From the frenetic streets of Seoul to the azure waters of the Maldives, these stunning hotels are sure to deliver a room with a view.
By Andrew Nelson
Asia is seeing a hotel boom, especially for those catering to affluent travelers. At the regional edition of the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) held each summer in Shanghai–and next year in Singapore, too–hoteliers preview the continent’s newest head-turning properties.
“Every year, Asia’s luxury bar seems to be set higher,” says ILTM portfolio director Alison Gilmore. “The hotels grow more spectacular and there’s a notable rise in experiences based around fashion, cuisine, privacy, and off the grid escapes.” If you’re planning to travel to Asia and want to put some glamour in your visit, here’s a list of eye-catching hotels recently opened or about to do so:
THE MURRAY, HONG KONG
How do you say Mad Men in Cantonese? This 1969 25-story commercial skyscraper is being reimagined for the Niccolo Hotel chain by famed British architect, Sir Norman Foster. Plans call for 336 rooms and suites and five restaurants offering views of the city as well as the park holding Hong Kong’s Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The Murray is scheduled to open in late 2017, according to hotel representative Anton Kilayko.
SIGNIEL HOTEL, SOUTH KOREA
Housed in the ultramodern 123-story Lotte World Tower, the recently opened Signiel Hotel is Gangnam style indeed. The high-rise hostelry’s 193 rooms offer guests expansive views of the South Korean capital, a Michelin-starred restaurant, duty-free shopping mall, an anti-aging spa, concert hall, champagne bar, and a personal shopper service.
CAPELLA SHANGHAI JIAN YE LI, CHINA
An urban oasis in Shanghai near the Nanking Road in the city’s former French Concession, Capella’s Jian Ye Li Hotel was originally built by French real estate developers in the 1930s. The property is set amidst a cluster of 55 elegant villas incorporating the last remaining cluster of historic shikumen, or stone warehouse gates. The opening is set for late summer 2017.
SIX SENSES ZIL PASYON, SEYCHELLES
Located in the Seychelles islands, the oceanic crossroads between Asia and Africa, is the Six Senses resort called Zil Pasyon. Built on the private island of Félicité, the property features 30 villas, each with a private pool and ocean views. Outdoor activities include kayaking, fishing, and snorkeling. There’s also a “no meat” restaurant, several other eateries, and a spa specializing in African-inspired treatments.
KUDADOO PRIVATE ISLAND, MALDIVES
Only 15 one and two-bedroom villas built on a lagoon make up Kudadoo, a 7.4-acre private island run by the Hurawalhi resort chain. Each villa comes with its own pool and butler, but if you’re feeling chatty after a bout of kayaking, windsurfing, or parasailing, there’s a dining hall where guests can meet.
SIX SENSES, BHUTAN
The Six Senses hotel chain is building a series of five luxury lodges in the Himalayan country of Bhutan, scheduled to open in 2018. Located in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, and Paro, the lodges offer different experiences. The property in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, for example, focuses on Bhutanese culture and is decorated with artifacts and local furniture, while others are set in forests or rice terraces.