Kimpton debuts stylish new hotels across Asia

by James Wilkinson

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants’ global expansion has hit Asia, with the opening of Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo and Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok this month.

The highly anticipated openings promise a differentiated stay experience with locally-loved restaurants and bars and a unique approach to creating one-of-a-kind spaces that infuse local culture, textures and colours with modern sophistication.

Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo, Japan

Located in the heart of Shinjuku – an iconic hub of creativity and trend-setting fashion – Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo features bold and playful design made richer through collaboration with local artists and community talent. The experience begins with the hotel’s exterior: a striking façade conceived by renowned New York design and architecture firm, Rockwell Group. It stars an impressionism wall designed by celebrated Japanese artist, Kusumi, before guests enter into an Art Deco masterpiece inspired by Lower Manhattan’s art and fashion scene.

Neighbouring Bunka Fashion College supports Kimpton’s celebration of emerging talent, with the hotel’s doormen dressed in a stylish wardrobe by Bunka graduate, Oka. Inside, keep an eye on the shoes worn by Kimpton hosts – they sport artwork from iconic Japanese artist, SHETA, renowned for his eye-catching pop art with vibrant colour and humorous design. For an unexpected twist, the resident Kimpton Curator helps energise the social scene with monthly exhibitions in the level 16 art gallery that doubles as a wedding chapel.

151 luxurious rooms and suites promise a pampering experience with La Bottega amenities and well-loved Kimpton perks including a ‘bath turndown’ with the brand’s own scented candles and bath salts. The ‘Closet Smile’ is a functional pop-up in all rooms, as guests discover their Japanese Yukata and fan designed by Hiroko Takahashi, a permanent exhibitor at the V&A in London and famous for her abstract-designed Kimonos. Lifestyle programming – part of Kimpton’s DNA – delivers memorable experiences; starting with a morning kickstart coffee and tea, to yoga lessons with breathtaking views and Kimpton’s Social Hour, where the brand’s vision to enable human connections comes to life as guests mingle with locals (and four-legged friends) with complimentary rare wines in the evening.

Innovative culinary experiences build on Kimpton’s legacy of one-of-a-kind, locally loved restaurants. Each of the hotel’s dining destinations has origins steeped in New York culture. The Jones Café | Bar is a classic New York deli-style café while District Brasserie-Bar-Lounge uses local produce and takes inspiration from New York’s subcultures with a mix of Little Italy, Mexican and Asian influences. Cocktail lovers will flock to the Outdoor Terrace, a sophisticated open-air setting to enjoy signature classics including the Greenwich Village.

Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok, Thailand

Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok is located in the creative district of Langsuan. As a mixed-use new-build hotel and residences concept, the hotel emulates the vibrant pulse of the city, contrasted with the uplifting greenery inspired by the adjacent Lumpini Park. The term ‘Maa-Lai’ stems from the age-old Thai philosophy ‘lamiat’, which says life should be approached as a work of art. Each element of the interior tells a story true to this ancient belief, encouraging the continuous pursuit of perfection with creativity and respect.

Conceived by famed local interior design agency, P49 Deesign, the interior is a canvas of surprise: handcrafted textiles and warm, organic materials from local suppliers and whimsical artwork including the Rossukon Floral Embroidery that provides a stunning backdrop for the reception area, and the dramatic lobby centrepiece, Braided Rope Sculpture. The artisanal tradition of Thai tapestry is also represented through handcrafted Reed Mats and Thai Hand Garland (Maa-Lai), while the broken concrete details echo Bangkok’s urban streetscape, with contrasting light and dark elements amplify the city’s rhythms and beats.

All 362 rooms and suites, including 131 serviced residences are the epitome of design-led luxury, each with thoughtful details such as bespoke HARNN bath amenities and kimono robes designed by Christian Develter for Tube Gallery. With connection and wellness top of mind, yoga lessons are held on the rooftop garden overlooking Lumpini Park, while Kimpton’s Social Hour brings guests and locals together to mingle at rotating venues within the hotel.

The hotel features four distinct and immersive dining venues such as the all-day dining Stock.Room that seats 400 guests. Elevating the neighbourhood grocerant concept with its six open kitchens, guests can also expect seasonal pop-ups serving globally renowned Thai street eats, all the way to hosted master classes.

Growing in Asia

These openings are part of the brand’s continued momentum into new urban markets and resort destinations across Asia, joining Kimpton Da An in Taipei which opened its doors in 2019, and upcoming openings including Bali in 2021; Suzhou in 2022; Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanjing and Kuala Lumpur in 2023; and Sanya in 2025.

Looking ahead into early 2021, Kimpton Naranta Bali will open as the perfect gateway to the Island of the Gods with an unforgettable take on barefoot luxury. Laid back and intimate, edgy and soulful, the luxury boutique resort will feature 50 stunning villas, which embraces freedom and discovery and blends contemporary design, rich textures and earthy tones with traditional Balinese accents.

Founded in 1981 by Bill Kimpton, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants pioneered the concept of unique, distinctive, design-forward hotels in the United States.

The boutique luxury brand was acquired by IHG in 2015 and currently operates 72 hotels across the U.S., Caribbean, Europe and Asia, with 34 in the pipeline to open in the next 3-5 years.

As part of IHG, guests will stay confident, assured and safe with the refined IHG Way of Clean using new, science-led protocols and service measures in partnership with industry leading experts Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey – including the IHG Clean Promise to give guests greater confidence and hotel teams the protection needed.