• Bambu Indah Hotel Bali
  • Bambu Indah Hotel Bali
  • Bambu Indah Hotel Bali
  • Bambu Indah Hotel Bali
  • Bambu Indah Hotel Bali
  • Bambu Indah Hotel Bali
  • Bambu Indah Hotel Bali
  • Bambu Indah Hotel Bali

One of the leading accommodation sites in the world and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group known as Agoda.com and its global partner in Indonesia has released its annual list of Over The Top Hotels, nominated to properties that push the boundaries of creative accommodation. As in previous years, “Over the Top” doesn’t necessarily mean superlative luxury. To be included on this list, an OTT hotel needs to be one that turns heads, offers unique takes on standard concepts, and makes people want to share photos to their social media life.

This year, Agoda.com has chosen eight properties that embody an Over the Top experience, a Bali hotel made it to the list along with another 3 hotels in neighbouring SE Asia countries. From a once luxurious ocean-going steamship converted into a Los Angeles hotel to a five-star tented resort that pokes up through the mists of northern Thailand, these hotels prove that there is always something unique and memorable for travelers to discover, no matter where in the world they’re exploring.

Bambu Indah Hotel

  • Place Alt Text Here
The gorgeously landscaped Bambu Indah goes to great lengths to present a collection of curios from around the world in a superb Balinese setting. Much of the food used in the kitchen is grown onsite without pesticides, and the entire resort is operated with locally sourced materials and labor. Each of the 13 separate structures in a former Javanese bridal house, carefully transported to Bali from around Indonesia. No two are the same. The Africa House contains antiques and decorations from the continent; Udang House has a glass floor, allowing guests to pace just inches above the freshwater stream that runs through the resort; The Pagoda is a four-story house right out of a fairy tale, with floor-to-ceiling windows and play areas, perfect for families. Guests rave about the home-cooked food in the restaurant and sunset drinks on the deck overlooking emerald rice fields.

Notable OTT feature: Most of the decorations in the rooms – from Ethiopian furniture to Tibetan rugs – are from the personal collection of John and Cynthia Hardy, who founded Bambu Indah.

What guests love most: An authentic Javanese experience and being surrounded by endless green rice paddies and jungle.

Vintage Luxury Yacht Hotel

  • Place Alt Text Here
Continuing the maritime theme, the Vintage Luxury Yacht Hotel in Yangon offers a great OTT choice for accommodation in Myanmar’s shambolic, fascinating ex-capital. The 106-meter vessel originally came from Finland over 80 years ago, but was refitted and restyled to serve as one of Yangon’s few 5-star hotels. Each of the 104 cabins is a throwback to the high style of the 1920’s, right down the furniture and type of lightbulbs. Before heading out to explore, fill up at one of the two restaurants on board, spend an hour in the spa, or pull up a stool at one of the two bars to relax with a cocktail overlooking the serene Yangon River.

Notable OTT feature: Rent a chauffeured Rolls-Royce to take you on a tour of the city, or even up to the new (but fairly staid) capital of Naypyidaw.

What guests love most: Enjoying a drink on the deck at sunset, watching river life.

Keemala Resorts

  • Place Alt Text Here
With signature packages and programs that focus on wellness and quality of life, Keemala goes OTT by perching four distinct styles of luxury accommodation underneath a hillside jungle canopy. No matter if you’re here to connect with nature, ignore the world, or pamper yourself silly, Keemala’s 38 cottages offer a beautifully appointed place to unwind. Tent Pool Villas sprawl underneath a huge canvas sail, while Tree Pool Houses dot the hillside like giant wicker eggs – although eggs with deep standalone bathtubs and private swimming pools. Cozy Clay Pool Cottages and Bird’s Nest Pool Villas complete the accommodation on offer, each with views of rainforest or ocean.

Note: Opening 1 December, 2015.

What guests love most: Hotel staff can arrange a private dinner at the base of a waterfall, on a beach, or any number of similarly-exotic locations nearby.

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

  • Place Alt Text Here
When one thinks of staying in the middle of the rainforest, it’s fair to say that this is not what they have in mind. The Four Seasons Tented Camp is a five-star experience tucked away in the jungle of the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Burma, and Laos meet. The 54sq.m open-plan tents feature hand-hammered bathtubs, outdoor rain showers and hot tubs, and unique handcrafted furnishings and decorations. A focus is also put on OTT experiences – the elephant rehabilitation center gets guests up close and personal with animals rescued from lives of abuse and hard labor. Adventure trekking, cooking classes, and VIP tours to temples, hilltops, and waterfalls are also available.

Notable OTT feature: Opt for the Making Merit excursion, where a boat will take you down the Mekong River between Thailand and Laos. A private car will then take you to Wat Pra That Pra Ngao, a site with great spiritual significance – and an amazing view.

What guests love most: The humble tent, taken to a new level of luxury here, is always a hit.

Charlotte Street Hotel

  • Place Alt Text Here
This unique property, just next door to London’s trendy Soho works, hard to be a reflection of modern London’s vibrancy and creativity. On the walls hang original works by noted Bloomsbury artists such as Rogery Fry and Duncan Grant, while a focus is put on making each room an individual experience like no other. All design and decoration is done by owner Kit Kemp, who chooses 10 of the 52 rooms every year to get a complete remodeling, turning each one into a brand new space. Even regular guests will find something to surprise them on every stay.

Notable OTT feature: Join one of the hotel’s twice-weekly film screenings in its 75-seat theater, which includes a 3-course meal.

What guests love most: The prompt service, huge breakfasts, and bustling nighttime drinks scene at Oscar’s (onsite) never fails to impress.

Stars Galleria

  • Place Alt Text Here
Hotelier Alessandro Rosso wasn’t happy with only five stars. After settling on the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele – the spiritual home of Italian fashionistas – as the location for the Seven Stars Galleria, he worked with international certification company SGS to create a seven-star accreditation program. The list includes an unbeatable location in a historically important structure, and strict guidelines for rooms, security, and staff training, among others. Personal chefs and butlers are chosen based on a familiarity with the guest’s language and culture, and there are only seven suites to choose from, including the 580sq.m Penthouse Suite, where Italy’s King Vittorio Emanuele II used to stay. (Note – in early 2016 the Seven Stars Galleria will merge with the Townhouse Galleria at the same location)

Notable OTT feature: Call ahead to check in, have a bottle of champagne waiting in your room, or even get someone to draw your bath.

What guests love most: Watch the beautiful people from the comfort of your beautiful hotel.

Hotel Zephyr

  • Place Alt Text Here
Recipient of a recent major renovation that upped its uniqueness factor, Hotel Zephyr takes industrial design to a new level. Internationally renowned design firm Dawson Design Associates created a colorful, unique, and functional space for travelers. Pool tables, fire pits, and custom designed furniture decorate common areas while steel shipping containers, cartoon wall murals, and industrial art sculptures ensure the Zephyr is unlike any other hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf. The property is fully kitted out with games and high-tech amenities, multi-lingual staff and, importantly, access to some of San Francisco’s most popular attractions. Balconies look out across San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, and the iconic city skyline.

Notable OTT feature: There are very few hotels in San Francisco on the waterfront, so its mere existence, actually, is an over the top achievement.

What guests love most: A unique perspective on the foodie paradise of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Queen Mary Hotel

  • Place Alt Text Here
Very few hotels have played an iconic part in 20th century war and politics, but that’s part of the Queen Marry Hotel’s unique charm. Before it was a hotel, it was the world famous Queen Mary ocean liner. Launched in 1936, she transported everyone from Bob Hope to Winston Churchill on the high seas before being converted into a troop transport during WWII, returning to its former glory in 1947 and retiring in 1967. Each of the 355 staterooms – all of which are different – offers modern amenities but retains its original art-deco style, with rich wood paneling and original artwork. The ship itself is a living museum – tour the historic ballrooms and bridge, and take your meals outdoors on the deck looking across the harbor to Long Beach.

Notable OTT feature: Legend has it that the ship is haunted. Join a tour that brings you through all of the areas where spirits are said to roam.

What guests love most: Reliving the golden age of ocean going travel…from the comfort of a dock.

No more articles