Travel & Hospitality Awards - Asia 2022

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Sponsor and<br />


Team<br />

CEO<br />

Robert Bruce<br />

Editor-In-Chief<br />

Katherine Lozell<br />

Art Director<br />

Marcs Bacera<br />

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

Brian Anson<br />

Editorial Liaison Manager<br />

David Hyde<br />

Director Of Marketing<br />

Azim Aftab<br />

Social Media Manager<br />

Apple Gatus<br />

Senior Writers<br />

Tasmai Dave & Zavier Zulfqar<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

Harry Duncton<br />

Senior Designers<br />

Maria Fernandes & Ashwin Ramesh<br />

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

Adam Cole, Alice Smith,<br />

& Stanley Lucas<br />

Research Managers<br />

Peter Clement & Mukul<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Joseph Malabanan,<br />

& Michael Popoola<br />

Contents<br />

Sponsor and Partners6<br />

Team8<br />

Contents8<br />

Criteria 10<br />

Criteria 12<br />

Indonesia 14<br />

Bali Island Profile 16<br />

Bali Top Five 18<br />

On My Way to Bali 22<br />

Sababay Winery 24<br />

The Magnificent Gili Islands 26<br />

Meno House 28<br />

Jakarta The Big Durian 30<br />

Singapore 34<br />

Singapore 36<br />

U8 Global 40<br />

Malaysia 42<br />

Kuala Lumpur City Profile 44<br />

Getting Out to Petaling Jaya 46<br />

ASTON Priority Simatupang Hotel &<br />

Conference Center 48<br />

Thailand 50<br />

Phuket Paradise Island 52<br />

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary 56<br />

Phuket’s Legendary Kata Beach 58<br />

Kata Sea Breeze Resort 60<br />

Matthew Hindmarch 62<br />

AKSARA Collection 62<br />

Hong Kong 64<br />

Hong Kong Glamour 66<br />

Modena by Fraser Hong Kong 70<br />

Japan 72<br />

Beauty of Tokyo 74<br />

Niseko <strong>Asia</strong>’s Ski Capital 76<br />

Aspect Niseko 80<br />

Eat Niseko 82<br />

Mountain View Homes 84<br />

Adventure in Japan 86<br />

Japan Tour Adventure 90

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 compared 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 come in all<br />

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

thing in common – a home-away-fromhome<br />

feel. The comfort 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 complimentary toiletries, free<br />

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

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

welcome. 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 become a vital<br />

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

companies 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 company’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 />


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 come 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 />


12<br />


thawards.com<br />

Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia<br />


14<br />

BALI<br />

ISLAND<br />


There might be more than 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia but there can only be one Bali. A<br />

tropical volcanic paradise, it’s one of the most desirable destinations on the planet.<br />

Getting In & Around<br />

Flying into Ngurah Rai International Airport is the entrance<br />

point for most visitors. Exploring the island from there can<br />

be done via bus, taxi, or the ubiquitous scooter favoured<br />

by locals.<br />

Things to Do & See<br />

Beautiful beaches, incredible snorkelling, lush jungles,<br />

thousands of temples, and exciting nightlife. Bali has it<br />

all – if you have the time to experience it. Some cultural<br />

highlights include the vast Bali Provincial State Museum<br />

in Denpasar and the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.<br />

Street food is found everywhere, from the chaotic streets<br />

of downtown Kuta to the quiet villages in the heart of the<br />

island. However, that’s not all the island has to offer. There<br />

are also fine dining experiences to be had in restaurants<br />

like the exquisite Ankhusa Restaurant in Ubud.<br />

Accommodation<br />

Depending on your budget, spending time in Bali can<br />

range from perfectly decent to absolute opulence. If you<br />

want to experience Bali’s verdant jungle interior but crave<br />

five-star luxury, then it doesn’t get much better than The<br />

Kayon Jungle Resort.<br />

Dining<br />

The incredibly colourful assortment of dishes available<br />

in Bali is extraordinary. Expect to encounter a range of<br />

exciting foods, from the world-famous mie goreng stir<br />

fried noodles to the local speciality of babi guling, or<br />

“turning pig” – a succulent spit-roasted pork dish.<br />


16<br />

BALI TOP<br />


Sun-kissed beaches, lush tropical jungles, and sumptuous street food. There are more than a few<br />

reasons why the Indonesian island of Bali is one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. These<br />

are the top five things to do when you reach “The Island of the Gods”.<br />

Visit a Temple<br />

You don’t need to travel far in Bali to find a pura, or Balinese<br />

temple. With more than 10,000 on the island, you might just<br />

find one all to yourself. Ranging from the towering Lempuyang<br />

Temple to those hidden in the jungle like the remote Luhur<br />

Batukaru, they’re an incredible collection of sites.<br />

Most of the temples on the island are places of worship for<br />

followers of Balinese Hinduism and the temples are adorned<br />

with ancient carvings and statues. Wandering around a<br />

peaceful temple is the perfect antidote to an otherwise busy<br />

day of adventuring.<br />

Go Wine Tasting<br />

You might not believe it, but Bali is home to one of the<br />

most exciting vineyards in the world. Sababay Winery create<br />

exquisite wines from the fertile soils found on Bali’s southeast<br />

coast – and, better yet, guests are invited to try them out in<br />

their purpose-built winery garden.<br />

Sababay Winery offers the only winery tours on the island,<br />

where you can learn all about the wine-making process before<br />

pairing a glass or two with an authentic Indonesian meal. The<br />

relaxed and family-friendly winery is the perfect place to<br />

spend an afternoon with the people you care about the most.<br />


Learn to Surf<br />

Surrounded by the warm and inviting waters of the Indian Ocean, Bali is a<br />

true surfer’s paradise. It’s the ideal place to go if you’re looking for that perfect<br />

barrel wave and, with an average water temperature of around 28° Celsius,<br />

you won’t need a wetsuit.<br />

The south coast of the island is home to the most surfing beaches and<br />

nothing beats the rolling surf of Balangan beach. A mere 30 minutes away<br />

from the airport, the reliable waves are the perfect size for beginners and<br />

you can get lessons right on the beach.<br />

Take an Indonesian Cooking Course<br />

One of the best reasons to visit the tropical island of Bali is to try all the<br />

exciting food on offer. You can eat at a roadside café or sit down to a<br />

luxury banquet if you want, but the ultimate foodie experience is to learn<br />

how to do it yourself. Go on a Balinese cooking course and you can eat<br />

like a local any time you like.<br />

Luckily, there are plenty of Balinese cookery schools to choose from, so you<br />

can decide if you want to learn Indonesian classics such as nasi goreng, satay<br />

skewers, or the perfect sambal. One of the highlights is accompanying the<br />

chef to the market.<br />


Go Snorkelling<br />

With some of the clearest<br />

azure blue seas on<br />

the planet, it’s no<br />

surprise that Bali is an<br />

underwater paradise.<br />

Grab flippers and a<br />

snorkel and explore the<br />

world hidden under the<br />

waves. Some of the best<br />

snorkelling beaches are on<br />

the east side of the island,<br />

where the coral reefs are in<br />

shallow water.<br />

For an unforgettable<br />

underwater adventure,<br />

you can’t beat Padangbai<br />

Blue Lagoon. Take a boat<br />

trip out with experienced<br />

guides for snorkelling and<br />

scuba diving for the more<br />

adventurous.<br />


On My Way to Bali<br />

Indonesia | Cultural Tour Company<br />

The history of On My Way to Bali began long before its seven years of<br />

existence. It was born in the mind of a Brazilian, passionate about travel<br />

and who always sought to be on the road accumulating experiences with<br />

family, friends or alone. Rodrigo Kircher is the CEO of the company<br />

today, who after traveling a lot in Brazil, had a dream of visiting<br />

Indonesia and, of course, Bali.<br />

After spending a few months on the Island, enjoying the<br />

culture and people of the place so much, he worked for<br />

a while in the hotel business. On a cruise, he met his<br />

wife of Balinese origin and together they went back<br />

Brazil to start a family. It was there that friends and<br />

former clients from began to ask what it was like<br />

on the island, and if he could help them plan<br />

their next trip. On My Way to Bali was born.<br />


Today the company has business partners in<br />

Indonesia, encouraging cultural and conscious<br />

tourism (they even have a Carbon Free certification),<br />

promoting local culture and effectively contributing to<br />

the island’s economic development.<br />

The focus is on Brazilian travellers who have the desire<br />

to know Bali. However, On My Way to Bali provides<br />

a multilingual service, with guides who run tours in<br />

several languages: including Italian, Spanish, English,<br />

Japanese and German.<br />

Proud to promote Balinese tourism for other<br />

nationalities, their guides take them on trips that range<br />

from adventures on jungle trails with panoramic views<br />

of the island and sea bathing, to cultural and religious<br />

immersion in the various Hindu temples on the island.<br />

They also cater for couples looking for romance in Bali<br />

and for families with children who deserve quiet days<br />

in the tranquil surroundings of the island.<br />


26 Jalan Raya Kedewatan, Bali, 80571, ID<br />

Tel +55 41987750427<br />


Sababay Winery<br />

Indonesia | Local Attraction<br />

Sun-kissed beaches, exciting food, and crystal-clear waters are probably the<br />

first things that come to mind when you think about Indonesia. You might not<br />

immediately associate the exotic island of Bali with wine, so prepare to be wowed<br />

by Sababay Winery.<br />

Book a place on Indonesia’s first winery tour and get a taste of the unique<br />

vintage that comes from the fertile soils of the Gianyar Regency area. You<br />

can really get to know the wines that Sababay Winery produce in tropical<br />

conditions, with tasting sessions led by their expert sommeliers. The<br />

exciting tipples that come from the Sababay Winery aren’t just limited<br />

to wines, though. There are also in-house grappa and even vodka<br />

made from Balinese grapes.<br />

There are several different tours to choose from that are<br />

guaranteed to take you on a journey of how the wine is<br />

made, what makes it unique, and the best ways to enjoy<br />

it. The Flavours of Indonesia tour is an ideal way to find<br />

out how their unique tastes are created while trying<br />

delicious local canapés. Or you can take a load off<br />

with the Winedown in The Garden tour – discover<br />

the winemaking process before enjoying a<br />

rustic picnic in the grounds.<br />


Finally, the Indonesia Gastronomy Lunch is for serious<br />

foodies only! Take your friends and family on a journey to<br />

discover four of the winery’s best vintages before settling<br />

down to a sumptuous four-course lunch. All dishes are<br />

skilfully paired with the perfect glass of wine to make the<br />

most of the beautiful surroundings and warm welcome.<br />

And because no visit to a winery would be complete without<br />

the opportunity to take a few bottles home with you, the<br />

full range of award-winning Sababay wines and spirits are<br />

available on site.<br />


Jalan Professor Doktor Ida<br />

Bagus Mantra No.333X<br />

Keramas, Medahan, Kec.<br />

Blahbatuh, Kabupaten Gianyar,<br />

Bali 80581, Indonesia<br />

Tel - +62 361 949099<br />


24<br />

THE<br />



Just three tiny specks of luscious green in a turquoise blue sea off the coast of Lombok Island: the<br />

Gili archipelago is small but full of adventure.<br />

Gili Trawangan<br />

The biggest of the three islands, “Gili T”, is still only 15 km².<br />

Famous for being a real party island, there are plenty of<br />

restaurants, bars, and even night markets to keep you<br />

occupied. Popular with backpackers, Gili T is the busiest<br />

and most developed Gili island, but you can still relax<br />

because there isn’t a car or scooter in sight.<br />

Gili Air<br />

If Gili T is too busy and Gili Meno is too quiet for your liking,<br />

then Gili Air is just right. It’s laid back but still has plenty<br />

to do, like snorkelling or getting an indulgent massage.<br />

With arguably the best white sand beaches of all three<br />

islands, there’s good reason why this place is known as<br />

the “Maldives of Indonesia”.<br />

Gili Meno<br />

From the biggest island to the smallest, Gili Meno is a<br />

postage stamp of an island but with a huge spirit and the<br />

real feel of a remote, tropical island. If you want to avoid<br />

the crowds that flock to Gili Trawangan, this is the ideal<br />

island for your next trip.<br />

The best way to take in Gili Meno is with a walk along the<br />

beach. Don’t worry if you’re not much of a hiker, though,<br />

since circling the entire island only takes a couple of<br />

hours. Find yourself a quiet spot, kick back on a beachside<br />

hammock, and feel the stress leave your body.<br />


Meno House<br />

Indonesia | Sea View Resort<br />

If you’re looking for an exclusive and remote slice of luxury, it doesn’t get<br />

much better than Meno House. Situated on the western side of Meno<br />

Island, you can sit back in your own piece of paradise and watch the<br />

Indonesian sun sink into the Indian Ocean at night. The area’s called<br />

Sunset Point for a good reason.<br />

Making up part of the Gili chain, the resort is based on Meno<br />

Island, an isle ringed with white sand beaches and the<br />

clearest turquoise seas you’ll ever see. Situated just off the<br />

coast of Lombok Island, this is a tropical paradise that’s<br />

a million miles away from normal life.<br />

This boutique beach front resort is the ideal place for<br />

a quiet getaway or a luxury honeymoon. Guests<br />

can choose from one of three sumptuous villas,<br />

but they all come with top class room service<br />

and concierge service. Get waited on hand<br />

and foot at the on-site restaurant, and<br />

if you’re not relaxed enough already,<br />

you can book a massage in your<br />

room.<br />


One of the best things about having your own villa is<br />

the absolute privacy you get. Each villa comes with<br />

an outdoor shower and the chance to have breakfast<br />

personally delivered, so you can be left alone to make<br />

the most of your holiday in peace.<br />

You can walk straight from your villa to the white sand<br />

beach and find yourself snorkelling with turtles within<br />

minutes. Meno House is the perfect place to start<br />

exploring one of Indonesia’s best kept secret islands,<br />

or if you simply want to unwind in picture-perfect<br />

surroundings, it’s one of our absolute favourites.<br />


Tel +62 8190 699 1301<br />


28<br />


THE BIG<br />


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

explore. With over 10 million inhabitants Jakarta is a cosmopolitan city that carries a unique charm.<br />

Getting in & Getting Around<br />

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

are two airports in Jakarta. Soekarno-Hatta is the city’s<br />

international airport and a hub for Garuda Airlines,<br />

Indonesia’s national carrier. Halim Perdanakusuma Airport<br />

is much smaller and serves domestic scheduled flights,<br />

private charters, and military flights.<br />

Jakarta is well connected to the rest of the country<br />

via buses, train, ferries, and an extensive road network<br />

should you want to drive in.<br />

Jakarta is a vast city with a confusing layout making it<br />

a challenge to navigate. Getting around by car or taxi<br />

can be tricky during traffic hours so it’s better to use<br />

the commuter trains as it’s more efficient. The Bajaj is a<br />

unique mode of transport similar to Thailand’s Tuk-tuk,<br />

another popular local method is to use motorbike taxis<br />

which can cut through most traffic.<br />

Things To Do<br />

Any trip to learn about the city’s history should start in<br />

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

buildings have been preserved and where the Jakarta’s<br />

history museum is located.<br />

For a concrete jungle of a city Jakarta has a surprising green<br />

side to it. The city boasts over 1000 parks. Our picks of the lot<br />

are the National Monument Park, Pluit Park, and Menteng<br />

Park.<br />

The shopping malls in Jakarta<br />

are modern, grand, and offer<br />

everything you’d expect<br />

in terms of retail, dining,<br />

and things to do. For an<br />

alternative shopping<br />

experience, you<br />

should check out one<br />

of the many bustling<br />

markets dotted all<br />

over the city, Pasar<br />

Baru would be our pick<br />

of the bunch.<br />


Food<br />

Thanks to its cosmopolitan population Jakarta is home<br />

to thousands of restaurants serving a wide array of<br />

international cuisine.<br />

In terms of local dishes Nasi Uduk and Nasi Ulam are a must<br />

have. Both are rice dishes cooked in coconut milk Nasi Uduk is<br />

served with choices of various topping whereas Ulam is served<br />

with fried mince beef, sweet fried tempeh, and salad toppings.<br />

Accommodation<br />

We recommend none other than <strong>Travel</strong> and<br />

<strong>Hospitality</strong> award winner the Aston Priority<br />

Simatupang Hotel and Conference<br />

Centre. Turn over to the next page<br />

to find out more.<br />


Jakarta, Indonesia<br />


32<br />


thawards.com<br />

Singapore<br />


34<br />


This spectacular country and its eponymous capital city are the models for modern <strong>Asia</strong>. Futuristic<br />

skyscrapers reach into the sky while the old colonial buildings remind visitors of this island’s<br />

fascinating past.<br />

Getting In and Around<br />

Singapore has made its name through being a logistics<br />

hub for the world. Home to one of the world’s busiest<br />

ports, it also boasts one of the best rated international<br />

airports.<br />

You can make the most of Singapore City on public<br />

transport. Often ranked as one of the best in the world, its<br />

metro system and bus routes reach every corner of the<br />

city. Grab an EZ Link Card for affordable travel throughout<br />

your stay.<br />

the sultry heat outside.<br />

Don’t assume that all the fun to be had in Singapore<br />

is indoors though. It’s a city that’s famous for natural<br />

beauty. Taking a trip to the botanic gardens is the perfect<br />

way to spend a warm afternoon amongst towering trees<br />

and thousands of delicate orchids. Or if animals are your<br />

thing, check out the incredible Night Safari.<br />

Things to Do and See<br />

You’ll probably spend most of your time craning your neck<br />

to look up at the city’s incredible skyline. Some of <strong>Asia</strong>’s<br />

most unusual and beautiful buildings are in Singapore,<br />

but it’s also known as the Garden City. Visiting the ethereal<br />

Gardens by the Bay with its towers draped in flowers is a<br />

truly splendid sight.<br />

If you’re planning on shopping when you’re in town, then<br />

you’ll be spoiled for choice. The enormous and pleasantly<br />

air conditioned shopping malls are the ideal way to escape<br />


Dining<br />

One of the many wonderful<br />

things to experience in<br />

Singapore is the vibrant foodie<br />

culture found on almost every<br />

street corner. As one of <strong>Asia</strong>’s<br />

most diverse countries, the<br />

cuisine has flavours from the<br />

across the continent that will<br />

suit every palate.<br />

Visiting a fresh produce<br />

“hawker” market is one of<br />

the best ways to get behind<br />

the glitz and the glamour of<br />

Singapore and meet the locals.<br />

If you’re hungry, you can find<br />

yourself a steaming bowl of<br />

nasi padang or fragrant laksa<br />

just about everywhere.<br />


Accommodation<br />

There are plenty of delightful places<br />

to stay when you’re in Singapore, from<br />

ultra-modern high rise resorts to iconic<br />

and grand hotels from Singapore’s past.<br />

With the world’s largest rooftop infinity<br />

pool, you can’t miss the enormous threelegged<br />

Marina Bay Sands. One of the<br />

defining shapes of the Singapore City<br />

skyline, the luxury hotel has 55 storeys of<br />

elegant suites and modern rooms.<br />

Often topping the list of best hotels in the<br />

world, the grand colonial style Raffles has<br />

been spoiling their guests since 1887. The<br />

soaring height of the ceilings and the neoclassical<br />

style of the famous Palm Court<br />

epitomise the laid-back luxury found in this<br />

part of <strong>Asia</strong>.<br />

And if you stay at Raffles, you can’t miss a<br />

trip to the Long Bar, home of the Singapore<br />

Sling cocktail. Created back in 1915, the ginbased<br />

drink is the national tipple.<br />


U8 Global<br />

Singapore | Chauffeur Service<br />

Starting from humble beginnings back in 2015, U8 Global<br />

have expanded into a national transfer service that covers<br />

Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Johore Bahru, Penang, Kuching, and<br />

Kota Kinabalu. It’s the best way to travel when you want to<br />

discover the colours of <strong>Asia</strong>.<br />

Booking a reliable, safe, and friendly car service<br />

couldn’t be easier. Using the latest ground<br />

operations concierge software, your ride is just<br />

a click away. Choosing your vehicle type,<br />

tracking your driver, and communicating<br />

with the team is simple and available 24/7.<br />

What makes U8 Global stand out<br />

from the crowd is their supremely<br />

professional team of drivers. Well<br />

presented, fully qualified, and<br />

even award winning, they<br />

always have your safety and<br />

comfort in mind.<br />


Private charters are available for any trip or experience<br />

you can think of in Malaysia and Singapore, and all<br />

in complete comfort too. The fleet of modern and<br />

spacious vehicles include everything from economy<br />

sedans such as the Toyota Altis up to luxury saloons<br />

like the BMW 5 series, or luxury MPVs like the Toyota<br />

Alphard or Mercedes V-Class for a little extra<br />

indulgence.<br />

Not content with being just an A to B transfer service,<br />

U8 global are the tour experts on your next trip to<br />

Singapore. With several bespoke tours available, you<br />

can book a car and driver to discover the country in<br />

comfort and style. Treat yourself to a full day city tour<br />

of Johore Bahru in the south of the country with your<br />

own personal chauffeur or enjoy a tennis experience<br />

with your own pick up and drop off service.<br />

When you need a land transfer or private tour around<br />

Singapore or Malaysia, the best in the business is U8<br />

Global. They combine modern booking software with<br />

timeless customer service values to make sure that<br />

your next ride is the best you’ll ever have.<br />



40<br />


thawards.com<br />

KL Sentral,<br />

Kuala Lumpur,<br />

Malaysia<br />


42<br />

KUALA<br />



Malaysia is a melting pot of a country that with a fascinating history; its multicultural and energetic<br />

capital city, Kuala Lumpur, is the jewel in its crown. Home to some 1.8 million people and filled with<br />

mosques, temples, and cathedrals, it’s an incredible place to visit.<br />

Getting In & Around<br />

Exploring this exciting and fast-paced city is done best<br />

by local bus, train, and taxi. Public transport is not only<br />

cheap and reliable but also an opportunity to get up close<br />

and personal with the locals.<br />

Things to Do & See<br />

This bustling metropolis has its share of skyscrapers, but<br />

nothing beats the twin Petronas Towers. Standing at 451.9<br />

metres tall, they were the tallest in the world when built and<br />

still dominate the skyline.<br />

Just outside the city is the<br />

incredible Batu Caves complex.<br />

Home to the most popular<br />

Hindu shrine outside<br />

of India, touring the<br />

cavernous interior requires<br />

an exhilarating climb<br />

up hundreds of rainbow<br />

coloured steps. Don’t forget<br />

to say hello to the 42-metrehigh<br />

golden statue of Lord Murugan, who guards the entrance!<br />

Dining<br />

Discovering the incredible street food available in Kuala<br />

Lumpur is a must. Although the most famous dish must be the<br />

fragrant coconut and pandan leaf flavours of nasi lemak, there<br />

are many more delicious treats to uncover.<br />

Accommodation<br />

If you’re looking for private luxury but still want to stay close<br />

to the heart of the city, Villa Samadhi has got it all. Relax in the<br />

lagoon-like outdoor pool or order up a decadent breakfast<br />

in bed. Either way, you’re going to remember your stay<br />

for a long time.<br />


44<br />


OUT TO<br />



Known locally as simply “PJ”, the city next door to Kuala Lumpur is wildly popular for its excellent<br />

range of shopping malls, nightlife, and theme parks.<br />

Getting There<br />

Lying directly west of Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya is a busy<br />

and friendly city that’s just a short ride from the capital city<br />

by bus or train.<br />

The Best of “PJ”<br />

A trip to “PJ” wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the<br />

enormous and exciting Sunway Lagoon. A theme park on an<br />

epic scale, there’s everything from exhilarating rollercoasters<br />

to death-defying water slides.<br />

If shopping is more your sort of thing, then the Starling,<br />

Paradigm, and Sunway Pyramid malls are hard to beat.<br />

Expect to see everything from bargains to high-end fashion<br />

brands inside.<br />

But don’t forget to check out the nightlife when you’re in<br />

town! The Roof is an exciting collection of bars on top of a<br />

skyscraper, while The Laundry Bar is a surprisingly intimate<br />

venue for live music.<br />


ASTON Priority Simatupang<br />

Hotel & Conference Center<br />

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

Jakarta, May 2021 – Strategically located in the business district of Jalan T.B. Simatupang Kav.9,<br />

with easy access to the Jakarta – Bintaro ring road tollways, the ASTON Priority Simatupang<br />

Hotel & Conference Center has 277 rooms that are categorized into several types of rooms from<br />

the normal standard Deluxe room, Premier, Junior Suite, Executive Suite, and the Governor<br />

Suite, this hotel offers a comfortable ambiance in the middle of the central business district<br />

area. The concept of this hotel is a modern styled modern equipped with high-tech<br />

facilities, such as IP TV and motion sensors to control the air conditioner, etc. All rooms<br />

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

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

accommodate up to 500 delegates where the hotel also has an additional 15<br />

meeting rooms that are always in high demand utilized for many events,<br />

from small meetings to grand launchings and wedding events. The hotel<br />

also has four Food & Beverage outlets; the Canary Restaurant, Momiji<br />

Japanese Restaurant, Momiji Lounge, and the LA Lounge. For<br />

relaxation and sports activities, this hotel provides a Spa located on<br />

B1 Level, a Swimming pool on the Ground Floor, and a Gym on<br />

the 2nd Floor.<br />


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

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

8777 or email simatupanginfo@astonhotelsinternational.<br />

com. 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.com<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.com<br />


48<br />


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Phuket, Thailand<br />


50<br />

PHUKET<br />



Getting In & Around<br />

Even though Phuket has an international airport, you can’t<br />

fly there directly from the UK. It’s only an hour’s flight from<br />

the Thai capital Bangkok, though, so it’s easy to reach. For<br />

fans of slower travel, you can get an overnight sleeper<br />

train or even a bus that can take over 12 hours to arrive.<br />

Because it’s only a small island, you can quite easily visit<br />

all the sights on even a short break. One of the best ways<br />

to get around at your own pace is by hiring a car, which<br />

means you can get out to the remote spots. However,<br />

you’ll need an international driving permit.<br />

If you’re an experienced rider, then a cheaper option is to<br />

rent a motorbike. Otherwise, jump on one of the island’s<br />

famous songthaew buses. They’re cheap to catch but not<br />

the most comfortable ride!<br />

Things to See & Do<br />

Thailand’s largest island is a magnet for world travellers<br />

as well as domestic tourists. With more than 40 gorgeous<br />

white sand beaches to choose from, it’s a sunbather’s<br />

paradise and the warm tropical waters are ideal for<br />

snorkelling.<br />

If relaxing on the beach isn’t enough, then head over to<br />

Patong. Famous for its wide sandy beach and raucous<br />

nightlife, it’s cacophony of stimulation and ideal if you’re<br />

looking for a party on your Thai holiday.<br />

Phuket Town is a bit different, though. A popular destination<br />

for visitors is Thalang Road, home to the vibrant Lard Yai<br />

Market. This Sunday evening bazaar is ideal if you want to<br />

sample just about any type of Thai food you can think of,<br />

or stock up on souvenirs to take home.<br />

Old Phuket Town might surprise you with its ornate sino-<br />

Portuguese architecture that harkens back to the island’s<br />

tin mining heritage. It’s only small, but the colourful street<br />

murals and trendy coffee shops are a world away from the<br />

bright lights and hustle of Patong’s nightclubs.<br />


Dining<br />

Thai cuisine has found its way<br />

around the world – and for<br />

very good reason. The exciting<br />

flavours of classic dishes like<br />

pad Thai and Tom Yum Goong<br />

are found all over the island<br />

and, if you want to, you can<br />

even join a Thai cooking class<br />

to learn the skills for yourself.<br />

For an unforgettable meal, you<br />

can even dine out at a floating<br />

restaurant. Take a water taxi<br />

out to Bang Mud floating<br />

restaurant, which specialises<br />

in local fish and seafood dishes<br />

like tempura prawns and the<br />

freshest lobster in Phuket.<br />


Accommodation<br />

This island paradise isn’t<br />

short on places to stay.<br />

With offerings to suit every<br />

budget, you can rock up to<br />

a funky backpacker’s hostel<br />

or splurge on a luxury fivestar<br />

resort with your own<br />

private pool. If you want<br />

a tranquil, relaxed place<br />

to stay that’s close to the<br />

beach but far from the<br />

neon of Patong, you can’t<br />

beat The Nai Harn. This<br />

exclusive beach resort<br />

features an onsite spa and<br />

generous suites that look<br />

out over the ocean.<br />


Elephant Jungle<br />

Sanctuary<br />

Thailand | Local Attraction<br />

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism<br />

project. Founded in July 2014, it began as a joint initiative between<br />

members of the Karen hill-tribes of northern Thailand and Chiang Mai<br />

locals who were concerned about the welfare of elephants in Thailand.<br />

Initially, Elephant Jungle Sanctuary was comprised of a single<br />

location, three rescued elephants, a handful of staff members,<br />

and dedicated Mahouts (elephant caretakers). Since then,<br />

we are grateful to have attained the support necessary to<br />

develop our project significantly. EJS currently cares for<br />

elephants at locations in four provinces throughout<br />

Thailand: Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, and Samui.<br />

Our hope is to lead by example and contribute to a<br />

positive change in the perception of elephants.<br />

We want to witness a future where elephants<br />

are not poached, ridden, overworked, or<br />

abused and are instead treated with<br />

the care, love, and respect they truly<br />

deserve.<br />


By combining a focus on education with ethical tourism<br />

practices, we wish to provide visitors from around the<br />

world with both a unique, memorable experience and<br />

the knowledge e to educate others about the plight<br />

of elephants. We hope that, in future, this will lead to<br />

widespread positive changes in the way we interact<br />

with these wonderful animals.<br />

As a visitor to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, you<br />

can expect to get up close and personal with these<br />

beautiful animals. Plenty of different experiences are<br />

available across the four different sites, ranging from<br />

half- and full-day visits to the incredible ‘3 Days with<br />

Elephants’ experience on Phuket Island.<br />

Whether you simply want to spend the morning in the<br />

company of graceful elephants or have some quality<br />

time with them over the course of a residential stay, the<br />

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary promises to create lasting<br />

memories. Choosing an ethical company like this helps<br />

ensure the continued health and survival of some of<br />

our most prised animals in their natural habitat.<br />


Tel +66-53-273-415<br />


56<br />

PHUKET’S<br />



Lying on the western edge of Phuket, Thailand’s biggest island, is the picture-perfect Kata Beach.<br />

Why’s it So Popular?<br />

The three-mile-long golden sand beach that gently<br />

sweeps around the warm blue water is like something<br />

you’d only find in a dream. Thankfully, Kata beach is<br />

completely real. Miles away from the throb of busy<br />

Patong, this laid-back slice of Phuket is almost too good<br />

to be true.<br />

One of the many great things about visiting Kata Beach is<br />

that, even when it’s busy, it doesn’t feel crowded. There’s<br />

plenty of space to sunbathe, take a dip in the impossibly<br />

blue water, or get a massage on the beach without feeling<br />

like you’re stepping on anyone’s toes.<br />

Best Time of the Year to Visit<br />

Heading out to Thailand is ideal for anyone that lives in<br />

Europe. While everyone else shivers through a damp<br />

autumn and winter at home, November to February are<br />

the prime months to visit Thailand. Staying mainly dry<br />

after the rainy season, you can expect to bask in 30°C<br />

weather and even beat some of the bigger crowds.<br />

Things to Do<br />

Kata Beach is in a protected cover, so the water is<br />

incredibly calm most of the time. This makes it ideal for<br />

families that want to splash around or for snorkellers that<br />

want to meet the local wildlife. If you visit during monsoon<br />

season, however, the beach becomes a surfer’s paradise.<br />

The water’s still warm and the waves are incredibly<br />

reliable.<br />


Kata Sea Breeze Resort<br />

Thailand | Eco-Friendly Resort<br />

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Thailand’s exotic Phuket<br />

Island, Kata Sea Breeze Resort is a little slice of paradise for<br />

anyone who visits. Just seconds away from Kata Beach, with<br />

its white sands and turquoise sea, it’s a magical place to start<br />

exploring Thailand’s most exclusive island.<br />

The extensive choice of rooms that make up the resort<br />

range from spacious family rooms with secluded<br />

balconies to Aqua Pura rooms that have private<br />

access directly into the pool. For a touch of<br />

luxury, the two romantic Splendid Suites<br />

come complete with everything you’ll need<br />

for an unforgettable stay. Decorated in a<br />

contemporary Thai style, they all have<br />

air conditioning, tea- and coffeemaking<br />

facilities, cable TV, and<br />

complimentary bottled water.<br />


On-site restaurant Seasoning is open all day and the Sunny<br />

Side Up breakfast buffet is a firm favourite with hungry guests.<br />

Once you’ve had your fill, you can make your way to any one of<br />

the resort’s three exciting bars. Z Bar features cocktails from<br />

the Zimplex Mixology Laboratory, the swim-up Sea Star Bar<br />

is perfect for relaxing around the pool, and the Sea Shell Bar<br />

has a selection of drinks, snacks, and homemade pizzas to<br />

check out.<br />

If relaxation is the name of the game, you can treat yourself to<br />

an authentic Thai or oriental foot massage or lounge around in<br />

the jacuzzi. And, since Kata Sea Breeze is perfect for families,<br />

your little ones can enjoy the fun and games in Maywnn’s<br />

Playroom while you take a well-deserved rest.<br />

For anyone looking for an idyllic family holiday or romantic<br />

getaway in the exotic Thai sun, this resort makes the most of<br />

being close to both the beach and the nightlife of Kata Village.<br />

It’s built to make memories that will last a lifetime.<br />


72 Kata Road, Karon District, Phuket<br />

83100 Thailand<br />

Tel +66 76 609090-4 | +66 86 4759221<br />

Fax +66 76 609080<br />

yourstay@kataseabreeze.com<br />


Matthew Hindmarch<br />

AKSARA Collection<br />

Thailand | <strong>Hospitality</strong> Manager<br />

Interview Questions<br />

Tell us a little bit about yourself.<br />

I was born in Cheshire way back in 1967. I graduated from New College Durham<br />

in Business Study at the beginning of the package holiday boom – hand<br />

written airline ticket days!<br />

I’ve lived in Thailand for 35 years and was part of the “Phuket Sandbox”<br />

team of translators during the pandemic. English versions of<br />

documents and PR was done by a few of us helping the Thai<br />

authorities.<br />

You’ve worked in Thailand for over 30 years now, what’s<br />

the reason behind you decision to settle here?<br />

I originally worked with ILG <strong>Travel</strong> and was posted here<br />

when they launched their first charter from UK to<br />

Bangkok in 1988. When they collapsed, the hotel I<br />

was based at asked me to join them as a duty<br />

manager. 35 years later and I’m still here.<br />


What obstacles did you face<br />

during Covid pandemic?<br />

The Phuket Governor gave us just 24<br />

hours’ notice that all resorts would<br />

close. We needed to find a team to “live<br />

in”, and somehow cater to their needs<br />

without moving around the island!<br />

Once reopened, the government<br />

offered subsidies for domestic<br />

tourism, so we developed packages to<br />

generate some income.<br />

What does the future hold for the<br />

‘AKSARA Collection?<br />

AKSARA Collection has finally been<br />

able to re-open all our properties<br />

and with 533 keys to get filled up is<br />

a challenge is ahead as new merging<br />

markets have been able to develop<br />

themselves over here in the wake of<br />

the pandemic era.<br />

What advice would you give<br />

to anyone start in the hotel<br />

industry?<br />

It’s a “way of life” rather than a “job” so<br />

expect long hours and a diverse range<br />

of tasks. You could go from making<br />

breakfast because the cook failed to<br />

show up, to presenting next year’s<br />

budget to the board... All in one day.<br />

The most rewarding part is that you’re<br />

a ‘dream-maker’. We don’t always<br />

know why guests come to stay with<br />

us, so remember “guests who arrived<br />

a guest, go home as friends”.<br />


62<br />

Hong Kong

thawards.com<br />

Braemar Hill, Hong Kong,<br />


64<br />



Once an overseas colony of Great Britain, Hong Kong is a true melting pot of cultures, ideas, and<br />

foods. It’s a place where the ultra-modern world exists right next door to ancient traditions.<br />

Getting In & Around<br />

Hong Kong is one of the world’s great transport hubs.<br />

Flying into Hong Kong International Airport is ideal for<br />

most travellers as it’s only a direct flight away from almost<br />

any other country. Getting around HK is fast, efficient, and<br />

clean thanks to the Mass Transit Railway, or MTR. The<br />

stops are everywhere and it’s easily affordable with an<br />

Octopus Card.<br />

Things to See & Do<br />

Hong Kong is a busy, thriving, and colourful place that<br />

never seems to sleep. There’s everything you could<br />

possibly need all packed into a small space. Check out<br />

the Temple Street Night Market, shop in one of the city’s<br />

many huge malls, or take a stroll along one of the nature<br />

trails around the islands.<br />

Hong Kong comes alive at night. If you’re close to Victoria<br />

Harbour, each evening is host to A Symphony of Lights,<br />

a spectacular audio-visual display of epic proportions. Be<br />

prepared to be blown away by the biggest light show on<br />

earth.<br />

For the best view in all of Hong Kong, you need to take<br />

the Peak Tram. It’s a special hill-climbing funicular railway<br />

that defies gravity to take you up Victoria Peak. From<br />

there, you’ve got an incredible view of everything that HK<br />

has to offer.<br />

If you fancy getting out of the hustle and bustle of Hong<br />

Kong City, there’s probably more greenery than you’d<br />

imagine – and it’s just a few stops away on the MTR. For a<br />

spectacular day out, head west to Lantau Island and meet<br />

the famous Big Buddha. Take a thrilling glass-bottomed<br />

cable car across the water, then hike up the 268 steps to<br />

see the golden icon up close.<br />


Dining<br />

Hong Kong’s food scene is nothing short of spectacular. You can have a traditional Cantonese banquet of dim sum<br />

stuffed with tasty shrimp or barbecued pork, or tuck into local favourite pineapple buns while drinking down a local<br />

milk tea.<br />

Take advantage of Hong Kong’s hugely diverse population and splash out on fine dining from just about any cuisine<br />

around the world. If you’re feeling flush then try and book a table at Wing, a high-end restaurant that reimagines the<br />

best of Chinese cooking.<br />


Accommodation<br />

Space is at a premium when more<br />

than seven million people live<br />

in a country that’s smaller than<br />

London. Unless you’re willing to<br />

part with a whole lot of money you<br />

won’t get a palatial suite, but there<br />

are thousands of great places to<br />

stay in Hong Kong.<br />

The big question is whether you<br />

want to stay on Hong Kong Island,<br />

the mainland around Kowloon<br />

Bay, or one of the surrounding<br />

islands. If you want to be right in<br />

the centre of the action, check out<br />

the exquisite Modena by Fraser<br />

in downtown Tsim Sha Tsui. Just<br />

around the corner from Kowloon<br />

Park, it’s not far from the famous<br />

Star Ferry terminal either.<br />


Modena by Fraser<br />

Hong Kong<br />

Hong Kong | Boutique Hotel<br />

As a city that never sleeps, Hong Kong pulsates with an energy that<br />

takes visitors from morning to night through an unforgettable<br />

experience of local food, shopping, entertainment, and breath-taking<br />

scenery.<br />

Located just a 3-minute walk from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station,<br />

Modena by Fraser Hong Kong is your gateway to Kowloon –<br />

the ‘other side’ of Hong Kong island that’s famous for its<br />

night markets, arts and culture, lively bars, and trendy<br />

restaurants.<br />

Whether business or leisure brings you to this<br />

bustling metropolis, Modena by Fraser Hong<br />

Kong puts you right in the thick of the action<br />

when you want it, while also offering a<br />

calming respite when you need it.<br />


A 7-minute walk takes you to the Star Ferry Terminal, where you<br />

can hop onto the iconic green and white ferry boats that sail<br />

across Victoria Harbour for a spectacular view of the city skyline.<br />

Indulge in retail therapy in the mega Harbour City shopping mall<br />

or catch up on the arts scene at the nearby Hong Kong Cultural<br />

Centre.<br />

Eat your way through the amazing variety of traditional cafes,<br />

noodle shops, bakeries, and bars around the neighbourhood<br />

and finish off with a leisurely stroll along the Avenue of the Stars<br />

– a beautiful promenade lined with statues of legendary names<br />

such as Bruce Lee and Anita Mui.<br />

Wind down in the comfort and privacy of your own studio<br />

apartment, ranging in size from 18 sqm to 32 sqm, with<br />

complimentary Wi-Fi access, eco-friendly bathroom amenities,<br />

and a full range of services that you can choose from to<br />

customize your stay.<br />

With so much to see and do, let Modena by Fraser Hong<br />

Kong help you navigate your stay while providing a welcome<br />

sanctuary that takes care of all your lifestyle needs.<br />


70<br />


thawards.com<br />

Kiyozumi Dera, Kyoto, Japan<br />


72<br />



Found amongst the high-rise buildings of Japan’s capital megacity is a wealth of beautiful<br />

architecture that you’ll not want to miss.<br />

Sensō-ji Temple<br />

If you think of a picture of Japan, you might already have<br />

Sensō-ji Temple in your mind’s eye. The ancient Buddhist<br />

temple is not only one of the country’s most photographed<br />

landmarks but also a functioning place of worship.<br />

Visitors enter through the famous “Thunder Gate” and<br />

can explore the temple and five-storey Shinto pagoda<br />

next door as well.<br />

The Many Parks in Tokyo<br />

One of the world’s most densely populated cities, you might<br />

not immediately think of green spaces in Japan’s capital. Take a<br />

step<br />

back in time to the Edo period in one of<br />

Tokyo’s traditional gardens.<br />

Hama-rikyu in Chuo City is<br />

a perfect example of a<br />

meticulously-designed<br />

metropolitan park that<br />

has everything, from<br />

seasonal flower fields to a<br />

traditional tea house that<br />

seems to float on water.<br />

Shinjuku City<br />

This is probably the place that<br />

comes to mind when you<br />

think of modern Tokyo.<br />

Bright, bustling, and full of<br />

every type of shop you can<br />

think of, it’s a cacophony of<br />

stimulation almost 24 hours<br />

a day.<br />

Marvel at modern skyscrapers<br />

like the Mode Gakuen Cocoon<br />

Tower and the NTT Docomo Yoyogi<br />

Building, which looks surprisingly like<br />

New York’s Empire State building. If you look<br />

carefully, you might even spot Godzilla lurking behind the<br />

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku.<br />


74<br />

NISEKO<br />

ASIA’S SKI<br />


Japan’s most northerly island, Hokkaido, is a land of unparalleled natural beauty, steaming hot<br />

springs, and some of the best skiing in the world. It also features the jewel in Japan’s winter sports<br />

crown: the resort town of Niseko.<br />

Things to Do<br />

The first thing on people’s minds when they touch down<br />

in Hokkaido in the winter months is skiing. While the<br />

magnetic draw of the soft and powdery snow is impossible<br />

to resist, it’s not all that the area has to offer.<br />

Japan’s active volcanic geology makes it home to glorious,<br />

steaming hot springs known locally as onsen. These<br />

delightfully-warm and soothing mineral waters are the best<br />

way to soak off a day’s skiing or snowboarding. Whether you<br />

choose to book a private onsen or share a public one, indoors<br />

or outdoors, it’s an essential part of a visit to Japan.<br />

The adventure isn’t limited to just skiing, though. Familyfriendly<br />

activities like snow rafting, where you’re towed<br />

behind a snowmobile on a fun inflatable, are ideal for families<br />

with younger children. For the more adventurous visitor, heliskiing<br />

is the ultimate way to get up close and personal with<br />

the mountains.<br />


The Best Time of Year to Visit<br />

The actual ski season depends on the weather conditions<br />

in the area, but it usually runs from November to early<br />

May. If you’re a beginner and want to beat the huge<br />

crowds, then plan your trip for around March and<br />

April. The snow is still good and you won’t be queuing<br />

for the ski lifts.<br />

If you’re a keen skier and you’re heading out to Niseko<br />

for its legendary deep powder, the ideal time to visit<br />

is between late December and mid-February. It’s worth<br />

noting, however, that the temperatures won’t climb much<br />

above freezing, so make sure you pack your cold weather<br />

gear.<br />

Places to Stay in Niseko<br />

The skiing area around majestic Mount Yōtei is home to six<br />

ski areas that all have their own look and feel. There are<br />

plenty of places to stay within the Niseko resort, ranging<br />

from comfortable guest houses to exclusive hotels.<br />

The ideal place to stay if you want some privacy and your<br />

own, luxurious space to go to after a long day on the slopes<br />

is Aspect Niseko. Based in Hirafu Village, this collection<br />

of luxury lodges is perfectly set up to make the most of<br />

Niseko’s winter wonderland.<br />


The Best Food and Drink on<br />

Hokkaido<br />

Internationally revered for its<br />

food culture, Japan knows<br />

how to make food and drink<br />

exciting. The island of Hokkaido<br />

is renowned for its ideal farming<br />

conditions and is home to the<br />

world-famous “wagyu” beef.<br />

It’s also famous within Japan<br />

for having the highest quality<br />

milk, so you can expect to find<br />

delicious cheese and ice cream<br />

when you’re there.<br />

The classic Japanese dish of<br />

ramen, which is noodles in<br />

various types of warming broth,<br />

is the perfect antidote to the<br />

cold winter air. Each region of the<br />

country has their own take on<br />

the dish, but Hokkaido’s version<br />

usually contains firm yellow<br />

noodles in a pork and miso broth.<br />


Aspect Niseko<br />

Japan | Luxury Apartments<br />

Nestled on the lower slopes of the majestic Mount Niseko, this collection of<br />

exclusive holiday apartments is ideal for both adventurers and guests<br />

that just want to relax in nature. Located in the centre of Hirafu Village ski<br />

resort, Aspect Niseko is perfectly placed to explore this beautiful corner of<br />

Hokkaido Island.<br />

Built onto a cliff with unrivalled views of the surrounding countryside,<br />

the apartments are moments away from all the action of the ski<br />

resort but in a pleasant and quiet area. At this height, it feels like<br />

you’re in the clouds, but you’re just around the corner from the<br />

exciting nightlife and restaurant scene of Hirafu Village.<br />

The self-contained apartments are decorated with a<br />

tasteful mixture of designer Japanese and European<br />

furnishings. The stunning minimalist design of the<br />

apartments is a touch of pure luxury, but the cosy<br />

rooms still feel like a home away from home.<br />

Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows throughout,<br />

you’re treated to unrivalled panoramic views<br />

of the Niseko and Yotei mountains on<br />

either side.<br />


With two, three, and five bedroom apartments to choose<br />

from, you can make your own adventure no matter how<br />

big or small your group is. Fitted with state-of-the-art<br />

kitchens and spacious bathrooms, there’s everything<br />

you’ll need to relax when you’re not exploring the<br />

mountains.<br />

Aspect Niseko are proud of their concierge service,<br />

they can source anything you need to make your stay<br />

as memorable as possible. Expect the highest quality<br />

welcome that Japanese hospitality is famous for, from<br />

the moment you check-in to the minute you leave.<br />

You can also make use of the ski valet in the winter<br />

months. They’ll help keep all your family’s equipment<br />

organised, so you can make the most of your trip and<br />

stop worrying where you left your skis. It’s one of the<br />

best ways to experience the majestic mountains of<br />

Hokkaido.<br />

We also offer a shuttle service, where we provide shuttle<br />

service to the nearby area at your convenient time. We<br />

drive you to the ski lift, restaurants, grocery stores etc.<br />

(winter season only).<br />


Aspect Niseko<br />

169 Yamada, Kutchan-cho,<br />

Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 044-0081<br />


80<br />


Japan’s favourite ski resort is famous for deep powder and incredible skiing. Where better to eat<br />

than three of Niseko’s best restaurants?<br />

Rakuichi Soba<br />

The thin buckwheat noodle is a Japanese speciality. Soba<br />

is eaten everywhere, but nowhere is it quite as special<br />

as in Sobadokoro Rakuichi. A small, family restaurant with<br />

just a few seats, it’s home to soba master Chef Tatsuru<br />

Rai, who transforms the humble noodle into something<br />

incredibly special.<br />

One of Japan’s most famous exports is sushi; this is one of the<br />

best places to find it in Hokkaido. The<br />

dedicated chefs are committed to<br />

the omakase style of dining<br />

that leaves the customer<br />

in their trusted hands.<br />

Karabina<br />

A local favourite Izakaya or “stay-drink-place”, Karabina is only<br />

a tiny venue but has a food and drink menu that will excite<br />

even the most jaded palate. Try out classics such as smoked<br />

mackerel or push out the boat and order the fried lotus flowers.<br />

Sushi Hanayoshi<br />


Mountain View Homes<br />

Japan | Niseko Country Resort<br />

Found on the western side of Hokkaido, Japan’s second largest island, the<br />

picturesque resorts managed by MnK Niseko include all you might need to<br />

relax, work, or play. Offering everything from kids camps to “workation” stays,<br />

the team is ready to welcome you.<br />

Ideally placed for your next skiing or snowboarding adventure, MnK<br />

Niseko’s original destination is Niseko Country Resort. It’s a stunning<br />

group of picturesque chalets, centrally managed with an on-site<br />

concierge and restaurant. The resort lives within tranquil forests<br />

alongside the wide Shiribetsu river. Nestled in the beautiful<br />

countryside between the mountains of Yōtei and Niseko-<br />

Annupuri, and close to the Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski resort,<br />

it’s a perfect place to enjoy winter activities and the ski<br />

village atmosphere.<br />

The alpine-inspired chalets, ranging in size<br />

from two to six bedrooms, come perfectly<br />

equipped for a memorable stay. The cozy<br />

but spacious interiors are tastefully<br />

decorated and there’s comfortable<br />

furniture throughout.<br />


Even though you’ll be away from the city enjoying the<br />

fresh mountain air, you won’t feel disconnected from<br />

your life. Fast Wi-Fi internet is available in all chalets,<br />

and the big screen TVs are perfect for curling up in<br />

front of in the evenings. There is also parking available<br />

in front of each chalet.<br />

Although Niseko is more famous for its winter sports,<br />

you can take advantage of the peace and quiet of<br />

the area during the summer as well. We think Niseko<br />

Country Resort is one of the best ways to really get<br />

to know the magical island of Hokkaido. If you’re into<br />

winter sports, it doesn’t get much better than this.<br />


48-52 Aza Kabayama,<br />

Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun,<br />

Hokkaido Japan 044-0078<br />

Tel + +81 136-55-5122<br />

WhatsApp +81 136-55-5122<br />


84<br />



If you want a real adventure, forget the bright city lights of Tokyo and get out there into Japan’s enormous<br />

expanse of wild and green countryside. Here are four awesome adventure ideas for your next trip.<br />

Onsen<br />

Getting the most out of your trip to the land of the rising<br />

sun isn’t always about high-adrenaline, extreme sports.<br />

If you travel into the traditional Japanese heartlands, you<br />

can experience the ancient Japanese onsen culture.<br />

Take advantage of the many hot springs that occur<br />

naturally throughout the country and even cure your<br />

ailments with toji, the art of therapeutic bathing. One of<br />

the best places to visit an onsen is in Kusatsu, a town<br />

famous for its warm mineral springs.<br />

Skiing<br />

Although you might think of<br />

the Swiss Alps or Canadian<br />

Rockies when it comes to<br />

deep powder, Japan is<br />

home to some of the best<br />

skiing in the world. In fact,<br />

the northern Japanese city<br />

of Aomori is the snowiest<br />

place on the planet. The<br />

abundance of soft snow in<br />

Japan makes it an ideal place<br />

to learn how to carve.<br />

The two most famous ski resorts in<br />

Japan are Niseko and the Hakuba Valley.<br />

Incredibly well developed and packed with great hotels,<br />

restaurants, and nightlife, they’re magnets for skiers around<br />

the world. Plus, the Japanese take on après-ski of ramen<br />

noodles and hot tubs is worth checking out alone.<br />


Kayaking<br />

With close to 7,000 islands that make<br />

up the country, you’re never that<br />

far away from water in Japan – and<br />

one of the best ways to experience<br />

Japan’s stunning coastline is in Ago<br />

Bay. Located in Ise-Shima National<br />

Park in the Mie Prefecture, this<br />

collection of scenic islands is best<br />

discovered from the water.<br />

Join one of the guided kayaking<br />

tours around the bay’s many tiny<br />

islands and peaceful inlets and see<br />

the beautiful flora and fauna that<br />

call the national park home. You can<br />

even visit small, inhabited islands<br />

such as Masakijima, where the locals<br />

still make their living by cultivating<br />

pearls.<br />


Volcano Exploration<br />

As one of the most<br />

seismically-active countries<br />

in the world, it’s no surprise<br />

that Japan has a lot of<br />

volcanoes. If you head out<br />

to Japan’s most southerly<br />

island, Kyushu, you can find<br />

Sakurajima which is a very<br />

active stratovolcano.<br />

If looking at this enormous<br />

volcano isn’t enough, you<br />

can even take a guided<br />

expedition to observe the<br />

hot lava and ash up close.<br />

If you don’t fancy walking<br />

all the way up, however,<br />

you can visit the Yunohira<br />

Observation Deck for<br />

panoramic views across the<br />

landscape.<br />


Japan Tour Adventure<br />

Japan | Adventure Tour Company<br />

Discover the fascinating Kansai Region on foot or by bike with Japan Tour Adventure.<br />

Take a trip to Nara - home to some of Japan’s most captivating ancient history,<br />

stunning landscapes filled with wild animals, and delicious local street food like<br />

Handmade Mochi (rice cake), ramen, and authentic “Kaki No Ha Sushi”. For lovers<br />

of sake, you can also check out the vibrant craft beer scene as well as more<br />

traditional sake on offer. Craft Beer, sake and food walking tour for a deeper<br />

exploration of what the city has to offer best for locals.<br />

But Kansai isn’t just about filling your belly. It’s also home to one of the<br />

best places to learn about Japan’s ancient mastery of knifemaking.<br />

The ancient city of Sakai and its 400 years old traditional Cinnamon<br />

Mochi. You can take a special tour around one of the city’s most<br />

famous knife factories, the prestigious Yamawaki Cutlery and<br />

see the craftspeople at work making their world famous chef’s<br />

knives.<br />

We think the best way to get to know these beautiful cities<br />

is by walking or riding a bike to support sustainable<br />

tourism and zero carbon dioxide emissions. Meet<br />

one of JTA’s expert guides and ride your way<br />

around the sights, sounds, and smells of this<br />

fascinating Japanese region.<br />



Tel +81.80.3852.9396 (Intl)<br />

+080.3852.9396 (Japan)<br />





2021<br />


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