Over the past decades, Southeast Asia has seen an influx of international hotel chains and local brands. Some stayed and continued to flourish. Others, crushed by their competitors, are long gone. Fortunately, there is a group of hotels that have stood the test of time, some for over a century.
Posh and opulent, these hotels blend its rich heritage with contemporary styles paying tribute to the rich culture of the country. If you’re looking for an experience, here are five best historic hotels to stay at in Southeast Asia:
1. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
The Oriental, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, was built in the middle of the 19th century when Thailand was known to the world as Siam. This hotel boasts of 140 years of history. Acquired partially by the Mandarin Oriental Group in 1974, the hotel changed its name to Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok in 2006.
This luxury five-star hotel has 368 rooms and suites. Its location is superb, just a short boat ride from the Grand Palace and about 24 miles from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Top hotel amenities to check out are the Oriental Spa and Author’s Lounge.
2. The Strand Yangon
Built in 1901 by the Sarkis Brothers, the pair that created the Raffles Singapore, The Strand Yangon, formerly known as The Strand Rangoon is Myanmar’s most iconic hotel. Ideally located in the center of Yangon by the Irrawaddy River, The Strand was an essential stop for leisure travelers and merchants. The hotel’s past guests include George Orwell, Somerset Maugham, Edward VIII the King of England, David Rockefeller, and Mick Jagger.
— The Strand Yangon (@TheStrandYGN) November 15, 2016
The Strand is over 100 years old and is one of Yangon’s colonial landmarks. Check out the chandeliers, ceiling fans, period furnishings rattan chairs and lacquerware and get mesmerized by the old charm and flawless service in Yangon’s top hotel.
Yangon International Airport (RGN) is about 11 miles from the hotel.
3. The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
The Majestic Hotel’s old wing, known as Majestic Wing was designed by Keyes and Dowdeswell, a Dutch architectural firm for the wealthy Loke family. This neo-classical and art deco styles hotel initially had 51 rooms. Since 2012, a new wing called the Tower Wing was added with 253 rooms and suites. The Majestic Wing houses the hotel’s 47 luxurious suites.
Built in 1932, across the street from the Moorish-style central railway station of Malaysia, The Majestic Hotel gives guests the opportunity to experience a piece of Malaysian history. Oozing old world charm and luxury, the Colonial Café and The Bar, the central focus of the hotel offer abundant seats for guests to relax and enjoy a cup of tea or a Majestic special Gin Pahit cocktail.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) is 36 miles from the city center.
4. Fullerton Hotel Singapore
Guests not only will have a luxurious stay at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore, but they will also get to hear the great story, discover hidden secrets in exclusive access preserved areas of the hotel and learn about the history of Singapore. Complimentary heritage tours are available every Monday through Thursday at 10 am and on Saturday at 5 pm.
The Fullerton Building is a National Monument, once home to Singapore’s General Post Office, the Exchange Room and Exchange Reference Library and the Singapore Club. Built in 1928 by the Singapore River, this neoclassical building was converted to a 400-room luxury hotel in 2000.
The hotel’s Lighthouse Restaurant & Rooftop Bar is the place to be for dinner with views of Singapore’s skyline and the Marina Bay waterfront.
Jacuzzi pool and panoramic view of the Marina Bay skyline – a perfect way to wind down after a long day.
— The Fullerton Bay Hotel (@fullertonbay) March 28, 2018
Singapore Changi Airport is 25 miles from the Fullerton Hotel.
5. Raffles Hotel le Royal, Phnom Penh
A landmark in Phnom Penh, Cambodia since 1929, Raffles Hotel le Royal is a well-restored colonial building reflecting Art Deco, French colonial, and Cambodian architecture. Situated in the middle of Phnom Penh, the hotel offers a serene environment for guests to enjoy after a long day of exploration in the city.
— Raffles Royal (@HotelLeRoyal) April 6, 2016
Highlights of the hotel include the Elephant Bar, The Writer’s Bar and The Raffles Spa. Raffles Hotel le Royal is only a 20-minute drive from Phnom Penh International Airport.
Have you been to any of these historic hotels in Southeast Asia?