Exploring Close to Home: Asia & Australiaby Monika Markovinovic
In this time of not traveling, destinations have been diligently preparing to welcome guests back at the right time with the utmost safety in mind (for easy reference, we’ve built out a growing list of hotels’ enhanced measures). As we now enter this next phase of reopenings, we look to thoughtfully venture out again, seeing our own cities with new eyes and discovering the widest open spaces within reach. In the second of a three-part series, we focus on where to explore close to home within Asia and Australia for summer 2020.
Amongst gleaming skyscrapers, trendy cafes and futuristic attractions, a calm can be found within cutting-edge Tokyo. Find sanctuary high above the city at Aman Tokyo (pictured), which delivers a holistic, intimate experience. Over at the recently reopened Conrad Tokyo, a relaxed atmosphere sets guests up for exploring central Tokyo and the iconic Tsukiji Fish Market, which is ever so close. Those looking to get a little farther out can road trip or train to Kyoto and find relaxation at Park Hyatt Kyoto, perched on a hillside in the Higashiyama district. For a traditional ryokan experience, locals can head to Gora Kadan (pictured) nestled in the tranquil foothills of Mount Fuji.
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
This is the time for some local Seoul searching. Located in the sixth tallest building in the world, Signiel Seoul is a weekend sanctuary in the clouds. For those looking to visit some of the capital’s hottest spots, from royal palaces to extravagant shopping districts, Lotte Hotel Seoul Executive Tower is in the heart of it all. Just west of the capital, isolated and overlooking the Odae Stream, Park Roche has an onsite wellness coaches offering mindfulness and exercise classes. For sea seekers, head south to either Busan where Park Hyatt Busan (pictured) impresses from its waterfront perch in Marine City, or Jeju Island for an over-the-top vacation at Lotte Hotel Jeju (pictured).
Singapore calls itself the Garden City, beautifully striking a balance between city and nature. With its cascading vertical gardens, vibrant culinary scene and world-class shopping, the city-state makes for the perfect spot to enjoy time with friends once again. While many hotels are only hosting essential lodgers at the moment, locals have the opportunity to still visit for a night out on the town. Escape the heat by finding refuge at SO Sofitel Singapore‘s Xperience Restaurant or cozy up Mandarin Oriental, Singapore‘s MO BAR and Cherry Garden.
The harbour, the food scene, the culture, the passion of its people—Hong Kong is one incredible city. As it reopens, locals looking to share a special meal can dine at The Langham’s three Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, T’ang Court. If some stress relief is needed, a day at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s spa awaits. To stay connected with the community, take part in a historic tour of The Murray. Or if wanting to remain close to four-legged loved ones, The Upper House invites you and your pet to come hang out at The Lawn.
With its distinctive Manhattan-of-the-East sophistication, Shanghai’s history of glamour and mystic is what makes it China’s most cosmopolitan and fashion-forward city. For a staycation that is just as chic as the place itself, start at The Peninsula Shanghai. Accompany a stay in the Garden Room with either a city excursion in a Rolls-Royce Phantom or a yacht ride around the city’s waterfront. Over in up-and-coming North Bund, wake up to views of the Huangpu River at W Shanghai – The Bund. The playful hotel’s WET Pool is open for you to enjoy the water, iconic city skyline and perhaps a Pina Colada or two.
From the Great Wall of China to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, Beijing is home to an array of historic sights for locals to explore. Nearby it all is Waldorf Astoria Beijing, which offers the best of both worlds–a fabulous location within a 700-year-old neighborhood and a haven for seclusion. Here, guests can even experience glamping thanks to a partnership with Aston Martin that has transformed the Terrace Suite into a luxurious furnished tent. Another property reflecting the capital city’s compelling culture and history is Rosewood Beijing. Step into a retreat of wellness at Sense Spa where traditional treatments, yoga classes and a heated indoor swimming pool offer rest and relaxation.
As Sydney begins to reopen and it fills with brilliant autumn colors, there is no better place to cozy up then in the great indoors. Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney positions guests right in the dress circle of Sydney Harbour, offering panoramic views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Ovolo Woolloomooloo near the Wharf is perfect for style-loving Sydneysiders looking for cool interiors. As of July 1, escape the city for luxury in the rugged heart of the Blue Mountains at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is set to reopen September 1 to immerse guests in the breathtaking natural beauty of the Whitsundays.