The Best Resort Hotels in Asia in 2016

Nihiwatu Sumba Indonesia
Photo: Courtesy of Nihiwatu

Asia’s hotels have a long-standing reputation for sophisticated service—for paying such close attention to details and cues that guest requests are fulfilled before they’re even made. The resorts that Travel + Leisure readers named the best in the region this year certainly impress on that front. Past guests of the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, India, noted how the chefs happily shared secret recipes. About the St. Regis Bali Resort, one survey-taker wrote, “none can beat its bespoke service, and its location is like heaven on earth.” When it came to the Oberoi Udaivilas, also in Udaipur, a voter raved about the hospitality: “Each staff member knows how to personalize the service and makes you feel as if you are no less than royalty.” 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. In the hotels category, readers rated properties on their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Hotels were categorized as resort properties based on their locations. This year’s winner, Nihiwatu on Sumba Island in Indonesia, landed top marks in every category. While the service at Nihiwatu was well-praised, its secluded location, rustic-luxe villas, and delicious, locally sourced food were what made the property rise above the rest. At the end of the day, voters found it easiest to sum up the property—where rates include meals, laundry service, and daily yoga—as “simply the best resort in the world.”

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No. 10: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India

Taj Lake Palace Udaipur India
Courtesy of Taj Lake Palace

Score: 94.56

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No. 9: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Chiang Rai Thailand
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts

Score: 95.17

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No. 8: Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai Thailand
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts Chiang Mai

Score: 95.33

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No. 7: The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, India

The Oberoi Rajvilas Jaipur India
Michelle Chaplow

Score: 95.45

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No. 6: The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam

The Nam Hai Hoi An Vietnam
Courtesy of The Nam Hai

Score: 95.63

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No. 5: 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai, Thailand

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Thailand
Courtesy of 137 Pillars House

Score: 96

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No. 4: The St. Regis Bali Resort, Nusa Dua, Indonesia

The St Regis Bali Resort
Courtesy of The St. Regis Bali Resort

Score: 96.22

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No. 3: The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore, India

The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambhore India
Courtesy of The Oberoi Vanyavilas

Score: 96.63

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No. 2: The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India

The Oberoi Udaivilas Udaipur India
Courtesy of The Oberoi Udaivilas

Score: 96.76

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No. 1: Nihiwatu, Sumba, Indonesia

Nihiwatu Sumba Indonesia
Courtesy of Nihiwatu

Score: 98.35

Nihiwatu is a resort like no other, a 567-acre surf retreat on an obscure Indonesian island, which has managed to achieve global recognition. Recently redesigned and renovated, the property offers mediation lessons, a private surf break, and a "spa safari" with unlimited treatments (perhaps a fitting reward to the 90-minute hike required to reach the spa). But the best thing about Nihiwatu may be its commitment to protecting the island: 90 percent of the staff are locals, 502 of those acres will remain untouched, and the resort encourages guests to volunteer with its affiliated Sumba Foundation.

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