Asia City writers shortlist the leading hotel openings across Asia that will have you packing your suitcase.


Dusit Thani Maldives

Opened Feb 2012
This getaway is 35 minutes by seaplane from the capital Malé and 10 minutes by speedboat from the new domestic airport. The 100 villas are styled with classic Maldivian woodwork and contemporary Thai elements. Rooms feature sustainable product lines from Molton Brown, Bose surround sound systems and Nespresso machines. The hotel’s award-winning Devarana Spa also offers East-meets-West treatments using Thai herbs and indigenous ingredients. To further unwind, take a dip in their infinity swimming pool—the largest in the Maldives. Rooms go for US$720.
P.O. Box 2188, Mudhdhoo Island, Baa Atoll, +96-0600-8888,


Opened Nov 2011
This resort never sleeps. Not only does it offer a 24-hour butler service and spa treatments (including sleep inducing massages), it also houses the world’s first underwater music club, Subsix. Located 500 meters offshore and six meters below the surface of the Indian Ocean, the prime nightlife spot hosts a rotating line up of international artists from the US, Asia and Europe. When you’re not enjoying the late-night activities, the secluded beach getaway also offers fiber optic lit private pools, dive courses and a marine biology lab for coral rehabilitation. It’s just a 40-minute seaplane flight from the capital Malé to boot. Room rates go for US$650.
Dhaalu Atoll, +96-0676-2828,

Viceroy Maldives

Opened Apr 2012
This scenic getaway has 61 villas set on white sand beaches or suspended over the lagoon. There are seven spa treatment suites—for individuals as well as couples—with holistic treatments based on Maldivian culture, Ayurvedic programs and yoga classes. There is also an on-site dive center with scuba diving courses. Room rates start at around US$1,350.
Vagaru Island, Shaviyani Atoll, +96-0654-5000.



Opened Mar 2012
This urban oasis has 70 rooms, two swimming pools, a restaurant and two bars. It is also walking distance from top attractions such as the Royal Palace, the National Museum and Wat Botum (Royal Pagoda). The building itself offers a refurbished 1930s design and boasts an eco-conscious solar water heater system. The surrounding grounds are lush with 45 different species of plants. For souvenirs, check out the on-site shop, selling locally made handicraft and food products. Rates start at US$70.
28, 184 St., Phnom Penh, +8550-2321-5151,


Opened Feb 2012
Just a 30-minute speedboat ride from the coastal city of Sihanoukville (US$71 per person per trip), this resort rests on two footbridge-connected islands called Song Saa (or The Sweethearts in Khmer). The setup comprises 27 intimate villas built from sustainable materials and modeled after Cambodian fishing villages (expect thatch roofs, rough-hewn natural timbers and drift wood furnishings). An on-site spa offers Khmer treatments using local herbs, sand and iron-rich stones. There’s also a marine reserve home to dugongs and seahorses. Rates start at US$527 per person per night (includes meals and drinks, laundry, minibar, transfers and leisure activities).
Koh Ouen, Sihanoukville, +8552-3686-0360,

NEXT PAGE: Indonesia & Singapore


Keraton at The Plaza, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Opened Apr 2012
With a rich gold color scheme and floral motifs, this hotel has furnished its 140 rooms in a uniquely haute-Indonesian style. The property is connected to high-end shopping mall The Plaza. Plus, it’s near top local attractions such as the Selamat Datang statue, Dutch colonial center Pasar Baru and the 17th century port Sunda Kelapa. It is close to the presidential palace, Freedom Square and the Museum Nasional, which has one of the world’s largest collections of Southeast Asian ceramics and Hindu Javanese art. Rates start at US$299.
Jl. MH. Thamrin Kav. 15, Jakarta, +62-21-5068-0000,

Montigo Resorts Nongsa

Opening Jul 2012
Linked directly to Singapore via the Nongsapura Ferry Terminal, this new addition to Batam is only an hour from the Merlion city. The Mediterranean-style hotel is set on a private beach along the Indonesian island’s northeastern coast. It has 88 villas, each with a private plunge pool, alfresco dining area and sky terrace. A spa specializing in Javanese and Balinese treatments rounds out the pampering options. Rates start at US$245.
Nongsa, Batam, +65-6533-7337,

Queen Villa & Spa

Opened Dec 2011
Accessible by public boat from Lombok’s Bangsal Harbor, Gili Trawangan Island is a haven for those interested in aquatic life. The resort offers diving sessions (reef sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and moray eels are known to roam these waters) and fishing lessons. After a day out at sea, return to one of its 125 modern rooms and enjoy the spa, as well as the fine dining and bar options. Rates start at US$200.
Gili Trawangan Island, North Lombok, +62-3-7063-3686,

U Agathis Pecatu

Relaunching Oct 2012
Absolute Hotel’s second resort in Bali is a revamped version of the former site occupant, Le Grande Bali. The property is in the heart of the Pecatu Indah Resort Complex, adjacent to the New Kuta Golf Course and 20 minutes from Ngurah Rai International Airport. The place has 190 guestrooms—including 60 suites and 130 deluxe rooms—a Balinese garden, an outdoor swimming pool, spa, fitness centre, and tennis court. Rooms start at US$120.
Blk. 5, Pecatu Indah Resort, Jl. Raya Uluwatu, Denpasar, +62-36-1848-1388,

U Paasha Seminyak

Opening Aug 2012
This all-suite hotel features contemporary architecture, a Mediterranean-style pool, a rooftop bar and wellness facilities. The property will mark the Indonesian debut of U Hotels & Resorts, which already has a strong presence in Thailand and India along with additional hotels in Vietnam and Qatar. Rates start at US$125.
Jl. Laksmana No. 77 Oberoi, Seminyak, Badung, +62-36-1822-8888,


Equarius Hotel

Opened Mar 2012
Expansive grounds and proximity to Sentosa Island’s numerous attractions are this nature-themed resort’s main selling points. You can find balconies with panoramic views of the forest or sea, and choose to have 24-hour personal butler service. The food here is stellar, with on-site restaurant Forest serving up celebrity chef Sam Leong’s signature modern Chinese specialties. Rates start at US$568.
8 Sentosa Gateway, +65-6577-8888,

W Singapore Sentosa Cove

Opening Sep 2012
This 240-room resort, a debut for the W group in Singapore, is opening at one of the nation’s hottest addresses—Sentosa Cove. The hip neighborhood addition will feature luxe facilities like a heated pool and spa (comprising three treatment rooms and six suites). Dining options include barbecue specialist SKIRT, The Kitchen, which will have live cooking stations, and poolside joint WOOBAR featuring a resident DJ and mixologist. Rooms start at US$307.
21 Ocean Way, +65-6808-7299,

The Sultan

Opened Oct 2011
This 64-room boutique hotel is housed in two rows of vintage shophouses featuring eight-meter high ceilings and ornate hand-carved window screens. In the historically Muslim neighborhood of Kampong Glam, the rooms have handmade furniture and modern Arabic design elements. The hotel is also just minutes from iconic buildings and attractions including the Malay Heritage Centre, the Sultan Mosque and popular shopping mall Bugis Junction. Rooms start at US$114.
101 Jalan Sultan, +65-6723-7101,

NEXT PAGE: Australia & Phillipines & Malaysia


Park Hyatt Sydney

Reopened Nov 2011
This prime harborfront establishment enjoys stunning views of the Sydney Opera House. Its 155 rooms have been revamped to feature artwork by local artists. Also new to the space are five spa treatment rooms offering native therapies including the Australian Uplift, a calming scalp massage using fruits like quandong and plum, and a back massage with hot Australian clay. Rates start at US$760.
7 Hickson Rd., The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales, +612-9256-1234,


Ariara Island

Opened Dec 2011
This 125-acre island has four beach villas that can accommodate up to 18 guests. Each cottage is styled like a private luxury home—complete with a private chef plus massage and manicure services. Activities include kayaking, diving, boating and trekking through the island’s forests. Bookings are available for groups of 15 or more for US$295 per person a night, for a minimum stay of seven nights. All activities and food are included in the price while return transfers cost US$600.



Opened Dec 2011
This estate comprises buildings that were constructed at various times throughout the 19th and 20th centuries: The Anglo Indian Bungalow, The Straits Eclectic Building, The 1920’s Jack Roof Annex and The Indian Shophouse. The historic structure was meticulously restored over the past three years. You can find Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries throughout the space, as well as enjoy massages on the premises. Heritage tours are available upon request. Rates start at US$125.
23 Love Lane, Georgetown, Penang, +60-4262-1323,

Batu Batu

Opened Jun 2012
Eco-geeks will appreciate this boutique resort which is committed to the preservation of local flora and fauna. The private island features 22 villas constructed in the traditional Malay-style, made with sustainably harvested tropical hardwood. The island has eight beaches, a fresh water swimming pool and hill-top spa. After a day of exploring, fuel up at the retreat’s bar and restaurant serving fresh local produce. There is also a non-profit dive center on-site for you to gain some marine knowledge. Rates start at US$235 for a one-room jungle villa.
Pulau Tengah, Mersing, Johor, +60-7224-2201,

Campbell House

Opened Dec 2011
A new project for British hoteliers Roberto Dreon and Nardya Wray, this three-level shophouse (once a sailors’ hostel) has 11 individually decorated suites with colorful Peranakan tile decorations, walk-in rain showers and organic locally made toiletries. On-site, there’s also Il Bacaro, a traditional Venetian restaurant with Italian small plates and fish specialties. Rates start at US$104.
106 Lebuh Campbell, Georgetown, Penang, +60-4261-8290,

Gaya Island Resort

Opened Jul 2012
Located just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu and a 30-minute car and speedboat ride from the airport, this 121-villa resort offers breathtaking views of the ocean and Mount Kinabalu. The place is home to many rare species including orangutans and proboscis monkeys. Plenty of outdoor activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, nature walks and private yacht charters are available. A 40-meter infinity swimming pool rounds out the energetic facilities. There are also the more calming handicraft classes and storytelling sessions, plus a spa village—surrounded by a mangrove forest—offering treatments informed by Borneo culture. Rooms are available from US$188.
Malohom Bay, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, +60-3-2783-1000,

Seri Chenang Resort & Spa

Opened May 2012
Designed by owner Dato Zainal Abidin, this stunning resort was modeled after Malaysian palaces of yore. It comprises seven villas—each built to look like traditional royal houses from various states such as Kedah, Pahang, Malacca and Selangor. Expect 24-hour butler service, a dedicated cook and an in-house driver (who provides complimentary airport transfers). There are also private mangrove tours, sunset cruises and cable car rides. Rates start at US$377.
Lot 1150 Pantai Chenang, Mukim Kedawang, Langkawi, +60-13-0088-7275,

The Sterling

Opened Nov 2011
Situated in the heart of Malacca’s heritage zone, this hotel offers easy access to places of interest such as Jonker Street and the Stadthuys. The building itself is a charming example of colonial architecture, with 37 rooms and the city’s only rooftop restaurant. An eco-friendly establishment, the place also has a rainwater collection tank with a capacity of 320 liters and uses solar panels as a main energy source. Rooms are available from US$110.
Jalan Temenggong, Malacca, +60 6283-1188.

NEXT PAGE: Laos, Sri Lanka, China, Myanamar & New Zealand


The River

Opened Dec 2011
This hotel’s 14 rooms offer views of the Mekong River and rice paddy-covered mountains. Western and Thai-Laotian food is served, along with an all-day beverage and snack service. It also offers river cruises in a custom-made boat (with a dedicated guide) of the historic Champasak Town and Wat Phou, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The green-fingered can even give organic-gardening a shot in the hotel’s vegetable and rice fields. Room rates start at US$80.
Ban Muangsean, Muang Champasak, Champasak Province, +66-08-6885-1170,


The Temple Hotel

Opening Jul 2012
This painstakingly renovated-complex (function rooms, restaurant, hotel) has a 600-year-old history. The site was discovered in ruins in 2007, and it’s taken since then to restore the 3,500-square-foot swathe of land with contemporary hues and furnishings. While the hotel construction is ongoing, its dining outlets are ready to serve up fine cuisine. Most notably, TRB, Temple Restaurant Beijing (serving upscale, French-inspired European food in what used to be a television factory), has got critics swooning. Rates TBA.
23 Shatan North St., Dongcheng District, Beijing,

Naked Stables Private Reserve

Opened Oct 2011
Located in a nature reserve three hours outside Shanghai, it’s a super-laid-back, multiple award-winning spa and horse-riding retreat in the hills of Moganshan, featuring 121 peaceful rooms for a seriously secluded indulgent weekend. It’s all eco-friendly and back-to-nature here: accommodation in the 60-hectare resort is made up of treetop villas or earth huts, which are well appointed and made with sustainable materials. Rates start at US$235.
Moganshan. Reservations office: 2/F, 8 Lane 31, Huating Rd., Shanghai, +86-21-6431-8901,


View Point Eco-Lodge

Opened Oct 2011
Set on the banks of a canal leading to Inle Lake, this getaway has 20 cottage suites made of eco-friendly materials including limestone, mud, rice-straw and wood. On-site, there are two eateries—ViewPoint restaurant and The Shan—that have been praised by the Routard Guide and Lonely Planet for their refined take on local and continental cuisine. The place also has a strong collection of French, Italian and even local wines. Rates start at US$70.
Near Talk Nan Bridge and Canal, Nyaung Shwe, Inle Lake, Shan State, +950-8120-9062,

Sri Lanka 

The Wallawa

Rebranded Sep 2011
Built in a Dutch colonial style, this traditional clay-tiled resort boasts over 200 years of history. Set in three acres of garden space, the hotel’s rooms offer plenty of private facilities. The Mountbatten Suite, for instance, features a private garden and plunge pool. A high-minded getaway, the place also gives back to the local community through its gift shop, which sells a collection of unique items sourced mainly from small craft producers in Sri Lanka. The store donates all its profits to charity. Room rates begin at US$160.
Minuwangoda Rd., Kotugoda, Katunayake, +941-1228-1050,

New Zealand

Bishop Suites

Opened Sep 2011
Part of a 20-acre estate, this Victorian homestead was restored by owners Peter and Mary Dallison. The suites are fitted out with fine Irish linen, L’Occitane toiletries, scented candles, handmade chocolates and homemade shortbread. Each room also has an open fireplace, plasma screen television and Wi-Fi. Wander the estate’s parkland grounds and enjoy the swimming pool and spa facilities, before winding down with a nightly five-course dinner prepared on premises. Suites start at US$1,191.
223 Waimea Rd., Bishopdale, Nelson, +64-3539-0061,


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