The hippest hotels in Asia


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The hippest hotels in Asia

Your holiday accommodation can be as unique and awe-inspiring as your destination. Whether you prefer extreme comfort or extreme eccentricity, Asia has much to offer with a wide array of hotel options for diverse tastes. Check out 5 of the hippest hotels in Asia that are making a big splash on the world scene.

The Benesse Art Site Web site has information on staying at Benesse House and visiting the surrounding islands.

1. Benesse House, Japan

Benesse House on Naoshima situated in the Seto Inland Sea is one of many artistic architectural sites under Benesse Holdings, Inc. and the Fukutake Foundationi. This house is extraordinary because of its half-museum, half-hotel status based on a concept of 'coexistence among nature, architecture and art'i. In Benesse House, not only can you find a museum full of art, but you can also find hotel rooms complete with both panoramic views of the surrounding sea and artworks from the museum's collection. If this isn't enough, Benesse House is surrounded by installation pieces along the seashore and in the forest nearby. This museum-hotel also features a world class spa facility and restauranti.

2. Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore

The Wanderlust Hotel is an imaginative playground disguised as a contemporary hotel in the Little India area of Singapore. It has an eclectic range of rooms, each fitted with an iPod dock, Nespresso machine and complimentary soft drinksii. Each level has differently themed rooms such as "Pantone," "Mono" and "Whimsical". The cheapest rooms, "Pantone" are themed with a single bright colour. They feature double beds with neon signs of a song title associated with the colour, hanging above the bed. "Orange crush", "yellow submarine" and "purple haze" are just some of the neon titles you could be lying under. The second level, "Mono", is a fusion of origami and pop art, with a monochromatic scheme. The final level, "Whimsical", includes themes such as outer space, tree-house and typewriter. These are loft rooms with bathtubs and seating areas, thematically adorned with felt trees, rockets and typewriter keys hanging from the ceilingiii.

3. Xiang Xiang Xiang Prayhouse Hotel, China

Efficient and innovative, the rooms of the Xiang Xiang Xiang Prayhouse Hotel are comprised of 21 individual shipping containers, which are dotted along a hillside in Changzhi Chinaiv, southwest of Beijing. Each room is fitted with a mix of traditional Chinese decor and modern furniture and fittings, including windows on the walls and roof of the container. The shipping container-styled hotel was inspired by the usage of shipping containers as makeshift accommodation for those affected in the Japanese earthquakeiv. According to the architects, the Tonghe Shanzhi Landscape Design Company, this hotel is cost-effective and environmentally friendly: the metal containers are recycled, resulting in the production of only 30% of normal construction wasteiv.

4. 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia

The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge offers an escape into a peaceful wilderness. It features 12 'tents' floating on the Tatai River near the Cardamom Mountainsv. Each tent is your own personal retreat, equipped with double or twin beds, flat-screen television, Wi-Fi, and ample room to relaxvi. From your tent you can gaze upon the river or walk down to the restaurant where you'll be served a range of Western to local cuisines.

During the day you can kayak through mangroves, discover the local wildlife, immerse yourself in the waterfalls nearby, have a hydro massage, go fishing with locals and much more. This indulgent hotel has been built out of eco-friendly materials, making limited use of forest timber and instead using modern, composite materials. The resort has also been fitted with a modern wastewater treatment system and only employs members of the local communityvi.

Casa de la Flora in Thailand is an eco-friendly retreat, complete with beachfront views.

5. Casa De La Flora, Thailand

Located in Khao Lak, Casa De La Flora is a synthesis of urban design and natural ambience. The resort's 36 villas share the shoreline of the Andaman Sea and are close to Khao Lak National Parkvii. The modern architecture of this resort comes complete with glass-fronted walls, private pools, a library and entertainment systems in the rooms - these are just some of the facilities to help you escape from the hustle and bustle of daily lifevii. The hotel also takes into consideration the environment with its ozone (low-chemical) purification system for the swimming pools, as well as a wastewater and rainwater recycling systemviii.

Just like the five hotels above, hip hotels all around the world can help you get away from the everyday. When you're booking your stay, it's important to consider taking out travel insurance. Comprehensive International Travel Insurance not only covers emergency medical assistance overseas, it also provides cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits for pre-paid travel arrangements due to unforeseen circumstances neither expected nor intended by you or which are outside your control.


i Benesse Art Site Naoshima, About Benesse House, http://www.benesse-artsite.jp/en/benessehouse/facility.html

ii i-escape, Wanderlust, http://www.i-escape.com/wanderlust/overview

iii Wanderlust Hotel, Technical Manual: Photovoltaic systems, http://wanderlusthotel.com/rooms/

iv Zhang, R., 2012, Thinking inside the box: China’s shipping container hotel, CNN Travel, http://travel.cnn.com/shanghai/life/china-shipping-container-hotel-978382

v i-escape, 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, http://www.i-escape.com/4-rivers-floating-lodge/overview

vi 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Rooms, http://www.ecolodges.asia/en/overview/the-tents.html

vii Design Hotels, Casa De La Flora, http://www.designhotels.com/casadelaflora

viii Casa De La Flora, Concept, http://www.casadelaflora.com/concept.html