Asian Luxury Hotels Tips

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Expect Royal Treatment at India's Taj Hotels and Palaces

As a travel destination India is exotic, enthralling and often exasperating. It is a huge country; the world's seventh largest in size and home of over one billion people. Geographically, India is a diverse land, ranging from the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains to arid plains, dense jungles and scenic beaches. Culturally, India is equally diverse. The ancient melds with the modern. There are 22 different official languages and over 200 dialects spoken in India. And, India is a deeply spiritual country; the center of Ayurveda, the holistic science of balancing the body, mind and spirit on all levels.

When visiting a country like India, choosing the best hotel enhances a business or leisure travel experience. Since 1903, Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces have been the first choice of discerning travelers to India. With 59 properties in 42 locations across India and international locations around the globe, five-star Taj properties are as delightfully diverse as the cities they share. Taj leisure hotels, Taj business hotels and Taj palace hotels and Taj wilderness sanctuary lodges offer a unique sense of place; a serene and luxurious nirvana from chaotic cityscapes.

Here is a small sample of some of India's leading Taj hotels. Guests receive royal treatment in a royal setting at Taj Lake Palace. Rising majestically from an island in the middle of the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola, the 260 year old palace, built as a royal residence, is beautifully restored with infinite attention to detail and modern comforts.
Taj View Hotel in Agra, located in view of the magnificent Taj Mahal, is an example of a Taj Leisure Hotel. Along the beaches of India, look for luxury leisure resorts like Taj Green Cove Resort, Taj Exotica and Taj Holiday Village. Whether you choose to stay in a Taj hotel, palace or lodge, expect Taj signature luxuries such as award-winning spas, cuisine from royal kitchens across India, personal butlers/concierges, comprehensive business services and exemplary children's programs.

Taj Lake Palace, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai and Rambagh Palace in Jaipur are recognized as three of the best hotels in the world on the Condé Nast Gold List.

   

Mandarin Fans Savor Serenity and Service in Asia

The allure of Asia draws travelers from around the world. It is a continent of contrasts; of tiny, rural villages lost in time and cosmopolitan mega-cities poised for the future. Streets swirl with color and sound. Enticing aromas tempt the taste buds with exotic flavors. Cool jade and shimmering silks, trinkets and treasures fill Asian markets. Serenity synthesizes with sizzle.

When seeking a hotel in Asia, seasoned travelers typically choose a hotel that offers a sense of place. Sophisticated travelers also have high expectations for surroundings and service. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group collection of 16 five-star hotels in Asia, 13 hotels in the Americas and 8 European properties reflect the best of the cities they call home. Expectations are consistently exceeded. Mandarin Oriental guests become avid fans. Hence, the internationally recognized Mandarin Oriental fan logo symbolizes the delicate balance, elegance, image, hospitality and originality. Each Mandarin Oriental hotel creates its own exclusive fan reflecting what is unique about their location.

Rooms and suites at Mandarin Oriental hotels, such as the flagship Mandarin Oriental – Hong Kong, are spacious and elegantly appointed. An array of amenities includes touches like sumptuous bedding with high-count linens, designer bath products, fresh flowers and the latest technology and entertainment systems. Every member of Mandarin Oriental teams in Asia is poised to say “my pleasure” to personal requests and needs. Personal butlers/concierges have the connections it takes to score hard-to-get dining reservations and arrange yoga or culinary classes, handle local transportation and private tours. Mandarin Oriental spas are havens of serenity and wellness. And, dining at Mandarin Oriental restaurants is a feast for the senses.

Excellence does not go unrecognized. Mandarin Oriental Hotels and Spas consistently draw awards from leading travel publications. For example, the Condé Nast Gold List cites the Mandarin Oriental-Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental-Kuala Lumpur and The Oriental Bangkok and The Oriental Singapore among the best hotels in the world. Zagat commends the “impeccable service” and “idyllic surrounding” of Mandarin Oriental Hotels. Global Traveler recognizes Mandarin Oriental as the Best Asian Hotel Brand.

In Asia, look for Mandarin Oriental Hotels in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Chiang Mai, Jakarta, Macau, Manila, Singapore and Tokyo. Mandarin Oriental Hotels are also in development in Sanyo and Beijing (2008) in Macau (2009) and in Taipei and Guangzhou (2010).

   
What is a recommended India luxury hotel?

India Luxury Hotel

The Oberoi Amarvilas is a luxury hotel on the outskirts of the city of Agra, practically on the steps of the Taj Mahal. The lavish interiors and elaborate gardens add to the serenity of the scene. The 102 guest rooms and seven suites are huge and all have great views.

Dining: Try Esphahan/The Indian Restaurant, with accents in red sandstone and Greek Thassos marble. Cuisine is both authentic and wide in its variety. Live performances of sitar and tabla.

Spa: Thai therapists offer personalized holistic treatments based on Ayurveda, ancient Thai and Western techniques. The experience includes beauty and body treatments with exotic oils and creams used by royalty 500 ago.

Deluxe Touch: The regal Kohinoor Suite has separate living and dining rooms. There is a private study. The bedroom has a separate dressing area with walk-in closet. Even the bathroom overlooks the Taj Mahal.

Details

Taj East Gate
Agra 282 001, Uttar Pradesh, India
Tel: +91 (0) 562 2231515

   
What is a recommended Chiang Mai luxury hotel?

Chiang Mai Luxury Hotel

The Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok has spacious Lanna-style pavilions overlooking terraced rice fields and the mountains in the Mae Rim Valley, minutes from Thailand's northern capital.

Dining: Sala Mae Rim offers northern and vegetarian Thai specialties in a gorgeous room with a high teak wood ceiling and Northern Thai artifacts.

Spa: The Spa was chosen as the World's Best Spa by Conde Nast Traveller (UK) in the 2007 Reader's Award and features seven treatment suites offering total privacy for individuals or couples. Each suite offers a variety of facilities, including outdoor showers, private herbal steam rooms and outdoor soaking tubs. Two of the suites have tropical rainshower massage tables. The spa also features a lanna-style beauty salon.

Deluxe Touch: Any of the 64 elegantly appointed pavilions that will be your “room,” have a private covered veranda and luxurious northern Thai furnishings.

Details

Mae Rim-Samoeng
Old Road
Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tel.: 66 (0) 53 298-181

   
What is a recommended Bangkok luxury hotel?

Bangkok Luxury Hotel

The Sukhothai is situated on the banks of a busy river where once the village of Sukhothai sat. Just before B.E. 1700, several smaller villages were strategically incorporated into a small town. Sukhothai had the advantage of being on vital trade and commuting routes that joined a number of states via the Yom and Nan rivers. It's still a fabulous location. Rooms and suites incorporate rich Thai fabrics, teakwood furnishings, and luxurious bathrooms.

Dining: Celadon is one of Bangkok's most celebrated Thai restaurants, serving authentic Thai cuisine. A lotus-pond surrounds the restaurant and open-air terraces also provide guests with the choice of alfresco dining. Celadon was named as the 'Best Restaurant in Bangkok' by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2007.

Spa: The Sukhothai Spa provides a variety of massage and spa treatments, using natural ingredients and products.

Deluxe Touch: Order up the the Sukhothai Champagne Trolley, a selection of the world's most esteemed Champagne and sparkling brands, at any of the hotel outlets.

Details

13/3 South Sathorn Road
Bangkok 10120, Thailand

Tel: 66 (0) 2 344 8888

   
What is a recommended Tokyo luxury hotel?

Tokyo Luxury Hotels

Centrally located in Shiba Park, the Prince Park Tower Tokyo is a 33-story tower with panoramic views. The hotel is large, with 673 guest rooms and suites (397 rooms have balconies), 14 restaurants and lounges, but it sits mostly in the beautifully landscaped Shiba Park.

Dining: Try Brise Verte on the 33rd floor. It offers fine French dining with exceptional wines in an elegant setting.

Spa: Full service spa has a natural hot spring bath and massage center. The fitness center has state-of-the-art equipment. There is also an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi.

Deluxe Touch: Stay on the Executive Premium Floor. Special amenities offered include complimentary access to the Spa and Fitness center, access to the Premium Lounge on the 27th floor and welcome drink, shoe shine service and pillow selections.

Details

4-8-1 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku
Tokyo, 105-8563, Japan
TEL: 81-3-5400-1111

   
Is there an Asian luxury hotel rating system?

Asian Luxury Hotel Ratings

There really is no central organization or review body, such as AAA or Mobile Guides, based in Asia for luxury hotels. However, that doesn't mean they aren't rated from outside the countries. Luxury hotels proudly proclaim awards and stars they are given from magazines and organizations. The Hong Kong Tourism Board explains it like this: “Keen competition and the laws of supply and demand have ensured that Hong Kong's hotels maintain the highest standards. They also regularly introduce new facilities and invest in ambitious renovation programmes. This means there is no need for an official star rating system.”

In every major city in Asia, you can be sure to find a luxurious Four Seasons or a Mandarin Oriental. If you don't want to take a chance on an unheard of hotel, these always guarantee a luxurious stay in a beautiful setting, with all the amenities you have come to expect.

   
What is a recommended Hong Kong luxury hotel?

Hong Kong Luxury Hotel

On the waterfront overlooking Victoria Harbour and the financial district, the Four Seasons Hong Kong offers unrivalled links to Hong Kong Station, with the famed Star Ferry steps away. Wall-to-wall windows offer stunning views of the city, Victoria Harbour, Kowloon and the Peak. Choose a contemporary room décor with wood- and silk-panelled walls and marble-floored entry foyers or a more traditional Chinese one, that features sculpted furnishings and authentic ink paintings.

Dining: Caprice, a French restaurant, overlooks Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon peninsula. It has an open kitchen, providing an on-site show of chefs at work. Caprice also features an extensive selection of wines from the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions.

Spa: The 22,000-square-foot Spa has 16 treatment rooms, including two lavish spa suites. Each spa suite features a vitality pool for two, daybed and private bar, in addition to the private bathroom and rain shower.

Deluxe Touch: Stay in the Executive Club Lounge on the 45th floor for personalized services and access to the lounge which offers express check-in and check-out, full breakfast buffet, cocktails and evening hors d'oeuvres, all-day refreshments and much more.

Details

8 Finance Street, Central
Hong Kong, China
Tel.: 852-3196-8888

   
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Jolyn Wells-Moran