Top ten hotels in APAC according to Hotelux app co-founder Yihao Shi
By: Hill Choi Lee
May 12, 2023
New travel app to Hong Kong, Hotelux, is co-founded by Yihao Shi. He “painstakingly” and – one must assume – enjoyably visited luxury hotels to find and lock down some of the best deals for the app’s users. He tells Hill Choi Lee about his top ten favourite stays across thousands of offerings on the Hotelux app
Here are his top ten stays after more than two years of research in no particular order:
The Ritz-Carlton Nikko, Japan
Two and a half hours north of Tokyo by car or rail, this spectacular resort is situated in Nikko National Park on scenic Lake Chuzenji, within walking distance of the beautiful Kegon Falls. Travellers staying there have easy access to the shrines and temples of a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as to hiking and biking trails and the protected wetlands of Senjogahara.
It is probably one of the best onsen (hot spring) resorts that I have been to in Japan. The different seasons give you different colours. My favourite time to go is autumn to see all the beautiful red leaves.
Rosewood Hong Kong
Rosewood Hong Kong has quickly established itself as one of the most iconic hotel destinations in the city, with incredible views of the Hong Kong skyline and the amazing Victoria Harbour from your room. Asaya, Rosewood’s spa, is one of the best urban spas I have ever experienced. It is right in the heart of the city, yet when you walk in it feels like you are so far removed and in a completely different place.
Mandarin Oriental Marrakech, Morocco
The stunning Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech is set among 20 hectares of landscaped, fragrant gardens with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains providing a stunning backdrop. The villa set-up and the location are outstanding. Once you are in your villa you are in your own magnificent luxurious world. And the sunset view over the Atlas Mountains is simply the best!
Another stunning hotel in Marrakech, a destination that is truly rich in beautiful hotels, Amanjena was one of the first of the legendary Amanresorts to open outside of Asia. It’s a must-see to enjoy the magnificent colours, inspired by the traditional rose-coloured buildings of this exotic city. You should definitely try the unique local market visiting and dining experiences organised by the Aman team.
Also see: #review: A rendezvous at Desaru
Bulgari Paris, France
My home away from home in Paris. It feels extremely cosy and homely, and is right in the heart of the city, just minutes walk from all of the most iconic attractions of Paris and with all the glamour and elegance of the Bulgari brand.
Plaza Athénée Paris, France
A true classic and my other favourite Parisian hotel. They offer in my opinion one of the world’s best hotel breakfasts, by the legendary young chef Jean Imbert. He was voted Chef of the Year 2019 by GQ and one of the 50 Most Influential French People by Vanity Fair. Jean Imbert’s vision is to restore the glory of ancient French cuisine, with a new energy and vibrant soul.
Alila Uluwatu, Bali
As well as being one of the most architecturally stunning resorts in Bali, it is also one of the most sustainable. Alila Villas Uluwatu follows a dedicated environmental and social policy that cultivates eco-friendly concepts through environmentally sustainable design principles. It includes water conservation work, keeping energy consumption to a minimum and using locally sourced building materials.
The Temple House, Chengdu
A beautiful sister property to The Upper House in Hong Kong, The Temple House is hidden amongst the laneways of Taikoo Li in Chengdu and set on former temple grounds. I love the design and how there’s a huge contrast between the interiors and the outside of the hotel. You forget that you are in such a bustling city once you go through the entrance. It’s an urban sanctuary that surprises and delights around every corner.
Grand Hotel Cup Ferrat (Four Seasons), France
This is the best place to experience the legendary glamour and romance of the French Riviera, which has attracted the rich and famous for over a century. Located on an enviable perch of the most expensive land in the whole of France, it offers a unique view over the Mediterranean Sea, and has sumptuous rooms and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Nishimuraya Honken, Japan
With over 160 years of history, this is one of the most beautiful traditional Japanese ryokans in the country. It is located in one of Japan’s most famous onsen towns – Kinosaki Onsen. It’s a beautiful place to relax in stunning natural surroundings and immerse yourself in this deeply authentic traditional Japanese hospitality experience.