This is Singapore (Talisman Publishing, 2017)

With Singapore poised at its 200th year, this book contains a unique combination of historical commentary and present-day analysis: what was Singapore in the past and what is it today? Luscious all-colour photography showcases this dramatic and varied country, while my 20+ years' experience of living in Singapore informs the texts. Subjects range from history, culture and geography to people, design, art, architecture and innovation.

 

New Thai Style (Talisman Publishing, 2016)

Thai Style is known the world over for its graceful pavilion-style architecture, its elegant interior design styles, and its ability to combine cultural traditions with craftsmanship. What is not so well known is how these approaches have been updated in the last decade or so to produce a thoroughly contemporary Thai Style - one that merges ancient practices with modern fashions, graphics and technologies. In New Thai Style photographer Michael Freeman and myself (as author) showcase a selection of forward-looking designs -
be they in architecture, furniture design, art, interiors or landscaping. We are confident that the book is a cornucopia of all that is new and exciting in Thailand's design scene.

 

The Gainsborough Bath Spa (Talisman Publishing, 2015)

This 40-page softback publication honours the Malaysian company YTL and its sensitive (and costly) restoration of three Classical-style buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bath Spa in England. I worked with the hotel's architects and interior designers, local architectural historians, photographer Jacob Termansen and staff at Wessex Water to produce an accurate and beautiful portrayal of both city and renovated hotel. The crème de la crème of the book must be the section on the hotel's spa: Wessex Water's engineers positioned a borehole two miles down beneath the city to bring up pristine mineral waters into the hotel's basement spa. Its Romanesque feel mirrors the ancient bathing facilities located a stone's throw up the road.

 

 

The Classic Collection (Talisman Publishing, 2016)

The Classic Collection: Heritage Hotels & Luxury Lodgings from East and West is exactly as its name suggests - a comprehensive showcase of six heritage dwellings that exemplify the very best of bespoke hospitality from Europe to Southeast Asia and China. With full-colour photography by Jacob Termansen, architectural drawings by heritage experts, texts by myself, and input from hotel group, YTL, the book entices travellers from near and far. An introduction to the connection between Tourism and Heritage is slightly academic, while individual coverage of the various hostelries seeks to launch a thousand itineraries from East to West.

 

COOKING WITH LIGHT

Published by Editions Didier Millet at the end of 2014, this book pays homage to the world-famous Thai wellness resort Chiva-Som on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. Even though the book is primarily a recipe book of spa cuisine, I was tasked with writing the texts. As such, I worked with the chef to explain the benefits of the dishes, I wrote an introduction outlining the concept of healthy eating with light ingredients, and provided a 24-page section on the resort itself. Naturally, a few days eating and enjoying Chiva-Som was one of the project's perks!

 

SINGAPORE: WORLD CITY

In just a few decades, the tiny island of Singapore has transformed itself from an Asian backwater into a global superpower. The fascinating story of how this small city-state with no hinterland, no natural resources and a small population, has achieved this is the subject of this book. Writing SINGAPORE: WORLD CITY (Tuttle, 2014) allowed me to renew my acquaintance with my home of close to 20 years, all the while helping me to discover new neighbourhoods and sights. Two sections - "Introducing Singapore" and "Exploring Singapore" - lead the reader on a series of explorations through this fascinating World City. Three hundred and seventy full-colour photos illustrate it.

 

 

CLEANSE!
Health and Wellness from The Farm at San Benito

After I wrote RAW!, the directors of The Farm at San Benito approached photographer Luca Invernizzi Tettoni and myself to produce a book about the therapies and programmes offered at The Farm. Covering wellness, rejuvenation, detoxification, relaxation and more, the book describes all the medical, spa, alternative medicinal, and other offerings guests experience at The Farm. European inspired medical services, natural spa healing, and organic live/raw cuisine form the basis for every guest’s journey — and these are explained and photographed in full detail. There is also a final chapter on what guests can or should do to continue their health work after they return home.

 

 

BALI BY DESIGN
25 Contemporary Houses

In the last few years, I’ve not been the only one to notice the exponential growth of modern architecture in Bali: from private residences to rental villas, up-scale five-star resorts to humble hostelries, the increase in quality has been phenomenal. Along with this, there’s been a huge rise in variety of available contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories — both imported and made-in-Bali. This book showcases 25 of the best contemporary homes, illustrating new solutions to age-old challenges such as reduction of power consumption, and also includes an assessment of commercial spaces such as restaurants, clubs and bars. Furthermore, there’s a pictorial shopping directory to finish: where to buy the best ceramics, lights, artifacts, furniture and more.

RAW!
Healthful Recipes from The Farm at San Benito

A recipe book with a difference, RAW! stands out from the competition because it only features recipes that utilize raw or “living” foodstuffs. Designed to celebrate good health and happy eating, each and every recipe includes no meat, fish, fowl, dairy, eggs, butter, cholesterol or saturated fats from animals or animal by-products. Rather, they focus on natural whole foods that have not been cooked, thereby retaining all their photo-nutrients and health-giving properties. Shared with us courtesy of The Farm at San Benito, a health farm in the Philippines, there are also introductory chapters to both The Farm and the concept of raw cuisine. Book design by Lucrezia Tettoni and photography by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni reflect the wholesome nature of both dishes and locale.

A PERENNIAL FEAST
Food • Flavours • Restaurants • Recipes

Both a recipe book and a showcase of food and restaurants at YTL Hotels & Resorts, this book is more than a PR exercise for YTL. Delving into the culture of a number of different cuisines from Southeast Asia to China, Japan and Europe, I take readers on a gastronomy tour of markets, chefs, food courts, grocery suppliers and local eating houses. If you want to know about Provencale ingredients, Shanghai street food, or Hokkaido’s famous seafood, for example, this is the book for you. Sensitively photographed by Jacob Termansen and including plenty of easy-to-follow recipes, it’s a pictorial and informative culinary adventure.

Focusing on interior design, architecture, hospitality, spa and lifestyle, the books I've written are guides to gorgeous places to stay and experience things Asian as well as showcases of Asian art, architecture and design. Focusing on a region so rich in talent and tradition has been immensely rewarding. Click on the titles above to find out more about each book.

 

 

 

 

Bali Living
Innovative Tropical Design

A collaboration between architect Gianni Francione, photographer Masano Kawana and myself, this book showcases a fascinating selection of post-millennium contemporary tropical residences and buildings in Bali. Individually handpicked by Gianni, all the structures represent to some degree Bali's continuing new tropical international trend that has become a benchmark for tropical living. The texts include interviews and views of/with owners, architects and interior designers, so BALI LIVING (Periplus Editions, 2008) is a great resource for tropical dream seekers everywhere.

   

 

 

AYURVEDA
Asian Secrets of Wellness, Beauty and Balance


Published by Tuttle Publishing in 2009, this soft cover book encapsulates the key facts about India’s ancient wellness system of Ayurveda. Illustrated with gorgeous photography by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni, I take readers through the philosophy of this ancient healing system and its multi–faceted and various therapies. As an adjunct to Ayurveda, there is also ample coverage of yoga, pranayama and meditation; the ancient medical systems of Siddha, Unani and Soba–rigpa (traditional Tibetan medicine); as well as examples of naturapathic therapies and natural beauty care. As the opening chapter entitled "Ancient Wisdoms, Today’s Practices" argues, this 500–year–old system is as relevant to people in the 21st century as it was when first formulated centuries ago.
 

 

 

TROPICAL HOME
Inspirational Design Ideas


A sequel to BALI HOME, this book widens the net to include over 200 homes in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. Divided into six chapters – The Tropical Living Room, Sleeping in the Tropics, Dining in the Tropics, The Tropical Bathroom, The Tropical Pool and The Tropical Garden – each contains a plethora of design ideas. Whether you want to furnish a bedroom in sumptuous colonial style or plan a poolscape, prepare lavish Asian–inspired table decorations or include water features into a garden niche – there are plenty of top tips for wannabe designers.
 

 

 

Spa Village
Honouring Healing Traditions


This book showcases six beautifully designed, culture-rich spas and retreats run by Spa Village, Asia's top spa brand. SPA VILLAGE (Talisman Publishing, 2008) explores the spas, their locales and treatments along with the fascinating history behind their inception. With roots in Ayurveda, Chinese Traditional Medicine, rural herbalism and shamanism, Unani and the practices of forest-dwelling indigenous peoples, each and every spa ritual is an experience not to be missed. Gorgeous full-colour photography captures many of these treatments, while spa environs, historical anecdotes and key personnel are also beautifully highlighted.
 

 

 

Tropical Hotels

Published as a follow up to ASIAN STYLE HOTELS this book, (Tuttle Publishing, 2009) comprises a stunning showcase of the best hotels and resorts in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Java and Bali. Including some of the opulent hotels of Empire, as well as modernist cubes of cool, rustic retreats in the hills and some drop-dead gorgeous urban hostelries, it is a great Asian source book for the well-heeled traveller. The introduction gives a brief summary of the different waves of Western tourist to hit Asia's shores.
   

 

 

Bali Home
Inspirational Design Ideas


Bali's status as the global leader in tropical design is showcased in all its glory in BALI HOME(Tuttle Publishing, 2009). With coverage of over 100 homes, garden estates, hotels, restaurants and more, the book gives a tantalizing glimpse into the latest design trends coming out of the island. Full-colour photographs of interiors and exteriors, gardens, pools and pavilions, decorative details and architectural concepts, is accompanied by an insightful text that gives specialist interior design tips.
 

 

 

The Indian Spa

After a year of research delving into the subcontinent’s rich history and culture of natural medicine, beauty and wellness, I have finally completed my dream project THE INDIAN SPA (Talisman Publishing, 2007). A must-have guide to India’s ancient healing systems, with extraordinary photography by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni, it is the first of its kind in its field. Encompassing the mind, body and spirit in its entirety, Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, Siddha, Unani, naturapathy, beauty therapies and more are covered in detail. A lavish showcase of India’s hotel, resort and day spas, retreats, Ayurvedic centres and yoga schools completes the book.
   

 

 

Asian Bar & Restaurant Design

The nascent hospitality industry in South East Asia has finally come of age with a plethora of restaurants, bars, clubs and lounges that fully compete in the international arena. This book (Periplus Editions, 2006) showcases 45 such establishments in Bali, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur: some are locally designed, some conceptualized by international design stars, but all are unique in terms of form, function and visuals. Chosen by myself, and photographed by Masano Kawana, they are exemplary of the flair coming out of the region. Floor plans and elevations add more detail, while texts include interviews with owners, designers, architects and more.

 

   
Asian Style Hotels

A follow up to COOL HOTELS, this is a high-end, high-style book on the finest hotels and resorts in Bali, Java, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. A second collaboration between myself, photographer Jacob Termansen and stylist Pia Marie Molbech, ASIAN STYLE HOTELS (Periplus Editions, 2005) features nearly 40 cutting edge hotels, resorts and retreats in the southeast Asian region. The challenge here was to write texts that didn't echo the previous hotel book, and give these properties a unique voice.
 

 

 

  Modern Asian Living

In recent years Asian design in architecture, interiors and product design has catapulted on to the global stage. MODERN ASIAN LIVING (Periplus Editions, 2005) showcases a number of brand new properties - be they shops, homes, holiday houses, restaurants, bars or offices that represent this new wave of Asian talent. Two Bangkok-based designers selected and styled each interior, and I was commissioned to write accompanying texts.

 

Cool Hotels

The first book that I authored in its entirety, COOL HOTELS (Periplus Editions, 2003) was a labour of love. I spent the first 17 years of my life in the Indian subcontinent, so reconnecting with past friends and making new ones while researching this book was a wonderfully rewarding experience. As was choosing, visiting and writing about nearly 40 stunning properties, and working with great friends photographer Jacob Termansen and stylist Pia Marie Molbech. Texts are anecdotal, descriptive and (I hope) do justice to the stunning hotels, resorts and retreats featured here.

 

Tropical Asian Style

The bestselling TROPICAL ASIAN STYLE (Periplus Editions, 1997) was a landmark book in the Asian interior design genre. Choosing gorgeous interiors, commissioning authors, artists and architects, selecting quotes and working closely with a great photographic and design duo garnered sensational results. The book just sells and sells!