The 10 Best Resort Hotels in Asia in 2017
Travelers are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a resort in Asia. Aside from the enviable beachside locations, many properties stand out for dramatic design — whether it’s a tree house-inspired retreat in Thailand or a super-modern structure in the middle of the Balinese jungle — as well as exceedingly warm service and delicious regional food.
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.
Thailand’s 137 Pillars House earned runner-up honors this year. Located in Chiang Mai, this boutique hotel has just 30 rooms, and is set in the quiet Wat Gate area of the city amid perfectly manicured grounds. “From the minute you walk in, you feel like you are in an oasis,” said one reader.
Four Seasons had two Thai hotels on this year’s list. Readers love the brand’s Koh Samui property, comprising 70 villas overlooking the white-sand beach of Laem Yai peninsula. And in the Golden Triangle, near the border with Myanmar and Laos, their Tented Camp compound is known for its elephant program, where guests can interact with a group of rescued pachyderms in their natural habitat.
In India, our readers raved about the wildlife experience at the Oberoi Vanyavilas, where guests sleep in safari-style tented accommodations near the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. “We spied monkeys and birds feeding just below us from the outpost tower,” said one reader.
Bali was well represented this year, as well. In Ubud — the island’s verdant inland area dotted with rice fields — Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan rises out of the jungle like a mirage. Readers appreciate the peaceful seclusion of its 18 acres along the Ayung River and wellness options, like yoga sessions in a stand-alone bale and guided hikes through the forest. But the No. 1 winner is set on another Indonesian island — Sumba — a place with one of the world’s best surf breaks. Read on for the full list of Asian getaways.
10. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
9. Rambagh Palace, a Taj Hotel, Jaipur, India
8. Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Thailand
7. Leela Palace, Udaipur, India
6. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
5. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Indonesia
4. Four Seasons Resort the Nam Hai (formerly the Nam Hai), Hoi An, Vietnam
3. Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore, India
2. 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai, Thailand
1. Nihi Sumba Island (formerly Nihiwatu), Indonesia
As luxurious as the villa accommodations are, it’s still the stunning landscape (including a pristine 1.5-mile beach) that draws people to Nihi Sumba Island. There’s a legendary surf break in front of the resort, and entire days can be spent in the waves before dining on fresh seafood in a private tree house. Guests are lured back for a second, even a third visit in large part because of the strong sense of community and social responsibility: over 90% of the staffers come from the local area, and the Sumba Foundation has helped to alleviate island poverty by building water wells and health clinics. “This is a property that gives back,” said one reader.