RIGHT AFTER I BOOKED my reservation at the Siam Hotel in Bangkok (pictured), I got an email from Jason Friedman, the general manager. He was writing to suggest activities I might want to do during my stay. There weren’t just the typical temples and museums but also distinctive experiences: a visit to the night flower market, a cooking class, a street food tour of Chinatown. When I arrived at the hotel, Jason helped me set up the things I wanted to do. I thought, here is a hotel that embraces the luxury of experience. AFAR readers would love this place.
Which brings me to the AFAR Collection of Hotels and Resorts, our latest effort to improve experiential travel. Choosing a hotel can be confusing. Whose opinion can you trust? Why does it seem that every hotel on TripAdvisor scores between three and four stars? To make finding a hotel easier, we’ve invited a select number of hotels that share our approach to travel—places we would recommend to friends—to partner with us.
At AFAR, we are already creating digital guides of experiences all over the world. For Collection hotels, in exchange for a membership fee, we produce customized guides of great things to do in and around their properties, enabling guests to have deeper and richer travel experiences.
The Collection includes properties in prestigious hotel groups such as the Peninsula in Hong Kong and the new Langham Place in New York, as well as small independent hotels that we love, including Las Alcobas in Mexico City and the Fullerton in Singapore. We’re on the beach in Puerto Rico with the Ritz-Carlton Dorado Beach; on a 37,000-acre Montana ranch with the Resort at Paws Up; and even on the Strip in Las Vegas with the Cosmopolitan. We are adding hotels every week, and you can find the most up-to-date list at AFAR.com/hotels. I urge you to check them out. And please let me know what you think.
This appeared in the June/July 2014 issue.