The year 2019 is officially here, and is set to be an exciting time for travellers, particularly in our region where many luxury hotels are opening. What sets these hot new properties aside are the destinations they’re anchored on, and their dedication to preserving culture, nature and heritage. Here are some hotels we are keen to check in.
Literally translated, RuMa refers to ‘home’ in Malay — a sure sign of the property’s dedication to creating a hospitable, pleasant environment for guests. Despite its locale in Kuala Lumpur’s busiest district of the Golden Triangle, the property maintains a distinctly serene environment, thanks to its interiors that combine soothing, earthy shades with luxury furnishings.
A front row seat to the city’s best skyline views awaits in your room, particularly at the 111 square metre The RuMa suite. In this abode, the Petronas Twin Towers and towering buildings of Bukit Bintang loom tall beyond your windows. Swathed in the hotel’s signature mix of cultural and colonial charm, the room has all you need for luxury living, including an elegantly decked bedroom, dining room and spacious bathroom with an oval bathtub, and intuitive technology.
But what truly takes RuMa a notch above your average luxury hotel is its celebration of local ingredients at its inhouse restaurant, and its sixth floor that’s all about wellness, and grooming.
There’s a new way to experience Nepal, and it’s from the comfort of a luxury tented villa — the very first of its kind in the country. The Pavillions Himalayas Lake View is set to open in mid-January and is only accessible via paddle boat across the Phewa Lake. Eight tented villas make up the premises, each with breathtaking views of the rice fields and the Annapurna Himalayas, thanks to floor-to-ceiling wraparound glass doors, and thoughtful design of handcrafted furnishings. Villas come in different tiers, the largest being the Royal Lake Villa at 82 square metres.
Your days here are only to be spent exploring the landscape, meandering the mountains, kayaking on the lake or forest exploring with a guide. Food here is for the soul, with farm-to-table cuisine from the property’s organic community farm.
At one of the largest and deepest atolls — these are ring-shaped coral reefs — in the Maldives lies a sublime resort, fringed by white-sand beaches and brilliant blue waters inhabited by exotic marine life. Joali Maldives emphasises the joy of living, and it starts from your personal abode. Select from beach or water villas — the former is available in a luxury option for lavish living, equipped with a lush, private infinity pool and a cosy library.
Water villas, on the other hand, offer a unique experience with four tiers that come with spacious sundecks, private infinity pools and the classic Maldivian experience of the perfect vantage point for sunset watching.
At the heart of the property is its emphasis on thoughtful design. Rooms, as well as the resort, are kitted out with handmade amenities, and local-inspired artwork made by young artists.
Perched on its own private island in the Cambodian Riviera is Alila Villas Koh Russey. Khmer culture and charm wins over guests, more so when coupled with the otherworldly natural beauty of the island — think dramatic coastlines, powder-sand beaches and lush forests, beaming bright under the azure sky.
In signature Alila style, the Koh Russey property combines clean lines and geometric forms with local craftsmanship and materials. Six room categories make up the property, with the largest being the four bedroom beach estate with stunning ocean and headland views, generously sized indoor and outdoor living areas and a large swimming pool.
At Koh Russey, the destination is the heart of your experience, with wellness, nature and cultural experiences aplenty for all sorts of travellers. Trek through the jungles, take an evening walk down the private 1.2 km stretch of copper-sand beach or snorkel in the crystal clear waters.
Bangkok’s riverside is seeing a revival and the proof is in Capella Bangkok. The River of Kings is seeing a luxurious new addition to its landscape; the first of its kind in more than two decades.
Much like the Meatpacking District in Manhattan and Belém in Lisbon, the city’s waterway district will see a new lease of life with its transformation that encompasses a major focus on the local arts scene and culinary landscape.
Termed the urban oasis of the city, Capella Bangkok is a 101-suite and room property that offers a unique brand of boutique intimacy despite its mammoth size. While Bangkok sees no shortage of dining places either, you won’t find yourself leaving the premises as the hotel houses a restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco as well as The Capella Living Room: A riverside lounge that will host local artisans, music and culinary delights.
Located on the jaw-droppingly beautiful Waecicu Beach of Flores Island, Ayana Komodo Resort grants guests 180-degree views of the ocean and the ruggedly beautiful lagoon with extraordinary marine life and pristine white beaches.
To embrace this otherworldly beauty, the resort’s rooms each feature large bay windows that look out to large views of the ocean, sunset views and the opposing landscape of Kukusan Island.
Rooms are generous retreats that blend picture-perfect views with clean and crisp interiors, and high technology to rival the most advanced hotels in the world. Living in the lap of luxury doesn’t stop there. Mornings are to be spent cruising on a 54-meter phinisi yacht, (stand up) paddling around paradise, and checking into the famous Ayana Spa for a world-class treatment that’s anchored in ancient healing therapies.