Whilst selecting our diverse product range for Temples and Markets, it got us thinking of all the incredible places to stay in the countries we showcase here.
We began reminiscing about the amazing locations, hotels and resorts we have been lucky enough to stay at over the years and started to list our favourites.
We wanted to share our favourites with you but where do we start and where do we end, every hotel wonderful in its own way?
There are just so many factors that set Hotels in Asia apart from anywhere else in the world; the breakfast buffet, the décor, the spas, the gardens, the warm welcome and service, the landscaping of the pools and so much more. Each hotel we’ve shortlisted here have all those factors in common but also stand out because they have left us with memories we’ll treasure forever.
Vie Hotel, a member of the MGallery Collection – positioned perfectly next to the Ratchathewi, BTS station. Love the rooftop glass walled pool that protrudes over the city and from where you can watch the BTS skytrains go past. The craziest part about the Vie is it could only cost you under $200 depending on when you go and included is an absolutely superb breakfast buffet with many authentic Thai delicacies. And you may just be lucky enough to be upgraded to an enormous suite as has happened twice in our experience.
Intercontinental– the biggest, best and most diverse buffet breakfast we have experienced anywhere full stop. From Sushi to Noodle Soup, Dim Sum to endless tropical fruit selections and everything in between. Just need an endless appetite to do it justice.
Dusit D2 – On our last sourcing trip to Chiang Mai we fell in love with the Dusit D2. Cocktails in the bar at Happy Hour, sitting amongst the bright orange décor, before heading out to the Chiang Mai night markets - what's not to love? Location can’t be beaten – practically on top of the night markets and the rooms were enormous. All for under $250 depending on when you stay.
Anantara – Sublime Luxury is to be found at any Anantara in South East Asia and the Anantara, Chiang Mai is no different; with its long pool that runs parallel to the river and the daybeds on the balcony overlooking the river, this is a special place indeed.
Four Seasons Chiang Mai – set amongst the rice paddies, when you stay at the Four Seasons you literally feel you are part of the Chiang Mai landscape. And the divine spa – just wow.
The Sala Samui – on calm and oh-so pretty Choeng Mon beach, Koh Samui is set away from the centre of the island. Choeong Mon is lined with seafood shacks giving a plethora of choices for lunch but you can't say no to a daily dose of the world's most delicious bbq'd corn from "the Corn Man" who arrives by boat each day and sets up outside the Sala Samui. It would take too long to explain why the Sala has to be one of the best resorts in the world, too many reasons to list here, but being able to make your own Bloody Mary’s for breakfast is a good place to start!
Banyan Tree - Perched high upon the hilltops overlooking the water, what an incredible vista from you room. And taking the golf buggy trip up the winding hill to one of Samui’s best and most authentic Thai restaurants Saffron is a teeth clenching thrill ride all of its own.
Movenpick Bangtao – Movenpick is situated away from the centre of Phuket in a quieter part of the island, but near enough should you wish to head into Patong for the busier nightlife. Villas are an exceptional size, have their own pools and perfect for family gatherings. Sipping cocktails poolside on one of these daybeds was a definite highlight
Sheraton - Impossible to forget Rara, the hotel’s resident elephant for 4 years. She literally had women from all over the world returning each year just to spend time with her. Feeding her fruit taken from the breakfast buffet everyday and swimming on her back, or hosing her every day was an experience that will stay with us forever. Sadly Rara has passed away since we met her. Debates will rage as to whether an elephant should have been living in this hotel environment but the story goes she died of broken heart once she was take away from the only home she had ever known. The Shangri-la luxury resort is utterly exquisite with heavenly landscaping and the spa is pure serenity. It's off the beaten track but shuttle buses are available to take you to the night markets.
Grand Hyatt - Pack your beach bagand take in this amazing view. The nearest beach escape from Bangok, Hua Hin is a seafood lover’s paradise and an easy 3-4 hours drive from Bangkok. The Grand Hyatt Regency is the place to stay there, the grounds are breathtaking in their beauty. The resort boasts a beachfront location and a lazy river style meandering pool that is staggeringly sublime. The kids will adore the water slide too.
Evason Six Senses - Out of the main Hua Hin town, stunning memories are made exploring this resort; lotus ponds with their resident frogs are scattered throughout the grounds and large family pool villas complete with outside spa baths make this the family getaway of your dreams.
Majestic Hotel – Walking distance to the centre of Saigon, looking out over the Mekong River and steeped in history. For us, the Majestic is most memorable for the man at breakfast who had the words “Mr Tea and Coffee” emblazoned on his coat. We thought him an absolute super hero!
The Myst Dong Khoi – A mid range brand new boutique hotel with rooftop pool and cocktail bar overlooking the streets of District 1. Rooms have an outdoor spa bath on the balcony. Location is hard to beat in walking distance to all the main tourist attractions of Saigon.
La Veranda, a member of the MGallery Collection - If just once in your life you can stay in a room where you can walk straight out onto the beach, and stay there until its time to watch the sun go down. La Verandah should be the place to do it. And it’s hard to forget the little tubs of cooling sorbet served twice a day to all the guests lazing on the beach.
The Metropole by Sofitel. When in Hanoi – splash out a bit and stay here just once in your life. This beautiful hotel, steeped in history is an experience in itself. To quote the hotel’s own description “A Grand Dame of Southeast Asia Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoï welcomes guests to experience her colonial grandeur and timeless elegance.” Couldn’t have said it better.
Victoria Hotel - Anywhere you choose to stay in the magical lantern town of Hoi An in central Vietnam would be a dream come true, but the Victoria, with its beachfront location and easy access to town offers the absolute best of all worlds. Breakfast is sublime and the Outdoor Pebble Showers iare hard to forget. Make sure you grab a ride in the hotel’s vintage motorbike and sidecar to town.
La Residence MGallery Collection – exudes colonial grandeur, breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Perfume River of Hue in central Vietnam is an unforgettable experience. Once the residence of the French Colonial Governor it was a delight to step back in time amidst La Residence’s art décor design
Dalat Palace Hotel - Another chance to soak up Vietnam’s Colonial History is the Dalat Palace in Vietnam’s Cooler Central Highlands. Each room is named after a celebrity who has stayed there – ours was Robert De Niro's from his stay in 1974. Some contributors to Trip Advisor have complained that the décor is dated here but that is the point – the hotel is a piece of history.
With so many exquisite hotels to stay in Singapore, its hard to choose somewhere to stay each time we visit, so we keep to a couple of favourites that we return to time and again.
Intercontinental – as a backpacker over 20 years ago. I visited this hotel as I had a friend who worked here and I drooled over the huge pillows and the crisp white linen. I literally fantasised about staying at this charming luxury hotel. Since then it’s always been a joy to return and I will never break the tradition of a welcoming plate of Satay sticks and a Pina Colada by the pool. As retro that cocktail may be it’s a part of luxury travel that is hard to beat. The Intercon’s location, just next to Bugis MRT is a huge bonus. Breakfast is outstanding with choices from all over the world. I can't go past the congee though. The Intercontinental Singapore is the ultimate oasis in a busy city.
Pan Pacific – if you like big this is the place for you. Big rooms – so perfect for families, where else could you find a separate living room in a Singapore hotel room that’s great for the kids to have separate space? And as for big buffet breakfasts – this has to be the world’s biggest - by the time I finished walking around browsing what was on offer I was starving! The Pan Pacific is perfectly placed for strolling to Gardens by the Bay and Marina Sands.
Since the beginning of the 2000s Siem Reap has grown into what feels like a purpose built tourist town, exploding with creativity, superb restaurants and several wonderful places to lay your head after a hard day walking around the temples of Angkor.
Viroths had only been open a few months when we stayed on a sourcing trip in 2015, and we were blown away by the 50s inspired design that just worked perfectly. Indulging in a Coffee and a Bloody Mary (ok there’s a theme emerging here…) by the pool before anybody else is awake is the best way to start a working day! And depending what time of year you stay, you could get change out of $200 per night. Can’t recommend Viroth’s enough but at the same time don’t want our secret to get out in case its full up next time we need to stay!
Edited 2017. Viroth's has been named Trip Advisor's Best Hotel in the World. The Secret is well and truly out!
It's a hard task to pick a hotel from the luxury selection of hotels in Siem Reap to call our favourite. We’ve been fortunate to stay at the boutique Anantara and Shinta Manias well as The Park Hyatt. Cambodian warmth, service and feeling like you’re one of the family at all of these hotels is what made them memorable. The simplest thing to say is this “if you stay at any of these you’ll never want to leave!.” For the ultimate splurge you can't go past Raffles, even if you don't stay there pay a visit to the hotel boutiques showcasing local designers' work.
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