As we look forward to a (hopefully) more positive year ahead, Carolynne Dear reveals her top picks for holidaying in Southeast Asia.
Anantara Ubud Bali Resort
Soak up the views from a hillside villa at Anantara Ubud Bali Resort.
Set to launch in mid-2022, Anantara Ubud Bali Resort is the brand’s third resort on the Island of the Gods.
Anantara Ubud Bali Resort is located in the hillside village of Payangan in the island’s cultural heartland. Surrounded by rainforest and terraced rice fields, the property is a half-hour drive from the centre of Ubud.
Anantara Ubud Bali Resort offers 85 rooms as well as one- and two-bedroom pool villas. Fifteen Anantara residences are available for private ownership, prices start from US$650,000.
The resort has embraced a farm-to-table concept, with ‘healthy’ menus using sustainably and locally sourced food. A private chef will also be on-hand to create memorable dining memories.
Further facilities include an infinity pool, gym, fitness centre and a spa with foot massage pods and a hair salon. Visiting wellness practitioners will offer specialist Balinese treatments.
And dedicated kids’ and teens’ clubs will keep youngsters busy with a range of activities.
Kimpton Naranta Bali
Dusk settles over Kimpton Naranta Bali in Nusa Dua.
Slated for a delayed March opening from 2019, Kimpton Naranta Bali is located on a hillside estate in Bali’s popular Nusa Dua district. The vibe is barefoot, laidback and indulgence , a perfect recovery mindset after the past two years.
This is Kimpton’s third property in Southeast Asia and is a 20 minute drive from Bali’s international airport.
The 50 villas - most with private saltwater plunge pools and a ‘bale’ (pavilion) - boast views over the tropical landscape, Maj Valley, Mount Agung or the tranquil blues of the Indian Ocean.
Relax at Sanskara Wellness with a menu that blends Balinese rituals with modern healing techniques. Work up a sweat at Life Fitness gym or at a TRX training session or Beach Boot Camp workout. There’s also Tai Chi and Jujitsu as well as a wealth of ranger-led off-the-beaten-track hiking, jogging trails and cross-country biking.
Five dining spaces include all-day dining at Maya’s Pantry - head over for breakfast before moving onto daytime destinations including the pool bar and cabanas and nearby Nilam Beach Club. As the sun sets, speakeasy Gong Bar serves crafted cocktails with a view and Japanese-meets-Western barbecue at Aki & Jacks is open until late.
Alila Dalit Bay
Relax at Alila Dalit Bay.
The stunning Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo is a perennial favourite with families looking for fun adventures and wildlife encounters. The beachfront Alila Dalit Bay opens later this year on the northern coast and promises a relaxed break with plenty of creature comforts.
The property is 40 minutes from Kota Kinabalu and the international airport and offers 152 rooms and suites, along with a kids’ club, sky lounge and bar, spa, swimming pools, boutiques and a library.
There are a further 74 villas with direct access to the beach and lagoon and overlooking the picturesque Mengkabong River.
The villa design has drawn from local culture using local woods, woven rattan, painted screens and tribal artefacts. The properties also embrace natural airflow, with living and bedroom areas that open fully on both sides to private gardens and pools. The villas come in one- and two-bedroom configurations.
The more adventurous might like to note that the property is an hour-and-a-half from Mount Kinabalu, one of Southeast Asia’s highest peaks.
Raffles Resort & Spa Sentosa
Sentosa is the location for Singapore's second Raffles hotel.
Singapore will be welcoming Raffles Resort & Spa Sentosa later this year, the country’s second Raffles property and its first all-villa retreat.
This Raffles opening comes more than a century after the original ‘grande dame’ launched on Beach Road in 1887.
Raffles Resort & Spa will feature 61 villas set over 1,000,000 sqft of land adjacent to Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. The villas come with a private pool, terrace and suspended day-bed and offer one- to four-bedrooms.
Raffles’ famous butler service will be available as well as a Raffles Spa. Additional facilities include a bar, restaurants, fitness centre and meeting rooms.
Canadian design studio Yabu Pushelberg is behind the villa design, lighting and landscaping - the firm has previously worked on projects including Four Seasons New York and St Regis Mexico City.
Kimpton Kitalay Samui
Pool views at Kimpton Kitalay Samui.
Kimpton Kitalay Samui has opened in time for the new year as part of IHG’s luxury boutique brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. The resort’s rather poetic name derives from the Thai words ‘kita’, meaning ‘song’ or ‘singing’, and ‘lay’, which means sea.
Kimpton Kitalay Samui is located in a quiet cove on tranquil Choengmon Beach in the northeast of Koh Samui and minutes from the international airport.
Thai design agency P49 Deesign has created a contemporary look with traditional accents such as repurposed driftwood and local artwork woven into the design. The resort itself channels a village vibe, standing on double-tiered, stilt-suspended platforms.
The property offers 138 rooms and pool villas, kitted out with handwoven robes, in-room beach picnic baskets and the resort’s signature sea salt and patchouli-scented bath amenities.
Five dining venues include a lounge serving curated, Thai-origin coffee and artisanal teas, Fish House Restaurant & Bar, a pool bar and a Thai lifestyle café, Boho.
Kids can take advantage of Junio kids club while parents head to the spa.
Regent Phu Quoc
Lazy days on Long Beach at Regent Phu Quoc.
Regent Phu Quoc is heading for a launch in the first quarter of 2022. The all-suites-and-villas resort is located on a private beachfront at Long Beach on Phu Quoc Island. Regent Phu Quoc will be the first resort to open in Southeast Asia following IHG’s acquisition of the brand in 2018.
Phu Quoc Island is located off the coast of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Almost half of the island is National Park and as such the design of Regent Phu Quoc is inspired by the tropical and tranquil location.
The 176 suites and 126 villas boast calming interiors and sunset views.
Enjoy multiple swimming pools, rooftop and outdoor yoga pavilions and a large spa.
Six dining spaces include Oku, a Franco-Japanese ‘salon de beouf’, Rice Market for traditional Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, Bar Jade for cocktails and laid-back beach eats at Ocean Club.
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