Discover the most extraordinary boutique hotels in Hong Kong, Thailand, Dubai, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the Maldives.
The gorgeous Landmark hotel is one of the more intimate luxury options in Hong Kong. With a great location in Central, the city's business hub (also home to clubs and restaurants), this hotel stands out from nearby competitors because its size: It's a boutique property with only 113 rooms (the Conrad and JW Marriott both have over 500). The interior design is exceptional: The lobby, restaurant, and rooms feature warm brown and silver tones, with Asian-inspired accents (typical of the Mandarin brand). Though the Landmark does feature kid-friendly amenities, the hotel caters largely to business travelers and couples; the gorgeous spa is one of the hotel's highlights, with treatment rooms, a Turkish hammam, a pool, and a spa cafe. And the spacious, high-tech rooms feature marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, iPod docks, at least three flat-screen TVs, and Wi-Fi (for an additional fee).
Gili Lankanfushi is widely considered to be the top resort in the Maldives, and for good reason. This stunning, 46-villa, eco-friendly resort just 20 minutes from the airport succeeds in delivering truly unpretentious, relaxed luxury. Bare feet are encouraged (shoes are removed as soon as guests get on the boat from the airport), and each guest is taken care of by a personal butler with the title Mr. Friday. The spacious, charmingly simple overwater bungalows are made of several types of wood, and have outdoor (and rooftop!) decks with views that might induce tears of joy. On land, the beautiful island with 683 palm trees offers a range of activities and dining options. This special gem in the Maldives has more authenticity than other brand-name resorts of the same price point — just ask tennis pro Novak Djokovic, practically a regular here.
Located on one of the smallest islands in the Maldives, the 37-villa Mirihi Island Resort has a personal feel, yet is stocked full of the luxe and convenient features you'd expect from any large luxury resort. From a beach cinema to a spa, free non-motorized water sports to a teeming house reef with its own shipwreck, and tons of events, excursions, and on-island activities, there are plenty of alternatives to just lying on the soft sand beach. This small but casually luxe spot is ideal for couples and small groups looking for top-notch dishes and impressive selection of wines and over 40 dive sites in a relaxing environment. All-inclusive options are available.
Paresa means "heaven" in Thai, and with a staff that refers to themselves as angels, panoramic views of the Andaman Sea over Millionaires' Mile, and private luxury villas -- to some guests, Paresa is truly a five-pearl piece of (expensive) heaven on earth. At night, the infinity-edge pool is lit up with hundreds of twinkling LED lights. Two on-site restaurants and a cooking school offer gourmet fare. The location on a cliff means privacy (and those uninterrupted views), but the tradeoff is a remote neighborhood and no direct beach access; the resort works around that problem with a free hourly shuttle to town and Kamala Beach. Kiddos are welcome, but there isn't much for them to do.
With gorgeous Bedouin-style architecture in a desert oasis, Al Maha sets the bar for Dubai luxury. The 42 standalone, intimate suites feature top-notch amenities and services, and an on-site heated infinity pool, upscale spa, and fine dining options make the property a fantastic choice. It may not be ideal for those looking to explore the sights in central Dubai, but Al Maha offers a unique experience for couples and families with older children (kids under 10 are not allowed).
The 25-room Viceroy Bali is a luxury hotel that draws high-end clientele with its tropical setting overlooking Petanu Valley and its convenient helipad. The property also offers airport limousine service, an open-air restaurant, and a lovely pool with a swim-up bar. A hillside spa and modern gym complete the list of excellent amenities. The spacious Balinese villas have private pools, flat-screen TVs, safes, and indoor/outdoor sitting areas; some have thatched-roof gazebos. There’s golf cart transportation on-site, but the grounds are often sloped so getting around can be tricky. Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking are all free at the Viceroy (but expect sky-high rates).
The Racha is a five-pearl eco-chic resort on the small island of Racha Yai in the Andaman Sea. It's a 35-minute boat ride from Phuket to get there, and there's a charge for the transfer. Once guests arrive at the island they're greeted with the sight of white-washed villas built with clean lines, in harmony with the natural surroundings of the tropical landscape and water. The villas are clean and comfortable; some have private pools and spacious outdoor bathrooms. Recreation facilities are top-notch: ATVs, water toys, tennis courts, a spa, and more are all on offer. Be warned, though: The stunning sandy beach is a hot spot for tourist boats from Phuket and is overrun with day-trippers often, making it not exactly ideal for those who want a romantic and quiet tropical vacation. T
This five-pearl boutique resort in the green hills of the artsy Ubud area has 20 separate villas, each providing guests with their own butler; many have private pools. The rooms are individually designed and make abundant use of teakwood and Balinese art, giving the spaces an authentic Balinese feel; the indoor/outdoor bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and rainfall showers are a highlight. Rooms come with flat-screen TVs, DVD players, free Wi-Fi, and stocked minibars (with free items). A fresh made-to-order breakfast, daily high tea, and happy hour are all included; the on-site restaurant also serves Western and Asian specialties for lunch and dinner, and room service is available almost all day. There is a lovely outdoor infinity pool with a poolside bar, a full-service spa with a variety of treatments, and a fitness center that offers yoga classes. While there isn't much within walking distance except rice paddies, the hotel offers free car service into town.
The five-pearl Karma Jimbaran is a glamorous boutique resort with lots of Balinese character, situated a minutes' walk from the beach. The property is super family-friendly, with an adorable (and free) kids' club, as well as a day spa offering massage, beauty, and body treatments for all ages. There are cooking and yoga classes (for a fee), a sophisticated wine and tapas bar, and plenty of space to sunbathe, relax, and recharge. Each of the 40 spacious villas has a private pool, romantic canopy beds, a full-size kitchen, and beautiful bathrooms.
A top-notch five-pearl luxury boutique, Kandolhu Maldives is home to 30 villas, all featuring private sundecks and sea views. Surrounded by a fish-filled house reef and close to good dive spots, it’s a good option for underwater lovers -- and it offers various packages, including an all-inclusive plan. This small, screensaver-come-to-life island has four a la carte restaurants, a relaxing beachside bar, spa, dive center, library lounge, and state-of-the-art gym. Favoring couples, this idyllic island is set up for privacy, limited social interaction, and relaxation. Upscale and contemporary styled rooms are outfitted with all the trimmings -- from fluffy towels to wine fridges -- and can feature outdoor bathrooms, private beach areas, and personal dipping pools.
The Shore at Katathani is an upscale, 36-room villa hotel that caters mainly to couples and honeymooners. Its private location, tucked away in a cove along Kata Noi Beach, adds to the hotel's intimate, beachy atmosphere. Guests spend most of their time lounging beside their private plunge pools or in oversize daybeds facing the ocean at the main infinity pool. The property includes a small spa and oceanfront restaurant, and does not allow children under the age of 12.
Located on a small island 35 minutes from Male, this luxury resort has 33 high-end water bungalows and a peaceful, all-natural vibe. Cocoa Island is primarily geared towards couples, and children’s facilities are sparse. Property highlights include gorgeous beaches, an infinity pool, an on-site reef, an excellent a la carte restaurant, and a pricey spa with a hydrotherapy pool and free daily yoga classes. Rooms come at a fair price for this caliber of property, but food and extras can add up fast.
This five-pearl luxury boutique has 12 huge suites with polished concrete floors, imported Indo-Asian antique furniture, private plunge pools, top-shelf snacks and drinks, ocean or garden views, and outdoor lounge space. On-site, guests have access to open-air public spaces including a large lobby, breezy restaurant, small poolside bar, gym, and gigantic spa treatment room. There's also a large stretch of wild beach out back and a few traditional puppets hanging in the halls. It's the best -- and priciest -- hotel in the Hikkaduwa area.
The Lodhi is an elegant, ultra-contemporary luxury hotel on Central Delhi's moneyed Lodhi Road, right across from the Delhi Golf Course. All 40 rooms here have private plunge pools, and those on higher floors have beautiful city views, many with Humayun's Tomb in the distance. Amenities are excellent, and include a lovely spa with Turkish baths, a beauty salon, a lap pool, three tennis courts, and an extensive gym with personal trainers and high-end equipment. The restaurants get rave reviews for their cuisine, though they do close for private events frequently.
The expansive Siam is the epitome of luxury in Bangkok, taking elegance to the extreme. Just 39 plush, spacious rooms occupy this vast property, which is scattered with pieces from the owners' art collection and has everything from an infinity pool to multiple dining venues to a library, cinema, gym, and spa -- while maintaining an intimate vibe. Secluded Villas offer private pools, hot tubs, and rooftop terraces. All rooms include breakfast, butler service, and free longtail boat service along the river, though reaching city center attractions can be difficult, as can finding the hotel by taxi. Some rooms have unattractive views and/or lack windows.
The 39-room Nakamanda Resort and Spa is an upscale romantic retreat on a secluded cove with traditional Thai decor and attractive tropical grounds. An outdoor pool and an open-air bar with two private terraces face the Andaman Sea, and there’s also a full-service spa and a fitness center. Stylish, modern villas have soaking bathtubs, and some come with kitchenettes and hot tubs or pools. Nakamanda Resort & Spa provides a romantic retreat, but the property’s many steps and rocky shores are less than ideal for kids or guests with limited mobility.
Anantara Phuket Villas is a five-pearl property with gorgeous villas; all come with lovely private pools. It was designed by renowned architect Bill Bensley, and his high attention to stylish detail shows throughout the Sino Portuguese property: intricately carved wood, open-air buildings, reflection pools, and pagoda-style structures can be found here. Though Anantara has everything its competitors have -- a luxe spa, free breakfast buffet, cooking school, and free bikes -- the one major flaw here is the tiny, red-flag beach. For those who care more about swimming pools than sand, the Anantara is a great choice, as it has one of the most spectacular pools in Phuket.
This five-pearl resort is best known for its breathtaking main pool, which sits dramatically over jungle treetops and offers gorgeous vistas of the gorge below. With a secluded location about 30 minutes from Ubud, the hotel offers a peaceful, rain forest getaway, complete with a luxurious spa and dining options that range from an on-site restaurant, bar, and cafe, to romantic private dining experiences. Its 44 suites and private villas offer panoramic views as well as private pools and terraces. The jungle setting means that various critters are to be expected, which might be an issue for some, and travelers should also be prepared for pricey dining.
With its gorgeous, secluded setting in a tropical rain forest, the five-pearl, 30-room Como Shambhala Estate is a peaceful oasis that attracts travelers seeking a health-conscious getaway. With extensive spa and wellness facilities and a team of resident holistic health experts, the hotel aims to restore and revive. Nutrition-driven dining at two on-site restaurants is complemented by a wealth of activities such as guided walks and free yoga classes. Spacious rooms and suites are set in several freestanding Residences spread around the vast grounds (though some can be quite a hike to main areas), plus private villas with pools are also available.
The Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is a luxury boutique resort that offers 58 villas with private plunge pools and gorgeous sea views. The secluded property is reachable only by water; airport transfers by road and speedboat are convenient, but not included in rates. Villas feature beautiful wooden interiors with modern amenities, while rustic-style bathrooms have wooden bathtubs; those along the beachfront have paths running directly to the sand. The free breakfast buffet offers an excellent selection of dishes; lunch and dinner menus get more mixed reviews, but the resort’s dining experiences are memorable, as is the fantastic spa and the large main pool. The resort is expansive and the ultra-secluded Hill Top Villas are a fair way out, but bicycles and golf buggies are available.
The 39-room Hotel Tugu Lombok is a five-pearl property that’s designed to evoke the spirit of Indonesia’s past. Charming bungalows and villas feature Indonesian artwork, and many have outdoor copper bathtubs; a few even have private plunge pools. Statues and antiques adorn thatched-roof buildings, and there's a beach with long-tail boats and a bamboo water-sports shack. Picnics and moonlight barbecues are provided on the sand, and the hotel has two restaurants and a bar, but the food gets mixed reviews and there aren't a lot of other places to eat nearby.