Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia

Follow Us

Asia travel and leisure guides for hotels, food and drink, shopping, nightlife, and spas | Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia

The Best of 2017

Whether they were long anticipated or a welcome surprise, 2017's best new openings take contemporary dining, boutique shopping and luxury travel to innovative new heights.

Published on Jan 10, 2018







Seoullo7017 The transformation of an old Seoul overpass into a vibrant sky-high walkway has helped connect the east of the city to the west, previously cut off by the Seoul Station railway tracks. Named Seoullo7017, the Highline-like path draws visitors not just out of convenience, but also with its 24,000 plants that line the one-kilometer strip, stylish Korean restaurants and cafés, a pocket-sized gallery, daily live music and kids' entertainment. seoullo7017.

The elevated walkway comes alive at night. Courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization.







Happy Paradise Her Chinese-style "burgers" at first restaurant, Little Bao, were a big hit, and many have been hoping for a larger restaurant for May Chow, named Asia's Best Female Chef of 2017, to really spread her creative culinary wings. The answer to those prayers is Happy Paradise, a modern Chinese bistro with spectacular takes on Cantonese classics, such as slow-cooked chicken with Shaoxing wine, and braised pomelo skin with black sesame. Don't miss the cocktails either—they're all inspired by Hong Kong flavors like soy sauce, jasmine tea and hung yen cha, an almond dessert soup.; dinner for two from HK$600.

Haku Hong Kongers are no stranger to sushi restaurants, but are less familiar with another style of Japanese fine-dining: kappo. Both cuisines feature chefs cooking in front of the customer, but kappo offers a broader range of dishes, including cooked ones. Offering this style of cuisine, Haku is a collaboration between locally acclaimed chef Agustin Balbi and Hideaki Matsuo, of three–Michelin starred Kashiwaya in Osaka. While definitely Japanese in style, Balbi's French-Japanese training comes into play in dishes like chutoro tuna and Polmard beef tartare topped with caviar.; dinner for two from HK$1,000.

Haku's tuna and beef tartare. Courtesy of Haku.

New Punjab Club Despite its significant Indian population, Hong Kong doesn't represent Indian cuisine very well, but changing that is New Punjab Club, a restaurant focused on its namesake state. The nostalgic interiors—colonial touches with distinctly Indian art—pay tribute to The Punjab Club, a social club in Lahore where co-founder Syed Asim Hussain has fond memories. Hussain has restored tandoors from his father's former restaurant, and chef Palash Mitra, once head chef at London's Michelin-starred Gymkhana, puts them to good use with dishes like juicy tandoori machili: spiced cobia with tomato chutney.; dinner for two from HK$450.

New Punjab Club
The gin trolley at New Punjab Club. Courtesy of New Punjab Club.

Employees Only Once a hidden speakeasy for those in the know, Employees Only now boasts three global outlets: the New York original, Singapore and now Hong Kong. Nestled in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong, ground zero for less-than-savory bars, getting to EO is part of the fun. It's living up to the hype of being a must-visit on the late-night circuit, and is already known for its dangerously generous pours. Thankfully, they can all be washed down with a substantial food menu—think bone marrow poppers and hot smoked salmon.; drinks for two from HK$300.

The Old Man Ernest Hemingway is known for his fondness for the bottle, but at The Old Man, a diminutive basement bar in SoHo, you won't find any mojitos, his alleged favorite drink. The bar's owners, including mixologist Agung Prabowo, who has managed the bars at two of Hong Kong's top hotels, say Hemingway didn't like drinks with sugar. Instead, Prabowo serves the classic sugar-free Hemingway daiquiri, as well as cocktails based on Hemingway's writings. The love letters to his first wife are the inspiration behind Little Wax Puppy, a drink made with beeswax-infused bourbon.; drinks for two from HK$180.

Kerry Hotel Hong Kong's postcard-perfect harbor is best viewed from Kowloon side, and Kerry Hotel is perched right on the waterfront in Hung Hom, an otherwise quiet district. Designed by local starchitect André Fu, rooms are spacious and more than half feature ocean views. The jewel of the hotel's crown is undoubtedly the bar, Red Sugar, which offers an alfresco terrace surrounded by water, with a 270-degree panorama of the harbor.; doubles from HK$2,090.JANICE LEUNG HAYES

Kerry Hotel
Kerry Hotel's Red Sugar bar. Courtesy of Kerry Hotel.







Teels Heritage Cafe Legendary 160-year-old Penang biscuit makers Ghee Hiang opened their first café in 2017 just above their Burmah Road shop. The sophisticated eatery has four nostalgically bedecked dining rooms and serves an elegant British-Malay menu that mixes Eastern and Western ingredients. Try the "stevedore soy chicken stew," infused with Ghee Hiang's signature aromatic sesame oil, or an afternoon tea set including their traditional biscuits and phong pneah pastries.; dinner for two from RM70.

Teels Heritage Cafe
The dining room at Teels Heritage Cafe embraces the past. Kit Yeng Chan.

Nero Nero With a garden terrace and a fountain centerpiece, this self-proclaimed Californian-Italian restaurant brings distinction to Kuala Lumpur's Damansara City Mall, in the heart of the well-to-do neighborhood. Hailing from Piedmont and with experience cooking in Michelin-starred kitchens, executive chef Domenico Nicolino oversees a seasonal menu ranging from pizzas and pastas to more elaborate dishes, such as oven-baked whole sea bass, or ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and tender oxtail.; dinner for two from RM80.

Nero Nero
Pizzas the Neapolitan way at Nero Nero. Courtesy of Nero Nero.

Magazine 63 Penang's first speakeasy cocktail bar has a few tricks to make an impeccable first impression. First, the surprise effect: tucked behind a wooden partition inside an unpolished shophouse on Magazine Road, the bar is hard to find. Second, the wow factor: it's a decadent yet classy throwback to 19th-century-China, with paper umbrellas and hanging lanterns adding a decorative glow. Waiters dressed like old-Asia coolies shuttle around the tables, and spirits are served in rice jars and drinking bowls. Every night, live bands and DJ s spin the time machine back to the noughties. Book ahead.; drinks for two from RM60.

Magazine 63
Drinks by the bowl at Magazine 63. Kit Yeng Chan.

The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi This pearl on the Andaman Sea is a grand, village-like collection of 90 luxurious suites, 29 pool villas and a stunning spa set around four restaurants, two oceanfront pools, and two wedding reception venues. The idyllic nature of Pantai Kok Beach, one of Langkawi's less developed coves, adds one last irresistible ingredient to this soul-stirring seaside cocktail.; doubles from RM1,725.

The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi
A private pool villa at The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi. Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi.

Bedrock Hotel Ipoh's boutique-hotel sacrifices room numbers in favor of space and comfort. Painted in dark hues, the 10 rooms are spacious and comfortable, equipped with coffee machines and filtered water dispensers, and fitted with attractive bathtubs that lure guests into forgetting there's one of Malaysia's best food scenes to explore just outside. The neutral fittings pair perfectly with the owner's collection of Chinese scholars' rocks exhibited on the premises—a Zen-like match.; doubles from RM210.

Element Hotel Kuala Lumpur Dominating the capital's skyline, this eco-friendly hotel is the tallest in Kuala Lumpur. Set in the 275-meter-high Ilham Towers, and just a 10-minute walk away from Suria KLCC shopping center and the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Element Hotel packs a series of wooden-floor rooms and family apartments with bird's-eye views that stretch well beyond Kuala Lumpur's urban limits. Free bicycle rental and a delightful indoor infinity pool overlooking the business district are nice touches, not forgetting Trace Restaurant, the city's Western-fusion sky-dining option, impressively perched on the 40th floor.; doubles from RM339.MARCO FERRARESE







JL Studio Led by Singapore chef Jimmy Lim, this Taichung restaurant serves up a modern Singaporean menu using Taiwanese ingredients in an elegant, fine-dining setting. With Lim's experience cooking in the renowned kitchens of Noma and Geranium in Copenhagen, and restaurants in New York and Napa Valley, expect a creative interpretation of his homeland's cuisine (chili crab, nasi lemak and the Peranakan pastry kueh pie tee, for example) that changes as local ingredients become available.; set menu from NT$2,800 per person.

Jimmy Lim
Jimmy Lim at JL Studio. Courtesy of JL Studio.







The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar Acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's association with the Dempsey Cookhouse is so deliberately low-key, it's possible to miss his name printed small on the bottom of this mod-American menu. A vertical garden-wall behind the bar overlooks a high-ceilinged Hamptons-meets-the-tropics dining room, easily the prettiest in Singapore. The proof, though, is literally in the pudding—the restaurant's bestseller is Vongerichten's iconic chocolate lava cake. The molten ganache that oozes from the soft batter is every bit as good as its reputation.; dinner for two from S$70.

Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill Nearing 70, Violet Oon has kept three generations of Singaporeans happily fed on a homey mix of Peranakan cuisine, best-selling cookbooks, and her unerring instinct for nostalgic comfort food. Her third restaurant in Clarke Quay offers a, by now, familiar patina of romantic colonialism by way of mosaic floors, bentwood chairs, marble tables, antique lamps and rattan-blade fans. The star attraction, however, is the titular satay of tenderloin pork and Angus beef, cooked to smoky perfection on a charcoal grill.; dinner for two from S$70.

Violet Oon Satay
A shareable spread at Violet Oon. Courtesy of Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill.

Catchfly Like jealous magpies, Singaporeans like their bars to be hidden away, the more inconspicuous the better. Case in point is this bolthole in the basement of the Coriander Leaf restaurant on Ann Siang Road. The narrow space is flanked with up-lit brick walls and gold strips in the wooden floor that direct the eye towards the bijou bar where cocktails laced with small-batch spirits, smoked oils, and herbs are poured. The snacks menu, including kimchi beef chili, and lamb corn dogs, more than holds its own against the bar's sophisticated repertoire.; drinks for two from S$50.

Shrimp po-boy baguette, Catchfly. Courtesy of Catchfly.

Andaz Singapore With visionary architect Ole Scheeren's sparkling shell of polygons and curvaceous silhouette, and wunderkind designer André Fu's impeccable interiors, Andaz offers a fresh perspective on Marina Bay. The hotel's 342 rooms are clad in Malay and Indian motifs, an homage to its location in Singapore's Bugis and Kampong Glam quarters, the latter captured as a particularly vivid panorama through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Even better views are to be had from the 25th-floor outdoor pool, and the 39th-floor rooftop bar, Mr Storck.; doubles from S$390.

InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay The arrival of the InterContinental's second property in Singapore puts a definitive stamp on the rejuvenation of Robertson Quay. Opened across from stylishly low-slung The Warehouse Hotel, also a 2017 debut, the 225-room InterContinental looms over the neighborhood of period shophouses, godowns and low-rise condos. Contrasting the glass curtain walls of the shimmering façade is a moody interior swathed with brushed oak, copper and black granite. The best rooms, meanwhile, overlook the river.; doubles from S$285.

InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
The view from the InterContinental. Courtesy of InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay.

Dover Street Market The opening of Dover Street Market has laid to rest any lingering doubts about Singapore's title as a heavyweight shopping destination par excellence. After successful launches in London, Tokyo and New York, Commes des Garçon founder Rei Kawakubo opened her fourth multi-label boutique in a former army barrack in leafy Dempsey, filling the sprawling 1,140-square-meter space with a dizzying range of blue-chip and guerilla fashion marques including The Row, Celine, Raf Simons and Gucci. DAVEN WU

Dover Street Market
Browse a limited edition Gucci range at Dover Street Market. Courtesy of Dover Street Market.







Chin Chin Sydney After lighting a firecracker under Melbourne's dining scene with Chin Chin, an Asian-fusion restaurant with queues out the door, restaurateur Chris Lucas brought the hype to Sydney in October 2017—opening a second outpost in Surry Hills. The space within the heritage-listed Griffiths Teas Building has room for 160 diners, plus an 100-seat bar for cracking cocktails made with left-of-center ingredients like curry paste and chipotle. An in-house rotisserie and charcoal pit means barbecue is at the heart of the menu: think Balinese spiced duck and Isaan grilled chicken.; mains from A$16.50.

Chin Chin
Spicy wok-tossed mussels at Chin Chin. Courtesy of Chin Chin.

Hong Sa Bar A 90-minute drive north of Brisbane, the town of Yandina is known for two things: the Buderim Ginger Factory and Spirit House, the latter being one of Queensland's premiere Asian restaurants. In July 2017, Spirit House added Hong Sa Bar—a new stand-alone venue that combines a dining room, sprawling deck and courtyard garden. Hong Sa's chefs blend local fare with Asian flavors: think Mooloolaba prawn rolls, and cinnamon bao stuffed with Thai-tea ice cream and raspberry jam. Wash it down with a Singha Mojito or Tom Yum Bloody Mary.; drinks and snacks for two from A$100.

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour Sydney's first newly constructed five-star hotel in 18 years opened in October 2017 to sparkling views of the city's waterfront. The 35-story, 590-room Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour was discernibly built to target business from the newly-opened International Conventional Centre next door, but leisure travelers will also be drawn to the Sofitel's prime location, sleek rooftop infinity pool, fitness center and champagne bar—all of which provide a panoramic outlook of the city skyline and harbor.; doubles from A$329.

Jackalope Hotel Nestled in the Mornington Peninsula wine region, just one hour from Melbourne, Jackalope opened to great applause, winning its first accolades just weeks after its launch. The avant-garde hotel breathes modern life into a 143-year-old homestead and winery with its sleek design: dark walls and furnishings, stone bathtubs and black infinity pool. The 46 suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces for drinking in vineyard views. Be sure to try the property's own wine label, Willow Creek, at its two restaurants and lounge.; doubles from A$650.

Among the vines at Jackalope. Courtesy of Jackalope.

MACq 01 Situated on Hobart's historic Macquarie Wharf district and surrounded by converted sandstone warehouses, this playful art hotel pays homage to Tasmania's rich and storied history. Each of its 114 rooms and suites is named after a colorful character from Tasmania's past—from intrepid explorers and heroes to convicts and common crooks. With interiors crafted by local Tassie companies, views across the river, Franklin Wharf and Mount Wellington, and butler service in its luxury suites, the MAC q 01 redefines waterfront hospitality.; doubles from A$400.

The New Trend Renowned Canadian multi-brand retailer The New Trend has opened its first overseas installment in the fittingly trendy locale of Melbourne suburb Armadale, along the High Street shopping precinct. This high-end boutique houses a carefully curated assortment of clothing and accessories by designers like Helmut Lang, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Chloé, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang. "It's about finding those brands that are hard to come by and offering something unique and different," says Australia brand director, Vanessa Spencer. LLOYD NEUBAUER

The New Trend
Boutique offerings at The New Trend. Courtesy of The New Trend.







Meridian Adventure Dive Raja Ampat The sweeping spine of Indonesia's archipelago is an underwater treasure trove and the islands of Raja Ampat are an often-overlooked diving hub. Meridian Adventure's Dive Raja Ampat allows guests to explore the region to suit their style—stay in boutique accommodation at their Wasai Dive Resort or at a family homestay as you cruise between reefs on state-of-the art dive boats. There are options for both experienced divers and first-timers, plus stunning karst hikes.; doubles plus four tank dives for two from US$850.

Meridian Adventure Dive
Shark-spotting at Meridian Adventure Dive. Courtesy of Meridian Adventure Dive Raja Ampat.

Da Maria From Australian restaurateur Maurice Terzini— founder of Bondi's iconic Icebergs' restaurant—Da Maria is a taste of the Amalfi Coast. The Seminyak dining space combines a modern Italian menu—sourdough pizzas, house-made pastas and fresh seafood—with authentic interiors designed by Roman architects Lazzarini Pickering. Partnering with the man behind Seminyak's popular Motel Mexicola, Adrian Reeds, Da Maria is quickly becoming a hip hangout, with late-night pizzas, on-trend drinks and DJs after 10 p.m.; dinner for two from US$30.

Da Maria
Da Maria's Cynar Mule, made with an artichoke-based liqueur. Courtesy of Da Maria.

Som Chai Part restaurant, part nightclub, the fifth Bali venue from Scottish chef Will Meyrick brings Thai flair to Seminyak. The menu puts a spin on the classics—try Angus beef tartare with nam prik narok chili sauce or slow-cooked short rib massaman curry, while cocktails like the Bangkok Smash, a rum and apple sour served with a flaming passion fruit, are in tune with the Thai theme. DJs spin until the early hours while cabaret dancers entertain at the bar.; dinner and drinks for two from US$50.

Som Chai
The lon poo kem chicken at Som Chai. Courtesy of Som Chai.

The Lawn The place to see and be seen in Canggu, The Lawn is a stylish beach bar that brings the party to the shore. Choose from a daybed by the infinity pool with swim-up bar, picnic-style seating on the beachside lawn, or plush restaurant deck seats. Watch the sun set over the shoulders of surfers in the distance, while sipping on an Aperol spritz and nibbling on stone-oven pizzas.; drinks for two from US$30.

The Lawn
Sunset views at The Lawn. Courtesy of The Lawn.

Campedak This eco-castaway resort is a place to leave the world behind, where tropical escapism meets five-star luxury. Among a rainforest-veiled archipelago just off the coast of Bintan Island, Cempedak sits on its own private island, with its 20 beach and sea-view villas constructed from bamboo and refurbished traditional Javanese houses. All villas have private plunge pools, but if you're seeking total exclusion, arrange a picnic hamper to be taken to a nearby deserted island.; doubles from US$459.

Hoshinoya Bali Overlooking the Pakerisan River and network of waterways that support the region's lush rice terraces, this Ubud resort uses water as its running theme: three canal swimming pools stretch across the property, flowing into a series of semi-private pools. There is a choice of three spacious villas, all designed with Balinese tradition in mind—wall details are hand-carved and gazebo roofs are thatched with local grass.; doubles from US$700.

Udaya Resort & Spa With verdant views of Ubud's rainforest at every angle, Udaya's suites and villas make an enviable place to unwind, with private pools, terazzo bath tubs and lush, tropical outlooks. But it's the Kaveri spa where luxury truly sets in: private suites face the river and valley, and traditional Balinese techniques ensure total relaxation.; doubles from US$170. FRASER MORTON




Bawah Island Among five private islands within the Indonesian Anambas archipelago, this secluded resort is a luxury hideaway like no other. Three hours from Singapore by ferry and seaplane, Bawah Island features 35 eco-designed suites and over-water bungalows. If a backdrop of endless turquoise waters and lush scenery isn't serene enough, the resort also offers a holistic wellness center.; doubles from US$1,960.

Bawah Island
The resort's Tree Top Restaurant. Courtesy of Bawah Island.







Fusion Phu Quoc The innovative, wellness-focused resort group Fusion has landed on Phu Quoc to bring waterfront serenity to the country's largest island. Along with its signature "all-inclusive spa services," (guests are entitled to two treatments for each night's stay), the five-star haven has a state-of-the-art fitness center, where you can work out with a personal trainer and join yoga, tai chi or meditation sessions. Should you wish to simply unwind in peace, each of the 97 rustic yet contemporary villas has its own private pool and secluded garden. From there, explore the tropical waters by kayak or on a private snorkel tour.; doubles from US$299.

Fusion Phu Quoc
Fusion Phu Quoc is steps from the sea. Courtesy of Fusion Phu Quoc.

The Myst Dong Khoi Set against the generic high-rises of downtown Saigon, the asymmetrical and avant-garde exterior of The Myst Dong Khoi makes this concept-driven five-star hotel stand out from the crowd. Inside it gets even better. From the ylang-ylang scented lobby to each of the 108 open-plan rooms, the interiors pay tribute to the storied-history of the city with an eclectic array of salvaged or repurposed materials, cherished artifacts, quirky collectibles and Vietnamese handicrafts.; doubles from US$110.

Layla Behind an unassuming Saigon doorway, a staircase leads (eventually) to Layla, a spacious bar and eatery that shot to prominence thanks to its unpretentious vibe and utilitarian approach to imbibing. Most customers come for the cocktails—classic, bespoke or theatrical—but there's also an extensive wine list, plus imported beers on tap to complement a menu of small plates, fresh seafood and shareable mains. Bonus extra: indoors is smoke-free (a rarity for bars in Vietnam).; dinner and drinks for two from US$30.

Nê Cocktail Bar As a teenager, Pham Tiep led a Dickensian life, shining shoes on the street, bussing tables at a pho joint. Now? He's concocting the capital city's most inventive potations at Nê, a cozy, stylish bar on the edge of Hanoi's Old Quarter. Try Tiep's signature creations, such as Under the Bridge (tequila with fish sauce, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves and kumquat) or the popular Pho Cocktail, a mix of gin and Cointreau, filtered through star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, set ablaze and served with fresh coriander, chili and lime. 3B Tong Duy Tan, Hanoi; +84 9 0488 6266; drinks for two from US$14.

Ne Cocktail Bar
Behind the bar at Nê. Courtesy of Nê Cocktail Bar.

Vui Studio 21st-century Hanoi is home to a new generation of artisans infusing traditional craft products with contemporary aesthetics, and they're worth seeking out. At Vui Studio—a distinctive concept store with minimalist design—you'll find an exclusive range of modern homewares, stationery and organic cosmetics, all Vietnamese-designed, made from local resources, and environmentally friendly to boot. The hospitable space also houses a café and hosts film and concert screenings.

Vui Studio
Vui's diffusers. Courtesy of Vui Studio.

Ava'na While Hoi An is known for its bespoke tailors, Danang now has its own source of handmade fashion: Ava'na, a boutique championing sustainable fashion, the third outpost in the country. The Belgian founders Nele De Block, a textile designer, and Aldegonde van Alsenoy, a stylist and photographer, work with the weavers of the Co Tu hill tribe to make their traditionally influenced designs. STOKES

Ava'na's Tribe collection. Courtesy of Ava'na.







Ginza Six With 13 stories and 241 shops, the much-hyped luxury shopping mall Ginza Six opened its doors in April 2017 after three years in the making. The 80-billion-yen shopping center is home to high-end boutiques such as Dior, Saint Laurent and Valentino, a classy outpost of Tsutaya Books equipped with six-meter-high bookcases and a glass ceiling for ample natural light, as well as fine-dining restaurants and a premium food hall. Japanese culture is also on show with Noh-style musical performances at the basement theater, and pop-up art exhibitions.

Ginza 6
Yayoi Kusama is exhibiting until February 25, 2018. Courtesy of Ginza Six.







The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui
Ensconced in the luxe, beachfront small town Ritz-Carlton is trying to pass off as a mere resort, you're going to want to move in forever. The cliffside pool villas evoke Malibu. The central square is modeled on a Thai market. There's a snorkeling pool with a marine biologist, and a muay Thai ring with a female champ trainer. And in the Spa Village? They're great at everything but water therapy is a focus: book the splash-happy Songkran shower, or a floating Aquasana massage and feel your troubles float away.; doubles from Bt13,875.

Rosewood Phuket The brand's first resort in Southeast Asia is a graceful classic in which all 71 pavilions and villas face the sea, come with private pools, and are designed to feel like home. In the innovative Asaya Spa's 'Wellness Ateliers,' experts create bespoke treatments and include alternative therapies like Reiki and Watsu based on guests' health needs.; doubles from Bt32,000.

Rosewood Phuket
Rosewood Phuket's pool pavilion. Courtesy of Rosewood Phuket.

Park Hyatt Bangkok The most-anticipated opening of 2017 is a soaring, asymmetrically swooping, shiny tower of dreams that has helped create a hub in the center of the city. It's easy to see why Park Hyatt is positioning this serene, art-filled property atop the finally buzzing fancy Central Embassy mall as their flagship: it is a place both to take refuge from the city and to let the best of it in, with ramps and terraces and communal spaces helping you glide through what feels like your own understatedly opulent home. The Penthouse Bar & Grill is a rooftop triplex set for hotspot status, and the terraced pool deck overlooking the leafy Nai Lert Park is a unique urban resort.; doubles from Bt10,000.

La Dotta
Let's say you are obsessed with pasta in the land of noodles. The best move, clearly, is to import yourself a Sicilian chef and have him start hand-making you all that carby deliciousness. Giampiero Quartararo oversees a team of passionate pasta lovers who use only organic duck egg in their recipes for everything from hand-rolled, thick pici pasta to hand-stuffed tortelloni. Eat in the adorable Bangkok shophouse or pick your pleasure from the drool-worthy display of take-away pastas and sauces.; dinner for two from Bt1,500.

La Dotta
La Dotta's fresh pasta. Courtesy of La Dotta.

Sushi Zo Making a power play for the crown of Bangkok's already glittering omakase culture is this hidden jewel from charming maestro Keizo Seki. With a Michelin star for each of his restaurants in New York and L.A., he's brought his 20-course oceanic journey to a tiny 12-seater where it's all "for the love of fish," he says. That means minimal garnish, minimal wasabi, all bold flavors that he and his entertaining team of chefs can predict based on species selected, how they are cut, how long they are aged and, at least in the case of uni, what they ate before being caught. Pray that the fatty golden-eye snapper nigiri is on the menu for your visit.; omakase menu Bt6,000–8,000 per person.

Sushi Zo
A Hokkaido oyster at Sushi Zo. Courtesy of Sushi Zo.

Tropic City As rum and gin battle it out for the top of today's trendy-booze pile, this tiki bar is making a strong case for cane liquor. Opened on an about-to-boom swathe of Bangkok's Chinatown, this is all parrots and palm trees and tropical tunes. Perennially Hawaiian shirt–attired owners Sebastian de la Cruz and Philip Stefanescu are on hand to greet you with a grin and a Plantation Rum specialty cocktail... or an alcoholic coconut... or a shot. Just say yes, and make it your new local.; drinks from Bt350. JENINNE LEE -ST. JOHN

Tropic City
Sebastian de la Cruz pours at Tropic City. Courtesy of Tropic City.







Alila Fort Bishangarh
Built within a restored 230-year-old warrior fort on a hilltop in the Aravalli Range, just a one-hour drive from Jaipur, the Alila Fort Bishangarh makes a remarkable base to explore the region's historic architecture and natural beauty. All 59 suites have views of the valley, while the design keeps the traditional structure untouched: latticed jali window screens, sandstone turrets, and Mughal-style arches add authenticity to your stay.; doubles from Rs26,000.

Alila Fort Bishangarh
The view of the valley from a Royal Heritage Suite. Courtesy of Alila Fort Bishangarh.



See All Articles...

A lobby with charm at The Myst Dong Khoi, Saigon. Courtesy of the Myst Dong Khoi.
Related Articles