Hotels in Southeast Asia That Offer Localised Amenities & Services

We live for the local experience!

You’ve heard of the phrase “travel like a local”. But what about “stay like a local”? If you’ve ever come across a hotel that visibly executes the local culture — so much that you almost get the full local experience without having to leave your accommodation — then that basically sums it up. Truth be told, it’s really no longer just about luxury. These hotels in Southeast Asia are living proof of that!

Also read: 19 Best Resorts in Southeast Asia For Your Tropical Getaway

Philippine hotels

1. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Want to experience the Western world in Southeast Asia? Fly to the Philippines, they say. Colonised by Spain and the United States of America, this archipelago offers a wide array of unique experiences that make it one of the most diverse nations in the region. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar gives you a glimpse of that rich history through heritage accommodations, facilities, and activities!

An award-winning beach resort in the Philippines, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar also offers immersive heritage tours. One of these even takes you around on a kalesa or horse-drawn carriage, which is still being used in old towns like Intramuros and Vigan today. As an alternative, you can also hop on the local jeepney for a DIY tour of the grounds. In addition, there are cultural shows, traditional Filipino games at Casa Lubao, and a stream-inspired swimming pool.


Hello, Ber Months! From this month forth, it’s Christmas time in the Philippines. And what better way to welcome it than with a stay at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar? For as low as ₱9,600 per night, enjoy perks like buffet breakfast, a walking tour, river cruise, and access to the resort’s famed stream or batis-inspired pool!

Learn more about Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar on TripZillaSTAYS.

2. Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

Cebu is the Philippines’ first and oldest capital city. Unlike Manila, it’s a hotspot for accessible nature activities. At the same time, it also allows you to experience the convenience of being in an urbanised setting. That said, expect to see a heavy mix of modernised local activities that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the nation. It’s something guests love most about Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan!

At this picturesque resort in Mactan Island, indulge in true Cebuano hospitality from the get-go! Upon checking in, the staff will welcome you with a glass of freshly brewed mango iced tea, which is but a taste of the many exciting flavours this tropical destination has to offer. A trademark of the Philippines, palm trees are abundant throughout the property, giving you that tropical vibe throughout your stay. What’s more, all of the resort’s villas and casitas use locally sourced Cebuano decorations!


Have Filipino friends? Tag them along on your visit to the resort to avail of its Stay Local package! Stay in your room of choice, while also enjoying benefits such as a 15-minute foot massage by the poolside, 40% off on Aum Spa service, and 20% off on non-motorised water activities. Fun!

Learn more about Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan on TripZillaSTAYS.

3. Pico Sands Hotel

hotels in southeast asia Image credit: Pico Sands Hotel

I hope you know by now that the Philippines has got a lot more to give than fabulous beaches. It’s also home to majestic peaks like Mount Pico de Loro in Batangas, which has somewhat become a playground for guests of Pico Sands Hotel. Just a 90-minute drive from Metro Manila, this luxurious hotel in the Philippines gives you the best of two worlds — mountain and sea — while at the same time providing you with a cosy stay for the entire family!

Image credit: Pico Sands Hotel

Filipinos are known for being generally upbeat, celebratory, and even restless in a way, and Pico Sands Hotel reflects those through the many feisty activities offered in the hotel. From hiking and birdwatching to diving and kayaking, you literally won’t run out of things to do around the property. And as if all that wasn’t enough, you can even enjoy a game of basketball or a karaoke session, both of which are favourite pastimes among Filipinos!


Your lagoon- or mountain-view room in the hotel may be tempting, but even that won’t keep you from exploring nature’s finest around the hotel! With Pico Sands Hotel’s Keep Calm and Paddle On package, embark on an aqua adventure with your kayak or paddleboard. They’re available for rent from only ₱250 and ₱600 per hour, respectively.

Learn more about Pico Sands Hotel on TripZillaSTAYS.

Indonesia hotels

4. InterContinental Bali Resort

Bali is no longer just a surfer’s paradise. It’s also every yoga enthusiast, adventurer, and history lover’s haven! South of the nightlife hotspot and beachside town of Kuta lies the tranquil Jimbaran, home to the five-star beachfront resort InterContinental Bali Resort. This 417-room modern-meets-traditional sanctuary is highlighted by its white sand beach, 14-hectare landscaped gardens, and six Balinese pools, ideal for a relaxing getaway.

Through all its luxurious amenities, the resort has also made sure to inject as much Balinese touches as they could to complement the island’s effortless charm. For example, some of the rooms feature hand-painted batik murals, balconies overlooking the resort’s tropical gardens, and traditional Balinese pavilions. You'll feel almost as if you’re in a local Balinese home! Moreover, the resort also has a programme called Planet Trekkers, which lets younger guests learn Bahasa, as well as practise a Balinese dance and make Balinese art!


Visiting Bali this October? You’re just in time to join InterContinental Bali Resort’s 26th anniversary celebration! Get your last night for free by staying four nights at the resort. Plus, dine and enjoy their spa services at 26% off! This promo is currently available for booking until 30 Sep 2019 only.

Learn more about InterContinental Bali Resort on TripZillaSTAYS.

5. Harris Hotel Batam Center

At first glance, Harris Hotel Batam Center seems like just another business hotel in Southeast Asia. Well, it may be contemporary in motif, but you’ll feel the warm hospitality of its staff and the convenience of the well-thought-out facilities many Indonesian households are known for. And speaking of convenience — this Indonesia hotel is just minutes away from Batam Center International Ferry Terminal, the island’s main international port!

Thanks to its location, you’ll be treated to wonderful sea views from the higher floors of the hotel — something you certainly won’t want to miss out on. After all, Indonesians take pride in their stunning nature offerings! Furthermore, Indonesians also love vibrant tones, and you’ll see this in the use of colourful carpets in each of the accommodations. If you want to taste local delicacies but are probably too busy to go out, head down to Harris Cafe, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!


Destress in Batam the local way! With the Rejuvenate Spa Package, have a blast with a one-hour traditional massage at Harris Hotel Batam Center. You’ll also have an Indonesian breakfast buffet at Harris Cafe and access to the hotel’s fitness centre.

Learn more about Harris Hotel Batam Center on TripZillaSTAYS.

6. Bisma Eight

hotels in southeast asia Image credit: Bisma Eight

In the heart of Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre, rests the luxurious yet immensely artistic Bisma Eight. Surrounded by lush tropical greenery, this hotel in Indonesia showcases the best of Balinese artistry. With features that range from suites adorned with miniature gardens and bamboo railings to restaurants serving innovative and locally-inspired dishes, staying in the hotel is much like living in a modern treehouse!

Image credit: Bisma Eight

Beyond these facilities, Bisma Eight also prides itself with activities that immerse every guest in local arts and tradition. Learn a cultural dance, make religious offerings, or prepare local Balinese dishes with the hotel’s friendly yet highly professional staff. On other days, join the hotel’s cycling class, which will take you to Ubud’s delicate rice fields and opulent museums. When it comes to luxury, tradition and creativity, Bisma Eight certainly passes as one of the best hotels in Southeast Asia!


Celebrate the holiday season like a local in Bali by booking Bisma Eight’s End of the Year Stay! Choose any night between 24 Dec 2019 and 1 Jan 2020 and get 15% off on the hotel’s festive holiday dining events!

Learn more about Bisma Eight on TripZillaSTAYS.

Malaysia hotels

7. Estadia Hotel

Image credit: Estadia Hotel

You know what’s better than visiting Melaka? Staying in a Melaka hotel that’s got the local culture and heritage written all over it! Located in the Bandar Hilir area, the Estadia Hotel is styled like a Peranakan mansion. Fit for families, solo travellers, and all-around explorers, this boutique hotel promises everyone a stay worthy of being the highlight of your Malaysian holiday.

Image credit: Estadia Hotel

Each of the hotel’s accommodations is as colourful as Melaka’s rich history. At the same time, every room is cosy enough to make you feel as pampered as a true Malaysian in a local household! Furthermore, experience Nyonya culture through authentic Peranakan dishes served over at Makan Nyonya Restaurant. Hungry for a local experience that will take you outdoors? Be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s free shuttle bus service that will bring you to Melaka town!


The longer you stay in Estadia Hotel, the bigger your savings will be! The Stay Longer Save More promo entitles you to a discounted stay at any of the hotel’s rooms and suites, plus 20% off at Makan Nyonya, free Entry to Skydeck @ Hatten City, and so much more!

Learn more about Estadia Hotel on TripZillaSTAYS.

8. The Dusun

Image credit: The Dusun

Malaysia is not just about Kuala Lumpur, nor is travelling there all about enduring the fast-paced urban life. If you’re into a more rustic experience, then head towards the direction of Negeri Sembilan in the Malay Peninsula’s southwest coast. It’s a state known for its nature parks and beaches, and serves as the location of the ever-homey The Dusun hotel.

Image credit: The Dusun

Unlike most hotels in Southeast Asia, The Dusun lets you customise your stay through its self-catering feature — meaning, staff services are only available at certain times of the day. This will allow you to truly feel like a local, rather than a guest at a luxurious hotel. The Dusun has also maintained a thriving relationship with the locals, supporting local businesses and promoting local traditions through its activities, which include jungle trekking and cooking workshops!

Singapore hotels

9. InterContinental Singapore

When it comes to luxury, there’s really nothing more you could ask for from the multi-awarded five-star InterContinental Singapore. This Singapore hotel boasts of plush furniture, exquisite arts and, more importantly, the chance to experience what it’s like to live in a Peranakan house.

Strategically located in the middle of Bugis Junction, this hotel’s location gives you the freedom to roam around the vicinity at your own convenience and decide all the things you’d like to do in Singapore for yourself. That’s how the locals do it, after all! If you’re a digital nomad or traveller on the go, you can benefit from the hotel’s work stations and personalised check-in and check-out services, too!


Don’t you wish you could stay in Singapore a little longer? InterContinental Singapore’s Extend Your Stay On Us offer will take care of that for you! Book a three-night stay in a room, suite or villa from 27 Sep 2019 to 19 Apr 2020, and your last night is on the hotel! Promo runs until 4 Nov 2019 only. Take advantage of this deal, quick!

Learn more about InterContinental Singapore on TripZillaSTAYS.

10. Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

How else can you live like a local in Singapore than by staying in a hotel that directly promotes it? Located in front of the iconic Singapore River, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel is currently one of the most coveted hotels in Southeast Asia. It’s best known for its riverfront setting and head-turning modern facilities, which include fine dining restaurants and a 24-hour business centre.

Currently, this Singapore hotel is offering its Live Like a Local programme, which gives its guests the chance to learn more about the city’s oldest housing estate, Tiong Bahru, through weekly half-day tours. Every Saturday, the hotel also hosts workshops and in-house activities inspired by local cultural festivals!

Also read: Southeast Asia Guide: Things to Do & Where to Stay

Tired of booking the same old staycations? On your next getaway, think about these hotels in Southeast Asia and how they could potentially spice up your trip with their unique localised flair. It’s high time you’ve experienced more places like a local, while at the same time enjoying the international vacation of your dreams!

For more hotel ideas in Southeast Asia, head over to TripZillaSTAYS!

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