8 boutique experiences in Asia

Traveling to Asia and looking for an alternative to the luxury chain hotels? There are many advantages to staying at smaller resorts in that you can have a more tailor-made experience that is harder to find when staying at a hotel that has over a hundred check-ins daily. Here is a collection of properties that belong to a bespoke brand called Secret Retreats and offer a more intimate experience of boutique residences, boats and camps that range between two – five bedrooms.

Kalinaw in Siargao, Philippines – 5 rooms

Located on the island of Siargao, known as the ‘Jewel of the Philippines’ and popular for its Cloud 9 wave. Each villa has a thirty sqm terrace facing the beach offering views of the lagoon and a traditional vessel to explore nearby uninhabited islands. Take an hour drive from the resort where you will pass though coconut plantations, rice fields and lush forest before arriving at a natural rock pool Magpupungko which has amazing crystal clear water and magnificent rock formations.

Anopura in Jaipur, India – 2 rooms

Featuring two luxurious bedroom suites and one tent, Anopura certainly warrants its title as the smallest luxury hotel in the world. Its natural thatched roofs and traditional Indian day-beds invite you to lie back and take in the majestic views of the surrounding hills of the Aravali.

Sukoon in Kashmir, India – 5 rooms

Meaning ‘Divine peace’ in Kashmiri, this luxurious boat is moored on Dal Lake in Kashmir and offers five spacious bedrooms that invites you to cruise in style as you discover the natural world of the Zabarwan mountain range situated at the foothills of the Himalayas.

Supanniga in Isan, Thailand – 4 rooms

Located in northeastern Thailand, sip a cup of Pu-erh tea as you listen to the gentle ringing of chime bells and birdsong. A stay at Supanniga Home provides travelers with an initiation of the local traditions and customs.

Jeeva Beloam in South Lombok, Indonesia – 5 rooms

A Beach Camp located in a secluded cove surrounded by pristine sandy beaches amidst fifty-five hectares of unspoiled nature. Each beruga has a spacious covered terrace with large daybeds and a sitting area overseeing the sea recreating a tranquil and serene ‘Robinson Crusoe’ experience.

Rak Ko Jae in Hahoe, Korea – 4 rooms

Located in central South Korea, this Unesco Heritage site embodies yesteryear’s traditions and is a place where you can rest your soul. Encircled by mountains and skirted by a meandering river, RakKoJae is a sanctuary of peace and serenity.

Si Datu Bua, Indonesia – 3 cabins

A luxurious three-cabin boat and a modern incarnation of the traditional Indonesian ‘Phinisi’ sailing boat that once carried cinnamon, cloves and ironwood.

3+1 Bedrooms in Beijing, China – 4 rooms

Situated in a traditional Hutong area of Beijing, this intimate property features white minimalist interiors, an inner courtyard displaying yearlong vegetation and a rooftop terrace with views overlooking daily traditional Beijing life.

Cristy Elmendorp is Managing Director of Soma Journeys.

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