Dreaming of a pampering island escape? Want nothing less than the best on the beach? There is no shortage of luxury resorts in Asia, whether you’re headed to the southern islands of Thailand or to the tropical shores of Japan.
With a wide range of options that include eco-friendly resorts, Italian designer brands and ultra-remote island bungalows, the region has something for every traveler.
The below is just a glimpse of the most luxurious beach resorts in Asia — take a look and get inspired for your next upscale adventure.
Soneva Kiri Koh Kood, Thailand
What could be more exclusive than an eco-resort on a private beach on one of Thailand’s most pristine islands? Soneva Kiri has been wowing travelers – including Gwyneth Paltrow and other such VIPs — since 2009 and is still the resort to beat when it comes to eco-friendly luxury in Thailand. Its one- to six-bedroom rambling villas are dotted throughout lush forest overlooking a crystalline bay, each equipped with its own private pool, expansive deck and tropical gardens. The style is rustic-chic with reclaimed timbers and other natural materials, though the service — including a dedicated‘ boy/girl friday’ — couldn’t be more polished. Even if you don’t stay at Soneva Kiri, a beach holiday in Koh Kood is still replete with life’s purest luxuries.
Borneo Gaya Island, Borneo
If being surrounded by rare and exotic wildlife sounds like luxury to you, this island resort off the coast of Malaysian Borneo won’t disappoint. With a marine conservation center and wildlife center, the resort lets you get up close and personal with Borneo’s fascinating creatures, including rhinoceros hornbills (Malaysia’s national bird), hawksbill turtles, proboscis monkeys, native boobook owls, bearded pigs and a host more creatures, great and small. Nature trails crisscross the island and you can snorkel and dive the reefs in the protected marine park. There are also cultural activities for enlightenment of traditional indigenous ways of life. Choose a room over the water, or stay amidst the treetops immersed in the sounds of nature.
Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
Long, white-sand coastline, sky-blue waters, kaleidoscopic reefs — Con Dao is as idyllic as islands get. Pair this sparkling environment with sustainably minded luxury accommodation and you’ve got a match made in beachy heaven. Con Dao, whilst easily accessible, is less of a tourist destination than Phu Quoc, so you can enjoy a more off-the-beaten-track experience. Six Senses, known for its earthy vibe and commitment to eco-friendly practices, provides a pampering platform from which you can explore Con Dao’s jungles, beaches and intriguing history as an ex-prison island. Relax in your spacious beachfront villa, enjoy holistic spa and wellness therapies and savor vibrant flavors with the resort’s fresh, local and organic approach to dining.
Alila Koh Russey, Cambodia
Sleek and stylish villas nestled in one of Asia’s most secluded tropical beaches, Alila Koh Russey offers luxury in an untouched natural wonderland. Built responsibly within the coastal environment of tranquil Koh Russey, its clean, geometric architecture promises a stylish ‘slow-life’ getaway totally immersed in nature. Villas are spacious and minimalist, with warming timber features and weave in locally crafted decor. The main experiences here are relaxing, swimming, eating and more relaxing, slowing down to enjoy simple, unstructured time. Koh Russey — also known as Bamboo Island — is located 4.5 kilometres off the coast of Sihanoukville.
Misool Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Raja Ampat is still comparatively unknown on the luxury destination circuit, though likely not for long. This remote Indonesian archipelago is characterised by strings of coral-ringed islands in uncharted tropical waters. Misool Raja Ampat delivers absolute remoteness as 165 kilometres from the nearest port — just a collection of 18 villas in an endless tropical seascape. Villas are spacious, rustic abodes made from reclaimed timber and natural materials, with wide outdoor decks. Diving and snorkelling are major focuses here in the Coral Triangle, though you can also visit a traditional Papuan village, release baby turtles (subject to turtle availability) or cruise over to the dramatic karst cliffs of nearby Wayil Batan islands.
Ritz-Carlton Okinawa, Japan
A name synonymous with luxury, Ritz-Carlton recently brought its rich hospitality traditions to the sunny shores of Okinawa. Picture Okinawan-inspired afternoon teas in an airy lobby lounge, rooms featuring Ryukyu design and wagyu beef served teppanyaki-style. The resort’s location amidst golf course greens and within close range of idyllic beaches promises a classic seaside holiday, with history not far away in the form of Okinawa’s nine different UNESCO-listed sites. Hit the beaches, have a round of golf, delve into Ryukyu culture and enjoy pampering wellness in a Zen-like spa environment.
Layan Residences by Anantara, Thailand
Far-reaching Phuket coastal views, an expansive private villa, a live-in butler — if this isn’t luxury, then what is? With only 15 uniquely designed pool villas positioned up and down the mountainside overlooking Andaman Seas, Layan Residences by Anantara is just made for travelers who value privacy as much as pampering. Perfect for families and groups, residences give you the choice of two to seven bedrooms, starting from 1,100 square meters. Managed by Anantara, a luxury hotel brand with Thai roots, Layan Residences promises authentic cultural touches such as Thai cuisine, Ayurvedic wellness, Thai cooking classes and heartfelt local hospitality.
Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
A luxury eco-resort spread across two small islands in the Koh Rong Archipelago, Song Saa is perhaps Cambodia’s most famous luxury resort. The vision of a dedicated husband-and-wife team, the resort has a warmth and individuality that’s hard to find in a chain-branded property. Hand-selected decor, reclaimed wood and natural materials create a sense of rustic eclecticism in its villas, which come in a choice of studio, one bedroom and two bedrooms. Slow-life activities are the focal point here: organic dining, island safaris, yoga, kayaking and meditation. For guests interested in learning more about the couple’s humanitarian initiatives there are visits to the local community on Koh Rong and snorkelling tours of the local reefs, which they’ve spent years rehabilitating and protecting.
Four Seasons The Nam Hai, Vietnam
Located on the shores of Hoi An, The Nam Hai naturally evokes all the refinement and plushness of its Four Seasons endorsement. Dotted throughout perfectly manicured, palm-studded gardens, the resort’s spacious villas are designed after authentic Central Vietnamese nha vuon or garden homes. Pitched roofs, dark timber details and a raised sleeping platform add a touch of local authenticity while spa treatment villas sit on the edge of a picturesque lagoon. A shuttle to Hoi An makes it easy to explore the UNESCO-listed old town, though it might be hard to drag yourself away from the three-tiered beachfront infinity pool.
Bulgari Hotels and Resorts, Bali
Italian style meets tropical island — and the results are spectacularly luxurious. Positioned on top of a cliff, 150 meters above the waves crashing below, Bulgari Resort Bali features 59 private seaview villas that blend Balinese architectural styles with rich materials such as mahogany and volcanic stone. There are also larger mansions, if you’re in need of more space. Design here is for effect, with bespoke hand-crafted traditional and contemporary elements throughout the property, including an intricately carved joglo house that was imported from Central Java. If it’s a little touch of Italy you’re craving, don’t miss The Aperitivo every sunset, featuring Negronis, Americanos, Aperol spritz and Campari sodas on the cliff overlooking the horizon.
Ready for your luxury beach vacation? Contact our Travel Specialists and start planning your dream holiday.