Design Hotels

7 of the Coolest Design Hotels in Asia

1 June 2017

If you’re seeking one-of-a-kind concepts and incredible Insta-worthy interiors, you’re in luck – Asia has some of the best design hotels in the world, delivering ultra-stylish retreats like no other. We’ve rounded up seven of our favourite destinations across the region to tickle your aesthetic tastes.

Phum Baitang

Phum Baitang, Siem Reap

Blending traditional Khmer craftsmanship with high-end contemporary facilities, Phum Baitang is a welcoming oasis of calm from which to experience Siem Reap and the nearby temples of Angkor Wat. Set within extensive tropical gardens and paddy fields, the resort’s 45 stilted villas all come with private terraces or plunge pools, and are crafted from wood to create an authentic yet luxurious experience. With excellent Cambodian and international restaurants, private dining, a “spa temple” and a spectacular communal pool to enjoy, it’s no wonder that Phum Baitang has played host to some discerning guests since its opening last year, with Angelina Jolie one of the first people to stay at the resort. If it’s good enough for A-listers…

The Slate Pool

The Slate, Phuket

This Bill Bensley-designed Thai sanctuary is the perfect combination of beach bliss and cutting edge cool. Inspired by the island’s tin mining heritage, The Slate’s glam-luxe style uniquely blends raw metals and traditional Thai décor to simply stunning effect – and that’s before we’ve even got onto the lush tropical surroundings, trio of swimming pools and serene shores of neighbouring Nai Yang Beach. Things get even more dreamy at the hotel’s award-winning Cocoon Spa, which features a spectacular wicker tree-house “Nest” suspended from an ancient banyan tree… now this really is anything but your average beach hut!

The Warehouse Singapore

The Warehouse Hotel, Singapore

Located on the banks of Robertson Quay, this historic godown was originally built in 1895, where it became a hotbed for bootleg deals, illicit distilleries and other underground activities. Now restored and reincarnated as a 37-room boutique hotel, The Warehouse’s industrial-chic design pays homage to the building’s past in all the right ways – think high ceilings, bare brick walls, exposed original beams and, the piece de resistance, an incredible custom-made light in the lobby made from wheels and pulleys. Throw in a swanky rooftop pool, kicking cocktail bar and plenty of thoughtful made-in-Singapore touches, and you’ve got pure design catnip for the Instagram generation.

The Swatch Art Peace Hotel Shanghai

The Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai

Blending old and new has become something of a design cliché – but when it looks as amazing as The Swatch Art Peace Hotel, who’s complaining? Located on the Bund (with killer skyline views as standard), this hotel boasts an impressive Victorian Renaissance façade dating back to 1906, a sweeping Jacobean oak staircase and seven coolly contemporary rooms that take inspiration from the city’s heritage in the form of birdcage beds and hand-painted silk screens. It’s also home to 18 workshops for an ever-changing rostrum of international artists-in-residence; when they depart, they leave behind a piece of art as a gift, which then goes on to be displayed in the hotel itself. 

Claska Tokyo

Claska, Tokyo

Set in the trendy Megura district, Claska is the original Tokyo design hotel. Masterminded by renowned architect Tei Shuwa and British design firm Tomato, it boasts 20 rooms kitted out in four distinct themes: traditional tatami, Japanese modern, contemporary and most intriguingly, DIY – rooms completely crafted by their designer-creators, from construction to finishing touches (including in one case, a bed made from soft toys… yes really). The creativity continues throughout the building, with floors dedicated to galleries, art spaces, studios, a design shop, rooftop terrace, and what might just be the coolest dog groomers in Tokyo. For an utterly unique combo of Japanese minimalism and high-art quirk, the Claska is still the coolest kid in town. 

GLAD Live Seoul Powerplant

GLAD Live, Seoul

Situated in the heart of Gangnam – one of Seoul’s most exclusive and fashionable neighbourhoods – “curated lifestyle hotel” GLAD Live is a sleek, chic cosmopolitan property with all the amenities a sophisticated urbanite could possibly need. From Harman Kardon speakers and funky double beanbags in the rooms to an after-hours club that specialises in EDM all-nighters, if you’re looking to get the most out of your stay in Seoul, this is the place to be. But there’s more to GLAD Live than its party reputation. The hotel’s 20th floor is home to a pop-up exhibition space managed in collaboration with Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, hosting a rotating programme of arts events and exhibitions certain to add a touch of creative inspiration to your stay. 

So Sofitel Bangkok

SO Sofitel, Bangkok

If you believe that an upcoming holiday is a great excuse for a whole new wardrobe and the best “hand luggage” is a vintage Vuitton trunk, then come check into a fashion-forward stay at one of Asia’s most buzzing destinations. Every room in the Christian Lacroix-designed SO Sofitel Bangkok draws its design inspiration from the four elements of water, wood, metal and earth, featuring dramatic or serene wall coverings, flooring and textiles, which can be booked according to personal preference. The Club Signature lounge is an atmospheric riot of colour and texture, while HISO alfresco bar features private rooftop cabanas from which to unwind and enjoy expansive views of this exhilarating city. 

Contact any of the Flight Centre experts now and book your next stay at one of these stunning properties.

Rachel Read & Kate Farr

Kate Farr and Rachel Read are freelance writers, editors and bloggers based in Hong Kong. In addition to writing for the likes of Flight Centre, Hong Kong Tatler, Jetstar Asia, Home Journal and Expat Living, the pair also founded their own lifestyle blogs; Kate writes about parenting and travel at Accidental Tai Tai, whilst Rachel blogs about beauty and food at Through The Looking Glass. Follow their adventures on Instagram (@accidental_tt and @rachttlg).