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Stylish, elegant and sometimes quirky, boutique hotels are offering travellers a whole new experience.
Sometimes called designer hotels or baby grands, boutique hotels are the new black in the world of travel lodging. Eschewing uniformity and sameness, they offer travellers an experience that's quite different from what one gets at a regular 'cookie cutter' hotel. Often intimate and luxurious, the hotels can be elegantly minimalist or wildly avant-garde in design, and even have wardrobes and bathrooms that are hidden away- but they are never boring. Here are some of Asia's best.



1-5 Irving Street., Causeway bay, (852) 3196-9000
The Jia Boutique Hotel Apartment in Causeway bay, is Hong Kong's hippest hotel. Well known french designer Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox along with owner Yenn Wong opened the JIA on March 6, 2004 at a glamorous party held at the hotel. It has 57 units (1-2 room studio apartments and 2 penthouses). All are self sufficient pods, fitted with all the modern home luxuries urbanites could hope for, This includes free high speed broadband, home theater unit, CD/DVD library and even a microwave oven. The interior is focused on roomy clarity, comfortable and stylish, with ultra-modern amenities for the hip and stylish and for those people who spend their lives on the go. The prevailing tone is white with teak floors. The Jia Boutique Hotel offers a class alternative to the five star chains that seem to everywhere in Asia. If you prefer your privacy over an ever fussing service and like the idea of the benefits of a smaller suite at the same cost as a standard room in a five star hotel, then you might give the Jia Boutique Hotel a go.
Rates from 1,250.00 (Hong Kong Dollars) = 161.19 USD


100 Cybersport Road, Hong Kong, (852) 2982-7788)
The cutting edge Le Meridien Cyberport goes a step above your regular hotel, with its offer of the most upscale amenities. Besides pampering you with an ipod for your workout sessions, you also have little luxuries such as wireless broadband connectivity, tablet PCs, PDAs, cordless digital phones and plasma TVs at your service. Located a short 15k.m. taxi ride from the city center, nestled in greenery alongside the blue waters of Telegraph Bay. Le Meridien Cybersport is as much for the business travellers as for those who can't leave their tech toys at home.
Rates from 130 USD - 200USD


The Great Wall Exit No. 16 at Shuiguan Highway, Beijing. (86) 10-6567-3333 ext. 323/8 10- 81181888
One of the Asia's hottest boutique hotels. Located about 40 miles from Beijing, the Commune By The Great Wall is a private collection of 11 villas designed by 12 of Asia's best architects, each villa boasting its unique avant-garde style. In the steel and glass Suitcase House, for instance, you will find cabinets, trunks, bathrooms and kitchens underneath the floor in hidden compartments. Rental of these 4-6 bedroom villas with designer interiors come with a personal butler as well as a magnificent, unobstructed view of the Great Wall Of China.
Rates: House, from ¡ê660



77 Friends Colony (west), New Delhi (91) 11-2692-5151
Originally a small country hotel, the 12 room retreat reopened in 1999 as India's first designer hotel, classily integrating sleek cosmopolitan with traditional Indian textures in its design. Amenities such as cable TV, VCRs and CD players are available in each room, plus a 24 hour concierge and personal assistant service is there to meet your needs- Whether it's a cheese sandwich, supper or a laptop to check your emails with. Located in South Delhi about a 45 minute taxi ride (US$ 22) from the airport.

Rates: 155.00 USD - 350.00 USD



Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Banjar Lungsiakan, Kedewatan Ubud, (62) 361-972448
At Uma Ubud, setting is everything. Hidden on the fringe on Ubud, it overlooks the Tjampuhan Valley, lush fields and cocnut palms, with the river Oos running below. Featuring Koichiro Ikebuchi's pared down, elegant designs which blend with local aesthetics, you get plenty of light flowing through the interior plus an unobstructed view of the gorgeous surroundings. The highlight here is the Como Shambhala retreat, which offers morning yoga sessions, spa treatments and massages, plus a restaurant that offers an organic menu alongside a regular one.
Rates 260 USD - 350 USD



81 Soi Ari, Phaholyothin 7 Rd., Samsennai, Phayathai, Bangkok. (66) 2-270-3344
Try this quirky "art hotel" if you are looking for a way to perk up your stay in Bangkok. Each of the 28 rooms sports a different personality and interior, ranging from hippy (room 307) , to post industrial (room 402) to Art Deco (room 201) , reflectingthe creative spirit of the designer. Log on to the hotel's website to check out the rooms before you book It wont be easy deciding which room to stay in, but you'll definitely not want to put up in a bland, ordinary hotel room again.
Rates 2050 Baht - 3120 Baht



50 Keong Saik Road, (65) 6347-1929
Located right smack in a waning red light district, the four storey Hotel 1929 is one cool budget hotel done right. Once a shabby inn, it's been transformed into a chic, award winning heritage boutique hotel that's a hit with globetrotters. Among its many cool design elements are roof top hot tubs and rooms decked with the owner's private collection of vintage chairs. The rooms feature stylishly creative use of space, with roomy drawers replacing wardrobes, while LCD TVs replace the regular tube.
Rates 59 USD - 140 USD



76 Robertson Quay, (65) 6849-8686
It's not difficult to spot the Gallery Hotel with its vivid facade overlooking the Singapore river. In fact, its unconventional architecture drew much interest from the public when it first opened. One of its most eye catching features is its cantilevered lap pool, walled by glass on three sides, with a partially exposed bottom, while another ooo facto would be the "smart wired" roms that have lights and air-conditioning controlled by computerized sensors.
Rates 83 USD - 214 USD


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