Social media savvy resorts and hotels around Asia are going the extra mile to deliver specially curated photo opportunities that provide ample fodder for IG feeds.
Holiday snaps have long been an integral part of the travel experience. But with “pics or it didn’t happen” being the mantra of the Instagram era, gathering visual documentation of leisure time has become a pressing priority for many. Here is a selection of Asia’s most IG-friendly resorts and hotels:
Hyatt Regency Koh Samui
The designers of the newly unveiled Hyatt Regency Koh Samui knew that snap-happy guests would find it hard to resist the visual allure surrounding them. Therefore, they baked in a Gallery of Eight, a collection of eight sites dotted around the property specially selected for their photogenic appeal. The property fully leverages the beauty of Koh Samui through its coastal location, incorporation of protected native yangna trees and numerous inspired architectural features. The latter includes a showpiece lobby—the starting point for the Gallery of Eight—where numerous skylights allow for natural illumination by the sun and the moon. Other likely photo ops include a valley that abounds with colourful tropical flora and the largest pool zone on the island, a collection of four pools, each cascading down from the main pool on the upper deck of the resort.
Alma Cam Ranh
Alma this year clinched a coveted spot in ‘The Most Instagrammable Hotel in the World’; tens of thousands of readers of the well-respected United States-based website Luxury Travel Advisor voted Alma the winner of the Asia and Indian Ocean bracket, placing it in the poll’s top four resorts worldwide. And for very good reason. The resort is anchored by 12 swimming pools that cascade down to Long Beach, with sun loungers and cabanas dotted among them, that have attracted serious attention from a who’s who of Vietnamese celebrities. Singers Quang Vinh, Bao Thy, Dan Truong, and Trinh Thang Binh, actors Hoang Yen Chibi and Tuan Tran, power couple Thuy Tien and Cong Vinh and the ‘Xoai (Mango) Family’ are among many influencers who have shared Alma’s pools with their followers, resulting in countless guests replicating their popular images.
Banyan Tree Samui
Nestled into a lush tropical hillside overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, the 38-acre property of Banyan Tree Samui is ripe for some of the most picturesque beach-and-sea views you can imagine. In fact, the resort has published its own “7 Photo Spots” brochure for guests to ponder ahead of arrival. From either of two restaurants or the reception area, the amateur photographer is blessed with a magnificent panoramic vista encompassing sapphire sea, a palm-fringed white-sand beach, a cove flanked by coral reefs, and the flora and greenery of the resort in the foreground. The more intrepid selfie-seeker can climb even higher to the hilltop where they can take in a sweeping 360-degree shot of the entire coastline. And if you’re shooting from your villa, you may be able to sneak in a cocktail-and-bikini moment from the edge of your private infinity pool.
Meliá Koh Samui
Mavens of social media love nothing so much as a pool, and Meliá Koh Samui’s got two extraordinary pools that have featured on many an Instagram feed. Overlooking secluded Choeng Mon Beach, the resort’s two-level infinity pool is replete with in-water lounges and sunken seating areas, and an adjacent 700m-long lagoon pool – with slides, swing chairs, water jets, foam floats, a jacuzzi, swim-up bar and fountain and cascade area – meanders through the resort’s grounds like a river. Thai celebrities ranging from former anchorwoman Bo Vanda Sahawong and her daughter Mali, to beauty influencer Archita Siri and comedic duo Ajumma Nammy and Oppa Thuchy have made a beeline for the swimming pools to capture Insta-worthy pictures, inspiring many others to follow their lead (and photo angles).
Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana
Bali’s only hot air balloon rises over the verdant rice fields of Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana, multiple times a day, and although the view from above ground is stunning (you can take in Mt Agung on a clear day) the most popular shot is just below with the impressive balloon in the background of a paddy-side picnic. World travellers and content creators, Giulia and Donato, of @_dgtravel_ are one of a number of visitors who captured the resort’s most insta-worthy moment for their feed.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
The 120-year-old Metropole Hanoi is a gift to photography-lovers, with practically every corner of the storied hotel offering an opportunity to capture some of its rich history. For starters, there’s the obligatory shot of the Metropole’s iconic white facade and green shutters, as well as the two 1953 luxury Citroen cars and vintage cyclos parked in front of the hotel on Ngo Quyen Street. Another perennially popular image is at La Terrasse, the hotel’s outdoor terrace inspired by world-famous Parisian al fresco brasseries, where guests and local Hanoians linger over breakfast, lunch or a leisurely cup of coffee. Inside the hotel, the Metropole garden and white staircase leading to Le Balcon are favorite backdrops among top Instagram influencers, while traditional afternoon tea at the glass house L’Orangerie presents another picturesque setting. For more information or to make a reservation visit https://www.sofitel-legend-metropole-hanoi.com.
Vietnam’s top actors, supermodels, and social media influencers have been flocking to Azerai Resorts’ three properties in Vietnam in recent years to stage fashion photo shoots amid the resorts’ colourful and picturesque backdrops. From celebrity Quynh Anh Shyn, with her 2.6 million Instagram followers, to international supermodel and singer Ha Anh Vu, and popular actress Le Ha Truc, these Vietnamese stars and others have treated their social media followers to gorgeous imagery, along with travel inspiration (these photos were all shot prior to the latest wave of pandemic lockdowns). Quynh Anh Shyn captured the multi-hued sunset overlooking the ocean from Azerai Ke Ga Bay’s beachfront pool. Le Ha Truc appeared on Azerai La Residence, Hue’s elegant new 55-foot (17-meter) riverboat as it plied the Perfume River at dusk. And Ha Anh Vu snapped a shot on Azerai Can Tho’s Mekong Delta cruise boat, with the 2.75-kilometre Can Tho Bridge in the background. The three Azerai properties in Vietnam are renowned for their natural surroundings.
Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh
One quick scroll through the Instagram hashtag of #HyattRegencyPhnomPenh, which opened in the Cambodian capital in January, brings up plenty of iconic snaps of the hotel’s stunningly revamped Colonial House entrance. Originally built as a secret villa for a princess in the early 20th century, the lemon-coloured French heritage building with its wooden shutters, arched doorways, and terracotta-tiled roof has quickly become the property’s go-to selfie spot, thanks to a recent fashion shoot by SOVRIN Magazine, Cambodia’s top fashion glossy. The shoot by fashion photographer, Un Hour, featured well-known Cambodian actress and model, San Kosamak, posing in a canary trenchcoat in front of the building, spawning a number of copycat photos on Instagram. Once inside, another IG-worthy backdrop is the vintage, iron-wrought staircase leading up to The Attic, a speakeasy-style bar housed in the eaves of the Colonial House. A photograph of San sitting on the spiral staircase graced the cover of SOVRIN Magazine’s July 2021 issue providing yet more Insta-inspiration for the hotel. For more information or reservations, please visit: hyattregencyphnompenh.com @hyattregency_phnompenh @hyattregency #HyattRegencyPhnomPenh #ColonialHouse #TheAttic