The hotel scene is hot across the myriad destinations that make up Asia. Properties are popping up like wildflowers, with every country from China to Malaysia welcoming outstanding new properties and brands.
Amanemu, a new hot springs resort, has debuted in the idyllic Ise Shima National Park on the shores of Ago Bay, or “Bay of Pearls,” in Japan. This Aman property takes on a classic Japanese aesthetic in the ryokan tradition with each of the 24 suites and four 2-bedroom villas featuring their own onsen. The property’s design uses a contemporary interpretation of Japanese Minka buildings by incorporating traditional low-slung tiled roofs and dark-stained Japanese cedar exterior walls. Each suite features floor-to-ceiling windows with woven textile and timber sliding shutters stretching from opposite ends of the room, allowing for expansive views of the national park surrounding the resort. The guestrooms’ bathrooms mimic the design of traditional Japanese baths, and the private onsens are flanked by a floor-to-ceiling window with views of the private gardens. The hotel’s 21,527-sq.-ft. Aman Spa, influenced by the area’s abundance of natural hot springs and the therapeutic powers of water, features a large central onsen for communal bathing, plus two private spa pavilions, each with its own indoor and outdoor onsen; a fitness center; Watsu Suites; and a glass-walled yoga studio with an outdoor deck overlooking the garden. Guests also have access to Nemu Golf Club, which overlooks the bay, located just a few minutes from the property.
The onsite restaurant’s menu changes daily and is influenced by the locale, as well as what fresh produce the chefs have available that day. Guests can also delve into an international wine list, sake, shochu, and vintage Japanese whiskey. In addition, Amanemu can arrange private tours of local shrines, take guests to parts of the Kumano Kodo—a series of UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes—and arrange for guests to experience Okagura, a traditional Japanese dance offering prayers to deities. Rates start at $750 per night.
This July, Tokyo will welcome the first Luxury Collection property, The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho. It will be located in Tokyo’s Kioicho neighborhood near Shimizudani Park and Benkei Canal. The 250-guestroom property, which will be located on the 30th to 36th floors of the Tokyo Garden Terrace tower, will include 11 suites, a bar with 2-story floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the cityscape, an indoor pool, fitness center, spa, and club lounge, plus four restaurants and bars including an all-day dining venue.
Over in Indonesia, the doors to Katamama, a Preferred Hotels & Resorts property and part of the brand’s Legend collection, have swung open in Bali. The 58-oceanfront suite property, located on Petitenget Beach, features both traditional and contemporary Balinese design with handcrafted artwork and mid-century furnishings. For those clients who like to be wowed, the Katamama Suite features 3,450 sq. ft. of living space, two bedrooms with king-size beds, floor-to-ceiling windows, and an oversized rooftop terrace with a barbecue, daybeds and jacuzzi. Guests can indulge in savory treats at MoVida, which specializes in tapas-style Spanish dining, and Akademi, a mixology center. The property plans to offer a series promoting Indonesian culture with architects, designers, chefs and musicians. Rates start at $367 per night.
During the first quarter of 2017, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will debut in Thailand with the Rosewood Phuket—in fact, Rosewood will be opening a string of hotels in Asia throughout 2019, including in Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Laos. The Rosewood Phuket will feature 71 villas and 32 residences on the Emerald Bay beachfront in southwestern Phuket—considered to be one of the island’s last remaining areas for a secluded beach resort enclave. The property will also house four restaurants, including a rustic beachside Thai eatery built with recycled teak wood; a casual poolside venue; a bistro; and a terrace bar. Guests will also have access to the brand’s signature Sense, A Rosewood Spa, pools, a gym, yoga pavilion and kids club. In addition, there will be a wedding pavilion with a private outdoor garden that can accommodate up to 100 guests. As of press time, rates were not yet available.
The Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, which fully opened in the last quarter of 2015 and is located about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, features 639 accommodations with 522 water villas that stretch over a half-mile into the ocean (the property, incidentally, is designed in the shape of the country’s national flower, the hibiscus). All water villa units include spacious accommodations plus private dip pools and sauna. In addition to the water villas, there are an additional 117 guestrooms in the tower.
During their stay, guests can take part in beach and water activities or wile their day away at the onsite spa. The property also features the Hibiscus heliport, airport transfers, a pool bar, Umi Japanese restaurant, and the Hibiscus Lounge. Rates start at $107; Executive Pool Villas are $165; and Panorama Pool Villas are $225.
The 347-guestroom and -suite Conrad Manila, located atop S Maison, a high-end retail complex housing cinemas and a skypark on the roof deck with restaurants, is expected to open later this year. Guests can relax at the onsite spa, take a dip in the infinity pool while enjoying a drink from the pool bar, or dine at two on-property eateries, the bar, lobby cafe or chocolatier.
The Waldorf Astoria brand will bring its fifth property to China with the opening of Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, which is expected to open, as of press time, during the second quarter of 2016 in Sichuan Province in the center of the Chengdu Tianfu New Area. This 300-guestroom property will be part of a mixed-use development.
Conrad Manila: conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/philippines/conrad-manila-MNLMBCI/index.html
Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson: lexishibiscuspd.com
The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho: starwoodhotels.com
Rosewood Phuket: rosewoodhotels.com
Waldorf Astoria Chengdu: waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/
Breakfast at Angkor
The Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa in Siem Reap, Cambodia has launched Breakfast at Angkor to aide travelers in not only beating the crowds to Cambodia’s popular Angkor Wat, but to take it in through an indulgent experience. On this new tour, a guide with special access to the UNESCO World Heritage Site takes guests to secluded vantage points to watch the day break over the temples. The hotel transports guests at 4:30 a.m. by a private car or tuk-tuk from the property to the temple complex. With a flashlight in hand, the guide leads guests through the darkened campground via a secret shortcut to bypass the crowds already forming. After sunrise, guests head to one of the more secluded temples where a personal butler is waiting to serve them freshly squeezed juices, coffees, teas, fruit and fresh pastries. The Breakfast at Angkor tour also includes an all-day pass to allow guests to freely explore the temple ruins at their leisure. Rates for this exclusive tour start at $115 for one guest and $135 for two. anantara.com