The Best Resort Hotels in Southeast Asia in 2016
Southeast Asia is as wildly diverse as it is scenic. From Cambodia to Vietnam to Thailand, there are endless destinations worth the long flight — and, in a warm and often crowded continent, also plenty of reasons visitors might be in search of some quiet luxury. They need look no further than our readers' choices for the Best Resort Hotels in Southeast Asia.
The list includes places where the palm fronds seem to touch the blue skies, like Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand. If you want the experience of a lifetime riding elephants across lush green terrain, head to the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Meanwhile, guests of Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa in the Philippines can watch the sun set over crystal-clear water, and wake the next morning to play tennis on the property's pristine courts.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotels on their rooms/facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Properties were categorized as city or resort based on their locations. Southeast Asia included Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Indonesia was ranked separately.
At any of the resorts on the list, our readers indicate, you will have a blissful time. Unique experiences rank high. So do one-of-a-kind properties and beyond-exceptional service. “Paradise…” is how one survey-taker succinctly described the Nam Hai, a contemporary beachfront resort in Hoi An, Vietnam, that came in at No. 2 this year.
But it was the 137 Pillars House, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, that rose to the very top. Might that be because it is rumored to be the same building that the king of Siam built for his children’s governess Anna Leonowens? It could be. But it’s also likely that the refined and unfussy service, elegant decor, privacy, and immaculate grounds are just as enticing. “This hotel is a treasure in every way possible,” wrote a reader.
Read on for the complete list.
No. 10: Amantaka, Luang Prabang, Laos
No. 9: Amanpuri, Phuket, Thailand
No. 8: Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa, Philippines
No. 7: Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, Thailand
No. 6: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, Thailand
No. 5: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Thailand
No. 4: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
No. 3: Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Thailand
No. 2: The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
No. 1: 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is one of our readers' favorite cities; its laid-back vibe a strong contrast to the chaos and romance of Bangkok. Of the many boutique hotels in town, 137 Pillars House, which dates back to 1889, is arguably the best. It’s located in the Wat Gate neighborhood, which feels like a real Thai locale rather than a tourist area. The rooms are large and sumptuously appointed, with balconies, claw-foot bathtubs, and outdoor showers. Enjoy a massage or take a moment to lounge at the pool, knowing you have the rich culinary scene and cultural sights of the city at your fingertips.