Between activities, you can indulge in treatments that utilize local ingredients such as black sugar at the subterranean Spa Alila and linger over meals at the Sugar House restaurant.
From an intimate tented camp in the green foothills of Bali to a converted 19th-century Jesuit retreat in Tamil Nadu, our editors and reviewers have roamed the Asia-Pacific region to bring together DestinAsian’s annual collection of the year’s top hotel openings. Read on to discover which new properties stood out from the rest in terms of service, setting, amenities, and a singular sense of style.
Set among the towering peaks, deep river-etched valleys, and lush bamboo-swathed glens that have inspired Chinese poets and artists for centuries, Alila Yangshuo in Guilin is housed within a former Mao-era sugar mill above a bend in the Li River. The original 1960s buildings have been spruced up by Beijing-based Vector Architects to include a series of lofty public spaces and heritage suites, while the rest of the rooms unravel across an understated new structure that slots seamlessly into its surroundings.
On misty days, the view of the pool from the mod-industrial 1969 Bar (which distils its own rum) is especially evocative, though more adventurous guests will thrill to the prospect of guided hikes and rock climbing in Yangshuo’s karst mountainscape. Between activities, you can indulge in treatments that utilize local ingredients such as black sugar at the subterranean Spa Alila, and linger over meals at the Sugar House restaurant, where chef Philip Zhu sends out crowd-pleasing Chinese plates from the deliciously spicy mapo fish to local favorites such as Guilin noodle soup topped with pickled vegetables, crispy pork, and beef.
86-773/888-3999; alilahotels.com; doubles from US$200