Asia fully reopens for travel we celebrating the region’s resurgence of design-led five-star hotels. These boutique properties are destinations in their own right, reasons to travel east as soon as you can.
Zannier Bai San Ho, Vietnam
On a private Vietnamese beach, Arnaud Zannier created 73 extraordinary pool villas in three indigenous architecture styles.
Surrounded by rice paddies and jungle-clad mountains, the villas are inspired by local fishermen, the Cham, and the Edu people. Then complemented by all the modern luxuries.
Bensley Collection Shinta Mani Angkor (Cambodia)
Hotel designer Bill Bensley is famous for designing hotels in Asia for St Regis, Four Seasons and Shangri-La. Shinta Mani is his personal 30-year project, dedicated to Khmer King Jayavarman.
Ten private villas with pools, unrivalled for artistic style and character. Now complemented by Shinta Mani Wild, his new property that’s only accessible by zipline.
Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape Bali
The concept at Buahan is no walls and no doors, which creates a very personal connection with nature in a non-touristic northern part of Bali.
It’s a very secretive hideaway with only 16 villas, the complete opposite to Bali’s overcrowded south. It’s very striking but also inconspicuous.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle (Thailand)
Think all Four Seasons hotels look the same? Well check out this tented camp, in the rugged elephant-covered mountains of northern Thailand.
Sleep in a luxury tent and let your explorer’s spirit come to life. Tents have private decks with wooden hot tubs. Plus the spa and dining are superb.
Cap Karoso, Sumba Island (Indonesia)
Created and operated by Evguenia and Fabrice Ivara, this beachside refuge finds an idyllic balance between contemporary European design and ancestral Sumba island culture.
It’s modern art meets ancient tradition, spacious beachfront villas mixed with island adventure, and a very sustainable island retreat.
NIHI Sumba, Indonesia
Sumba Island is set to be one of Asia’s biggest island destinations. Cap Karoso wasn’t the first five-star property. NIHI is an equally impressive haven for the modern explorer.
This is not an escape from everyday life. It is the return to a life well lived, where rugged luxury meets unregulated freedom.
This is their perspective and it’s not gone unnoticed. NIHI has twice won Travel + Leisure magazine’s Best Hotel in the World award.
Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos
In a World Heritage city of ancient temples and French-Lao architecture, you’ll find this exotic retreat reflecting ancient temples and French-Lao architecture.
We love Rosewood hotels for their exceptional design, like Madrid Villa Magna and Rosewood Vienna. This one in Luang Prabang is a reason to visit Laos.
Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand
Six Senses achieved where so many hotels failed, in creating a Maldivian-style beach resort in Thailand. Privacy, space, turquoise waters and a real hideaway.
It’s a design-led property in that it finds harmony with its surroundings, unlike the many monstrous Thailand hotels that ruined their surroundings.
Want to Discover Asia? Or just love amazing hotels?
Japan’s capital has many superlatives, but one adjective you could never use to describe Tokyo is relaxed. Until Aman Tokyo opened.
34 floors above the ground, surrounded by the skyscrapers of a megalopolis, Aman Tokyo takes the clean geometric lines of classic Aman design, into a remarkably tranquil space.
Raya Heritage, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Temple-inspired hotels are popular across Thailand, especially in the north. Instead, Raya Heritage celebrates the ancient culture of Lanna, honouring a different style from 700 years ago.
33 rooms, some with private pools, the style fresh, bright and filled with local artisanal crafts. It’s Thailand without the cliches.
Capella Hanoi, Vietnam
An art nouveau masterpiece and eternal celebration of opera in the 1920s. Capella Hanoi masterfully delivers a specific time and place.
It’s glitzy and glamorous, in a way that will have you craving for history and life a century ago, a time when the service really did make you feel like a one and only.
Belmond La Residence, Siem Reap (Cambodia)
Surrounded by palm trees, frangipani and bougainvillaea, Belmond’s 59 suites carefully mix Khmer culture with contemporary Western design.
We love how they’ve maintained the signature touches synonymous with the hotel brand. You can immediately feel it’s a Belmond. But made it reflective of Khmer design as well.
Ready to Explore Asia?
As the final restrictions are lifted from travel to Asia, there’s never been a better time to explore the East. There are fewer crowds, better rates, and all these amazing hotels to discover.