The Orient has held sway over the Western imagination since the days of Marco Polo and Genghis Khan. And that remains true in the 21st century, even if the world east of Istanbul is today a very different place, where potent symbols of age-old cultures exist alongside bold expressions of modernity and futuristic style. These are some of the most extraordinary Hip Hotels yet. Live like a maharaja - with a maharaja - in the Umed Bhawan Palace in Rajasthan, a splendid art deco fantasy designed between 1929 and 1932. Or relax in a guest villa of King Sihanouk, now the setting for Cambodia's sophisticated new Aman hotel. One of the most remarkable projects here is the Commune by the Great Wall, a highly innovative development by an all-star cast of Asian design talent for a stunning location beside China's most famous ancient monument. And then there's Benesse House on the remote Japanese island of Naoshima, the Zen-like retreat designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. From Istanbul to Indonesia, from Luxor to Laos, Hip Hotels: Orient promises to be Herbert Ypma's most exciting book to date.