The secret is out; hotel restaurants are the new black, and Southeast Asia is no exception. In a region known for its cuisine and wide range of lodging options, finding swanky accommodations and great food in the same spot means hitting the vacation jackpot. Here are five hotels deserving of a check-in and a meal.
① COMO Metropolitan Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand)
Tucked away from the buzz of Bangkok traffic, the COMO Bangkok is a welcome respite from the fast-paced city around it. The sleek, modern design of the hotel works its way into the rooms, which feature rain showers, Egyptian cotton sheets and daily fresh fruit. And with regular appearances on the World’s 50 Best List, the hotel’s restaurant, nahm, is no slouch either. The sleek ground-floor spot, helmed by David Thompson, offers some of the finest Thai food in the world; standouts include a panang curry of Wagyu beef and kingfish salad with pomelo, lemongrass and lime.
② Shinta Mani Club (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
With lotus flowers dotting the grounds and a shaded pool, this gracious 39-room boutique hotel offers some of the best hospitality around. Kroya, the restaurant, is similarly top-notch, with modern Khmer dishes like scallop amok and beef skewers marinated in lemongrass, palm sugar and peanuts. On the outdoor terrace, hanging tables suspended just above the floor are appointed with bed-like seats and lots of comfy pillows—not a bad place to kick back and dig into korko, a classic Cambodian vegetable soup.
③ Villa Maly (Luang Prabang, Laos)
Once the private residence to Lao royalty, the 33-room Villa Malay, tucked on a quaint side street that’s walking distance from the main drag, consists of five low-rise buildings bordering a beautiful pool and wood patio. Take a spin on one of the property’s bicycles for a ride around town before heading back to the villa for a traditional sindad, or Lao BBQ. Set poolside, the experience is delightfully hands on: Servers come around with cuts of marinated meat and fish for you to cook yourself in the hot pot simmering right at your table.
④ Sofitel Legend Metropole (Hanoi, Vietnam)
The guest book of the Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi’s most upscale hotel, is a venerable who’s who of celebrities, writers and world leaders: Charlie Chaplin (who honeymooned here), Bill Clinton, Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Fidel Castro and many others have all rested their heads on the feather-and-down pillows. Standouts among the three restaurants and three bars are Spices Garden, offering authentic Vietnamese fare such as phở bò (beef pho), and restaurant Le Beaulieu, which has been serving fine French fare for more than a century and has seen its fair share of ultra-famous faces.
⑤ One Eleven Bali (Bali, Indonesia)
You’ll be hard-pressed to run into another guest at One Eleven Bali, a nine-villa resort in Bali’s Seminyak region. So if seclusion is what you seek, you’ve come to the right place. Sure, the private, mosaic-tiled pool and private spa gazebo are amazing. But what’s most impressive about each 3,700-square-foot villa is its outdoor living room and fully equipped kitchen, where you can have dishes like mie goreng, a fried noodle dish, all prepared by the attentive staff. And if all that peace and quiet ever gets to be too much—hard to imagine, we know—simply drag yourself out to the land of the living for a meal at Shiro, the property’s sushi and sake bar, and feast on delicious cuts of toro and uni.
Pack your passport—and an appetite—as we hit the world's hottest culinary destinations on and off the grid all month long. Now Boarding: your next trip to paradise.
Elissa Goldman is the founder of NinthFlr, a communications consultancy. Tag along with her food and travel adventures on Instagram at @ninthflr.
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