Looking to travel around Asia? Well if you’re willing to shell out a little more money, check out some of the gems we’ve managed to discover. PART I: CITY RETREATS
An Article by Penny V
With December on its merry way, I’m pretty sure that most of you have been hit with the wanderlust bug, because I know I have. I’m already plotting for a getaway for early next year! While looking around for great destinations around the region for a quick escape, I’ve managed to uncover some unique gems. If you’re willing to loosen the purse strings for a luxurious and quaint experience, check out some of these boutique hotels across Asia.
PART I features some of my favourite city retreats.
I started with home-base and I’m betting that you’ll love the Naumi as much as I do. Pronounced as know-me, it means the ninth day of happiness in Sanskrit, it has touted itself as a “personal luxury hotel” and we do have to agree. Situated just outside of the central business district of Singapore alongside quaint little lanes chock full of good eats, Naumi provides an ultra-chic urban retreat.
Featuring a nature theme with its creeper-clad façade and internal floral motifs, rooms at Naumi are elegantly furnished and are fitted with quite a number of lavish surprises. It’s decked out with a Nespresso Coffee Maker and provides Numi organic tea bags alongside a toaster, microwave and minibar with complimentary drinks. That isn’t half of it yet though, rooms are also fitted with a sleek flat-screen television and iPod docking station. Feel the need to game? Your personal Naumi aide will see to your request for a Wii or X-Box console with some of the latest games. The room’s marble-clad bathroom has some goodies as well, packed with Kiehl’s products to help get you relaxed.
Head to the rooftop and lounge on a day-bed with a good book, refreshing cocktail and Singapore’s cityscape to lull you into contentment. Better yet, get your swimsuit on and jump into the infinity-edge pool to cool off while you’re at it. If you’re looking to maintain your regular work-out while jet-setting, not to worry, Naumi has a cardio, weights and yoga room at your disposal.
While Naumi doesn’t have its own restaurant, it does has a casual dining area offering delicious treats, which transforms into a stylish bar offering a fine selection of wine, champagne and whiskey at sunset. Besides that, the area is packed with local cuisine and a variety of choices that range from French and Italian to Japanese and Mediterranean.
Naumi oozes street-savvy, luxurious urban appeal and I’m sure you’ll want to stop over.
Make your reservation here: www.naumihotel.com
Just across the causeway, Kuala Lumpur provides a mighty fine boutique hotel experience with exceptional service at Carcosa Seri Negara. A blast from the past, Carcosa is housed within a grand colonial mansion set atop a hill overlooking Lake Gardens, just 15 minutes away from central Kuala Lumpur. Originally built in 1904, the mansion was restored to its former glory and features 13 luxurious Victorian-styled suites.
Set amid a lush tropical landscape, suites at Carcosa Seri Negara are spacious and are fitted with cosy sitting areas or verandahs. They are also furnished with a flat-screen television and a wonderful home entertainment system with surround sound and DVD player. Don’t worry, wireless internet access is also offered. Lounge around your large four-poster bed or lounge on your chaise overlooking the landscape as the 24-hour butler service takes care of all your wants and needs.
It’s easy to feel as if you’ve stepped back into time at the Carcosa Seri Negara with its faithful refurbishment and attention to detail, as well as its above par service, which will leave you wanting to attempt to pack the butler away in your suitcase. From arranging meals and making sure your favourite chaise hits that right bit of sun streaming through the French windows as you read, the butler takes your hotel experience up to another level.
Carcosa Seri Negara features a jogging track set along its landscaped gardens and offers 4 dining options for you to choose from. Be it from decadent French cuisine to palate-titillating Malaysian fare, I’m sure it’ll be a gastronomically delightful affair. For pre-dinner aperitif or a traditional tea with scones and freshly baked pastries, The Drawing Room provides a cosy ambience for you to indulge in.
To make a reservation, head on to GHMhotels.com
Dream Bangkok is oh-so-fashionable and just oh-so-fun. Sleek and stylish, Dream Bangkok is situated along the lively and colourful streets of Sukhumvit Road that is lined with a variety of the hottest fashion and shopping spots. This vibrant boutique hotel is a blend of contemporary design and local culture, bringing together luxury and tradition for a great stay.
Rooms at Dream Bangkok are chic, decorated with cool white walls, warm furnishings and fitted with a cool blue lighting that gets you in the mood to unwind or even get out and party. Decadence takes form with high-speed internet access, an in-room iPod Nano and a 42-inch plasma television with DVD player. For a peaceful slumber you won’t have to worry with 300-thread-count Egyptian sheets and goose down duvet and pillows. Need a pre-dinner aperitif? Don’t worry, you’re mini-bar is stocked with Veuve Clicquot, 42 Below Vodka and a variety of liquors.
Enjoy the panoramic views of Bangkok’s cityscape from the rooftop swimming pool or recharge with a work-out at the gym decked out with state-of-the-art equipment. While you’re in Bangkok how can you not indulge with a spa treatment? At Dream Bangkok the Avatar Spa offers a variety of massage techniques and body treatments for individuals and couples, which will soothe and pamper.
Dream Bangkok also has a tantalising restaurant serving a sumptuous blend of western and Thai cuisine, while its lounge is hip and features some of the hottest DJs.
To make a reservation, head on over to www.dreambkk.com
City living never looked so good at Kemang Icon located in Southern Jakarta where traditional residences and luxury stand side by side. This glass-contoured contemporary architectural site offers a mix of creativity, luxe living and style. Set amid a mix of cultural attractions, restaurants and entertainment outlets, this city retreat creates a charming and fashionable sanctuary that you’ll never want to leave. Offering dedicated service, Kemang Icon offers 12 lavish suites.
Kemang’s friendly staff will make you feel right at home and take care of every need from how soft you like your pillows and to the treats you’d like to find in your minibar. You can also request for an in-room iPod.
Each one-bedroom suite is elegantly designed and furnished with art deco pieces and cultural decorative pieces. Your personal space comes with a kitchenette and a separate living room equipped with a large flat-screen television, home theatre system and DVD player, besides broadband internet access.
Enjoy a quiet moment while reading and enjoying the view from the rooftop’s sundeck or refresh yourself with a dip in the pool. Kemang Icon also has a casual dining restaurant offering delicious home-cooked meals. In any case, Kemang Icon provides round-the-clock concierge service who can recommend and book the trendiest restaurants.
Book your stay at Kemang Icon at www.alilahotels.com/kemangicon
Situated within the heart of Beijing within The Village at lively and fashionable Sanlitun is The Opposite House with its stunning glass architecture mixed with traditional Chinese design. The mix of old and new creates a stylish and creative contrast providing a charming atmosphere. Especially with its friendly and warm service, you’ll find all your needs taken care off.
The Opposite House offers stunning studios with a clean-cut, minimalist design. It offers a high ceiling with floor-to-ceiling windows, which allows the room to feel bright and airy. Fitted with wooden furnishings and sleek equipment, studios feature a spa-inspired bathroom with luxurious deep soaking oak bathtubs, paired with rainforest showers and BaYanKaLa toiletries.
Chock full of goodies, rooms at The Opposite House feature plush bedding for a good night’s rest, an LCD television and a Denon in-room entertainment system. It also offers a Nespresso machine and free mini-bar, as well as wireless internet access. Private dining is also offered.
The Opposite House also feature 5 food and beverage options ranging from Mediterranean delights and fusion dishes that put an innovative twist on traditional dishes. You can also chill out at the lounge bar or party the night away at Punk.
Find out more at www.theoppositehouse.com
Check back because Part II features some fantastic beach getaway boutique hotels.