The 10 Best City Hotels in Asia in 2017
The glittering cities of Asia are a magnet for world travelers. Not only do places like Hong Kong, Beijing, and Mumbai draw in scores of people on business, but they’re also vacation destinations in their own right, with centuries of history and culture to offer the curious explorer. Luckily, they’re also home to several of the world’s best hotels, famed for their exquisite service, near-perfect locations, and an atmosphere that stays true to its sense of place.
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 ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as City or Resort based on their locations and amenities.
It’s no surprise that Bangkok, the starting point for many a trip through Southeast Asia, is full of top hotels — including the Mandarin Oriental, No. 5 on this year’s list. Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, it’s a short boat ride from here to the Grand Palace, though some guests find it hard to leave the property, with its two swimming pools, Thai-boxing classes, large spa with 10 treatment rooms, and nine restaurants and bars.
In India, the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai has been an architectural marvel since its construction in 1903, with an ideal location overlooking the Gateway of India. And nearby, readers love the Oberoi for its modern design and the fact that it sits along Marine Drive — the bayside boulevard known for the large collection of Art Deco buildings lining it.
China is well represented on the list this year, with properties in Beijing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, and Chengdu — a city that is emerging as a major tourist destination thanks to its panda-breeding center, fiery Sichuan food, and cultural monuments such as the Leshan Giant Buddha — all having hotels on the list. Indeed, Chengdu appears to be having a moment, now that brands such as Ritz-Carlton and Six Senses have arrived on the scene. But it was the Temple House — a property from Swire Hotels that made T+L’s It List in 2016 — that came out on top for the entire region. Read on to see why.
10. Opposite House, Beijing
9. Peninsula Hong Kong
8. Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
7. Waldorf Astoria Beijing
6. The Oberoi, Mumbai
5. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
4. St. Regis Osaka
3. Shinta Mani, Siem Reap
2. Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake
1. Temple House
“There’s an amazing attention to detail here,” said one reader. Another concurred, mentioning the “attentive personalized service that’s not intrusive,” as well as the “excellent location,” which, though in the center of the city, feels removed from the hustle and noise. The combination of old and new works in harmony at the Temple House, where the clean-lined, minimalist design of the 100 rooms seems to balance the lobby building, which dates to the Qing dynasty. Especially popular is the traditional tea service at the hotel’s Mi Xun Teahouse, which also features a vegan-focused menu of dishes, and the indoor pool, which is marked by a stunning, sculptural skylight.