For seasoned travelers, there’s nothing particularly memorable about the typical hotel arrival.
Whether you take public transit, a taxi or an Uber, you’ll eventually find your way to the lobby and then wait your turn to check-in – rarely a highlight of the trip.
But what if you could zipline over a waterfall and land in the hotel bar? Take a serene river cruise through a lush gorge? Soar over snow-kissed mountain peaks in a helicopter?
Now that’s an entrance.
From Thailand to India, Cambodia to New Zealand, we’ve hand-picked a few of the most epic hotel arrival experiences across the Asia-Pacific region for a first impression you’ll remember forever.
If you’re staying at ÀNI Thailand – an all-inclusive private sanctuary on Koh Yao Noi Island in the Andaman Sea – you’ll have a choice of sea-faring arrival: Thai longtail boat or speedboat.
You can’t go wrong with either option, but the hour-long longtail ride careens through UNESCO-listed Phang Nga Bay, known for its famous karst rock formations, at a slower pace, providing more time to soak up the surroundings.
Meanwhile, the swift private speedboat picks you up at the Ao Po Grand Marina on the eastern coast of Phuket, then zooms across the bay in about 15-30 minutes.
While it’s a short ride, guests are spoiled along the way with personal slippers, refreshments and bamboo boxes full of snacks.
When you reach the island pier, a tuk-tuk magically appears to transport you to the arrival pavilion – a gleaming wood structure inspired by ancient Lanna architecture – where a ceremonial bell and refreshing Thai soda mark the beginning of your stay.
ÀNI Thailand, Koh Yao Noi, Ko Yao District, Phang-nga, Thailand
Hidden in a bamboo forest near the Golden Triangle – where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand converge – the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle channels 19th-century expeditions with glamorous interiors by resort designer Bill Bensley.
It’s an intimate experience where you’ll be surrounded by nature. After all, just 15 tented rooms and a cluster of dining areas pepper the hillside.
As for activities, you can get to know local life in many ways, from trying…
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