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Bill Bensley – 14 of Asia’s Finest Uniquely Designed Hotels 2024

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Journey through the legendary architect and designer Bill Bensley’s unique and innovative hotel designs. Known for his eclectic and imaginative style, Bensley has created some of the most extraordinary hotels around the world. Each property is an extraordinary place to stay and a distinct experience, blending luxury, creativity, and a deep respect for the environment. This guide invites you to explore his architectural masterpieces, each offering its own story, aesthetic, and unparalleled hospitality. Discover the essence of each destination, the best times to visit, and essential travel tips to enhance your journey.

About Bill Bensley

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / eclecticworks

Bill Bensley stands out in the hotel design industry for his distinctive aesthetics and his commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. His approach to design transcends traditional boundaries, focusing on creating spaces that respect and celebrate their natural and cultural environments. Bensley is known for integrating sustainable building practices in his projects, such as using locally sourced materials, preserving native flora and fauna, and implementing water conservation and waste reduction measures. His work often includes reforestation efforts, demonstrating a deep dedication to environmental stewardship. 

In addition to his environmental focus, Bensley is deeply committed to community involvement and philanthropy. He incorporates local artisans and craftspeople into his projects, ensuring economic benefits are shared within the community and helping preserve cultural heritage and traditions. Bensley’s social responsibility extends to various initiatives, including wildlife conservation and education for underprivileged children. This approach positions him not just as a leader in architecture and design, but also as a pioneer in ethical and responsible luxury tourism, where each property he designs is a testament to a more sustainable and equitable world. 

1. Shinta Mani Wild – A Bensley Collection, Cambodia

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Image Credit: Shinta Mani Wild

Nestled in the heart of the Cambodian wilderness, Shinta Mani Wild is an all-inclusive luxury tented camp that offers an escape into nature like no other. Bill Bensley designed this eco-friendly retreat seamlessly blends into its surroundings, offering a unique opportunity to connect with the untamed beauty of the forest and river.

Guests can enjoy guided nature walks, foraging trips with the Chef, Wildlife Alliance Patrols, waterfall excursions, and boat trips, all while indulging in the camp’s sumptuous amenities. The camp’s design reflects a blend of luxury and sustainability, with each tent offering opulent comfort and stunning views of the wilderness. Each guest has their very own Bensley Adventure Butler, who organises everything!

Insider’s Tip: Try the 400 meter zip-line entrance for a thrilling start to your stay. Children over 10 are welcome.

When to Travel: The dry season from November to April offers the best weather for outdoor activities.

How to Get There: Fly into Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville and arrange for a transfer to the camp. 

2. Capella Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

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Image Credit: Capella Ubud

Capella Ubud is a sanctuary of tranquility and luxury in the heart of Bali’s lush rainforest. The resort pays homage to the early Dutch settlers’ spirit while preserving the natural surroundings. Each of the 22 uniquely designed tents is a masterpiece of art, offering private pools, bespoke interiors, and breathtaking rainforest and rice terraces views. The resort provides a range of activities, including cultural tours, yoga, and wellness treatments, ensuring a rejuvenating experience.

Insider’s Tip: Book a tent with a view of the rice terraces for a truly immersive experience.

When to Travel: Visit during the dry season from April to September for the best climate.

How to Get There: Fly to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and take a scenic drive to the resort. 

3. The Siam, Bangkok, Thailand

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Image Credit: The Siam

The Siam, set on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, is a luxury urban retreat that combines Art Deco elegance with traditional Thai influences, creating an ambiance of sophisticated serenity. Guests can explore the city’s rich history and vibrant culture or relax in the hotel’s world-class spa and wellness facilities. The Siam features a private art and antique collection, giving guests a glimpse into Thailand’s artistic heritage. Guests can view and purchase from a beautifully curated collection of Bill Bensley’s art works at Connie’s Corner.

Insider’s Tip: Opt for a room with a river view to enjoy the serene beauty of the Chao Phraya.

When to Travel: The best time to visit Bangkok is from November to February when the weather is cooler.

How to Get There: Fly to Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Mueang International Airport and take a short drive to the hotel. 

4. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Thailand

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Thailand

Image credit: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

In the lush jungles of Northern Thailand, the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle offers an extraordinary escape. This luxurious tented camp lets guests experience the beauty of the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar converge.

Each tent is a haven of luxury, offering stunning views of the Ruak River and the surrounding landscape. The camp offers elephant trekking, river excursions, and traditional Thai spa treatments, providing a unique blend of adventure and relaxation.

Insider’s Tip: Participate in the elephant mahout training for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

When to Travel: Visit between November and February for the best weather.

How to Get There: Fly to Chiang Rai International Airport and arrange for a transfer to the camp. 

5. JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa, South Korea

JW Marriott Jeju Resort Spa South Korea

Image credit: JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa, set on the picturesque island of Jeju, South Korea, flows with luxury and serenity. The resort stands out for its elegant blend of contemporary design and traditional Korean elements. Situated amidst the island’s unique volcanic landscape, each room and suite offers panoramic views of Jeju’s stunning natural scenery.

Guests at JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa can indulge in various experiences, from exploring the island’s UNESCO-listed natural sites to unwinding in world-class spa facilities. The resort’s dining options showcase a fusion of local Jeju flavors and international cuisine, all curated to provide a memorable gastronomic experience.

Insider’s Tip: Choose a suite with an ocean view for a mesmerizing glimpse of Jeju’s famed coastal beauty.

When to Travel: The best time to visit Jeju Island is during the spring and fall seasons for mild weather and scenic beauty.

How to Get There: The resort is a short drive from Jeju International Airport 

6. InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam

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Image credit: InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort

Perched on a lush peninsula in Danang, Vietnam, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is a beautiful design. The resort offers a journey through Vietnamese mythology and tradition, with each level of the resort representing an element of heaven, sky, and earth.

Guests can enjoy stunning views of the East Sea, indulge in world-class dining, and relax on the resort’s private beach or at its luxurious spa. The architecture and interiors are a blend of traditional Vietnamese motifs and contemporary design, creating a unique and luxurious experience.

Insider’s Tip: Dine at La Maison 1888 to experience Michelin-starred cuisine in an extraordinary setting. Check out the Outsider Gallery that houses an impressive collection of Bill’s art.

When to Travel: The best time to visit is from February to May, when the weather is pleasant and dry.

How to Get There: Fly to Da Nang International Airport and take a short drive to the resort. 

7. JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, Vietnam

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Image Credit: JW Marriott Phu Quoc

On the idyllic island of Phu Quoc, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa is a whimsical creation. The resort, designed as a mythical academy, offers guests a playful and luxurious escape. Each building and space tells a story, with meticulously designed classrooms-turned-suites, laboratories, and lecture halls. The resort features a stunning beach, multiple pools, and world-class dining options, making it a perfect destination for relaxation and discovery.

Insider’s Tip: Explore the resort’s unique design elements, each telling a part of the academy’s fictional history.

When to Travel: Visit from November to March for the best beach weather.

How to Get There: Fly to Phu Quoc International Airport and take a short drive to the resort. 

8. Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos

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Image Credit: Rosewood Luang Prabang

In the serene landscape of Luang Prabang, Laos, the Rosewood Luang Prabang is a luxurious retreat. The resort is an exquisite blend of French-Lao architecture, offering a tranquil escape in a lush, natural setting. Each suite and villa is uniquely designed, reflecting Laotian culture and history. Guests can enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding waterfalls, explore the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, and experience the resort’s exceptional spa and dining offerings.

Insider’s Tip: Stay in one of the hilltop tents for breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and rivers.

When to Travel: The dry season from November to April is the most favorable time to visit.

How to Get There: Fly to Luang Prabang International Airport and take a short drive to the resort. 

9. The Slate, Phuket, Thailand

The Slate Phuket

Image credit: The Slate Phuket

On the shores of Phuket, The Slate stands as a testament to Bill Bensley’s imaginative design inspired by the island’s tin mining history. The resort is a fusion of industrial chic and Thai artistry, creating a unique and luxurious ambiance. Guests can indulge in the resort’s diverse culinary offerings, relax at the award-winning spa, and explore the natural beauty of Phuket’s beaches and landscapes. The Slate offers a distinctive Thai experience, combining luxury, art, and history in an extraordinary setting.

Insider’s Tip: Experience the resort’s cooking classes to learn about traditional Thai cuisine.

When to Travel: The best time to visit Phuket is between November and April, during the dry season.

How to Get There: Fly to Phuket International Airport and take a short drive to the resort. 

10. InterContinental Khao Yai Resort Thailand

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Image Credit: IHG Khao Yai Resort

Nestled amidst the verdant landscapes of Khao Yai, this Bensley-designed resort is a luxurious escape that seamlessly integrates with its natural surroundings. Each space at the InterContinental Khao Yai Resort celebrates Bensley’s creative flair, combining the elegance of 19th century abandoned heritage railcars with ecological sensitivity.

The resort offers an array of activities that allow guests to connect with nature, from bird watching to exploring nearby national parks. The dining experiences here are curated to offer a taste of local and international cuisines, with a focus on fresh, organic ingredients.

Insider’s Tip: Take a guided tour of Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to experience the region’s rich biodiversity or head to one of the local wineries to experience some extraordinarily good Thai wine. Khao Yai is also home to several world class golf couses.

When to Travel: The best time to visit is during the cooler months from November to February.

How to Get There: The resort is approximately a two and a half hour’s drive north-east of Bangkok, with private transfers available. 

11. Shinta Mani Mustang – A Bensley Collection, Nepal

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Image Credit: Shinta Mani Mustang

This exclusive all-inclusive retreat, located in the mystical Mustang region of Nepal, showcases Bensley’s distinctive design ethos in a dramatic mountainous setting. Shinta Mani Mustang offers a blend of luxury and adventure, providing a unique window into the ancient Tibetan culture of the region. The resort’s design is inspired by local traditions and landscapes, offering an immersive experience that extends to its culinary offerings, a fusion of local flavors and international cuisine. 

Insider’s Tip: Embark on a guided cultural tour to explore Mustang’s ancient monasteries and caves. There is a minimum stay of five nights.

When to Travel: The best time to visit Mustang is from March to early June and September to November.

How to Get There: Travel to Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, then two domestic flights to Pokhara and Jomsom, and a short scenic drive to the resort. 

12. Shinta Mani Angkor and Bensley Collection Pool Villas, Cambodia

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Image Credit: Shinta Mani Angkor

In the leafy heart of the French Quarter in Siem Reap, Shinta Mani Angkor and Bensley Collection is a boutique hotel in that is a luxurious and artistic oasis. The hotel’s architecture and interiors are a modern interpretation of Cambodian heritage, with each space telling a story of the country’s culture and history. The property is ideally located to explore the UNESCO World Heritage temples of Angkor Wat and offers bespoke experiences like guided temple tours and culinary adventures.

Insider’s Tip: Don’t miss dinner at Kroya by Chef Chanrith, their talented Khmer Chef. And take advantage of the Bensley Butlers who will look after your every whim.

When to Travel: The best time to visit Siem Reap is from November to February when the weather is cooler and dry.

How to Get There: The hotel is an hours drive from Siem Reap International Airport, with transfers available on request.   

13. Hotel de la Coupole, Sapa, Vietnam

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Image Credit: Hotel de la Coupole, Sapa

Hotel de la Coupole, located in the mountainous region of Sapa, Vietnam, merges French colonial style with indigenous influences. This luxurious hotel offers breathtaking views of the Hoang Lien Son mountains. It is a perfect base for exploring the rich cultural tapestry of Sapa. The hotel’s amenities include a world-class spa, an indoor heated pool, and dining options that blend local and international cuisine.

Insider’s Tip: Take the cable car to the peak of Fansipan, the highest mountain in Indochina, for spectacular views.

When to Travel: Visit Sapa from March to May or from September to November for the best weather.

How to Get There: The nearest major airport is in Hanoi. From there, take a scenic train journey or a road transfer to Sapa. 

14. Capella Hanoi, Vietnam

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Image Credit: Capella Hanoi

Capella Hanoi is a luxurious hotel that celebrates the rich history of opera in the vibrant city of Hanoi. Located near the Hanoi Opera House, the hotel’s design is a dramatic blend of neoclassical luxury and theatrical elements, echoing the opulence of the early 20th century. Each suite is uniquely designed, with art and artifacts that pay homage to opera and performing arts. The hotel offers an exceptional culinary experience and a tranquil spa, providing a perfect retreat in the heart of the city.

Insider’s Tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy an evening at the Hanoi Opera House, followed by a nightcap at the hotel’s rooftop bar.

When to Travel: The best time to visit Hanoi is during the cooler, dry months from October to April.

How to Get There: Capella Hanoi is approximately a 40-minute drive from Noi Bai International Airport.

The Bottom Line

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Boyloso

Embark on a journey through Bill Bensley’s Hotel Collection, a collection of unique destinations that blend luxury, culture, and environmental consciousness. Each property in this collection is a gateway to immersive experiences and local heritage. From Nepal’s mystical landscapes to Hanoi’s urban charm, these hotels offer unparalleled luxury and distinct designs curated by one of the world’s most innovative architects.

As you plan your travels, consider these extraordinary destinations for a stay that promises comfort and a deeper connection with the places you visit. Discover the world through the curious eyes of Bill Bensley and be inspired by the stories, art, and beauty that each of these unique properties embodies.

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The post Bill Bensley – 14 of Asia’s Finest Uniquely Designed Hotels 2024 republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Molishka.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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