From modern marvels to boutique boltholes, Asia’s luxury hotel scene has the breadth to satisfy discerning clients. Nammie Matthews sources some head-turners.
Banyan Tree Bangkok
One of the tallest hotels in Bangkok, Banyan Tree has an outdoor pool on the 21st floor for exquisite views. Clients can reboot in its award-winning spa offering guests a range of holistic treatments originating from royal Thai palaces.
Mark Mallinson, product manager at Travel 2, says: “Not only is the incredible Banyan Tree Bangkok one of the most luxurious hotels in the city but it also has one of the finest restaurants, Vertigo. Situated on the roof of the 61-floor luxury resort, guests will experience alfresco dining with magnificent views of the Bangkok skyline; having a meal here is one experience not to be missed.”
Book it: Travel 2 has a three-night stay at Banyan Tree Bangkok from £659pp, including flights and private transfers.
Just seconds away from Beijing’s legendary Forbidden City, the Regent offers sanctuary for guests amid 3,000 years of Chinese history. A stay at the Regent is included in Wendy Wu’s Legends of China tour – part of its Exclusive Collection.
Ben Briggs, head of marketing at Wendy Wu Tours, says: “Our Exclusive Collection has been created with the more discerning traveller in mind and offers incredible ways to travel through China. Experiences include sipping champagne on a remote section of the Great Wall and getting a behind-the-scenes peek at the current Terracotta Warriors excavation project.”
Book it: The 16-day Legends of China tour is available from £4,745pp with Wendy Wu Tours, including international flights, UK chauffeur transfers, domestic transportation, five-star accommodation, meals, tours and visa fees.
Best of the rest
Floor-to-ceiling glass windows reveal the Shangri-La Hotel Xian’s landscaped gardens and the city beyond. By checking into the luxurious spa with a heated pool and tucking into authentic Shaanxi homemade noodles at Tian Xiang Ge restaurant, your clients can enjoy one of the oldest cities in China in style.
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund offers old-world sophistication, faultless service and 21st century amenities. Accommodation is at the Waldorf Astoria Club and the Waldorf Astoria Tower, many with river views.
The Opposite House in Beijing’s Chaoyang business and entertainment district is a study in slick modern design – set behind a shimmering glass exterior. Authentic Beijing roast duck graces the menu at Jing Yaa Tang while Sureno has a more global perspective.
Impeccable service, minimalist rooms and incredible views are all on the agenda at the Conrad Tokyo. This downtown hotel oozes style with its blend of contemporary and traditional Japanese decor. Located 28-37 floors above ground level, there’s an added wow-factor of panoramic views while clients indulge in a relaxing treatment in the Mizuku Spa or take a dip in the indoor pool.
Ross Pakes, senior product manager for Asia and Oceania at Abercrombie & Kent, says: “Conrad Tokyo has stunning panoramic views over the Tokyo Bay skyline near the extensive Hamarikyu Gardens. If you have had your feast of Japanese delicacies then China Blue restaurant offers arguably Japan’s best Chinese food.”
Book it: Abercrombie & Kent offers seven nights’ B&B in a king room at the Conrad Tokyo for £2,345pp, with flights and airport transfers.
Best of the rest
A recent opening in Japan’s decadently charming former capital, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is within walking distance of major attractions including the geisha district of Gion. Interiors are decorated with light wood, bonsai plants, washi paper artwork and hints of cherry blossom, along with artworks by prominent Japanese artists.
Hong Kong & Macau
The Peninsula, Hong Kong Western & Oriental cites The Peninsula as the most luxurious hotel in Hong Kong for a number of reasons. Created in 1928, the Peninsula is a classic option for your clients and a landmark of the city – why not start their experience with a Rolls-Royce transfer from the airport?
Nick Upperton, Far East specialist at Western & Oriental, has just returned from a fam trip to Hong Kong: “The Peninsula is Hong Kong’s oldest hotel, perfect for travellers at the luxury end of the market. Recommend your clients splash out on a Deluxe Harbour View Suite, which comes complete with a vintage telescope, and have dinner at 28th-floor restaurant Felix, created by designer Philippe Starck, which looks over the Hong Kong skyline.”
Book it: Western & Oriental offers four nights’ B&B at the Peninsula Hong Kong for £1,349pp, based on two sharing and including flights and private transfers.
Best of the rest
Steer sports car enthusiasts towards luxury boutique hotel The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, which has introduced a three-hour driving experience in a top-of-the-range Porsche.
Boasting a waterside setting just a stone’s throw from Macau’s entertainment district, the Mandarin Oriental Macau is a chic, contemporary towering glass skyscraper, with a 25-metre lap pool. Expect the mouth-watering Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop to stop clients in their tracks.
Arguably the most famous hotel in Asia, where old-world opulence reigns superior, the five-star Raffles hotel in the heart of Singapore is surrounded by gardens and has five restaurants, three bars, a rooftop pool and spa.
Dave Kneale, national sales manager at Premier Holidays, says: “Not only does Raffles provide people with perfect comfort, but they can also experience many indulgent treats such as the luxurious spa, top class restaurants and afternoon tea in the Tiffin Room – definitely not to be missed. Of course, a particular highlight is the chance to have a world-renowned Singapore Sling cocktail in the hotel’s famous Long Bar.”
Book it: Premier Holidays offers five nights’ B&B at Raffles for £1,799pp, staying in a courtyard suite, with flights and private transfers.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
Set in tropical grounds adjacent to a vast white-sand bay, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa is a retreat for nature lovers and foodies alike, exemplified at its Malay street-food restaurant, Tepi Laut Makan Street. Clients choosing a Premier Ocean Wing Room will be able to luxuriate in their very own bathtub on the balcony. Should they manage to tear themselves away from the vast beach, there’s bird watching and jungle walks within the hotel’s own nature reserve.
Book it: Kuoni offers five nights’ room-only at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, including flights and private transfers from £1,127pp. This hotel also features on Riviera Travel’s new 14-day Malaysia, Borneo & Singapore tour from £2,099.
Luang Say Residence, Luang Prabang
Located in Laos’ Unesco protected city of Luang Prabang, Luang Say is set in lush tropical gardens with mountain views. La Belle Epoque offers Laotian and French cuisine using produce from the hotel’s organic gardens. Local attractions for this Small Luxury Hotels of the World member include Mekong river cruises and visits to waterfalls.
Vicky Garnett, Inside Asia Tours’ Indochina product manager, says: “Luang Prabang is one of the most underrated and beautiful cities in Asia. The boutique Luang Say Residence is one of the city’s most luxurious properties and one of the most elegant with its colonial design, emphasising tranquility with the tropical garden setting, infinity pool, spa and first class service.”
Book it: Inside Asia offers a stay at the Luang Say Residence on its 14-night “Indochina Luxury Honeymoon” trip, which costs from £4,995pp (excluding international flights). The trip includes some of the region’s finest accommodation with the Sun Peninsula Resort, Danang; the Sofitel Legend, Hanoi; and a luxury cruise of Halong Bay.
Best of the rest
Inspired by 2,500 years of Vietnam’s history and Feng Shui philosophy, Nam Hai in Danang offers plenty of space for relaxation amid 35 hectares of tropical gardens. Retreat to the spa, where the eight treatment rooms appear to float like lotus flowers atop the lagoon, or hunker down in a pool villa to be pampered with butler service.
With its private island setting, your clients should find Cambodia’s Song Saa – Khmer for “The Sweethearts” – as seductive as its name implies. Take a kayak trip to explore deserted islands, join Buddhist monks for a traditional blessing ceremony, and enjoy the simple pleasures of yoga at sunrise or drinking in a star-filled sky.