Luang Prabang, Laos
Surrounded by the golden finials of Luang Prabang’s Buddhist temples, this beautiful boutique hotel was the last palace in town occupied by Lao royalty. Richly restored a decade ago, it’s now one of Southeast Asia’s most genteel heritage properties, combining the feel of a late-colonial era mansion with modern amenities such as iPod docks and in-room wifi. If your budget can stretch to it, opt for one of the double-storey villas, which have private plunge pools and river views from their raised verandas. A stroll across the garden, the Ayu Spa offers a range of oriental massages and other rejuvenating therapies.