Asia | Destination Guides

Stays with Stories: Five Unique Accommodations in Asia

Recently updated on August 14th, 2023 at 01:36 pm

Rest your head in a colonial mansion that whisks you back to royal Rajasthan in India, where hosts will take you for a day of leopard spotting. Wake up on a traditional Vietnamese junk boat as it sails through the ethereal waters of Ha Long Bay, the on-board chef cooking up an authentic breakfast feast. Or, kick your feet up in an art deco hotel that ooze 1920s sophistication, right in the heart of Georgetown, Penang.

In Asia, we bring you accommodation that’s so much more than a bed for the night. Stay a while and you’ll soon unearth the real spirit of this magnificent continent.

Hotel Penaga – Georgetown, Penang

Unique places to stay Asia

Situated in the historical centre of Georgetown, home to elaborate architecture and colonial mansions, Hotel Penaga offers a trip back in time to an Asia of yesteryear. Originally built post-war, the art deco building is steeped in 1920s glamour and has been lovingly restored with a modern twist. Each room has been beautifully furnished with Chinese antiques, exquisite four poster beds, unique artwork and luxurious Jacuzzi baths. When you’re not unwinding in your room, head down to the garden oasis, finish your holiday read in the library, seek sanctuary in the spa or cool off in the lap pool.

Experience this on: Highlights of Singapore and Malaysia

Rawla Narlai – Rajasthan, India

Unique places to stay Asia

Nestled in the picturesque village of Narlai at the foot of the Aravalli Hills, Rawla Narlai is an enchanting journey back in time to royal Rajasthan. Painstakingly restored to its original beauty, this stylish boutique hotel exudes splendour. Every one of its 32 rooms has been uniquely decorated with original murals, traditional ornaments and classic artwork. But there’s more to this regal resort than its rooms – enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool (hidden behind a walled garden), dine under the stars beside the candle-lit 16th Century old baori (a step-well), head out for a day of leopard spotting or take tea by the tranquil waters of a nearby lake.

Ryokan Yoshida-Sanso – Kyoto, Japan

Unique places to stay Asia
Originally built in 1932 as the residence of Prince Higashi-Fushimi – uncle of the current Japanese Emperor Akihito – Ryokan Yoshida-Sanso is an elegant and traditional Japanese Inn. The aesthetic of the ryokan is based on the philosophy of wabi-sabi, an appreciation of the ‘beautifully imperfect’ and has been built in the classic Shoin style of Japanese architecture using only the finest materials and workmanship. Experience genuine Japanese hospitality, as your hosts treat you an exclusive Be My Guest lunch consisting of delicious Kyoto-style kaiseki  cuisine.

Experience this on: Splendours of Japan

A traditional style Vietnamese junk boat – Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Unique places to stay Asia

Float past a thousand limestone islands on a traditional Vietnamese junk boat through Ha Long Bay’s emerald waters. Junk boats have been sailing the world since 2nd Century AD, and although technically originating in China, the style of boat is now synonymous with Vietnam. The boat’s design is one of the most successful in shipping history as the lucky red sails are flexible, easy to control and can be sailed into the wind. Spend the day sunbathing on deck or head out to explore the Tien Ong Caves and Cua Van Fishing Village (where people live in floating houses). In the evening, join an authentic cooking demonstration with your on-board chef and enjoy your dinner as the sun sets over this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Experience this on: Highlights of Vietnam

The Rim Resort – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Unique stays Asia
Image: Nantuschaporn Ekonsang, The Rim Resort Hotel

Perfectly positioned near the Pratu Suan Dok Gate in Chiang Mai’s Old Town, the Rim Resort is a charming hotel with exotic Lanna-Burmese style architecture. The boutique resort contains 36 luxurious guestrooms furnished with rich dark wood and beautiful Thai fabrics; each one boasts its own private balcony overlooking the pool and garden. Treat yourself to a delicious dinner at the Canal Restaurant followed by a cocktail or two specially crafted by their in-house mixologist. The exceptional location of the Rim Resort means that Chiang Mai’s famous night markets, glittering temples and cooking schools are a stone’s throw away.

Experience this on: Treasures of Thailand

For more inspiration on exploring the orient, take a look at our Asia destination page. Have you stayed anywhere memorable in Asia? Comment below – we’d love to hear your stories!

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