Cover Ren Yung Ho is redefining getaways with new concept brands, Banyan Tree Escape and Banyan Tree Veya.

These hospitality experts are creating luxurious retreats that embrace nature and promote tranquility

With travel restrictions easing around the world, people are raring to go on their next great escape. These hospitality experts on Asia’s Most Influential list are reimagining getaways—creating a Maldivian archipelago with a trio of premium resorts, a hot spring retreat in a subtropical valley, and wellbeing concepts tucked away in nature. More than indulging the need simply for a change in scenery, these properties enable one to do a soft reboot from life with these luxurious, tranquil places.  

Evan Kwee, Capella Hotel Group and Pontiac Land Group

As vice-chairman of Capella Hotel Group and the Head of Design and Hospitality at Pontiac Land Group, Evan Kwee is behind the Singapore property company’s ultra-luxury development Fari Islands. The ambitious integrated project in the Maldives comprises four islands, which host three properties by the Ritz-Carlton, Capella and Patina, along with the Fari Marina Village. Nestled between the resorts, the social hub is where guests can enjoy the beach club and upscale restaurants and boutiques. 

In a podcast with Sangu Stories, Kwee elaborated on the beginnings of the project: “There’s a space in the market for what I like to call Maldives 2.0. Serendipitously, we were shown this reef in North Male Atoll… where we can actually craft and write our own script.” 

The Maldivian escape has already welcomed sojourners with the wellness retreat Patina Maldives opening in May 2021 and Ritz-Carlton Maldives, whose many attractions include butler service, launching in June 2021. Up next: Capella Maldives, with its 57 villas and mansions with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, is set to open in 2025. 

Read Evan Kwee’s full profile here.

Meng-bi Lin, Hoshinoya Guguan

As chairman of the luxury resort Hoshinoya Guguan, Meng-bi Lin achieved his vision of helping build one of the top resorts in Taiwan. Tucked away in a valley surrounded by mountains on the outskirts of Taichung (about an hour and a half away from the city), the hot spring resort incorporates wind and water with outdoor baths or onsens found in all rooms. Guests also have access to bath halls, a spa in traditional Japanese rooms, and a clear blue pool that mimics a pond in the middle of a forest. 

Hoshinoya Guguan is part of Hoshino Resorts, the century-old Japanese hospitality brand, while the Taiwan location is Hoshino’s second property outside of Japan. In its first year of operation, Hoshinoya Guguan was awarded “four red pavilions”, a recognition for the highest comfort by the Michelin Guide Taipei & Taichung 2020.

Read Meng-bi Lin’s full profile here.

Ren Yung Ho, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts

Ren Yung Ho, vice president of Brand HQ at Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, leads the development of the hospitality group’s new concept brands, Banyan Tree Escape and Banyan Tree Veya. Part of the Escape label, Buahan opened on June 14 in the jungles of Bali, Indonesia. The luxury escape is envisioned as a place to commune with nature, with “no-walls, no-doors” villas that provide unfettered views of trees and mountain peaks. 

Meanwhile, Banyan Tree Veya Phuket, which is part of the Veya portfolio, opened in March 2022. Here, guests begin their journey with a private consultation, from which a wellbeing programme is prescribed. The Veya experience follows Banyan’s eight pillars of wellbeing, which include sleep, food, connection and learning. 

Our brands emphasise wellbeing and nature-focused offerings, a dimension of hospitality that is part of Banyan Tree's DNA,” Ho told Tatler in 2021. “We believe that this will be particularly relevant post-pandemic, as travellers increasingly seek out purposeful and healthful experiences that connect them to nature and the environment.”

Read Ren Yung Ho’s full profile here.


Discover the changemakers, industry titans and powerful individuals who are making a positive impact on the region in the Asia’s Most Influential list from Tatler.

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