1. Postcard Galle, Sri Lanka
Located in the historic town of Galle, this luxurious property is perched above a dreamy blue lagoon. The first thing you’ll encounter upon walking into your room is an incredible view of the Indian Ocean stretching out across the horizon, making you feel as if you’ve checked into a deserted island getaway as the sound of crashing waves fills your ears.
Burmese teak ceilings, romantic four-poster beds and sleek titanium flooring are highlights in each of the 10 well-appointed rooms, further adding to the property’s elegant sense of style and comfort. Luxury suites come with additional features such as a plunge pool or jacuzzi, where you can enjoy a soak while drinking in the unobstructed view.
After a long day of exploration, retreat to the hotel and dine at the in-house restaurant, which offers an eclectic menu ranging from traditional Sinhalese and Tamil cuisines to Burgher favourites such as lamprais (various curries and side dishes with rice wrapped in banana leaf).
As tempting as it is to spend all your time relaxing in the hotel, do venture out and make your way down the cobblestone streets, past rows of colonial-era architecture and independent boutiques to explore the old town. Monuments range from the Unesco-listed Galle Fort and the fascinating Galle National Museum, to the restaurants of the Old Dutch Hospital. Check out the vibrant atmosphere of the Dutch Market where you’ll find a wide assortment of fresh local produce.
2. Wanderlust, Singapore
Recently refurbished, this boutique accommodation is all about capturing your attention – from the beautiful Peranakan tiles that adorn its exterior to the open-air terrace that serves up a panoramic view of Little India.
For optimum comfort, the spacious loft on the top floor of the heritage building is worth paying for. This home-away-from-home is outfitted with chic, modern furnishings and includes mod-cons such as a kitchenette. But you’ll probably want to make a beeline for the on-site restaurant, Kotuwa. It’s helmed by Rishi Naleendra of the now closed Michelin-starred Cheek By Jowl, and serves an array of robust Sri Lankan flavours.
Little India is home to colourful heritage shophouses, where you’ll find generations-old eateries such as the cheap and cheerful Madras New Woodlands, beloved for the mouthwatering vegetarian feasts presented in katoris (mini metal bowls) and placed on a tray lined with banana leaf.
After a hearty meal, spend the rest of your afternoon checking out the area’s various cultural attractions such as the Veeramakaliamman Temple, known for its five-tiered tower, or the House of Tan Teng Niah, one of the last surviving Chinese villas in Singapore.
Opened in January this year, this modern minimalist hotel is tucked away on a narrow street in the capital’s historic French Quarter.
The hotel was built from scratch, borrowing from the neighbourhood’s finer features, such as French balconies and abundant greenery. Meanwhile, thoughtful design includes a large skylight that bathes the interiors – including the inviting, open-plan lobby – in natural light. The earthy colour tones of the bedrooms make for a peaceful refuge in between exploring this loud and slightly chaotic city.
This area is a haven for history buffs – in the vicinity are handsome colonial architectural gems, including the former offices of the United Nations, the iconic Hanoi Railway Station and a string of beautifully preserved mansions on Ly Thuong Kiet street. After admiring the majestic Opera House, cap off your day with a drink at the iconic Sofitel Metropole Legend, built in 1901, or
the upscale Press Club.
This article was originally published in Silkwinds magazine