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<strong>Asia</strong><br />





Sponsor and<br />


Team<br />

Contents<br />

CEO<br />

Rob Bruce<br />

Editor-In-Chief<br />

Katherine Lozell<br />

Art Director<br />

Marcs Bacera<br />

32<br />

Maldives<br />

Director Of Sales<br />

Stanley Lucas<br />

<strong>Awards</strong> Director<br />

Brian Anson<br />

Editorial Liaison Manager<br />

David Hyde<br />

50<br />

Indonesia<br />

Director Of Marketing<br />

Azim Aftab<br />

Social Media Manager<br />

Apple Gatus<br />

Senior Writers<br />

Tasmai Dave, Jacqui Irvine, & Joseph Wilton<br />

44<br />

Singapore<br />

Senior Designers<br />

Antoine Jackson & Hafiz Arslan<br />

<strong>Awards</strong> Managers<br />

Adam Cole, Joseph Malabanan, Zach Ford,<br />

Peter Clement, & Joyce Lee<br />

Research Managers<br />

Jerald Jaime & Mukul<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Tracy Morgan, Joseph Malabanan, & Aisha Ahmed<br />

6<br />

Criteria<br />

10<br />

India<br />

58<br />

Philippines<br />

66<br />


Criteria<br />

Service<br />

Excellence in Service is an important<br />

category, as customer service can often<br />

be responsible for having guests return<br />

year after year. We look for the hotels<br />

and tour operators that go out of their<br />

way to please their guests, those that<br />

provide a personal level of service and<br />

take the time to get to know each visitor<br />

so that they might anticipate their every<br />

need. This can be something as simple<br />

as a 24-hour concierge desk, a hotel<br />

manager who offers a personal greeting<br />

or a tour guide who is happy to create<br />

bespoke private tours – but whatever<br />

it is, we are always pleased when we<br />

encounter staff that have been trained<br />

in the art of customer satisfaction.<br />

Style & Design<br />

It is no question that style and design<br />

plays a big part in selecting our awards<br />

shortlist. A guest will form an opinion<br />

about a hotel as soon as they arrive<br />

so it is important to us that all our<br />

winners make those first impressions<br />

count. We’re certainly not partial to a<br />

particular period of architecture – but<br />

whether we’re judging a gothic castle or<br />

an environmentally friendly lodge, the<br />

criteria remains the same. We consider<br />

factors such as architectural features,<br />

use of materials, creation of spaces,<br />

décor and the overall feel. We love it<br />

when we find a hotel that tells a story<br />

though its design and construction, or<br />

offers a design that is sympathetic to<br />

the natural surroundings of its location.<br />

Local Knowledge<br />

Knowledge of the local area is essential<br />

for any organization, be it a hotel or a<br />

tour operator. The quality of services<br />

takes a great hit when the quality of this<br />

element is not up to the mark. Quite a<br />

few of our winners in this category are<br />

because they have displayed excellent<br />

knowledge about the surrounding<br />

areas. The criteria for a hotel is slightly<br />

lenient <strong>com</strong>pared to a tour operator, as<br />

the latter is expected to have thorough<br />

knowledge of the area in order to<br />

provide good services.<br />

Facilities<br />

Award-winning guest rooms <strong>com</strong>e in all<br />

shapes and sizes, but they all have one<br />

thing in <strong>com</strong>mon – a home-away-fromhome<br />

feel. The <strong>com</strong>fort of the facilities<br />

on offer are of vital importance; we look<br />

for luxurious linens, stylish bathrooms<br />

and a coordinated colour scheme that<br />

work together to create a cohesive<br />

sense of relaxation. Additional touches,<br />

such as <strong>com</strong>plimentary toiletries, free<br />

wi-fi or tea and coffee making facilities<br />

are always a bonus in making us feel<br />

wel<strong>com</strong>e. We’re always impressed to find<br />

hotel rooms that embrace technology<br />

and offer amenities like tablets or smart<br />

thermostat systems, but this does not<br />

always necessarily trump the traditional<br />

– four poster beds, ornate fireplaces or<br />

antique furniture can add a touch of<br />

decadence to a hotel stay.<br />

Marketing<br />

In today’s modern age, a hotel or tour<br />

operator cannot rely on word of mouth<br />

to get their message out into the world.<br />

As social media has be<strong>com</strong>e a vital<br />

part of everyday life, we like to see<br />

<strong>com</strong>panies that go the extra mile to<br />

engage with their guests, both past<br />

and future. Attractive and informative<br />

websites and engaging and honest<br />

content are what we look for when<br />

judging a <strong>com</strong>pany’s use of marketing;<br />

how well they display their services, how<br />

up-to-date their content is, how well<br />

they get their brand message across,<br />

and, most importantly, how well their<br />

marketing can tempt us to go and see<br />

what they have to offer for ourselves.<br />

6<br />


Criteria<br />

Diversity<br />

Diversity is one important aspect that<br />

needs to be taken into consideration<br />

when in the travel and hospitality<br />

industry. It is essential to have staff<br />

that has varying diversity to ensure that<br />

the organization can properly connect<br />

with their guests. Diversity is taken into<br />

account in terms of gender, nationality<br />

as well as languages spoken among<br />

other factors. Not only do we take the<br />

diversity of the staff into account but<br />

even that of the facilities and services<br />

offered; a hotel or tour operator<br />

providing a better range of services is<br />

preferred over those that do not.<br />

Customer Reviews<br />

What better way is there to know about<br />

an organization than by getting first<br />

hand reviews? Customers are the best<br />

judges of any service as they are the<br />

ones who experience them and can<br />

assess whether they were up to the<br />

mark or not. Considering reviews from<br />

hundreds of customers gives us a fair<br />

idea about the general pros and cons<br />

of any organization and also gives us<br />

valuable inputs for the other criteria<br />

as well.<br />

Industry Knowledge<br />

It is of prime importance that an<br />

organization has thorough industry<br />

knowledge. Without knowing the nit-bits<br />

of the industry, it is difficult to flourish<br />

and provide services which are a class<br />

apart. Before any organization ventures<br />

into the industry, it is essential that<br />

they know how the industry is moving<br />

and how they should make changes to<br />

their methodologies in order to remain<br />

relevant and also be a top-performing<br />

organization.<br />

Location<br />

Location is one of the most important factors, but also one of the most subjective,<br />

as the ‘ideal’ is very much determined by the type of visitor and the type of<br />

hotel itself. However, there are a few factors we take into consideration when<br />

determining the winners of location-based awards. The first is convenience; that<br />

is, hotels that are easy to travel to. Many of our winners in this category are in<br />

convenient locations, such as adjacent to airports, close to beaches or found in<br />

the heart of easy-to-navigate cities. We are always impressed when hotels go the<br />

extra mile to take the hassle out of traveling and offer such additional services as<br />

airport shuttles or car hire services. However, we’re always excited to <strong>com</strong>e across<br />

a hotel that is, to use a familiar phrase, off-the-beaten-track. A hotel that can<br />

offer something a little different, in terms of natural surroundings, can make the<br />

difference between a good holiday and an incredible one.<br />

8<br />


New Delhi, India<br />

India<br />

<br />

Know Before You Go<br />

Delhi The Heart of India<br />

Karma Chalets<br />

The Kerala Top 3<br />

B’Canti Boutique Beach Resort<br />

The Bait & Hook<br />

Jaisalmer The Golden City<br />

Hotel Killa Bhawan<br />

Hamari Haveli

Know Before<br />

You Go<br />

India is one of the most visited countries in <strong>Asia</strong> and<br />

tends to be a bucket list destination for many. This vast<br />

South <strong>Asia</strong>n country has much to offer with its ancient<br />

roots, long history, varied landscapes, fantastic food,<br />

friendly locals, wellness culture, diversity, and to top it all<br />

off it’s a relatively cheap place to visit.<br />

With a population of over one billion, thousands of ethnic<br />

groups, and diverse traditions it’s easy to get confused and<br />

know how to behave especially for first timers. To help you<br />

prepare we’ve put together a few helpful tips.<br />

Do<br />

Aim to dress conservatively, cover<br />

legs and shoulders. In a temple or<br />

mosque cover your head. This makes<br />

a good first impression which counts<br />

for a lot in India.<br />

Greet people with a huge smile and<br />

say “Namaste” or if you’re in a Muslim<br />

majority neighbourhood or area then<br />

greet with “Asalamalakim”.<br />

Use Uber or ride hailing apps to get<br />

around, these are cheaper than what<br />

taxis will quote you. If you must go<br />

with a taxi, then negotiate and agree<br />

on a price at the start of the journey.<br />

Book your train online and always<br />

book for a reserved seat or sleeper.<br />

Standing class is inexpensive but<br />

extremely crowded.<br />

Accept all food and drink should you<br />

find yourself dining at home with a<br />

local. It is considered rude to refuse<br />

anything.<br />

– Ignore ticket touts and street salesman, a lot of the time they’re trying to<br />

sell something at extortionate prices or to scam you. Tell them “No” and<br />

walk away. Indians are exceptionally hospitable and extremely friendly, but<br />

these aren’t the people on the streets <strong>com</strong>ing at you trying to get you to<br />

part with your cash<br />

– Haggle for goods or services. Bargaining over the cost of something is the<br />

norm in India and many sellers enjoy the process.<br />

12 13

Don’t<br />

Eat food or pass objects with your left. In<br />

India the left hand is believed to be unclean<br />

and associated with the bathroom.<br />

Be concerned about punctuality. Although in<br />

many countries it’s rude to be late, in India<br />

it’s <strong>com</strong>pletely acceptable and expected.<br />

Being 15-30 minutes or even an hour late is<br />

not un<strong>com</strong>mon.<br />

Point your finger or feet at people. Feet are<br />

considered unclean so point it at people<br />

or touching objects with them should be<br />

avoided.<br />

Outright decline an invitation to someone’s<br />

home, this can be considered disrespectful.<br />

Although saying “No” assertively can be<br />

useful in some situations, when it <strong>com</strong>es to<br />

an invite into someone’s home then it’s best<br />

to say something along the lines “I’ll try” or<br />

“I’ll let you know”.<br />

– Engage in PDA. India is primarily a conservative society so engaging in acts of kissing, hugging or hand holding with<br />

your significant other is considered inappropriate and crude.<br />

– Accept damaged bills, as other vendors won’t accept them especially from a foreigner, but they’ll be quick to give<br />

them to you.<br />

– Give to beggars, even though they may pull at your heartstrings. There are two reasons for this, the first is it may<br />

lead to more beggars swarming and aggressively following you, and the second is that the money may go to an<br />

underground network that the beggars work for.<br />

14<br />


Delhi<br />

The Heart of India<br />

An ancient capital that has it all, once you step foot in<br />

this vibrant metropolis, you’ll quickly realise there is<br />

nowhere else in the world quite like Delhi.<br />

Getting in & Getting Around<br />

There are two ways into the city internationally, first via<br />

airplane. Indira Gandhi International Airport is one of the<br />

busiest in the world and extremely well connected. It is a<br />

hub for many major airlines including the national carrier<br />

AirIndia. The other way in is via bus from neighbouring<br />

Nepal, buses depart from Kathmandu and Chitwan.<br />

Getting around Delhi is an adventure. Rickshaws are<br />

world famous and a novel way to get around especially<br />

for shorter trips. For most journeys we re<strong>com</strong>mend one or<br />

<strong>com</strong>bination of the metro, buses, and trains.<br />

Things To Do<br />

Delhi is a treasure trove<br />

for history lovers. Many<br />

attractions in the city have<br />

a long history that’s been<br />

very well preserved such as<br />

the Red Fort, Jama Masjid,<br />

Humayan’s Tomb, the India<br />

Gate, and the Lodhi Garden.<br />

Shopping in Delhi is a treat,<br />

there are bustling bazaars<br />

dotted all over the city.<br />

The Dilli Haat bazaar has<br />

a traditional feel about it,<br />

Paharganj is a great place<br />

to pick up a bargain, and<br />

the Chandni Chowk is a vast<br />

bazaar that’s fun to explore.<br />

For a more modern shopping<br />

experience check out the<br />

Select City Walk Mall.<br />

Food<br />

Indian food is world renowned, and Delhi<br />

is at the centre of it all. You won’t find it<br />

too difficult to enjoy dishes from all over<br />

India but if you’re in Delhi the local treats<br />

are the way to go. Whether it be at a highend<br />

restaurant or street food stall the<br />

Chole Bhature, Parathas, and Chaat, are<br />

unmissable.<br />

Delhi’s significance as an international city<br />

means you can easily find world cuisines<br />

such as Japanese, Chinese, Italian,<br />

Korean, Iranian, and Middle Eastern.<br />

Ac<strong>com</strong>modation<br />

If you’re staying in the city, we suggest the<br />

LaLit New Delhi, a luxurious and elegant<br />

establishment. If you prefer to stay<br />

outside of the city then we re<strong>com</strong>mend TH<br />

Award Winner Karma Chalets, located only<br />

45 minutes away in the princely state of<br />

Haryana. Check out their in-depth profile<br />

on the next page.<br />

16 17

18<br />

Karma Chalets<br />

India | Boutique Hotel<br />

If you’re in need of a weekend getaway, then you couldn’t ask for a more<br />

perfect place than the quaint and award-winning Karma chalets. A<br />

stunning boutique hotel nestled within the environmental wonderland<br />

known as the Karma Lakelands, in the majestic state of Haryana,<br />

India. For Vanshika Ahuja - Creative Head and Director at Karma<br />

Chalets, it came as a bit of a surprise when her parents, Anu<br />

Khurana and Ajay Ahuja decided to open Karma Chalets. Welltraveled<br />

and friendly, both Anu and Ajay had learned much<br />

about hospitality from staying in big 5-star hotels and<br />

smaller boutique properties all over the world. When<br />

the opportunity came in 2016 to create a place of<br />

their own, both saw it as a chance to apply all that<br />

they had learned, show off the little touches that<br />

make for a memorable experience, and most<br />

importantly of all, to design a place in their<br />

own imagination that reflects the right<br />

way to approach hospitality.<br />

Working tirelessly alongside handpicked designers, Anu<br />

brought in her own homely touches like moving away<br />

from traditional paintings and instead, beautifying<br />

the walls with photographs from her travels. Much of<br />

her work has left it’s mark and the property perfectly<br />

balances old-world charm with contemporary design.<br />

In 2018 they opened a restaurant ‘Under the Neem’ and<br />

Spa called ‘Nimoli’. Much to Vanshika’s delight, both<br />

have been a resounding success and the restaurant<br />

in particular has a strict focus on fresh local produce.<br />

Both the restaurant and spa have <strong>com</strong>e to be seen as<br />

the finishing touches to Anu and Ajay’s vision. Strolling<br />

around the hotel grounds between the splendid<br />

Chalets you’ll appreciate the peace and tranquillity. The<br />

outstanding setting of Karma Lakelands means there is<br />

much to do - such as cycling, nature walks, birdwatching<br />

as well as an on-site golf course, swimming pool, animal<br />

farm, and bee apiary.<br />

The Karma family invites you to <strong>com</strong>e find a haven that<br />

you would be glad to have discovered. Relax, rejuvenate<br />

and rejoice while they take care of the rest!<br />

NH-8, Sector 80 Gurugram,<br />

Haryana, India 122002<br />

Tel +91 9958635559<br />



The Kerala<br />

Top 3<br />

The tropical paradise of Kerala is beautiful, warm, and<br />

inviting. The strip of land that makes up Kerala, on<br />

India’s South-Eastern Coast, is awash with lush greenery,<br />

beautiful sandy beaches, green hills, mountains, world<br />

class spas, friendly locals, excellent food, an array of<br />

wildlife, and cultural diversity. There is much on offer in<br />

Kerala in terms of things to do and see. While it’s no easy<br />

task we’ve managed to pick three unmissable activities for<br />

any visitor.<br />

Cruise the Backwaters<br />

Despite being home to several stunning sandy beaches Kerala’s<br />

main attraction is its amazing backwaters. The lush landscape,<br />

diverse wildlife, rural villages, and extensive water network make<br />

backwater cruising a real treat in Kerala. A popular trip is from<br />

Kollam to Alappuzha.<br />

Experience Ayurveda<br />

Ayurveda is an ancient healing tradition that has its origins on<br />

the Indian subcontinent. Kerala’s close historical association with<br />

Ayurveda, beautiful climate and easy access to herbal plants<br />

means it’s now considered the centre of the practice in India.<br />

Oil massages, yoga, special diets, weeklong cleanses, beathing<br />

exercises, enemas, and herbal remedies are all on offer and stays<br />

at one of these Ayurveda spas can last up to one month.<br />

Enjoy a Kathakali Show<br />

Kathakali is a form of classical Indian dance that’s unique to<br />

Kerala. The highly trained and dedicated dancers use colourful<br />

costumes, extravagant makeup, a variety of postures, refined<br />

gestures, and extensive expressions to tell mythological Hindu<br />

stories. The dance is <strong>com</strong>plemented with drumming and music.<br />

We re<strong>com</strong>mend dropping into a cultural centre to see such a<br />

performance, you won’t regret it and it’ll add a touch of culture<br />

to your trip.<br />

20<br />


22<br />

B’Canti Boutique<br />

Beach Resort<br />

India | Boutique Resort<br />

Elegance, luxury, and intrigue await at the stunning B’Canti Boutique<br />

Beach Resort.<br />

Located on the seafront in the beautiful state of Kerala, the B’Canti<br />

Boutique Beach Resort is a well-run, award-winning property<br />

that offers much in the way of on-site services, facilities, and<br />

ac<strong>com</strong>modation.<br />

Rooms are contemporary and carry a rustic charm, the<br />

options start from a Deluxe Room right the way up to a<br />

Superior Sea View Room with a Superior Deluxe option<br />

in the middle. All rooms <strong>com</strong>e with air conditioning,<br />

high-quality toiletries, mini-bar, cable TV, in<br />

room safe, coffee & tea making apparatus, and<br />

a balcony. Should you choose the Superior<br />

Sea View Room then expect a private<br />

balcony offering panoramic views of the<br />

Arabic Sea.<br />

In terms of on-site facilities and services guests are in<br />

for a treat. Kerala is famed as a haven for Ayurveda and<br />

B’Canti Boutique Beach Resort is a happy to offer this as<br />

a specialised service. There is an Ayurveda doctor and<br />

specialist team on hand at the resort, offering personal<br />

consultation and uniquely tailored holistic therapies.<br />

Massages, yoga, special diets, meditation, and much<br />

more are available. To add to this, you can even book long<br />

stay packages designed to tackle specific ailments.<br />

In keeping with the wellness theme, the resort is home to<br />

a magnificent ocean facing swimming pool, the perfect<br />

place to escape the heat or relax after a long day.<br />

For delicious local cuisine with a sea view look no further<br />

than the Bait & Hook Restaurant based on-site. The menu<br />

is an enchanting blend of a contemporary and traditional<br />

cooking styles all served in a rustic bamboo and coconut<br />

laden décor.<br />

All in all, if you’re stuck on where to stay in Kerala or all of<br />

India for that matter then we’ve found the perfect place<br />

for you. Go check in at the exquisite B’Canti Boutique<br />

Beach Resort!!<br />


B’Canti Boutique Beach Resort, Sree Eight,<br />

Edava, Varkala 695311, Kerala, India<br />

Tel +91 9846445000<br />


The Bait & Hook<br />

India | Seaside Restaurant<br />

When it <strong>com</strong>es to food, Indian cuisine is amongst the best in the world, within<br />

India however each state has its own gastronomic profile and Kerala is<br />

no different. Which begs the question, where must one go to find good<br />

quality Keralan cuisine? Well, we have the answer, it’s the quaint and<br />

charming Bait & Hook.<br />

Based in the stunning B’Canti Boutique Beach Resort, the Bait<br />

& Hook restaurant is a food lovers dream. Focused on local<br />

flavours and a variety of styles the Bait & Hook restaurant<br />

serves up delectable dishes with a stunning sea view and<br />

in a uniquely traditional setting. The décor is made up<br />

of traditional Keralan elements such as the bamboo<br />

frames, teak wood furniture, and a coconut leaf<br />

roof.<br />

It’s no surprise given its coastal location that the Bait &<br />

Hook prides itself on fresh seafood dishes, favourites<br />

include the Kerala Fish Masala, Fish Moilee, and Butter<br />

Prawns Masala. If you’re not in the mood for Keralan food<br />

than worry not as the extensive menu at Bait & Hook<br />

means you can choose from a variety of international<br />

dishes such as pasta, pizza, noodles, burgers, and much<br />

more.<br />

For dessert we re<strong>com</strong>mend the pastries, or a slice of cake<br />

baked fresh every day. If that’s not your thing than you<br />

can’t go wrong with the fruit salad. Kerala’s unique climate<br />

means there is a wide range of fruit available that’s always<br />

fresh, juicy, and delicious.<br />

Candlelight Dinner by the Sea<br />

This spectacular offering from Bait & Hook is perfect for any<br />

romantic occasion. It involves a private dining experience<br />

organised on the beach surrounded by candles and<br />

flowers with a dedicated waiter for the evening.<br />


The Bait & Hook: Seaside Restaurant,<br />

B’Canti Boutique Beach Resort, Sree Eight,<br />

Edava, Varkala 695311, Kerala, India<br />

Tel +91 9846445000<br />

24<br />


Jaisalmer<br />

The Golden City<br />

Jaisalmer, known as the Golden City, captures the imagination.<br />

Looking like something straight out of a fairy tale about a bustling<br />

metropolis nestled at the heart of the desert, Jaisalmer is unlike anything<br />

else in India. Expect architectural gems, bustling marketplaces, sand<br />

adventures, colourful locals, and a towering “living” fort.<br />

Getting In & Getting Around<br />

There is no direct international route available into Jaisalmer, the best<br />

option is to land in Delhi first. Jaisalmer Airport is small and is serviced<br />

by domestic flights from a few select cities such as Delhi and Jaipur.<br />

There is an express overnight train service from Delhi, as well as a daily<br />

bus from Jaipur.<br />

Jaisalmer is a relatively small city and can be easily covered by foot or<br />

bicycle. Rickshaws and government operated taxis are another option.<br />

Things To Do<br />

The big draw of Jaisalmer is its magnificent fort, the only on in India inhabited<br />

by locals. Within the walls you’ll find several hotels, shops, homes, and small<br />

businesses. The fort itself is beautiful, it glistens in the sun and makes for a<br />

stunning view during sun set.<br />

The Havelis are popular sites and can be found all over town especially within<br />

the city walls. These structures are key heritage markers. Some are still lived in<br />

and other converted to hotels or museums.<br />

It’s no surprise, given its location, that Jaisalmer is popular for desert adventure.<br />

Overnight trips in desert camps are popular as well as camel safaris, dunebashing,<br />

quad biking, parasailing, and paramotoring.<br />

Food<br />

You’ll find plenty of restaurants offering international cuisine and street<br />

food vendors selling local delicacies. Ker Sangri is one such dish unique to<br />

Jaisalmer, this tangy and sour delicacy is centred around Ker Berries and<br />

Sangri Beans both unique to the region.<br />

Ac<strong>com</strong>modation<br />

We have two suggestions, the first within the fort is the renowned Hotel Killa<br />

Bhawan, and the second sitting just outside the fort is the homely Hamari<br />

Haveli. Both are profiled in depth on the next few pages.<br />

26 27

28<br />

Hotel Killa Bhawan<br />

India | Luxury Hotel<br />

Nestled within the walls of the stunning Jaisalmer Fort, the Hotel Killa<br />

Bhawan offers up a heritage treat like no other. Elegant décor, excellent<br />

service, and beautiful rooms, await all those lucky enough to stay at this<br />

stunning hotel.<br />

This boutique hotel proposes several heritage rooms, all designed with<br />

the trademark charm and refinement consistent with the rest of the<br />

property. The Heritage Rooms <strong>com</strong>e with a few different options,<br />

you can choose a room with or without A/C, or as part of a shared<br />

bathroom or private en-suite. These rooms offer the best<br />

option on budget and for those are eco-friendly inclined.<br />

Our re<strong>com</strong>mendation is the much bigger but equally as<br />

charming Heritage Suite that <strong>com</strong>es <strong>com</strong>plete with<br />

a private terrace, spectacular views, balcony, airconditioning,<br />

and luxury toiletries. For the more<br />

daring traveller however we re<strong>com</strong>mend the<br />

Killa Bhawan’s tent, located out in the desert<br />

about 40km from the property. Here a<br />

sense of adventure, starry night skies,<br />

and gorgeous sand dunes await.<br />

On-site services at the property are<br />

exceptional: on top of free wifi, <strong>com</strong>plimentary<br />

tea, coffee, and mineral water all day long<br />

and breakfast included, guests can find a<br />

currency exchange, a tour desk, laundry<br />

facilities, room service, car rental service,<br />

and free train station transfers. For a day of<br />

exploring and activity the staff are on hand<br />

to help arrange anything you’d like. Popular<br />

options include a Jaisalmer jeep safari,<br />

sunset & evening camel safari, a night in the<br />

desert, and in-dept guided tours of the fort<br />

and wider city.<br />

If you’re looking for the perfect place in the<br />

right location with world class service in<br />

Jaisalmer, then look no further than the Hotel<br />

Killa Bhawan. You won’t be disappointed!<br />

On Fort, 445 Kotri Para<br />

Jaisalmer, 3450001<br />

Rajasthan, India<br />

Tel +91 2992 251 204<br />

info@hotelkillabhawan.<strong>com</strong><br />

<strong>www</strong>.hotelkillabhawan.<strong>com</strong><br />



Hamari Haveli<br />

30<br />

India | Unique Homestay<br />

Hamari Haveli translates into English as “your mansion”, a way one can<br />

describe their own home, and this is what you get a Hamari Haveli, a<br />

homely experience. If you’re someone who enjoys a big, branded hotel stay<br />

where you are guaranteed consistency in facilities, rooms, and staff, then<br />

this isn’t the place for you. At Hamari Haveli you can expect a warm<br />

personable stay where staff treat guests like family and the overall<br />

feel is authentic.<br />

To start with the property only offers two rooms meaning<br />

more attention and focus on guests. The room options<br />

are the Deluxe Front Room and the Deluxe Suite Room.<br />

Both are of a similar size and are well designed, guests<br />

can expect air conditioning, a private safe, fine<br />

toiletries, free parking, room service, bathrobes,<br />

daily housekeeping, laundry service, tea &<br />

coffee apparatus, water bottles, and free<br />

wi-fi throughout the property. In addition<br />

to this, guests are treated to a delicious<br />

traditional breakfast and dinner made<br />

up of the best local produce.<br />

The feel homeliness is further enhanced by the fact that as<br />

a guest you have full use of the property, at your disposal<br />

is the spacious lobby, a serene lounge area, a chilled<br />

rooftop, and even a modern kitchen, if you prefer to rustle<br />

up something yourself. If you’d like to get out for the day a<br />

city tour, a jeep safari, sunset safari, and even a night in the<br />

desert can be arranged.<br />

For a “home away from home” type stay in the Golden City<br />

there’s only one option, Hamari Haveli!!<br />

Gundi para main chowk<br />

345001, Jaisalmer,<br />

Rajasthan India<br />

Tel +91-9929905716<br />

bhanu@hamarihaveli.<strong>com</strong><br />

https://<strong>www</strong>.hamarihaveli.<strong>com</strong><br />



Maldives<br />

The Maldives<br />

<br />

A Brief History of Tourism<br />

in the Maldives<br />

Kurumba Maldives<br />

Overwater Villas Pinnacle<br />

of Maldivian Luxury<br />

Reethi Faru Resort<br />

32 33

A Brief History<br />

of Tourism in<br />

the Maldives<br />

The Maldives is a premier travel destination, this small archipelago<br />

state is associated with luxury island resorts, fine dining<br />

restaurants, and world class service. Traditionally thought of as a<br />

romantic destination given its popularity among honeymooners,<br />

attitudes are shifting and it’s now increasingly popular with families<br />

albeit from the high-end market.<br />

Tourism to this small nation didn’t actually begin until the 70’s when<br />

George Corbin, an Italian travel agent, was on the lookout for an<br />

under-the-radar tourism destination and in 1971 met with Ahmed<br />

Naseem from the Maldivian embassy, who then bought him to the<br />

untouched islands. George instantly fell in love and came back with<br />

journalists and photographers. Then a year later opened, <strong>Travel</strong> and<br />

<strong>Hospitality</strong> awards winner, Kurumba Island Resort in 1972. The first<br />

Island resort of the Maldives, Kurumba was booked solid for a few<br />

years straight and on the back of this many foreign investors saw<br />

potential.<br />

In came the big brands, hotel chains,<br />

investment firms, and airlines leading<br />

to today where tourism is the largest<br />

industry in the Maldives, boasting over 130<br />

island resorts. Pre-covid the country was<br />

consistently getting over a million tourists<br />

per year.<br />

Recently there has been an attempt to shift<br />

attitudes by opening the Maldives to the<br />

mid-range and even budget travel market,<br />

Air <strong>Asia</strong> now operates regular flights to Male<br />

from China, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia,<br />

Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.<br />

Several hotels and guesthouses have<br />

cropped up in the capital and small little<br />

island towns, that are much cheaper than<br />

the private resorts and offer a more local<br />

experience.<br />

With the Maldives being a bucket list<br />

destination for many and be<strong>com</strong>ing more<br />

easily accessible it’s fair to say the future<br />

is bright for tourism to this magnificent<br />

archipelago state.<br />

34<br />


36<br />

Kurumba Maldives<br />

Maldives | Family Friendly Resort<br />

Located minutes from the airport and the capital city Male, Kurumba is a staple<br />

of the Maldivian tourism industry. Opened officially in 1972, Kurumba is the<br />

country’s first private resort and the foundation for the nation booming<br />

tourism scene. No trip to the Maldives is <strong>com</strong>plete without a few nights<br />

at Kurumba.<br />

When it <strong>com</strong>es to ac<strong>com</strong>modation, Kurumba does not disappoint<br />

guests can find a wide range of options to suit their needs. The<br />

Superior Room is a fantastic starting option, those looking<br />

for a more room may want to consider the Deluxe and<br />

Beachfront Bungalows, both of which a perfect for small<br />

families. For slightly bigger groups there is a Family<br />

Villa available or those interested in a private pool<br />

may want to consider the Deluxe Pool Villa or the<br />

Garden Pool Villa. The real jewel in the crown<br />

however is the magnificent Two Bedroom<br />

Kurumba Residence, ideally suited to large<br />

families, the residence occupies a prime<br />

beach front location and <strong>com</strong>es with<br />

its own private swimming pool.<br />

In terms of services and facilities Kurumba offers<br />

much of what you’d expect from a private Maldivian<br />

resort such as several pools, a state-of-the-art gym,<br />

tennis courts, a luxury spa, gift shop, and several<br />

restaurants offering everything from Indian food to<br />

Sushi. Families can expect to enjoy a purpose-built<br />

children’s centre <strong>com</strong>plete with an outdoor play area<br />

and children’s swimming pool. Diving, watersports,<br />

a boat cruise, a city tour, and so much more can be<br />

arranged. A novel offering from Kurumba is a football<br />

pitch with regular games on offer.<br />

One of the most appealing aspects of staying at<br />

Kurumba is its excellent location. The resort is located<br />

minutes from the main international airport, making it<br />

easily accessible and ideal after a long flight or for a<br />

large family.<br />

All in all Kurumba is a beacon of excellence in what a<br />

private luxury Maldivian resort should be, the service<br />

is impeccable, facilities are excellent, the dining world<br />

class, and there is plenty to do.<br />

Vihamanaafushi, 08340,<br />

Republic of Maldives<br />

Tel +960-664-2324<br />



Overwater Villas<br />

Pinnacle of<br />

Maldivian Luxury<br />

The dream of staying in an overwater villa is oftentimes<br />

associated with a luxury Maldivian island resort. Despite<br />

the concept first being realised in the South Pacific, it’s<br />

in the Maldives where these villas have really developed<br />

into the luxurious lodging we see today. In a country<br />

where private island resorts and overwater villas are the<br />

norm, architects have been given the time and backing to<br />

develop some truly magnificent structures.<br />

What could be better than staying in a private island resort<br />

in your own private villa built over the sea? Choosing one<br />

to stay in from so many is no easy feat, to help you make<br />

the we’ve selected four distinct overwater villas that you<br />

should definitely consider for your next trip to the Maldives.<br />

Understated Elegance at Reethi Faru<br />

Beautiful natural light, wooden ceilings, and warm décor,<br />

the water villas at Reethi Faru are elegant and charming.<br />

Perfect for a romantic break. For a full in depth feature<br />

on Reethi Faru Resort turn over to page 42.<br />

Water Villa<br />

Oceans of fun at Ozen Bolifushi<br />

The Ocean Pool Suite at Ozen Bolifush (formerly the Jumeirah Vittaveli) is a truly magnificent structure but what really<br />

makes it unique is the 23-metre water slide. Unleash your inner child!<br />

Ocean Pool Suite With Slide<br />

38 39

Private Rooftop at<br />

Jumeirah Maldives<br />

Described as a “penthouse”<br />

given that it has two floors<br />

and flat rooftop rather than<br />

thatches more <strong>com</strong>monly<br />

seen in the Maldives. The<br />

rooftop allows for stargazing, a<br />

private cinema experience, or<br />

even a private BBQ.<br />

Prestige Water Villa<br />

Unique Design at COMO Cocoa Island<br />

The Dhoni Water Villas are designed to resemble<br />

traditional Maldivian fishing boats. These<br />

spacious bungalows <strong>com</strong>e <strong>com</strong>plete with a<br />

private terrace, direct ocean access, and ultraluxurious<br />

amenities.<br />

Dhoni Water Villa<br />

Big Group at Niyama<br />

Private Islands<br />

Although not a single structure, this<br />

one still makes the list. It’s a set of<br />

overwater villas designed to wel<strong>com</strong>e<br />

larger groups and appropriately<br />

named the crescent because of<br />

its distinctive layout. There are five<br />

private pool villas in total that can<br />

ac<strong>com</strong>modate up to 14 adults and<br />

8 children, they <strong>com</strong>e <strong>com</strong>plete<br />

with a butler, a private chef, and<br />

housekeeper.<br />

The Crescent<br />

40 41

Reethi Faru Resort<br />

Maldives | Boutique Luxury Resort<br />

For a luxurious and tranquil experience in private and pristine conditions look<br />

no further than the magnificent Reethi Faru Resort. Set in the stunning<br />

Raa Atoll, Reethi Faru stands out for excellent service, high-quality facilities,<br />

a wide variety of room options, and dedication to an eco-friendly and<br />

sustainable approach.<br />

The range of ac<strong>com</strong>modation at Reethi Faru is quite staggering,<br />

starting with a Garden Villa leading all the way up to a stunning<br />

Two-Bedroom Water Villa, in between you can expect to find<br />

several water villas, private pool villas, and two-bedroom<br />

suites. As a standard guests can expect luxury<br />

amenities, private room entrance, a personal deck or<br />

terrace, satellite TV, room service, air conditioning,<br />

mini-bar, and so much more.<br />

Food lovers are in for a treat, Reethi Faru is home to six<br />

restaurants and six bars, serving a wide range of international<br />

and local cuisine. Vakaru Restaurant is a buffet restaurant with<br />

3 meal times a day from breakfast, lunch to dinner. For a quick<br />

bite Raalhu Café is a good bet, and the Dhiyavaru Restaurant<br />

is perfect for food with a view. Our favourite is without a doubt<br />

the Reethi Grill, located on the beach, diners can enjoy tandoor<br />

grilled cuisine and seafood and seafood in the privacy of a<br />

personal cabana. Head to the Sunset Bar to unwind and enjoy a<br />

drink with the view of the sun setting over the horizon.<br />

Guests have an array of things to do, this includes access to<br />

a world class watersports centre where canoeing, stand-uppaddle<br />

boarding, windsurfing, jet skiing, fishing, boat tours and<br />

so much more can be organised. Those looking to below the<br />

water should enrol at the fantastic on-site diving school, Sea-<br />

Explorer. The sports and health centre is fully equipped with a<br />

state-of-the-art gym, multi-purpose courts, and yoga classes.<br />

The centre piece of leisure experience on the island is the<br />

opulent Coconut Spa, offering the finest spa treatments and a<br />

wellness inducing atmosphere.<br />


Filaidhoo, Maldives<br />

Tel +960 4004000<br />

42<br />


Merlion Park, Singapore<br />

Singapore<br />

<br />

Singapore Super 6<br />

Food Playground<br />

44 45

Singapore<br />

Super 6<br />

Singapore is a mega city like no other, it’s a melting pot<br />

of several cultures and a hub for international travel.<br />

An amazing culinary scene, superb nightlife, state-of-theart<br />

hotels, exciting adventure experiences and so much<br />

more await. We’ve picked out six of the best things to do<br />

next time you’re in Singapore<br />

Stroll through the Garden By The Bay<br />

One of Singapore’s most visited and recognisable tourist<br />

attractions, the Gardens By the Bay is a perfect place for<br />

a stroll. Here you’ll find futuristic gardens that are home to<br />

super-trees, biodomes, and an impressive skywalk.<br />

Have Fun at<br />

Universal Studios<br />

Located as part of Resort<br />

World on Sentosa Island,<br />

the Universal Studios theme<br />

park makes for a special<br />

day out. Packed with over<br />

20 attractions and rides in<br />

several themed zones this<br />

one is perfect for families.<br />

Shop on Orchard Road<br />

Singapore’s answer to London’s Oxford Street is a<br />

shopaholics dream, lined with independent boutiques,<br />

international brands, café’s, salons, spa’s, offices, hotels,<br />

restaurants, and entertainment spots.<br />

Enjoy Michelin Star Street Food<br />

In Singapore you can now enjoy two of the cheapest<br />

Michelin starred restaurants in the world. The first is the<br />

Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle stall<br />

selling soy-sauce chicken and BBQ pork. The second is<br />

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, a family-owned noodle<br />

bar specialising in minced meat noodles.<br />

Explore Little India<br />

One of Singapore’s most vibrant and distinctive<br />

neighbourhoods, Little India is a marvel for the senses.<br />

Expect incense scented streets, colourful temples,<br />

delicious smells from the eateries, and a warm wel<strong>com</strong>e<br />

from the locals.<br />

Enrol at a Culinary School<br />

There is no doubting the fact that Singapore is a culinary<br />

centre but why not take a little bit of this home with<br />

you? With food playground, a <strong>Travel</strong> and <strong>Hospitality</strong><br />

award winner, you can. This culinary school offers a fully<br />

immersive and culturally centred cooking experiences.<br />

Find out more on the next page.<br />

46 47

48<br />

Food Playground<br />

Singapore | Culinary Experience<br />

Food Playground is a cooking school based in Singapore offering cultural cooking classes<br />

and culinary team building workshops. Since being founded in 2012 there has been a<br />

focus on one unique social mission; To provide dignified employment opportunities for<br />

local stay-at-home mothers who face barriers to employment.<br />

Food Playground’s signature Cultural Cooking Class offers a culturally immersive<br />

experience for tourists and food lovers alike, ultimately a unique opportunity<br />

to learn more about Singapore’s fantastic gastronomic heritage. The<br />

Culinary Team-building Workshops on the other hand, aid organisations<br />

and business travellers in bonding and achieving various corporate<br />

objectives like assimilation of new team members, breaking down<br />

silos, enhancing creativity, and learning.<br />

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic severely impacted Food<br />

Playground’s business as the number of tourists and business<br />

travellers to Singapore dried up. This however, only encouraged<br />

innovation and within 4 weeks, Food Playground was able<br />

to pivot its business model <strong>com</strong>pletely to offer online<br />

culinary experiences thus capitalising on the surge<br />

in demand for virtual learning bought about by<br />

lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements.<br />

Food Playground’s virtual cooking classes quickly took off<br />

and gained positive feedback, mainly due to the convenient<br />

nature of being able to enrol in classes without the need<br />

to visit Singapore or even leave home. The virtual culinary<br />

classes also opened a whole new revenue stream leading to<br />

an influx of new corporate customers that required a virtual<br />

team bonding activity able to address demands bought on<br />

by being in different countries and time zones, something<br />

Food Playground was unable to offer pre-Covid.<br />

Throughout the pandemic, Food Playground has continued to<br />

build on its strong reputation both locally and internationally,<br />

for delivering the finest culinary learning experience while<br />

at the same time, making a positive impact on the local<br />

<strong>com</strong>munity through the empowerment of women.<br />

This has led to Food Playground to being the only culinary<br />

school in Singapore to achieve a PERFECT 5.0 RATING on<br />

both Google and Tripadvisor.<br />

24A Sago Street, Singapore 059020<br />

Tel +65 9452 3669<br />

enquiries@foodplayground.<strong>com</strong>.sg<br />

https://<strong>www</strong>.foodplayground.<strong>com</strong>.sg<br />



Bali, Indonesia<br />

Indonesia<br />

<br />

Jakarta The Big Durian<br />

ASTON Priority Simatupang<br />

Hotel & Conference Center<br />

50 51

Jakarta<br />

The Big Durian<br />

This bustling metropolis, nicknamed the Big Durian, is jam packed with things to do<br />

and a joy to explore. With over 10 million inhabitants Jakarta is a cosmopolitan city<br />

that carries a unique charm.<br />

Getting in & Getting Around<br />

The only way to get in from abroad is via airplane. There are two airports in Jakarta.<br />

Soekarno-Hatta is the city’s international airport and a hub for Garuda Airlines, Indonesia’s<br />

national carrier. Halim Perdanakusuma Airport is much smaller and serves domestic<br />

scheduled flights, private charters, and military flights.<br />

Jakarta is well connected to the rest of the country via buses, train, ferries, and an<br />

extensive road network should you want to drive in.<br />

Jakarta is a vast city with a confusing layout making it a challenge to navigate. Getting<br />

around by car or taxi can be tricky during traffic hours so it’s better to use the <strong>com</strong>muter<br />

trains as it’s more efficient. The Bajaj is a unique mode of transport similar to Thailand’s<br />

Tuk-tuk, another popular local method is to use motorbike taxis which can cut through<br />

most traffic.<br />

Things To Do<br />

Any trip to learn about the city’s<br />

history should start in the area Kota<br />

Tua, a Dutch legacy area, where many<br />

old buildings have been preserved<br />

and where the Jakarta’s history<br />

museum is located.<br />

For a concrete jungle of a city Jakarta<br />

has a surprising green side to it. The<br />

city boasts over 1000 parks. Our picks<br />

of the lot are the National Monument<br />

Park, Pluit Park, and Menteng Park.<br />

The shopping malls in Jakarta are<br />

modern, grand, and offer everything<br />

you’d expect in terms of retail, dining,<br />

and things to do. For an alternative<br />

shopping experience, you should<br />

check out one of the many bustling<br />

markets dotted all over the city, Pasar<br />

Baru would be our pick of the bunch.<br />

52 53

Food<br />

Thanks to its cosmopolitan<br />

population Jakarta is<br />

home to thousands of<br />

restaurants serving a<br />

wide array of international<br />

cuisine.<br />

In terms of local dishes<br />

Nasi Uduk and Nasi Ulam<br />

are a must have. Both<br />

are rice dishes cooked in<br />

coconut milk Nasi Uduk<br />

is served with choices of<br />

various topping whereas<br />

Ulam is served with<br />

fried mince beef, sweet<br />

fried tempeh, and salad<br />

toppings.<br />

Jakarta, Indonesia<br />

Ac<strong>com</strong>modation<br />

We re<strong>com</strong>mend none other than <strong>Travel</strong> and <strong>Hospitality</strong> award winner the Aston Priority<br />

Simatupang Hotel and Conference Centre. Turn over to the next page to find out more.<br />

54 55

56<br />

ASTON Priority Simatupang<br />

Hotel & Conference Center<br />

Indonesia | Business Hotel of the Year <strong>2021</strong> - Jakarta<br />

Jakarta, May <strong>2021</strong> – Strategically located in the business district of Jalan T.B. Simatupang<br />

Kav.9, with easy access to the Jakarta – Bintaro ring road tollways, the ASTON<br />

Priority Simatupang Hotel & Conference Center has 277 rooms that are categorized into<br />

several types of rooms from the normal standard Deluxe room, Premier, Junior Suite,<br />

Executive Suite, and the Governor Suite, this hotel offers a <strong>com</strong>fortable ambiance<br />

in the middle of the central business district area. The concept of this hotel is a<br />

modern styled modern equipped with high-tech facilities, such as IP TV and<br />

motion sensors to control the air conditioner, etc. All rooms feature a marble<br />

bathroom, ergonomic workspace, and plush bedding.<br />

A large sky ballroom sits on the highest floor of the 26th floor that<br />

can ac<strong>com</strong>modate up to 500 delegates where the hotel also has an<br />

additional 15 meeting rooms that are always in high demand utilized<br />

for many events, from small meetings to grand launchings and<br />

wedding events. The hotel also has four Food & Beverage<br />

outlets; the Canary Restaurant, Momiji Japanese Restaurant,<br />

Momiji Lounge, and the LA Lounge. For relaxation and sports<br />

activities, this hotel provides a Spa located on B1 Level, a<br />

Swimming pool on the Ground Floor, and a Gym on the<br />

2nd Floor.<br />

For reservations, visit the website simatupang.<br />

astonhotelsinternational.<strong>com</strong> or can contact +6221 7883<br />

8777 or email simatupanginfo@astonhotelsinternational.<br />

<strong>com</strong>. Download the Archipelago International Membership<br />

app for special stay rates. Follow @astonsimatupang on<br />

social media and share your moments with the hashtag<br />

#astonhotelsinternational.<br />

About Archipelago International<br />

Southeast <strong>Asia</strong>’s largest privately owned and independent<br />

hotel management group, operating over 150 hotels with<br />

a further 50+ under development across Southeast <strong>Asia</strong>,<br />

the Caribbean and the Middle East. Trusted hotels with<br />

a long track-record and 20,000 rooms in more than 60<br />

destinations with brands including ASTON, Collection by<br />

ASTON, The Alana, Huxley, Kamuela, Harper, Quest, NEO,<br />

favehotels and Nordic. archipelagointernational.<strong>com</strong><br />


ASTON Priority Simatupang Hotel &<br />

Conference Center<br />

Jl. Let. Jend. T.B. Simatupang Kav. 9<br />

Kebagusan South Jakarta 12520 - Indonesia<br />

Tel +62 21 7883 8777<br />

simatupanginfo@astonhotelsinternational.<strong>com</strong><br />


The Philippines<br />

<br />

Manila Pearl of the Orient<br />

Busuanga The Hidden Gem of the Philippines<br />

La Estancia Busuanga<br />

Palawan, Philippines<br />

58 59

Manila<br />

Pearl of the Orient<br />

A<br />

rich heritage, friendly locals, beautiful architecture, good<br />

food, modern malls, cultural diversity, a vibrant nightlife<br />

and much more await all those who dare venture into the<br />

<strong>Asia</strong>n megacity of Manila.<br />

Getting in & Getting Around<br />

Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the main international<br />

airport of the city and is well serviced by many of the major<br />

global airlines. The other is Clark International Airport and is a<br />

popular hub for low-cost carriers such as Air<strong>Asia</strong>. To get in from<br />

within the Philippines there are several ferry services that dock<br />

at the Port of Manila, buses which are a cheap and <strong>com</strong>mon<br />

way to get in, and two overnight trains from Naga and Ligao.<br />

Manila has an extremely efficient public transport system<br />

made up of <strong>com</strong>muter trains, buses, and jeepneys, which are<br />

jeeps that have been converted into buses. Taxis and hailing<br />

apps are another popular option.<br />

Things To Do<br />

Manila is full to the brim<br />

with tourist sites, some<br />

popular landmarks include<br />

the Bonifacio Shrine, the<br />

Coconut Palace, Intramuros,<br />

and Roxas Boulevard. You’ll<br />

also find some stunning<br />

Baroque style churches<br />

that are basically remnant<br />

of Spanish colonial rule. The<br />

San Augustin and Santa Cruz<br />

churches would be our pick<br />

of the bunch along with the<br />

magnificent Basilica of San<br />

Sebastian.<br />

Manila is the cultural capital<br />

of the Philippines so it should<br />

<strong>com</strong>e as no surprise the city<br />

is home to several museums,<br />

beautiful parks, and regular<br />

festivals or fiestas.<br />

Food<br />

Manila holds a stellar reputation for its street food,<br />

popular options are balut (boiled duck embroyo), fish<br />

balls, banana cue (fried plantain coated in caramelized<br />

brown sugar), and Taho (mushy tofu topped with sugar<br />

syrup and tapioca balls).<br />

Pulutan is the Philippines version of tapas and is<br />

relatively unknown outside the country. The small plate<br />

presentation is like tapas as is the <strong>com</strong>munal style of<br />

dining, however dishes vary. Popular options include<br />

chilli sesame wings, Gambas, and Kilayan.<br />

Ac<strong>com</strong>modation<br />

Our suggestion for a good night’s sleep is the Sheraton<br />

Manila Bay, a <strong>Travel</strong> and <strong>Hospitality</strong> Award Winner,<br />

located in the heart of the city, offering a luxury service<br />

and world class experience. To find out more click here.<br />

60 61

Busuanga<br />

The Hidden Gem<br />

of the Philippines<br />

If you’re looking for an alternative destination in the Philippines,<br />

one that is yet to be exposed to mass tourism, then look no<br />

further than Busuanga Island located in the northern part of the<br />

Palawan Province. This beautiful island is home to some stunning<br />

natural scenery, beautiful beaches, and is usually the ideal base<br />

for adventure activities in the region. Its undeveloped structure<br />

adds to the feeling of adventure and although it’s only really<br />

being “discovered” by travellers now its history stretches back<br />

thousands of years.<br />

Getting to Busuanga isn’t as challenging as one might expect.<br />

There are regular flights from Manila to Francisco B Reyes Airport,<br />

the journey takes about an hour. From the airport it takes roughly<br />

50 minutes to the town of Coron. The ferry from Manila is another<br />

option although it does involve an overnight trip on board. Getting<br />

around for most tourists means riding on Jeepneys which are old<br />

jeeps and vans converted into and used as small buses.<br />

Once you’re on the Island you’re all<br />

set for adventures galore. The island<br />

is a great place for diving, it was once<br />

occupied by Japan who were forced<br />

out by the USA, so there are plenty<br />

Japanese World War II shipwrecks<br />

to visit. Other diving sites include<br />

incredible coral reefs and a wide array<br />

of sea life. We re<strong>com</strong>mend hiking<br />

especially to the top of Mt Tapyas at<br />

sunrise and sunset. Horseback riding,<br />

mountain biking, fishing, watersports,<br />

and jungle treks are also very popular.<br />

For something a little more relaxing<br />

we suggest you visit the Maquinit Hot<br />

Springs, located a few minutes outside<br />

of Coron town these springs are the<br />

perfect place to sit back, enjoy a drink,<br />

and take in the stunning scenery.<br />

In terms of ac<strong>com</strong>modation, you<br />

couldn’t do much better than <strong>Travel</strong> and<br />

<strong>Hospitality</strong> Award winner, La Estancia<br />

Busuanga, profiled on in depth on the<br />

next page.<br />

62 63

La Estancia Busuanga<br />

Philippines | Family Friendly Hotel<br />

La Estancia Busuanga sits at the western most tip of Busuanga<br />

Island, where there are no crowds, no billboards, and no endless<br />

traffic jams. In this place, you will find the mountains and the<br />

seas <strong>com</strong>ing together. It is Busuanga at its most tranquil and<br />

pristine best.<br />

Estancia is a Spanish word for ranch, farm, estate and a<br />

place to stay in. It is the perfect name for this place as<br />

it was originally a farm, ranch, and a vacation home<br />

where the owners enjoyed entertaining family<br />

and friends. As a small resort now, La Estancia<br />

Busuanga provides guests a taste of the<br />

private island lifestyle and an escape from<br />

the stresses of city life.<br />

~ experience private island lifestyle ~<br />

Surrounded by rolling hills, islands, mangrove<br />

forests and calm seas, the rooms at La Estancia<br />

Busuanga allow guests to see and appreciate<br />

nature at its best from their bedrooms – from<br />

their first glimpse of the sun rising on the horizon<br />

at dawn to the time it kisses the sea as dark starts<br />

to settle in at night.<br />

Room rates range from PHP5600 to PHP15680.<br />

Visit <strong>www</strong>.laestanciabusuanga.<strong>com</strong> for more<br />

details.<br />


Sitio Cabilbil, New Busuanga,<br />

Busuanga, Palawan Philippines<br />

Mob: +63918-898-0918 /<br />

+63917-163-2917<br />

Whatapp/Viber: +63917-149-7657<br />

64<br />


Japan<br />

<br />

Hokkaido Your Alternative<br />

Japanese Experience<br />

Sapporo Japan’s Distinct City<br />

Asahikawa Gateway to Hokkaidos Natural Beauty<br />

Niseko A Winter Sports Capital<br />

Aspect Niseko<br />

Meguro River, Matsuno, Japan<br />

66 67

Hokkaido<br />

Your Alternative<br />

Japanese Experience<br />

When it <strong>com</strong>es to tourism in Japan Hokkaido takes a<br />

back seat. It’s more glamorous counterparts such as<br />

Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka tend to be higher up on visitor wish<br />

lists and unless you’re visiting for a second, third or fourth<br />

time Hokkaido will rarely be mentioned.<br />

Despite being the largest prefecture, Hokkaido is sparsely<br />

populated, it’s in parts less developed, and has built a<br />

reputation on its winter sports & natural beauty, probably<br />

two of the least likely reasons people visit Japan. Scratch<br />

the surface however, and you’ll find a beautiful Japanese<br />

prefecture home to a long and varied history, wel<strong>com</strong>ing<br />

people, excellent seafood, exquisite cheese, stunning natural<br />

landscapes, hot spring resorts, and a plethora of outdoor<br />

adventure activities.<br />

Getting to Hokkaido needn’t be a hassle, there<br />

are plenty of domestic flights to Sapporo’s<br />

Chitose Airport from Tokyo and Osaka, as well<br />

as international arrivals from Hong Kong, China,<br />

and South Korea.<br />

Hokkaido is also connected to the mainland<br />

via train (using an undersea tunnel) from Tokyo<br />

to Hakodate, in Southern Hokkaido. There is a<br />

limited train service on the islands that you can<br />

use to get around. Although getting around is<br />

best done by either bus or ideally by renting<br />

your own car, for a more daring experience you<br />

can try hitchhiking.<br />

To bring your own car or rental to Hokkaido<br />

you’ll need to use the ferry. There are sailings<br />

between Russia and South Korea as well as<br />

mainland Japan, it’s re<strong>com</strong>mended to plan and<br />

book ahead if you’re going to enter this way.<br />

If you’re planning a trip to Hokkaido and aren’t<br />

sure where to start then worry not, we’ve put<br />

together a guide of three distinct destinations<br />

on the island, perfect for first timers. The list<br />

includes Sapparo, Asahikawa, and Niseko.<br />

68 69

Sapporo<br />

Japan’s Distinct City<br />

Hokkaido’s capital and largest city, Sapporo is generally<br />

considered the gateway to the region if you’re flying<br />

in. This city is unique in Japan in that it’s very unlike other<br />

Japanese cities, it offers little in the way of traditional<br />

architecture, narrow streets, and an organic layout, in fact<br />

it’s been described as Japan’s American city.<br />

Historically the city has only been around since 1868 before<br />

then the area was occupied by Ainu settlements. Upon the<br />

construction of a canal in 1866 and the decision of the<br />

Meiji government to establish a new capital for Hokkaido,<br />

Sapporo was founded. The fact that it was a planned city<br />

meant that it was laid out in a grid format with a focus easy<br />

navigation, wide boulevards, and parks.<br />

One such attraction, that further reinforces Sapporo’s “Americanness”<br />

is the clock tower constructed for Hokkaido University, it’s<br />

considered a symbol of the city.<br />

Sapporo makes up for its lack of history by offering much to do and<br />

see. The Ishiya chocolate factory tour is a great activity, this includes<br />

a view of the chocolate making floor, robot show, toy museum,<br />

souvenir shop, and a cake buffet at the on-site restaurant. Another<br />

fantastic attraction is Odori park, a famous narrow park stretching<br />

over 15 blocks and home to numerous flower gardens, trees and<br />

fountains. For a more relaxing pastime we re<strong>com</strong>mend the Honeikyo<br />

Hot Springs, considered one of the most beautiful in Japan, offering<br />

mountain views, indoor & outdoor areas, a beer bar, and a restaurant.<br />

The city perhaps most famed for its annual snow festival, taking<br />

place in the first week of February. It runs over seven days attracting<br />

hundreds of thousands of visitors. The main attraction of the festival<br />

is the ice sculpture <strong>com</strong>petition featuring the best artists producing<br />

magnificent sculptures for all to see.<br />

In terms of ac<strong>com</strong>modation, we advise you to check in to the Sapporo<br />

Grand Hotel, despite being one of the oldest in the city, it remains<br />

the most stylish. For food don’t miss out on the hairy crab, a local<br />

delicacy that can be found at any seafood establishment, to warm<br />

yourself up on a cold winter’s day then the Sapporo Soup Curry is the<br />

way to go.<br />

70 71

Asahikawa<br />

Gateway to Hokkaidos<br />

Natural Beauty<br />

The second largest city on the island and the perfect starting<br />

point for exploring the beautiful landscapes of the region.<br />

Asahikawa is a pleasant city, it’s the confluence of four rivers and<br />

surrounded by hills.<br />

Asahikawa airport is well connected domestically with regular<br />

flights from Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. There are also seasonal<br />

international flights from Seoul and Taipei. If you’re already on<br />

Hokkaido then there are trains arriving from Sapporo, Otaru, and<br />

Hakodate (arrive here from the mainland).<br />

Asahikawa is the ideal base for exploring the regions natural<br />

attraction, the most popular of which is the spectacular<br />

Daisetsuzan National Park. The Park is virtually unspoiled and<br />

is home to lakes, forests, mountains, hot springs, wildlife, and<br />

stunning alpine flora. Hiking is the best way to get around and<br />

take in scenery. Mountain biking and hot spring resorts are other<br />

<strong>com</strong>mon past times.<br />

Another much visited nearby attraction is Furano, an area of<br />

small farming towns. Furano is famous for its powdery white<br />

snow, fields of lavender, vineyards, and winter sports. Hiking in<br />

the area is popular as well as cheese-making.<br />

Biei is a wonderful sightseeing area located only 40 minutes from<br />

Asahikawa. It resembles the Italian countryside <strong>com</strong>plete with<br />

picturesque rolling green hills and vast fields. We re<strong>com</strong>mend<br />

renting bicycle to explore.<br />

Asahikawa itself has its own charm and attractions. The people<br />

are friendly, and the city is small making it easy to navigate, there<br />

are plenty of cycling trails that aren’t too taxing. The “romantic<br />

road” is worth visiting and makes for a nice stroll. There are three<br />

famous bridges in the city, the Asahibashi one is our pick of the<br />

bunch. While Asahikawa Zoo itself isn’t impressive, it gets a lot<br />

of visitors from around Japan mainly for it’s polar bear enclosure<br />

that allows guest to see the bears underwater.<br />

For food you’ll find most types of international cuisines in<br />

Asahikawa and the town has a good reputation for high quality<br />

dairy products. However, Ramen Village is the place to go, it’s<br />

home to eight of Asahikawa’s greatest ramen shops in one<br />

outlet. For a place to stay you can’t get much better than the<br />

Hotel WBF Grande.<br />

72 73

Niseko<br />

A Winter Sports Capital<br />

One of the big draws of Hokkaido is the winter sports and it’s<br />

considered superior to anywhere in Japan for skiing and<br />

snowboarding. Sapporo was the host of the 1972 Winter Olympics<br />

and since then the local economy has thrived on winter sports<br />

tourism.<br />

The jewel in the crown of the Hokkaido winter sports scene is the<br />

ski resort of Niseko, made up of four areas sitting at the base of the<br />

majestic Mt Yotei. Over the years Niseko has be<strong>com</strong>e increasingly<br />

popular with skiers and boarders in Japan and from abroad with it<br />

being a favoured by Australian tourists.<br />

Niseko is primarily a target for Powder ski lovers, it’s ideally located<br />

in the path of weather systems that bring in cold air in from<br />

Siberia which when <strong>com</strong>bined with the coastal location and cold<br />

temperatures results in heavy snowfall that is renowned for being<br />

incredibly dry. Many enthusiasts consider Niseko the powder<br />

capital of the world. Skiers and boarders are spoilt for choice with<br />

several fantastic runs available in varying terrains serviced by<br />

good quality ski lifts.<br />

Hiking is another popular activity especially<br />

in the summer and the hike up Mt Yotei is<br />

a rewarding one. Other popular activities<br />

include golfing, horse riding, canyoning,<br />

mountain biking, ziplining, and even a<br />

Samurai workshop.<br />

If all the activities get too tiresome then<br />

you’re in luck because Niseko boasts several<br />

hot springs, or Onsens as they’re known in<br />

Japan. Our pick is the Hilton Niseko Village,<br />

offering a luxurious experience that includes<br />

an outdoor setting amongst a serene forest,<br />

koi pond and spectacular view of Mt Yotei.<br />

As it’s a popular international travel<br />

destination Niseko offers diversity in its<br />

cuisine; Italian, French, Indonesian, Thai,<br />

Indian and Nepalese cuisine are available<br />

as well as fantastic local specialties such as<br />

sushi and teppanyaki grills.<br />

For an excellent night’s sleep and all round<br />

high quality experience look no further than<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> and <strong>Hospitality</strong> Award winner, Aspect<br />

Niseko. Please see the next page for an<br />

extensive profile.<br />

74 75

76<br />

Aspect Niseko<br />

Japan | Luxury Ac<strong>com</strong>modation<br />

Aspect sits on the edge of the famed ‘Millionaires’ Row’ in the Middle Village<br />

of Hirafu, just a few minutes away from the town’s best bars, restaurants<br />

and entertainment. It’s thoughtfully-designed apartments are furnished<br />

with European and Japanese fittings of the highest standards, fullyequipped<br />

kitchen and a dedicated concierge service that ensures you<br />

one of Niseko’s most memorable stays. Aspect’s majestic holiday<br />

ac<strong>com</strong>modations <strong>com</strong>e in 2-, 3- and 5-bedroom apartments that<br />

<strong>com</strong>bine quality, space and inclusive design no matter option<br />

you choose. Each apartment also features impressive floorto-ceiling<br />

windows where you’ll be greeted by stunning,<br />

panoramic views of Mt Yotei – one of the highest peaks<br />

in Hokkaido. Gather some friends and move up to<br />

the apartment rooftop for a BBQ or have great fun<br />

gazing at the stars or even the majestic Mt Yotei.<br />

Highlights of our property :<br />

- Magnificent views of the Mount<br />

Yotei from each apartment<br />

- Fully-equipped kitchen<br />

- Laundry room with washing and<br />

dryer machine & iron<br />

- Fireplace<br />

- Ski valet service, where we<br />

handle the safekeeping and<br />

storage of your ski equipment<br />

during your stay with us. Let<br />

us know when you want to ski,<br />

and your ski equipment will be<br />

waiting in the car for you. We will<br />

drive you to your desired ski lift<br />

and even unload the equipment<br />

for you. When you’re done skiing<br />

for the day, we will drive you<br />

back to Aspect.<br />

- Concierge service, where we<br />

assist with arrangements for<br />

Aspect Niseko<br />

169 Yamada, Kutchan-cho,<br />

Abuta-gun, Hokkaido<br />

044-0081<br />


your airport transfers, restaurant<br />

reservations, ski school sessions,<br />

ski equipment rental, private<br />

chef bookings…anything within<br />

our capability to make your stay<br />

a memorable one.<br />

- Shuttle service, where we<br />

drive you to the nearby ski lifts,<br />

restaurants, the grocery store<br />

etc. Just let us know in advance<br />

when you’d like to depart.<br />

- Ideally located in Middle<br />

Hirafu, just minutes away from<br />

great bars, restaurants and<br />

entertainment<br />

- A rooftop equipped with BBQ<br />

equipment, a perfect spot for<br />

summer cookouts or even stargazing<br />

with friends and family.<br />


Addres<br />

Tel +<br />

url<br />




<strong>2021</strong><br />


78<br />


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