From secret recipes to private helicopters, cast your vote for the best luxury hotel experiences in Asia, because soon you’ll be able to buy them, too.
“EXPERIENCES” is more than a buzzword these days. In the travel sphere, it’s a way of life.
We love the classic trappings of the best, most beautiful hotels, but when paired with authentic, exclusive experiences, that’s when we know the trip is next-level. We’re talking behind-the-scenes access to places you wouldn’t normally go, uber-luxury multi-modes of transport, our insiders letting you in on their secrets, whole days planned with your tastes in mind.
Here, we present a delightful dozen of some of the best luxury hotel experiences in Asia. In time, you’ll be able to buy all of these and much more directly from us at T+L. For now, have a read, get your wanderlust pumping, and then vote for your favorites.
A Day in the Life of an Ama Diver
The ama are a unique community of Japanese female free-divers who collect shellfish, seaweed and sea urchin from the seabed. Amanemu can introduce you to these wonder women. Boat across Ago Bay to a pearl or seaweed farm, and visit an amagoya (a diver’s hut) for lunch with an ama offering unforgettable insight into an ancient and unusual way of life.
Air, Land and Sea Safari
A helicopter flight over the gentle crescent of Raffles Hainan‘s famous beach. A private charter for a two-hour yacht sail around Clearwater Bay. And a limousine ride to the botanical gardens for a private photo shoot. Plus: downtime in the spa or on the neighbouring golf course, and dinner on Singing Beach–all of which your Butler is happy to record for posterity.
Bespoke Arts Walks, Tailored to Your Tastes
Follow local art connoisseurs off the beaten track into the core of city’s creativity. From exploring contemporary arts in Central, to discovering hidden gems and independent art spaces, to uncovering history and antiquities on Hollywood Road, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong will help inspire and fascinate you with inspiring and thought-provoking journeys.
Five Senses of Wellness
Curated by healer and medicine woman Ida Dayu Alit Sumiati, Raffles Bali helps you rediscover your whole self by harmoniously blending serenity rituals and ancient healing wisdom with local excursions, artful therapies and health-conscious cuisine. Inclusions such as 7 Chakra Balancing, Singing Bowl Therapy, Fire-Cleansing Ritual and much more.
Fly and Dine
Enjoy the stunning Hong Kong landscape aboard a helicopter flight-seeing tour, offering spectacular Victoria Harbour views from the most glamorous angle. Your pilot is an expert on the city, and provides commentary that will give you a completely different perspective. End the tour with lunch at The Peninsula Hong Kong or their signature afternoon tea.
How to Train Your Dragon Boat
Visit Guangzhou’s 1978 Cultural Creative Town and Rowing Club to row a dragon boat. Mandarin Oriental has arranged for coach Zhang Guo Lin, a 2010 Asian Games gold medalist, to train you. After you’ve completed the course, explore the famous Leander Club, the heritage trail, Dragon Boat Museum, art galleries, independent shops, boutiques and more.
Jungle to Sea Expedition
Bali and Komodo
From a sojourn in the Bill Bensley-designed tented-camp wilds of Capella Ubud, leave the mystical jungle resort and board the luxurious Kudanil Explorer expedition yacht to sail the rich and diverse uncharted territories of Komodo National Park on a six-day seafaring experience hosted by Dr. Lawrence Blair the iconic explorer, filmmaker and author.
Little Bukit Farm to Table
An exquisite epicurean encounter guided by Little Bukit Farm-owner Melinda Briend-Marchal and Rosewood Phuket‘s executive chef Luca De Negri that provides a holistic educational experience about the usage of locally grown, sustainable produce. Welcome bubbles give way to a seven-course degustation outdoors in the midst of this beautiful land.
Peking-Duck Master Class
Pssst! Michelin-starred Country Kitchen at Rosewood Beijing will let you in on its chef’s secret recipe and technique for creating Peking Roasted Duck. A hallmark of imperial cuisine during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Country Kitchen uses traditional techniques to ensure the duck is reddish in color, fatty but not greasy, crisp outside, and tender inside.
Quest for Happiness
Spiritual exploration via community empowerment with Amankora in Bhutan. You will read and play with children at Gawaling Happy Home, visit the first retirement home for Buddhist monks, develop a school and help monks preserve irreplaceable masks and scrolls, pitch in with drinking water and agricultural development programs, and much soul-fulfillingly more.
Singapore Cultural and Culinary Immersion
Start at the wet market for a wild sensorial experience, with diverse communities and cultures bonding over the love of food. Discover the rich heritage of the Peranakans, and how they’ve influenced Singapore, from cuisine to fashion. Then take a lesson from the Capella Singapore mahjong expert before playing this game of strategy and luck with a few locals.
Uluwatu Sunset Cruise
Just moments away from Jimbaran Puri, a Belmond Hotel, you’ll board a two-hour cruise on the boat Dedari to Uluwatu Temple—considered one of the most important in Bali. Sit back and soak up the beautiful scenery of dramatic cliffs and endless ocean at golden hour, before joining the captain at sundown for a traditional Balinese blessing ceremony.
Vote for your favorite luxury hotel experience in Asia here, and look out for the soon-to-launch Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Macau experience marketplace in collaboration with Techsembly.