Experience Asia with 5 of its most Unique Hotels

Great hotels are a rare breed but these 5 unique addresses across Asia show that when all the right elements are gathered, the result can be an experience that combines the finest of the luxury industry and the immersion of a whole new culture. Discover 5 of the best hotels across Asia with Lartisien!

Raffles Hotel Singapore

Named after the founding father of the nation of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the flagship hotel of the Raffles group is an institution of luxury in the country. Located in the marina area of the city, the hotel is a short 20-minute drive from the Singapore Changi Airport and is surrounded by some of the most important landmarks of the country, such as the Sultan Mosque, the National Museum of Singapore, and the Sri Thendauthapani Temple among others.

Housed within an 1887 property – one of the most historic and significant building in the city-state – the Raffles Singapore’s recent 2-year renovation brought the establishment up to date with the demands of the 21st century-guest, while also retaining much of its Old-World charm that makes it such a unique address.

Once a favored destination for the likes of Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Taylor, and other Hollywood stars, the Raffles Singapore continues to emanate the kind of atmosphere and service that makes it an experience through time altogether. From its Colonial façade to its grand three-story lobby filled with vintage pieces and antiquities (and an 8,214-piece crystal chandelier) the hotel definitely earns its status as a National Monument. However, when it comes to the 115 suites of the hotel, the mood is a sensible mix of vintage and contemporary style, with modern four-poster beds, parquet floorings with gorgeously embroidered rugs, and a stunning marble bathroom with a freestanding bathtubs and dual vanity sinks.

The Raffles Singapore is also home to no less than 9 restaurants and bars, including the beautiful Butcher’s Block, the elegant La Dame de Pic, and the OSTERIA BBR by Alain Ducasse. On the wellness front, the hotel boasts a seven treatment-room spa located in the Raffles Arcade, with an extensive menu of treatments with products from Ormond Jayne.

What we love about the hotel:

Raffles Hotel

Address: 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673

Opening period: All year


The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi

It took 7 years to build the Ritz-Carlton Langkawi, and the result is a subtle blend of mother nature and indigenous designs, that essentially make The Ritz Carlton the poster boy for Malaysia’s new luxe area.

Located in Langkawi, an archipelago of over 100 islands and islets about an hour’s flight from Kuala Lumpur. This Ritz-Carlton property boasts the extraordinary vistas of Mount Machinchang in the background, lush rainforests all around, and the sparkling waters of the Andaman Sea are just opposite. The experience is a Robinson Crusoe-esque escapade from the hustle and bustle of modern life, allowing guests to truly make the most of the archipelago’s relaxing atmosphere and stunning natural richness.

Architect Phillipe Villeroux of the Tropical Area Architects firm drew inspiration from the Malaysian rainforest and culture itself when designing The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi. The property is infused with a sense of perfect harmony with the location’s landscape. Shielded by the dense vegetation, the place feels cut off from the rest of the world, and feels smaller and more intimate than it is. The 119 rooms and suites display a blend of traditional Malay and Siamese designs, and are as contemporary and sleek as they come. Their true appeal, however, remains their ability to truly allow the guests to feel immersed into the surrounding nature, thanks to their floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking views of the ocean or the rainforest, and plunge pools that spill into the environs.

Elsewhere, the Ritz-Carlton Langkawi allows for a deep immersion into the culinary heritage of Malaysia, as well as China and India with 4 restaurants: the Langkawi Kitchen, the Beach Grill, Hai Yan, and Horizon. Meanwhile, guests will be delighted to experience the sanctuary that is the Ritz-Carlton Spa, where a variety of signature treatments and massages are dispensed in the six overwater spa pavilions.

What we love about the hotel:

The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi

Address: Jalan Pantai Kok, Teluk Nibung, Langkawi

Opening period: All year


Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang, Siem Reap

Located just 15 minutes from the Siem Reap International Airport and close to the ruins of Angkor Wat, one may be forgiven to believe that the Zannnier Hotels Phum Baitang is just another a traditional Cambodia village. However, the closer one gets, the more one comes to fully realize just how unique the hotel is: the perfect blend of rustic aesthetics, rural atmosphere, and luxurious comfort.

A veritable enclave of peace, the 45 villas are designed like rural Khmer homes, and are surrounded by some 20 acres of lemon grass fields and sugar palms, and even a 100-year-old Cambodian farmhouse where one can sit down to relish some cocktails and liqueur. Designed by the French firms AW2, the goal was to strike that perfect balance between the rural Cambodia aesthetics and the world of contemporary luxury.

From the primarily wooden and concrete accommodations – with a wonderful use of various tones and textures across the bedroom, living room, and bathroom – to the vintage furniture, and a gorgeous freestanding bathtub bathed in sunlight from the overhead window, both the Terrace Villas and the Pool villas are perfect example of rustic luxury at its absolute best.

This design language permeates throughout the hotel, namely at the four restaurants and bars of the hotel. Experience the Bay Phsar, with its stunning views of the rice paddies, the Hang Bay where guests can relish Cambodian fine dining, the Sunset Lounge with its comfortable rattan chairs laid out in that famous 100-year-old farmhouse, and even the Pool Bar, which manages to carry over that woody, rustic look.

Needless to say, the spa is something else altogether. Surrounded by a location that is already so relaxing and therapeutic, the Spa Temple takes the experience even further. Starting with the design itself, with Angkor-era look, serves to lay the groundwork for what awaits. Across the 7 treatment bungalows, guests embark on a journey of relaxation and regeneration with treatments dispensed by expert therapists.

What we love about the hotel:

Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang

Address: Sangkat Svaydangkum, Neelka Way, Krong Siem Reap 17254, Cambodia

Opening period: All year


Mandapa, a Ritz Carlton Reserve, Bali

About 15 minutes by shuttle bus from Ubud, and surrounded by lush rain forests, rice paddies, and the sacred River Ayung, the Mandapa, a Ritz Carlton Reserve feels like heaven on Earth. Offering a setting that’s as serene as they come and as far from the hassles of daily life as it can be, this Ritz-Carlton property brings its guests into one of the most immersive hotel experiences in Bali.

Committed to the location and its almost spiritual atmosphere, there is no reception at the hotel. Instead, guests are invited to truly take the initiative to give themselves over to the location and its many experiences. At their arrival, guests are greeted by their patih (which means the king’s right-hand man or butler) and taken to their villa. From there, the man remains at the disposal of the guests throughout their entire stay, ensuring that their every wish and desires are met.

Speaking of the villas, the 60 villas are a savvy blend of Thai and contemporary, and all come with plunge pools, excellent butler service, and the music of rain forest fauna and the bubbling river. Designed by Jeffrey Wilkes, the hotel was inspired by the ancient architecture of Ubud, and offered the perfect canvas for this unique reinterpretation of Balinese décor. The result feels distinguished, modern, sleek, but with that overall warmth that permeates throughout.

On the culinary front, the Mandapa delights with 4 restaurants and bars, all of which offer a unique setting and experience into the Balinese gustatory heritage. The Library, particularly, boasts a stunning interior design that immediately transports guests. Meanwhile, the spa is the only place that feels truly contemporary, choosing to focus on delivery an excellent wellness and spiritual experience to the guests.

What we love about the hotel:

Mandapa, a Ritz Carlton Reserve

Address: Jl. Raya Kedewatan, Banjar, Kedewatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Opening period: All year


Amanyangyun, Shanghai

Surrounded by 10,000 trees all transported from 500 miles away and built from recycled timber and brick from centuries-old homes, the Amanyangyun already sounds impressive on paper, but once there, the place shatters every expectation and sets a new level for the Aman group and the luxury hotel industry altogether.

Located in Shanghai’s Minhang district, bordering Qizhong Forest Park. It’ll take you about 30 minutes from the Shanghai Hongquia International Airport to get there, but it’s well worth the trip. A collaboration between Aman and Chinese philanthropist Ma Dadong, the Amanyangyun is a passion project that’s part conservation effort and part luxury hotel. When the 10,000 ancient camphor trees (some dating back to 1,000 years) and 50 Ming and Qing dynasty homes were threatened by the construction of a dam in Ma Dadong’s homeland of Fuzhou, he launched a conservation effort to uproot them all and relocate them to a patch of rainforest close to Shanghai. 15 years later, the Amanyangyun was born, a remarkable step back in time to the China of old.

The experience ultimately feels profoundly personal and spiritual. The 26 suites and 13 Antique Villas feel like the remnants of an ancient, glorious past, simply given a slight uplift to fit the standards of the modern travelers. The result are minimalist yet profoundly satisfying accommodations that feel anchored in a specific time and which guests are able to slowly discover on their own. Picture a temple-like interior with plenty of wood of all shades and shapes, whether it is for the furniture or the décor- warm mood lighting, all of which concealed behind a facade of period stones. And, of course, it’s all spacious and airy.

On the dining front, the Amanyangyun continues to impress. With its 5 restaurants and bars, each welcoming guests to a distinct cuisine and atmosphere, the hotel gives ample variety for guests to never run out of things to experience. The Chinese restaurants LAZHU and the Cigar Lounge are two standout offerings from the hotel. Of course, when it comes to the wellness offering, Aman always delivers and the Amanyangyun continues this trend. The Aman Spa draws inspiration from a 300-year-old inscription within Beijing’s Forbidden City – Yang Yun, meaning “nourishing clout”, and the spa experience truly is, with state-of-the-art technology and techniques being used to deliver the finest treatments and massages.

What we love about the hotel:

The Amanyangyun

Address: 6161 Yuanjiang Rd, Shanghai

Opening period: All year


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