Three Great City Escapes
Thursday, 6 Jan 2011
In need of a seductive city break with your significant other? Boutique hotel expert Mr & Mrs Smith shares three in-the-know ideas for inspiring urban getaways in Asia…
There are a handful of happening boutique hotels in Singapore, but we’re loving latest launch The Fullerton Bay Hotel for its magical Marina Bay waterfront perch. It’s super-centrally set in the city’s business and cultural district, but you’ll feel a world away relaxing by the pool at the seventh-floor rooftop Lantern bar, soaking up Singapore’s striking skyline. Order a signature Red Lantern cocktail, a lip-smacking blend of tequila, watermelon, cucumber, cointreau and lime, a homage to the area’s heritage when red lanterns hung on the pier to welcome immigrants and seafarers.
Luxurious chic rules here, with head-turning public areas by design talent Andre Fu and 98 rooms, including themed suites that doff their cap to the Lion City’s pan-Asian roots. Dine at the mellow Landing Point lounge bar or more formal French brasserie Clifford’s, then retire rooftop.
Finding the perfect boutique hotel in Bangkok can be tricky. The stylometer drops to cool as soon you enter the cast-iron door of tucked-away treat Tenface, Bangkok, Thailand near Lumphini Park, haunt of choice for a fashion-savvy crowd of international globetrotters. On arrival you’ll be handed a magic box that contains all you need for your urban minibreak, including herbal toiletries, Skytrain pass, sim card and a complimentary iPod nano loaded with video podcasts by sussed locals who share their tips on the best spots to eat, drink, shop and explore.
Taking its name from the 10-faced, all-seeing giant Tosakan, from the epic Ramakien story, this street-chic urban sanctuary offers 79 spacious suites, including one penthouse. Interiors are sleekly contemporary, with graffiti-style wall graphics and vibrant colour palettes upping the hip factor. On the ground-floor there’s a DJ booth in the sultry Sita bar, tempting food at arty Wanara eatery and a lap pool for lounging. Bangkok bliss.
You don’t have to be minted to stay in a stylish boutique hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam’s enchanting northern capital. For budget boutique right in the heart of the bustling Old Quarter, check out Maison d’Hanoi Hanova Hotel. Decorated in vibrant colours with over-scaled silk bedheads, contemporary art, lanterns and parquet floors, its 55 rooms are a graphic modern spin on Vietnamese design. At the lower end of the price scale, most Classic Standard rooms don’t have a window, so we suggest opting for at least a Deluxe.
The rooftop Royal Spa is a nice touch, with three treatment areas separated by screens, plus a Jacuzzi and sauna, and there’s a restaurant and bar here too. With some of Hanoi’s most street-credible dining and watering holes nearby though, you’d be mad not to venture out. Explore trendy Nha Tho strip, then work off the excess with a stroll around heavenly Hoan Kiem Lake.
To book any of the chic city boltholes above visit Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotel collection (www.mrandmrssmith.com) or call the expert Travel Team on 800 321 1098.