15 hot new hotels coming to Asia in 2013
According to the Construction Pipeline Report released in November 2012 by hotel research firm STR Global, 1,767 hotels are currently under development in the Asia-Pacific region, with 667 hotels expected to open in 2013.
That's a lot of beds.
More than half of the hotels in property empire Starwood's development books have Asian addresses, while other big names like Accor, InterContinental Hotels and Hilton Worldwide, are also aggressively expanding in the East. So are smaller regional boutique brands.
Of those hundreds of new properties, here are 15 we're most excited about.
Parkroyal on Pickering, Singapore
Opening: January 2013
Singapore is often called "the Garden City."
So it's fitting that the 367-room Parkroyal has dubbed itself a "hotel-in-a-garden."
Four sky gardens offer 15,000 square meters of trees and shrubs that look like they've crept over the road from the Hong Lim Park opposite, including a 300-meter garden walk on the fifth floor and a vertical living wall of mosses and plants in the lobby.
An eco theme prevails across the property. Recycled glass was used to make the bathtubs, sinks and vanity tops. In addition to its solar-powered sky gardens, rain harvesting and other sustainable practices, the hotel has already received the Green Mark Platinum Award for its environmental aspirations.
All-day restaurant Lime serves international and local cuisine from three open kitchens, while a St. Gregory Spa is slated to open in March.
3 Upper Pickering St., Singapore; +65 6809 8888; www.parkroyalhotels.com/pickering
Vana Belle, Koh Samui, Thailand
Opening: January 2013
Vana Belle is a Luxury Collection resort on Koh Samui set in a palm-filled cove on Chaweng Noi along the island's east coast.
Each of the 80 suites and villas comes with a private pool and big terraces to take in the big blue.
Stingy with floor area they're not, with the smallest suite coming in at 86 square meters and the largest stand-alone beachfront villas a sizable 211 square meters.
The resort has launched a wellness program that includes fitness, cultural and relaxation sessions, with activities including Thai boxing, cooking classes, fruit carving and flower arranging.
If life gets too exhausting, the Vana Spa is an excellent escape.
9/99 Moo 3, Chaweng Noi Beach, Surat Thani, Koh Samui, Thailand; +66 7791 5555; www.vanabellekohsamui.com
More on CNN: Insider Guide: Best of Koh Samui
Park Hyatt Busan, South Korea
Opening: February 18, 2013
Part of a mixed-use development, South Korea's second Park Hyatt opens next month in the popular beachside destination of Haeundae in Eastern Busan.
The 33-story tower was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind and has 269 units starting at a spacious 42 square meters. The use of wood and natural stones give interiors a contemporary feel, courtesy of designers Super Potato from Japan.
Every room and suite offers a sea view. A "sky lobby" sits on the 30th floor, above which is a casual diner and piano bar on the 31st and the signature Dining Room restaurant above that.
Three floors are completely dedicated to wellness, including a seven-room spa, swimming pool, fitness center and golf simulation space.
51 Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, 612-824, South Korea; +82 51 990 1234; www.busan.park.hyatt.com
More on CNN: Insider Guide: Best of Seoul
W Guangzhou, China
Opening: March 12, 2013
W Hotels makes its mainland China debut with the opening of a Guangzhou property in the shiny financial district of Pearl River New Town.
W's striking black glass exterior will be jostling for thunder with its eye-grabbing neighbors, which already include Guangzhou West Tower and China's tallest building, Canton Tower.
Among W's architectural highlights is the four-story Eve Bar, which juts out the side of the building.
If that doesn't catch your attention, trickling optical fiber lights will.
Other bold installations include a three-story "luminous waterfall" at the entrance and a nest-like lounge suspended above the lobby.
The hotel's 320 rooms and suites are decked out in W's signature contemporary style with lighting, textures and colors.
W Guangzhou also features an indoor heated pool, and, as with all the W properties, the signature Whatever/Whenever service, in-room Bliss spa products and an eclectically stocked Munchie Box.
No. 26 Xian Cun Road, Pearl River New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China; +86 20 2213 1000; www.whotels.com/guangzhou
Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Opening: April 1, 2013
Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island is the latest property to join InterContinental's urban boutique brand, meaning you can still rack up loyalty brownie points and cash in your benefits while staying in funky Wanchai digs.
Each of the 138 rooms and suites has been individually styled with bold splashes of color thrown in, while property-wide WiFi is included in the room price.
The rooftop SkyBar is sure to pack in its capacity of approximately 40 view-mongers.
Nearby, at just more than 13 meters long, the rooftop glass-bottom infinity pool might not be that big, but swimmers will have the chance to check out the action on Queen's Road East, 29 stories below, while doing laps.
If that's too vertigo-inducing, guests can head downstairs to check out Wanchai's famous shops, markets and bars on street level.
246 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong; +85 (0)2 3926 3888; www.hotelindigo.com
Mode Sathorn Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening: April 2013
With the opening of Mode Sathorn, Siam@Siam will have a second design hotel in its Bangkok portfolio, which the brand is somewhat predictably dubbing a "fashionable lifestyle" hotel.
The property is next to the Surasak BTS skytrain station on North Sathorn Road and will have 201 rooms and suites in five categories, each featuring a different design concept, plus a presidential suite on the top on the 36th floor.
F&B offerings come in the form of three restaurants and three bars. Theatre Bar will be the stand out thanks to a circular TV screen and three areas segregated by your poison of choice, be it wine, beer or cocktails.
As with its sister hotel, Mode Sathorn features a rooftop bar. If live DJs in al fresco vogue settings aren't your thing, Secret M will provide a private indoor dining cove on the floor below.
144 North Sathorn Road, Silom, Bangkok; +66 2623 4555; www.modesathorn.com
More on CNN: World's top 25 hotels named by TripAdvisor
Regent Bali, Indonesia
Opening: April 2013
In addition to 10 acres of gardens, Regent Bali also has 200 meters of semi-private beachfront to semi-call its own, dotted with cabanas right on the sands of Sanur beach.
The resort features 95 suites starting from 90 squaree meters to the largest 937-square-meter two-bedroom Regent Villa.
A 55-meter-long infinity lap pool stretches along the beach, with sunken seats providing moments of wet rest and relaxation. Other facilities include an all-day restaurant, beach club and grill and Regent Spa, fitness center and children's club complete with a treehouse and kids pool.
Guests who can't get enough spa'ing can check into one of the four Premier Spa Suites, which feature private treatment rooms.
Jalan Kusuma Sari, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia; +62 361 270 365; www.regenthotels.com
The Beach House at Pasikudah, Sri Lanka
Opening: May 2013
Situated in the Batticaloa district along Sri Lanka's eastern coast, The Beach House at Pasikudah will be operator Sun Siyam's second property after its resort in the Maldives.
Ironically, decades of conflict have protected Sri Lanka from overdevelopment, allowing beaches like the swathe at newly developed Pasikudah Bay, where The Beach House is located, to remain unspoiled.
Resort facilities will include a 30-meter infinity pool with fiber optic twinkles at night, water sports center, kids club, spa, gym and tennis and badminton courts.
Guests can snorkel over the shallow coral reef fringing the coastline while an on-site PADI diving school is there for those who want to brush up on their SCUBA skills.
Offshore, the WWII British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes wreck dive is a 45-minute boat ride away, while inland, the ruins of Polonnaruwa and the UNESCO heritage site of Sigiriya are within a day trip's strike.
More on CNN: World's top 12 hotels for stargazing
Banyan Tree Kerala, India
Opening: Q2 2013
Banyan Tree's first toe dip into India comes in the form of an all-pool villa hideaway on the private island of Nediyathuruthu in the southern state of Kerala.
The 59-room resort will also feature "Activity Island" five minutes from the main resort, offering recreational activities including an archery range, climbing wall and obstacle course, while a resort houseboat will allow guests to explore the palm-lined backwaters for which the region is famed.
In addition to six spa pavilions, the resort is also pegged to feature the brand's first dedicated Ayurvedic Center, with four treatment rooms and certified practitioners set to dole out tailored treatments.
For evening dates, guests will get to eat aboard a local "pallak" boat or atop a purpose-built eatery that towers above the gabled roofs of the resort.
Nediyathuruthu, Panavally, Cherthala, Alappuzha District, Kerala, India; www.banyantree.com
Sofitel So Singapore
Opening: July 1, 2013
Come July, Singapore will be the third destination in the world to offer the designer label of the Sofitel brand -- Sofitel So.
Just as the sister property in Mauritius has Kenzo Takada and Bangkok has Christian Lacroix, Sofitel So Singapore will have its own big shot designer flicking a couture brush across the hotel's design scheme -- Karl Lagerfeld.
The hotel promises "modern Singapore" interiors housed in a restored neoclassical landmark building dating to 1927. Onsite perks include iPad Mini's in each of the 134 rooms and suites to fiddle with the temperature or order local culinary delicacies up to the room.
If the Bangkok property's anything to go by, the Sofitel So Singapore's rooftop bar and swimming pool will soon be swarming with the city's beautiful and hip.
35 Robinson Road, Singapore; +65 6532 5005; www.sofitel.com
Mira Moon, Hong Kong
Opening: July 2013
Come summer, another design hotel will squeeze itself into the Wanchai skyline -- the 36-story Mira Moon.
The 91-room property takes its design inspiration from mythology surrounding the Mid-Autumn Festival (aka, mooncake festie) and the moon goddess of immortality, so expect Chinese prints and motifs, splashes of color, modern furnishings and a lucky charm feature wall in the lobby.
Each of the rooms, plus a penthouse, will come with a complimentary personalized mini-bar, WiFi, Nespresso coffee machine, marble bathroom with freestanding bathtub and an iPad from which you can order room service or just check out the pre-installed Apps.
On the F&B front, the Secret Garden promises food and cocktails in exotic environs.
388 Jaffe Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong; +852 2315 5618; www.miramoonhotel.com
Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives
Opening: Summer 2013
Seven years after LVMH opened its first property in the French Alps, the luxury powerhouse is going tropical with the opening of a resort on the Noonu Atoll in the Maldives.
Designed by starchitect Jean-Michel Gathy, each of the 45 pool villas -- beachfront or overwater -- will feature individual artwork by equally celebrated artist Vincent Beaurin. The casual name-dropping continues, with Cheval Blanc Spa by Guerlain, hair spa by Leonor Greyl and food overseen by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno.
Transportation comes in the form of a private customized seaplane. To explore the waters, guests will be able to hop on a traditional dhoni or the resort's private yacht.
For youngsters there's The Carousel Kids Club and Paddock Teens Club. Personal majordomes (that's French for "butler") will assist with the tedious task of packing or unpacking.
If guests don't wish to browse the limited edition items at the concept store in public, private in-store or in-villa presentations can be arranged.
More on CNN: Best Maldives resorts for every vacationer
Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa, China
Opening: Q3 2013
Shangri-La is aiming high with its first hotel in Tibet -- this one is 3,650 meters above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, surrounded by Himalayan peaks.
Traditional Tibetan architectural elements will be reinterpreted for the modern age, while the contemporary interiors are to be furnished with local arts and handicrafts.
Many of the 285 rooms will look out to Potala Palace, the hilltop complex dating to 7th century and former residence of Dalai Lama.
Taking into consideration altitude acclimatization, the landscape is being filled with plants to increase oxygen levels. A full-service on-site clinic will attend to any medical issues, just in case.
Alila Fort Bishangarh, Jaipur, India
Opening: Late 2013
Although traditionally associated with trendy hotels and chic, minimalistic cool, Alila's newest property is actually an old one.
Perched atop a granite hill in the Rajasthani district of Jaipur, Alila Fort Bishangarh will be housed inside a 230-year-old heritage fortress.
Behind ancient two-meter-thick walls, 59 suites will each feature large bay windows to check out the scenery and footed bathtubs.
Other planned facilities include two restaurants, cafe lounge, wine cellar, spa, bar and cigar room.
Outside the walls at the foot of the hill there'll be an activity cluster with a fitness center, kids club, pool and pool-side juice bar along with a classy arrival courtyard and banquet lawns.
Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea
Opening: 2013 (maybe)
It was reported in November 2012 that Kempinski would be managing the 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea.
Construction of the pyramid-shaped building started in 1987. When the 330-meter-tall building is completed this year, it will hold the distinction of being the tallest hotel in the world. Bragging rights to the "highest" hotel still go to Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong on the 102nd to 118th floors of the International Commerce Center.
However, when CNN contacted Kempinski Hotels for confirmation, the company replied with the following (excerpted) statement:
"KEY International, Kempinski's joint venture partner in China with Beijing Tourism Group (BTG), is in negotiations to operate a hotel project 'Ryugyong' in Pyongyang, North Korea. No management agreement has been signed to date.
"Kempinski is committed to raising the level of tourism infrastructure, participating in trade and travel, and creating employment opportunities. If North Korea opens up, Kempinski, through KEY International, would be proud to be part of the process of opening up the country."
In other words, don't pack your bags just yet.