Built in a combination of Dutch and Portuguese colonial styles, this elegant hotel is on the site of a former boatyard, facing the Chinese Fishing Nets; it's a perfect location. Pankhas (manually operated wooden fans) dangle from the open-air lobby's lofty ceiling, and old maps of the city and portraits of its founding fathers line the walls. A gracefully bowing tree shades the grassy courtyard, which is surrounded by whitewashed arcades lined with terra-cotta tile.
In the guest rooms, the four-poster beds are so high you need a footstool to climb in; the fixtures and furnishings are all antique in style, right down to the light switches. Most rooms have balconies from which to watch giant ships and fishing boat glide past in the harbor. Luxurious, colonial-style bathrooms come with showers as well as huge bathtubs.