A record year of travels and reviews was clocked in 2019 for Le Concierge Travel since we've revamped our LCO Best Hotels Page and launched our inaugural LCO Asia Top 100 Hotels and Resorts that would be announced in 2020. Recapping a fruitful year in which I have visited and reviewed 68 top luxury properties across 23 destinations in Asia, bringing our total tally to 218 since we began our operations in 2016, here are 28 of my favourite hospitality moments whilst on the road contemplating Asia's most outstanding home away from homes in 2019.
The beautiful garden of Villa Mahabhirom Chiang Mai made it to our Top Hospitality List of 2019
28. Dining with sharks at The Apurva Kempinski's Koral Restaurant.
Currently one of Bali's most sensational restaurants, Koral serves modern entrees with a side of sharks
27. Skinny dipping in a heated pool at Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula's Penthouse Suite.
The tallest suite at this striking Bill Bensley designed hotel is all privacy and stunning views
26. Indulging in a Bosun's Call at Capella Singapore's fabulously serene Bob's Bar.
Hearkening to the sailing days of yore, a bosun's call sounds the fall of night with rum laced delicacies at Capella Singapore's Bob's Bar
25. Savouring the Hangbang delicacies of master chef Wang Yong at Four Seasons Hangzhou's celebrated Jin Sha Restaurant.
Dong Bo pork at Four Seasons Hangzhou's Jin Sha restaurant is one of the best thing you'd taste in the scenic ancient city
24. Returning to the Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort, the first luxury hotel I've ever stayed in almost 30 years ago, to find that the property is still in top notch condition.
For a property that has evolved through 30 years, Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang in Penang has aged exceedingly well
23. Watching the trains go by right above Tokyo Station at the atmospheric Four Seasons Marunouchi
Passing time in the suite of Four Seasons Marunouchi Tokyo watching the trains go by
22. The best views ever enjoyed in Hong Kong, enhanced by fabulous attention and spirited cocktails at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong's Grand Club Lounge.
Scrambled eggs with truffles with a view at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong's Grand Club Lounge
21. Luxuriating in sheer spa sophistication at The Peninsula Spa Hong Kong.
The Peninsula Spa in Hong Kong is a fabulous city retreat raised to indulge the senses
20. Exploring the Chinese resort island of Hainan, home of stunning resorts like the Jean Michel Gathy designed Park Hyatt Sanya and Capella Sanya, and rediscovering the joy of a sunset cocktail.
Cocktail moment at Capella Sanya, one of the newest entrant to luxury hospitality in Hainan
19. Taking a morning dip with a full breakfast spread floating right before me at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui.
A floating breakfast is a rather novel way to kick start the morning.
18. Exploring the weekend night market of Chiang Mai with a personal butler in tow from 137 Pillars House.
Night markets are dime a dozen in Thailand but there is something special about Chiang Mai's weekend markets, especially when a trained butler from the fabulous 137 Pillars House was there to make all the right recommendations and arrangements.
17. Meeting celebrated Chinese artists in Beijing via The Peninsula Beijing's 'Artist in Residence' program
Meeting renowned artist Gao Xiao Wu in his studio via The Peninsula Beijing's Artist in Residency Program is a highlight of 2019 for me
16. Immersing in the natural splendour of Kota Kinabalu at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria resort, where one can opt for adventurous night treks or a rousing sunrise climb in the forest right next to the property.
A rousing trek at day break is all it takes for one to view the sun rising over the imposing Mt Kinabalu at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria resort
15. Checking into Shangri-la Singapore's Valley Wing brings about a host of familiar comforts - superb service, champagne breakfast, and a sitting at Chef Mok Kit Keung's Shang Palace here is a must.
Refined service and amenities greet guests with each check-in at Shangri-la Singapore's Valley Wing
14. Yachting down Causeway Bay with The Peninsula Hong Kong's swanky cruiser right on time for the nightly laser show.
Panorama awaits aboard the Peninsula Hong Kong's swanky cruiser
13. Taking a bath in an oversized bathtub 96 floors above terra firma at Four Seasons Guangzhou
A bath amongst clouds ticked off my bucket list courtesy of Four Seasons Guangzhou
12. A sumptuously intimate experience at Villa Mahabhirom in Chiang Mai inhabiting restored old wooden houses amidst one of the city's most beautiful private garden.
A hotel like Villa Mahabhirom is a rarity even in Chiang Mai, a destination renowned for beautiful resorts
11. A private residence welcome at Four Seasons Koh Samui replete with stunning views, capable butler and even a private gourmet mookata dinner.
When it comes to grand welcomes, no one does it quite like the folks at Four Seasons Koh Samui
10. Exploring Koh Rong and understanding the works of Song Saa Foundation with the islanders, gaining invaluable insights to how hospitality and social/environmental causes are not incompatible bedfellows.
Song Saa Private Island may be a luxury resort but at the heart of its operation is the Song Saa Foundation dedicated to environmental conservation and communal well being of the locals of Cambodia's Koh Rong archipelago
9. Returning to the epiphany inducing views of Alila Villas Uluwatu and inhabiting its stunning 3 bedroom villa whilst at it.
Every inch of this stunning property is dripping with views but the expansive visage from its 3 bedroom villa is simply incomparable
8. Savouring some of Bali's best cuisine at the little-known 3 Elements Restaurant at The Hanging Gardens of Ubud
The ribs here are so good, the gorgeous view can only play second fiddle to it
7. A sensational soak within the protected natural reserves of Cambodia at Shinta Mani Wild - wind rustling, rapids flowing, and Monserrat belting out Puccini in the background.
A tented camp dedicated to restoring the nature reserve of Cambodia, Shinta Mani Wild is luxury with a heart.
6. Rounding up a fabulous treatment with piping hot double boiled soup sent to the spa at Grand Hyatt Shenzhen.
Chinese soup isn't conventionally the end to a massage, but here is one that conveyed all the right notes of thoughtful hospitality
5. Soaring through the 'Wild Great Wall' at Mutianyu Great Wall in a helicopter as planned by Four Seasons Beijing.
Helicopter rides is the only option to accessing parts of the great wall impossible to scale, and Four Seasons Beijing can tailor a seamless experience to match one's lofty expectations
4. Perusing an incredible treasure trove of modern art in a veritable art museum that is Hotel Eclat Beijing.
The owners of Hotel Eclat Beijing has one of the largest Dali sculpture collections in private hands and many of these surrealist masterpieces are proudly on display at the hotel and its adjoining mall
3. Cloistered in wonderful seclusion amidst natural splendour at The Datai Langkawi.
Set amidst hectares of tropical rainforest, said to be one of the oldest in the world, The Datai Langkawi is imbued with natural charm and sophistication
2. Savouring the delectable Cantonese cuisine and dim sum at the superlative White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou.
The White Swan Hotel is a superlative name in Cantonese cuisine and the queue for morning dim sum here begins at the crack of dawn
1. Zoning out in a realm of perfect tranquility at Park Hyatt Tokyo
A fascinating hotel that espouses all qualities Japanese, moments spent inhabiting Park Hyatt Tokyo can only be described as sublime