Planning a holiday in Asia? We bring you the best boutique hotels, luxury villas and romantic hotels in Asia
With lobbies like these, who needs a room? The entrances of these romantic hotels in Asia make the wait so enjoyable, we don’t mind hanging out a bit longer to get pictures of every unique detail. The boutique hotel scene right across Asia has thrown up some audacious design feats and you’ll love snapping every single facet right from the get-go. Once you step inside you’ll encounter the cool, creative and kitschy side of hotel design from vivid pop art murals to lavish Art Deco style.
Once you’ve got those all-important first snaps, it’s time to soak up the pure romance of these boutique boltholes. Not only do they boast a grand first impression but you’ll enjoy enticing moments fit for loved up honeymooners. Cinematic skylines from gorgeous rooftop bars, picture perfect four poster beds, wining, dining and decadent spa treatments all add up to a real romantic treat. Surprise your significant other with these sultry Asian abodes. Ready to spice up your relationship and your social feed? Here are eight romantic hotels in Asia with stunning lobbies that know just how to make an awesome first impression.
1. J Plus by Yoo, Hong Kong
A true boutique hotel that effortlessly crosses boundaries, J Plus by Yoo’s creative buzz is not only found indoors. Take a peak around the exterior façade at the monumental renaissance style graffiti mural. The studios and suites at J Plus by Yoo, Hong Kong are a little more restrained. Still, you get to crash in a pop art style wonderland with a hint of sleek minimalism. Your cool urban romantic retreat comes in a choice of different pastel tones – dreamy pink, orange, yellow or flirtatious marine blue. It’s flawlessly hip, but exudes an unmistakable romantic aura too.
2. The Henry Hotel, Cebu
This Cebu city hotel wins likes with its unapologetic hipster design. A stay here is like living inside a painting. But not just on a single canvas – more like a whole gallery full! Part industrial chic, pop art and a touch of Art Deco elegance, there is so much to like about The Henry Hotel. It celebrates the joy of travel. Point your lens at piles of vintage luggage, the eye-catching statues strewn around the lobby area and the colourful wall art. Despite the sheer eclectic nature of the lobby, it is all arranged precisely, with each weird and wonderful contrast proving hospitality design can be great fun.
If you think that first wide eyed impression of the lobby cannot be matched in the guestrooms, think again. Each room is unique, with vivid pop art murals meticulously painted on exposed brickwork while the checker board bathroom tiling sets a deliciously retro tone. Some of the larger rooms are a little less exuberant making great use of subtle lighting and colour and have a dreamy romantic feel.
3. Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore
This out-of-the-ordinary abode experiments and excels with ‘Industrial Glam’ as a design theme. You get all the cutting-edge style you could wish for, packaged into a delicious melting pot of artistic whimsy. This unconventional lobby breaks all the rules, and in fact doesn’t really resemble a hotel lobby at all. If you mashed up a huge Manhattan loft apartment with a zany staffroom at Google HQ, this is the result. It features barbershop chairs, slinky leather sofas and table football, quirky mosaics and retro billboards strewn around the sunlit reception area.
Located on the vibrant streets of Little India, this is a hotel of many faces. It has taken the unusual step of giving over one of its four floors to a different design firm, creating an eclectic playground of contrasting styles, yet has a slinky quality that couples will love. What you get as a result is everything from capsule-like rooms with neon-lit bling to wild themed suites that resemble space ships and tree houses.
4. Kosenda Hotel, Jakarta
This inspiring lobby at Kosenda Hotel is not particularly expansive but is still a thing of beauty. Another prime example of proving the best things come in small packages. It is the brainchild of owner Ruben Kosenda, who has utilised funky mid-century modern furnishings from his own art and design collection. In fact the lobby is a whimsical homage to not only contemporary Javanese design but a touch of sleek Scandinavia style too.
It lures you to sit and soak it all up with large floor to ceiling glass, chrome, steel and dramatic lighting. Despite the many interesting Instagrammable features it is certainly one of the cosiest lounges in the Indonesian capital. Such a contrast to the incessant noise and mayhem of Jakarta’s mean streets.
On arrival you’ll immediately notice this hotels does things its own inimitable way. The unique modern façade, complete with dramatic shards of glass between the concrete cladding, is itself a highly visual treat worthy of your Instragrm feed. Don’t miss a wild night on the tiles (actually on the funky rooftop terrace). Awan Lounge lures the city’s slick young style icons amid lush tropical foliage and fanciful murals.
5. Shanghai Mansion, Bangkok
Step inside Shanghai Mansion and enter a timeless wonderland of 1930s romance meets Shanghai-chic. Located slap bang in Bangkok’s historic Chinatown, it oozes a sense of place but also harks back to a golden era of unadulterated glam. Between the water lily gardens, bird cage lanterns and jewel-tone fabrics you can’t run out of picture-worthy frames. The public areas are filled with plush, velvety seating and graceful Art Deco patterns amid painted pottery and Chinese objets d’art everywhere. For lovers of romantic hotels in Asia, Shanghai Mansion pushes all the right buttons.
The rooms evoke more of the same silky Shanghai style with ruby red walls lit with jewel coloured lanterns and eye-catching four-poster beds. This boudoir-style kitsch is just the thing for a one-of-a-kind couples getaway in Asia. Completing the mood is the open air Jazz Lounge where the hedonistic spirit of old Shanghai lives on. Shanghai Mansion is astoundingly good value too. Cheap and best honeymoon destinations in Asia don’t come any more eye-catching.
6. The Alcove Library Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City
There are many fine French inspired boutique hotel choices in Saigon, but few can match the cultured quietude that exudes at the Alcove Library Hotel. As the name suggests, it’s a bookworm’s dream. The airy lobby is also an Instagrammer’s dream; a soaring shelf of paperbacks, artful black and white street photography hang on the walls, and there are super-cushy armchairs we’re just dying to sink into.
It is well off the well-trodden tourist path so you get a glorious escape from the hustle and bustle. Inside and out, there is a multitude of nooks and crannies plus a smart rooftop terrace and courtyard, to kick back with a good book (there are more than 2.000 so simply take your pick). Away from the delightful lobby and period façade, the 38 guestrooms are a little more contemporary in style but offer a whiff of elegant glamour, and are cosy and inviting.
You may never want to leave. The Roadhouse Saigon restaurant deserves a mention for a sumptuous Vietnamese or western breakfast of sweet and savoury delights and an evening menu of classic Americana bites includes gourmet burgers and steaks.
7. Hotel Icon, Hong Kong
This lobby takes green ambition to new heights, with a you-can’t-miss-it vertical garden that sweeps, curls and curves over the reception desk and into the all-day dining venue above. That’s what we call a grand first impression. The lobby is big and bright and bathed in sunlight, making use of the tall glass walls. In addition to the show-stopping vertical garden, the sweeping spiral staircase is a sight to behold too. If you crave contemporary flair with a touch of X factor design, this is your new icon in Hong Kong.
For a romantic big city getaway, it beats most other adult-only resorts in Asia, boasting views of Victoria Harbour and a sleek open air rooftop pool to lap it all up. It’s just the place for a Christmastime escape for two, soaking up Hong Kong’s energetic vibe and the skyline’s festive lights. The setting makes for one of the most glorious honeymoon destinations in Asia in December. Want to really set the scene to spark the passion?
Book the Vivienne Tam Suite, which was personally designed by the celeb fashion designer. It typically oozes glamour and unconventional style with awesome wrap-around skyline views through picture windows. The ‘ruby red lips’ sofa is a nice, frisky touch too.
8. Song Saa Private Island
It’s not all about urban indulgence when it comes to romance. Song Saa aptly translates to ‘sweethearts’ and Cambodia’s untouched Koh Rong Archipelago is just the place to spark some passion. The rich wood tones of the lobby perfectly characterises tropical island living with lush daybeds to canoodle on after the short speedboat ride from the mainland. Set over two jungle clad specks of paradise, this is a sanctuary to really indulge, be it a quant cottage amid the rainforest canopy or a splurge-worthy over-water villa.
It has serious eco credentials to support the A-list amenities and can match the best of the Maldives or Bali for a castaway luxury wow factor. Nothing says romance like a private island. You have a near limitless supply of photogenic moments on blindingly white sand beaches or slinking around your own private pool, and all the snorkelling on pristine reefs you can muster.
In Conclusion – Heavenly hotels without the hefty price tag
The passion will flow freely in these picture perfect hotels, where you’ll find just the place to pop the question or whisk off your special one and only for a surprise couples getaway. Asia is littered with storied period urban hotels and funky designer abodes that ooze X factor style. Just take a peek at these breath-taking lobbies, for a glimpse of what is in store in these dreamy retreats for two.
This being Asia, pampered perfection doesn’t necessarily mean parting with mountains of cash. It’s possible to go luxe for much less than you would imagine, while the romantic ambience and eye-popping style of these Instagram-worthy hotels is always a priceless pleasure.
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Ray Montgomery is a seasoned travel copywriter and journalist based for more than a dozen years in Southeast Asia. Ray’s big passions are eating, tweeting and constantly seeking the next perfect ocean sunset.