Travel Picks: Top 10 luxury hotels in Asia

Fri May 15, 2009 10:34am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Asia has long lured travelers with its fair share of exotic locations and ancient cultures. U.S.-based luxury travel firm Kipling & Clark have issued a list of their favorite hotels in the region.

This list, complied by the firm's founder and seasoned traveler Randy Lynch, is not endorsed by Reuters.

1. Tied: Tawaraya Ryokan and Hiiragiya ryokan - Kyoto, Japan

Two of the most famous ryokans, or Japanese inns in Kyoto are located directly across the alley way from each other. It's difficult to distinguish Tawaraya from Hiiragiya -- they both represent the highest levels of service. Both ryokans successfully integrate the finest Japanese traditions and wabi-sabi philosophy, which emphasizes simplicity and purity, with contemporary conveniences that seasoned travelers expect. An added once-in-a-lifetime experience is arranging for a private Geiko and Maiko geisha dinner at either ryokan.

2. Four Seasons - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Smaller in scale than the much more expansive Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai, the Four Seasons projects a more understated sense of luxury, engendering an intimate, Zen-like feel. Similar to the Mandarin, the Four Seasons staff is truly sincere and kind. With the expansion of the Four Season's Kid's Club, the family luxury travel experience here is similar to the Mandarin's. The spa and cooking class are extraordinary.

3. Tied - Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong & Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

The Mandarin in Hong Kong truly represents understated luxury, a peaceful oasis from the noisy, frenetic city outside. A recent renovation has resulted in the Mandarin's former balconies being converted to lounge/study area extensions, with stunning Victoria Harbor views.

The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok boasts a 130 year history of tradition and the highest level of service, making it a truly unique luxury property. It's unpretentious, understated and attentive and may have the largest, most varied breakfast buffet in all of Asia.   Continued...

<p>The Mandarin Oriental hotel (R) is seen in Central in Hong Kong December 19, 2008. REUTERS/Woody Wu</p>