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Asia’s top hotels for a booming music experience

From dance to rock, these properties revel in all things musical. By SARAH KARACS

Music is ever-present at most hotels nowadays. Enter a lobby from Beijing to Bengaluru to Brussels, and there it’ll be, setting the mood: piped jazz or lounge music in your classic luxury establishments; house beats in your urban-cool bolt holes; atmospheric sounds of nature in remote resorts. Some hotels, however, have taken the mood-setting power of music further by making it an essential part of their personality. Here are our picks of the best Asian hotels to find outstanding music experiences.

Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen

Shenzhen, China

Hardrock Hotel Shenzhen

The Hard Rock brand has a long history of celebrating music through rock-themed decor, and its first hotel foray into mainland China is no exception, with cascades of electric guitars and waves of cymbals forming the interior design. Featuring 258 rooms in the Mission Hills Centreville entertainment complex, the Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen opened with fanfare this summer by launching a talent search for bands and DJs, with winners set to perform as house or guest acts. Those itching to hone their own skills will be more than equipped to do so, thanks to a selection of 20 Fender guitars that can be delivered to guest rooms and access to DJ equipment that hooks up to room speakers. Guests can also play a curated collection of 10 records on turntables in the rooms. On-site there’s also a memorabilia-filled Hard Rock Cafe, while a rooftop pool and bar add to the glam factor. hardrockhotels.com

W Bali – Seminyak

Bali, Indonesia

W Hotel in Bali, Indonesia

With its seafront location in stylish Seminyak and funky interiors, this retreat is a popular destination for young, high-end travellers. But it is Woobar, one of the island’s best venues for underground house and techno, that draws in the party-goers. Putting on quality sets and bringing in esteemed DJs is a priority, and the hotel has a music curator, Damian Saint, in charge of the line-ups. While the DJs spin, guests sip cocktails on the deck under strings of lanterns. There’s also a recording studio, the Sound Suite, that houses professional equipment and a lounge for an entourage, making the hotel a great getaway spot for artists of all levels. After a recording session, head to the basement whisky room or lounge by the rice-paddy-inspired swimming pool. wretreatbali.com

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flies from Hong Kong to Bali 9 times weekly. For more information, visit flights.cathaypacific.com

The Landmark, Mandarin Oriental

Hong Kong

MO BAR, Hong Kong

When Mandarin Oriental opened its second Hong Kong location in 2005, it unveiled a contemporary look in a boutique-size space in the heart of Central, sharply contrasting the old-school opulence of its 50-year-old flagship several blocks away. Its restaurant Amber quickly got two Michelin stars, and its spa is possibly the city’s best. But among the hotel’s many highlights is MO Bar, a venue that serves lobster lunches by day and DJ sets by night. With the bar’s Unplugged series of concerts, it has hosted big-name international performers including Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox, John Legend and, just in September, Lianne La Havas. This year it has also launched MO Sound-Bites, shows featuring prominent DJs and electronic music acts from around the world. mandarinoriental.com

Fairmont Peace Hotel

Shanghai, China

Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai

This art deco treasure on Shanghai’s Bund promenade opened its doors as Cathay Hotel in 1929 with a jazz bar that would become a magnet for swing and big band enthusiasts through the heady ’30s. Fairmont spent three years renovating the hotel, reopening it in 2010 while bringing back original architectural details that had been lost over time – but its jazz band remains the most beloved feature. Over eight decades, the Jazz Bar has counted US presidents and celebrities like Charlie Chaplin as visitors, and today the elderly gentlemen of the legendary Old Jazz Band keep the tradition alive, continuing to play classics like Moon River and One Day When We Were Young. They’re supposed to be the world’s oldest jazz group, with all current members having played in the building since the 1980s. fairmont.com

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flies from Hong Kong to Shanghai 112 times weekly. For more information, visit flights.cathaypacific.com

Flight and hotel packages are available from Cathay Pacific Holidays at cathaypacific.com

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