Reincarnated: top hotels in Asia

Date Posted: 08/12/2014

If walls could talk, some buildings could be real blabbermouths. Nowhere is this truer than Asia. Even the hotels here have checkerboard pasts.

In places like Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Singapore and Cambodia, present day guest accommodation was once everything from military headquarters to post offices in former lives. Here are a few of the best…

Tintagel, Sri Lanka - Previously home to three of Sri Lanka's political leaders, the Tintagel Hotel is a stunning, heritage-style boutique hotel in a lovely spot in Colombo.

Hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole, Vietnam - This colonial charmer of a building used to be a hideout during the Vietnam War, with the bomb shelter still open to guests today. One of Hanoi's finest luxury hotels, the Metropole fuses colonial era grandeur and modern style and comforts.

Amangalla, Sri Lanka – This hotel was part of a complex of buildings that made up the headquarters of military commanders and their staff during the Dutch occupation. The hotel now offers Aman luxury in a beautifully restored building in the heart of Galle.

Governor's House, Cambodia - As the name would suggest, this hotel was once home to a senator of Phnom Penh city. It is a Colonial style mansion, gloriously converted into a 12 room boutique hotel.

Fullerton, Singapore - This historic luxury hotel in the heart of Singapore has previously housed the nation's General Post Office, The Exchange and the prestigious Singapore Club.

Amansara, Cambodia - This stylish and modern hotel in Siem Reap was the former guest house of King Sihanouk and provides the ultimate base for the wonders of Ankor.

Horathapola Estate, Sri Lanka - This early 19th century building in Gampaha is a former coconut estate manager's bungalow offering unpretentious luxury on a still-working coconut estate.

Sala Lodges, Cambodia - These lovingly restored Khmer-style stilted cabins are all totally individual and were once homes to rural dwellers, however abandoned during the time of Pol Pot. They were moved to Siem Reap town and restored to an authentic yet luxurious hotel.

Ambassadors, Sri Lanka - This luxurious five bedroom villa inside Galle Fort used to be the residence of Sri Lanka's Bangladeshi representative.

Ariyasom Villa, Thailand - This boutique hotel was built around a 1940s house in central Bangkok and was a private family residence during the Second World War. It remains in the same family hands today.

Tamarind Village, Thailand - A rogue entry here; whilst the building wasn't used for anything, the charming small hotel in Chang Mai was built in traditional style around a sacred, 200-year-old tamarind tree.

Lunuganga, Sri Lanka - This former estate in Bentota was the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa and is a vast garden fantasy land that reflects of lifetime of labour and love.

The above list was compiled by the bespoke holiday experience holiday Experience Travel Group. To find our more visit

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