the POSH Guide

the best of travel destinations and gear


What's POSH?

The story (actually a myth) goes that the word "posh" derives from the abbreviation for "Port Outbound Starboard Home", that was printed on tickets for the transatlantic ships in the golden age of ocean travel (e.g. before the Titanic). The letters indicated those passengers that got the very best staterooms (on the south sunny side of the ship in both directions), and consequently the best of everything else.

But enough of the history lesson. The POSH Guide is dedicated to bringing you the best of Southeast Asia, from the nicest hotels and most relaxing resorts to the finest restaurants and best shops. So, how, exactly, do we decide what's posh? Well, in some ways, it's easier to define what posh isn't:

Posh doesn't mean pricey. The fact is that Southeast Asia boasts some of the best hotels in the world, yet they can often be had for less than a tourist class hotel in the major cities of the west, such as New York or London. The same is true of restaurants and shops.

Five stars doesn't mean posh. When it comes to hotels and resorts, many countries don't even have enforced standards. A hotel can give itself five stars if it wants to. Even in places that have standards, they are often quantitative rather than qualitative. In other words, if you can check off enough boxes on a form, you get five stars, even if you're a big, run-down hotel. At the same time, smaller accommodations that offer a truly rewarding experience may be given only three or four stars, simply because they don't have the right meeting facilities or a grand ballroom.

Class, not crass. As we've already implied, it isn't about how much money you spend. It's what you get for your money. In brand conscious Southeast Asia, paying for a "luxury" item is no good if nobody knows about it. But, posh knows it's posh, it doesn't have to scream about it to everybody else. If you think wearing a certain brand of watch on your wrist makes you posh, you will probably be disappointed with some of the recommendations we make here.

Posh isn't pretentious. Yes, we've sort of just covered this, but it bears repeating. In addition, we want to stress that travel should be fun, enriching, occasionally exciting and hopefully sometimes even educational, but it should never be taken too seriously, and neither should the POSH guide. We write this site with tongue firmly in cheek and a wary eye out for the wannabes - the "posh poseurs" that try to be posh but clearly aren't.