Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Top Ten Boutique hotels in South East Asia

Online hotel booking merchant, Agoda Company, has released its list of top 10 boutique hotels in South East Asia.

Agoda CEO Michael Kenny said an increasing number of travellers were moving away from chain hotels, preferring to book smaller, personalised alternatives.

"Agoda's analyses have indicated this trend is particularly evident among professional travelers between 25 to 40 years of age," Kenny said.

A boutique hotel is characterised by its size (usually less than 100 rooms) plush design and personalised service. Boutique hotels are also often independently-owned and have unique themes or design features.

The term 'boutique hotel' was coined in New York after the birth of the exclusive Morgan's hotel – opened by Ian Schrager and designed by Andrée Putman – on Madison Avenue in 1984.

The selection criteria for the Agoda Top 10 list included each hotel's popularity in terms of customer bookings and reviews.

Agoda's Top 10 Boutique Hotels in SEA are:

1. Kemang Icon Jakarta

If Conde Nast's Traveler included this hotel it in their Hot List 2007, you expect it to be hot, and Kemang Icon lives up to its reputation. This boutique hotel artfully combines contemporary modern designs with art deco in cool tones and textures. Eight Courtyard and four Edge Suites are all individually designed with personalised bathroom scents, accessories and amenities.

2. The Scarlet Hotel, Singapore

Dramatic, passionate and decadent are qualities at the heart of the Scarlet Hotel. Housed in a 1924 Art Deco building and a row of 1868 early shop houses on the historic Erskine Road are five themed suites with names like Splendour and Lavish, 26 Executive and 24 Premium rooms and 15 Deluxe and 24 Standard rooms. The hotel has gone to great lengths, decorating each room with specific personalities in mind.

3. Dream Hotel, Bangkok

From the bed to the bar, the Dream Hotel is pure glitz. The interior is covered with a generous selection of colours accompanied by ethereal lighting techniques, producing an outspoken extravagance. With 100 stylishly themed and pet-friendly guestrooms, this über trendy hotel offers personal shopper services and pre-loaded iPods and their Avatar Spa features a creative range of facials, massages, full body and Thalmer Thalasso SPA treatments.

4. AKA Hotel Resort & Spa - Hua Hin, Prachuabkirikhan

Fifty-one spacious villas amply secluded from one another, spread across 10 acres of tropical landscape, with natural lakes and a hillside backdrop. Drawing from the philosophy of the AKA, a hill tribe with origins in the Tibetan Highlands and Yunnan, China, the resort offers private infinity-edged pools, garden terraces, private courtyards and sala roof gardens.

5. Hotel de la Paix, Siem Reap

Designed by the renowned Bill Bensley, a combination of art deco and traditional Khmer styles distinguishes the Hotel de la Paix, which is built around a palatial inner courtyard with stone gardens and water features. This landmark in the heart of Siem Reap offers guestrooms and suites, categorised under five unique preferences and designs and accompanied by personalized assistance

6.S15 Sukhumvit Hotel, Bangkok

Smack in the heart of Bangkok's business and shopping districts, the new S15 Sukhumvit Hotel is 72 stylish rooms decked with Italian light fixtures, marble bathrooms and sleek, contemporary furniture. All public areas and guestrooms have Wi-Fi high-speed Internet access and the business center offer laptops and mobile phones.

7. Nagas – Luang Prabang

To enter the 3 Nagas is to enter three historical buildings protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Organisation. Restored to its original Laotian style, the hotel is of exotic, wooden floors, traditional torchis walls and clay tile roofing. A total of 12 rooms and 3 suites with their own unique designs make up this authentic hotel in the heart of Luang Prabang.

8. The Nam Hai, Hoi An

High ceilings, luxurious en-suite bathtubs, spacious bathrooms, raised platforms, split-levels coupled with unobstructed views of the South China Sea make up the 60 One-Bedroom Villas and 40 Pool Villas at The Nam Hai. Beachfront resort spa stretched across 35 hectares along Ha My beach. All villas are equipped with rain showers, iPods, 24-hour concierge and 24-hour in-room dining.

9. JapaMala Resort – Tioman Island, Malaysia

Eco-friendly, teak Sarang Villas, Sea Cliff and Tree Top chalets nestle in the lush jungles of Tioman Island. Guests can even make their own catch off the jetty and the hotel will cook the fresh seafood accordingly. A protected marine park, dive sites and furtive jungle surround this secluded, luxury resort.

10. Trisara, Phuket

Forty-two villas and suites have been given a clean, contemporary look with subtle traditional Thai touches where private infinity edged pools meet sweeping views of the Andaman Sea. Apart from massages, body treatments and facials, the Trisara Spa specializes in yoga and meditation and offers the Trisara Punti Purification and Revitalisation program in partnership with expert herbalists.

Source : TravelMole
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