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The Historic Hotels of Southeast Asia

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Just like everyone else on AFAR, I love travel. It’s one thing we all certainly share a love for here. I’d expect though, that despite them being an almost essential factor of travel, not everyone also loves hotels. Personally, I fall into the ‘love’ category, especially some of the old, colonial style hotels you can find in Southeast Asia.

Aside from luxury and quality, some of the older hotels in Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar for example, are relics of a bygone era – a living history, if you will. Standing strong despite turmoil taking place all around them, hotels like La Residence Hue in Vietnam and Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh have withstood civil unrest and invasion by not just Western ‘celebrities’ but also invading armies.

Many hotels built during colonial times reflect the powers that reigned over the countries at the time – Strand Hotel Yangon, for example was built during colonial rule and is a good example of Victorian architecture and the influence the British had on Myanmar.

But more than just architectural aesthetics intrigues me; old hotels have a classical and romantic feel to them you just can’t fake. I can’t help but get swept away by the charm and nostalgia of the colonial-style architecture that many pre-1930 hotels offer.

I’ve compiled a more detailed list of my personal favorites in my latest blog article – feel free to take a look at

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