Nick Walton's Welcome To Asia, February 2017

by Nick Walton
Nick Walton's Welcome To Asia, February 2017

Photo: Kokomo Island Resort


Located at the heart of Shanghai’s vibrant and beautifully preserved Xuhui historic district, and housed in the former Jian Ye Le estate, one of the last remaining historic shikumen communes, Capella Shanghai Jian Ye Li, will open next month, blending traditional Shanghainese and Western design influences. With 55 villas wreathing traditional Chinese courtyards, the new urban resort will be steps from some of the city’s leading shopping and entertainment precincts. Look out for the property’s own retail village and a French brasserie by acclaimed French chef Pierre Gagnaire.

The newly opened Hoshinoya Bali brings touches of Japan and new levels of luxury to one of Asia’s favorite playgrounds. Located at the spiritual heart of the island, Ubud, Hoshinoya is a rainforest retreat with a strong focus on traditional Balinese culture and traditions. With just 30 villas lining the sacred, Unesco-recognized Pekerisan River and its network of canals, this intimate retreat is built around three dramatic swimming pools, with each villa offering private access to the canal-styled pool that rings the resort, as well as a string of private dining salas and water-side cocktail lounges.

If you’re looking for the newest luxury island retreat, you won’t be able to go past Fiji’s new Kokomo Island, 140-acres of paradise encircled by the famed Great Astrolabe Reef, a 45 minute seaplane flight from Nadi. Set to open next month, the lavish new resort boasts 28 luxurious pool retreats, including four uber hilltop residences. Each one, two, or three-bedroom haven features a residential design persona, a private lounge and bar, expansive sun decks, and a private infinity pool. You’ll find it hard to drag yourself from your suite, but if you do, make for the Beach Shack, home to Fijian-inspired culinary delights, or the comprehensive Dive Centre, which offers deep sea fishing, surfing and some of the best diving in Fiji. 

Nestled in the heart of the ancient capital of Laos, The President by AKARYN opens this month between the houses of Parliament and Presidential Palace, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Originally built as a diplomatic gift to the country from neighboring China, the former mansion-turned-boutique hotel blends elements of traditional Laotian architecture with hints of the country’s colonial past. The perfect place from which to explore Vientiane, the hotel boasts a butler-in-residence, palatial dining rooms, and its own English-inspired garden maze, and will reset the benchmark for dining in the capital with its multiple restaurants and bars, including intimate French bistro Le Café Du Hor Kham; and The Diplomat, a marble-lined brasserie. 

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