Style cen­tral

Asia’s 10 best new ho­tels

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION ASIA - CHRIS­TINE McCABE

THE WARE­HOUSE HO­TEL, SINGAPORE: From the team be­hind some of Singapore’s smartest restau­rants comes this 37-room ho­tel fash­ioned from a river­front heritage godown (or ware­house) at groovy Robert­son Quay. Cool, ur­ban in­te­ri­ors by lo­cal firm Asy­lum and top notch “mod-sin’’ (mod­ern Singapore) cui­sine from lead­ing chef Willin Low make this a stylish al­ter­na­tive for trav­ellers seek­ing a friendly neigh­bour­hood pad. The ethos is rig­or­ously “lo­cally made”, from the tea, cof­fee and mini­bar in­clu­sions to the staff uni­forms and fleet of ho­tel bi­cy­cles. The fitout in­cludes a loft-style suite with river views and rooftop swim­ming pool. More: the­ware­house­ho­tel.com.

137 PIL­LARS SUITES & RES­I­DENCES, BANGKOK: With just 34 suites, the high­est in­fin­ity pool in the Thai cap­i­tal and an on-call Lon­don cab fit­ted with cham­pagne bar, this lux­ury ho­tel in fash­ion­able Thon­glor has all five-star bases cov­ered. Oc­cu­py­ing floors 24-32 of a res­i­den­tial block, the suites of­fer great city views from large bal­conies, and each features a pri­vate wine cel­lar, gen­er­ous mar­ble bath­room, “maxi-bar” and the ser­vices of a but­ler. Dial up a per­sonal shop­per for a visit to the nearby EmQuartier and Em­po­rium re­tail mecca or pop into the 28th-floor day spa. Swedish chef Peter Marx gives tra­di­tional Thai a mod­ern twist at 27th-floor Nim­itr. More: 137pil­lars­bangkok.com.

ALILA FORT BISHANGARH, RA­JASTHAN: The Alila group is un­fazed by re­mote lo­cales or challenging ren­o­va­tions. It took seven years to trans­form this clas­sic Ra­jasthani war­rior fort, sit­ting high on a hill one hour from Jaipur, into a stun­ning five-star ho­tel. The orig­i­nal building, with its 2m-thick walls and bat­tle­ments, has been left in­tact and a new sym­pa­thetic struc­ture built to house 59 el­e­gant gue­strooms and suites, all with far­reach­ing views. The full Ra­jput playlist is here — cigars and cognac in the tur­ret, a spa treat­ment in the dun­geon, high tea in the lounge and the cuisines of the Silk Road in the sig­na­ture restau­rant. More: alila­ho­tels.com.

ANAN­TARA KA­LU­TARA RE­SORT, SRI LANKA: Tucked away on Sri Lanka’s south­west coast, an hour from Galle Fort, this fam­ily-friendly Anan­tara boasts an im­pres­sive pedi­gree, with the orig­i­nal re­sort de­signed more than two decades ago by leg­endary lo­cal ar­chi­tect Ge­of­frey Bawa. The project lan­guished for years un­til one of his pro­teges picked it up. There’s no mis­tak­ing Bawa’s hand in the re­sort’s spa­cious ar­rival hall and lobby; his pared-back “trop­i­cal mod­ernism” has also in­flu­enced the 141 gue­strooms, suites and pool vil­las, each with a pri­vate bal­cony or ter­race to take ad­van­tage of the prop­erty’s coastal, river and la­goon frontages. There’s a large day spa, chil­dren’s club, three restau­rants and a re­sort li­brary fash­ioned af­ter Bawa’s per­sonal study and dis­play­ing many of his orig­i­nal sketches. More: ka­lu­tara.anan­tara.com.

BAWAH ISLAND, IN­DONE­SIA: Thir­teen white-sand beaches, three sparkling la­goons and five un­touched is­lands should be more than enough to lure guests for three hours by ferry, then sea plane, from Singapore to this newly opened eco-re­sort in the south­ern In­done­sian Anam­bas. Other tempt­ing draw­cards are the food, pro­duced from the island’s gar­den, the 24 smart tented sa­fari suites, 11 over­wa­ter bun­ga­lows and en­velop­ing vir­gin rain­for­est. This is a marine con­ser­va­tion area, so re­sort

CAPE KUDU HO­TEL, KOH YAO NOI, THAI­LAND:

Soneva Jani, The Maldives, top; Bawah Island, In­done­sia, above; The Ware­house Ho­tel, Singapore, top left; Alila Fort Bishangarh, Ra­jasthan, above left

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