Since countries like Japan and China have lifted major travel restrictions, the Asia-Pacific region has rebounded as a popular destination for international visitors.
According to the International Air Transport Association, while international traffic overall has climbed 48 percent since April 2022, Asia-Pacific airlines have led the recovery, clocking a 192.7 percent increase during that time.
There are good reasons why people are booking those flights East. “Time certainly did not stand still while borders were closed,” said Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Arora pointed out that a lot has changed in these destinations over the past several years. Scroll down to see his recommendations on where to go, what to do and where to stay in Asia-Pacific.
Why should people travel to Hong Kong right now?
Hong Kong has always been a global epicenter of culture, dining and art, and the city’s reopening is beckoning international travelers back to rediscover the breathtaking treasures and experiences it has to offer. The city has really flourished and evolved over the last few years, with many new art, culture and luxury retail having opened their doors across the Victoria Dockside district and the larger neighborhood of West Kowloon, where our hotel Rosewood Hong Kong sits.
Art lovers and culture seekers visiting the destination will enjoy the new M+ and Hong Kong Palace museums, as well as the new K11 Musea, which brings together public art, high-end retail, dining and entertainment. There are also new and revitalized waterfront promenades and parks, including West Kowloon Art Park and the Avenue of Stars promenade, both boasting amazing views of the harbor.
We consider Rosewood Hong Kong to be more than just a hotel but a destination in its own right. Like the city, the property too has grown tremendously over the last several years, and there are many new offerings we are excited to introduce to our guests, including the addition of five new dining concepts, expanded wellness experiences at Asaya, and an ever-growing collection of art adorning the entire property.
What makes Five-Star Rosewood Hong Kong special?
While each of the properties in our portfolio is held at equally high esteem, we have a special affinity for this hotel, set within the vibrant city that the brand calls home. We are grounded in the belief that our properties achieve true world-class status through their ability to seamlessly blend the history, culture and sensibilities of their host community with exceptional service, luxury accommodations and unparalleled attention to detail. Rosewood Hong Kong reflects this ideology, providing our guests with an unforgettable, deeply personal experience that is both authentically Rosewood and representative of this destination’s dynamism and allure.
Rosewood Hong Kong goes beyond what is expected of a hotel experience. Our 11 exquisite restaurants and lounges offer guests a wide range of delectable dining options, while our recreational facilities, including the pioneering urban wellness concept Asaya, allow guests to achieve the ultimate in well-being through a curated selection of restorative, tailor-made treatments and therapies. We recently launched a 360-degree clinical experience for skin health created by Dr. Barbara Sturm exclusively for Rosewood Hong Kong. We’re thrilled to be able to bring these unique offerings to our guests and local residents alike.
The property’s design is another point of pride for Rosewood. With architecture by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the 65-story building pays homage to the city’s impressive verticality, while interiors by Tony Chi of New York tonychi studio offer a complete and immersive experience for a new age of elevated residential luxury. The property is also home to one of Asia’s most lavish accommodation offerings, the expansive Harbour House. Located on the property’s 57th story overlooking Victoria Harbour, the suite is Asia’s largest and comes complete with an outdoor pool, a private gym and wraparound landscaped gardens.
Beyond its experiential and physical offerings, Rosewood Hong Kong is also representative of Rosewood’s commitment to positive impact and community support and is recognized as a resource for underserved communities and young people looking to break into careers in hospitality through a myriad of outreach programs.
What are the travel hot spots in Southeast Asia?
We are heartened to see the positive response from travelers to Southeast Asia since the region’s reopening. Thailand has long been a bucket list destination for many, and we are once again seeing high demand for travel experiences across Bangkok and Phuket. Laos is another destination attracting visitors from all over the world, with a new semi-high-speed rail service making travel across this destination even easier to navigate. Rosewood Luang Prabang, which opened in 2017 as the first property in our portfolio to offer luxury tented accommodations, is an ideal setting for those looking to immerse themselves in the best of the country’s rich culture and unspoiled natural surroundings.
While our current Southeast Asia collection includes Rosewood Bangkok, Rosewood Phuket, Rosewood Luang Prabang and Rosewood Phnom Penh, we are also readily assessing new opportunities in the destination and are excited about the future opening of Rosewood Hoi An in Vietnam.
What’s new at the Bangkok and Phnom Penh properties?
Rosewood Bangkok reopened last September with the unveiling of 17 new guest rooms, wellness studios, signature suites and “houses” that represent first-of-their-kind superlatives in the capital. The new houses feature expansive high-rise terraces with private plunge pools, state-of-the-art wellness facilities and uninterrupted views of the metropolitan skyline and lush nearby parks from floor-to-ceiling windows.
Rosewood Phnom Penh recently introduced several new food and beverage initiatives, including a Rosewood Bar Series in collaboration with The World’s 50 Best Bars, where guests can experience cocktails mixed by some of the best bartenders from around the world. The property also relaunched its partnership with Cambodian Cook and celebrity chef Rotanak Ros to present a new Khmer menu at Brasserie Louis.
What are Rosewood’s plans for Asia?
Asia continues to be an area of great importance for Rosewood as we continue to develop and execute our thoughtful growth strategy, and we are excited to continue to expand our footprint across this diverse and ever-evolving region. Most immediately, we are eagerly anticipating the upcoming opening of Rosewood Miyakojima in 2024, which will represent our first flag in Japan. The resort will boast 55 villa-style rooms with private pools, landscaped gardens and breathtaking sea views, with programming, design and culinary offerings that are representative of Okinawan culture and nature.
Just recently, we also announced Rosewood Ranfaru, which will open in 2027 as another first for the brand as we touch down in the ultimate dream destination — the Maldives.
On the branded residential side, last year we debuted plans for Rosewood Residences Kamala, a luxury standalone branded residential development being constructed on the west coast of Phuket, Thailand. The project will be comprised of 14 branded residences, ranging from one- to four-bedroom units.
Where are you traveling next?
I will be traveling to Hawaii this summer to experience the highly anticipated reopening of Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort. This is our first property in Hawaii and our team has been working tirelessly for years to build upon the original Kona Village Resort’s legacy and introduce an elevated hospitality experience that draws inspiration from the site’s history, local culture and natural surroundings.
We are thrilled to finally be opening the doors to this iconic Hawaiian hideaway and look forward to immersing our guests in all that the island has to offer. Hawaii also holds a special place in my heart as I spent a few years living and working on various islands, and the experience left me forever changed; so I look forward to returning home to ohana [“family”].