Randy Lynch, founder and seasoned traveller of U.S. based luxury travel firm Kipling & Clark has compiled a list of his favourite hotels in the Asian region which has now been released by the guide.
The list features the top ten luxury hotels in all of Asia where wary travellers can rest their bodies after a hard day of sightseeing or shopping. We have listed them in order of rank below:
1. Tawaraya Ryokan and Hiiragiya Ryokan (tie) – Kyoto, Japan
These two hotels belong to the most famous Japanese ryokans (inns) in the historical city of Kyoto, and are located directly across the alley from each other. Since both of these represent the highest levels of service, it would be difficult to distinguish them from one another.
Both Tawaraya Ryokan and Hiiragaiya Ryokan successfully integrate the fine Japanese traditions and wabi-sabi philosophy we hear so much about in the Western world. Known to emphasize simplicity and purity, the added contemporary conveniences offered make for the perfect combination seasoned travelers expect. Both of these Ryokans also offer an optional Geiko or Maiko geisha dinner.
2. Four Seasons, Chiang Mai Thailand
While this hotel is somewhat smaller in scale than the much more expansive Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai, the Four Seasons lures travellers with its understated sense of luxury. It encompasses an intimate air that has been compared to a Zen-like feel. To make you feel right at home, the Four Seasons staff are truly sincere and kind. Whatever your wishes, nothing seems too much or too hard. The added Four Season’s Kid’s Club offers families a luxury travel experience rarely found elsewhere. Hotel guests can also choose to partake in the heavenly Spa or cooking classes.
3. Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (tie)
The Mandarin hotel in Hong Kong represents understated luxury. Travellers find this peaceful within a noisy, bustling city. Recent renovations has seen the Mandarin’s former balconies being converted to lounge/study area extensions, offering stunning Victoria Harbour views to boost.
The hotel also boasts a 130-year old history of tradition and has long held its own as a hotel with the highest level of service. It’s breakfast buffet is legendary and many say it might be the largest, varied breakfast buffet in all of Asia.
4. Gora Kadan Ryokan – Hakone, Japan
The Gora Kadan hotel is situated a 45-minute bullet train ride from Tokyo. It is a quiet, Shinto-Buddhist like oasis. The hotel offers its guests rejuvenating hot mineral springs. The Gora Kadan is the perfect blend of traditional Japanese ryokan hospitality with modern Western design. The hotel’s original building dates back some 300 years and used to be the summer home of the Kan’in-No-Miya imperial family.
5. Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor and Amansara – Siem Reap, Cambodia (tie)
Usually described as a luxury five-star hotel/resort, the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkorwhile Amansara, part of the Aman Resorts, fits into a higher – elite – category.
The majestic hotel sports an early 20th Century French colonial style while the Amansara is the former guesthouse of Cambodia’s King Sihanouk. The Raffles offers guests many opportunities to mingle with others and is open and airy, while the Amansara is an altogether more private hotel, ideal for those wishing for a bit of privacy after their travels.
6. Peninsula Hotel – Tokyo, Japan
The Peninsula hotel has the best luxury hotel location in Tokyo. It is situated directly across from the lovely Hibiya Park, on the Imperial grounds. Nearby is the popular Ginza shopping district, offering travellers every conceivable wares. The 24-storey hotel was designed by architect Kuzukiyo Sato to look like a giant Japanese lantern. The Peninsula is a successful fusion of traditional Japanese hospitality with understated luxury.
7. Four Seasons – Shanghai, China
The Four Seasons offers a calm interior against the bustle of the outside world, with a high level of service. You can be assured of resting in comfort while your needs are being taken care off. Executive travellers accompanied with their kids can enjoy the range of suites with extra room for kids.
8. Banyan Tree Lijiang – Yunnan, China and Hotel of Modern Art – Guilin, China (tie)
Situated outside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang is the Banyan Tree Lijiang hotel. All 55 of its villas overlook the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, allowing guests to enjoy a spiritual soul-searching atmosphere. The hotel’s Spa offers massages from its Thai staff.
Founded by a Taiwanese business entrepreneur in 1997, the Hotel of Modern Art was and represents a lovely balance of world class sculpture, architecture, and art. It is set against the backdrop of lush grounds. The hotel offers a relaxed, warm ambiance, making you feel right at home.
9. Sofitel Metropole – Hanoi, Vietnam
The Metropole was built in 1901 and combines wonderful French colonial architecture with Vietnam’s cultural traditions. While all rooms are not created equal, the best of them all is the Opera Suite for sure.
10. Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel – Luang Prabang, Laos
Maison Souvannaphoum used to once be the residence of Prince Souvannaphouma. The small hotel is a boutique French-colonial inspired property that is the perfect place to immerse oneself in the local Laotian culture. A friendly, intimate service offers guests a chance to rest their bones with the knowledge they are being taken care off just like with close relatives. Visitors might be delighted to be located on the street for the daily early morning Buddhist monks’ rice offerings.
- Hiiragiya Ryokan
- Four Seasons, Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
- Gora Kadan hotel
- Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor
- Peninsula Hotel Tokyo Japan
- Four Seasons Shanghai
- Banyan Tree Lijiang
- Sofitel Metropole – Hanoi
- Maison Souvannaphoum