Hectic cities, shabby motels and hedonistic parties might be the first images that spring to mind when you picture a vacation in Asia, but this vast continent is full of contradictions. Away from the bustling urban centres, Asia is home to magical beaches, tropical islands, lavish luxury hotels and some of the last great unspoiled paradises of the world.
Escape the pressures of modern life at a luxury retreat in Asia without leaving behind the comfort of cutting-edge design and amenities. Here are five of the very best luxury hotels that offer a tranquil and intimate getaway in Asia.
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Perched on the cliff tops above Bali’s stunning Bukit Peninsula, Alila Villas is a haven of privacy, ocean views and eco-friendly opulence. Local Balinese culture pervades the natural style of the resort – chic bridges connect private pavilions with pools and living areas – as well as the menu at Warung Restaurant and treatments at the Spa Alila.
Designed by award-winning architects WOHA, each of the private villa rooms has been created with both luxury and conscience in mind. All boast a 24-hour butler service, private bar, flat-screen television and outdoor rain shower – perfect for peaceful intimacy.
Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, China
The award-winning Aman Hotel lies just outside busy Beijing at the lakeside home of the Empress Dowager Cixi. The last of the Imperial rulers in China, she used this beautiful man-made retreat as her Summer Palace to escape room from the urban pressures of Beijing. The luxury hotel reflects its Imperial heritage in every aspect, from the traditional architecture to the sophisticated Chinese Restaurant and stellar opera performances.
Amanpuri Hotel, Phuket, Thailand
Regularly voted one of the best resorts in the world by Conde Nast Traveler and The Hideaway Report, the Amanpuri at Phuket is an oasis of Zen-like calm. Iconic black slate swimming pools, faultless service, soothing massages, spacious private villas – all are designed for total relaxation. For a real treat, live-in maids and cooks can cater to guests in their own kitchens.
Cocoa Island, South Male Atoll, Maldives
This distinguished spa hotel in the Maldives is all about divine treatments and locally sourced materials. Not suitable for the posturing crowd, it’s a place of discreet, distinguished elegance on a tiny island with one of the best beaches in the world.
Devi Garh Hotel, Udaipur, India
One of India’s few boutique hotels, the Devi Garh tempts visitors to stay forever with its impeccable mix of traditional architecture and modern minimalist interiors. Relax with a drink in the bar over a game of chess, or practice your yoga on the rooftop at dawn.