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The Hottest tourist destinations in Asia Pacific for 2009 : The Recommendations

In Asia Travel, Travel on December 4, 2008 at 8:53 am
LONELY PLANET’S BEST IN TRAVEL 2009

LONELY PLANET’S BEST IN TRAVEL 2009

There are many travel tip articles have given suggestions that planning everything early is simply the smart way to make the best of their travel budget. How early it should be? Well…as we’re just now getting to the end of the year, some people were already talking about what would be favorite destinations for the next year.

LonelyPlanet.com has recently released “LONELY PLANET’S BEST IN TRAVEL 2009” in which, of course, as one of the most favorite regions for worldwide travelers, there were 4 spots from Asia and Asia Pacific region included in this top 10 suggested list. More highly recommended tourist destinations are emerging from many countries in different continent, including BASQUE COUNTRY from France & Spain (Europe), CHILOE from Chile (South America), LANGUEDOC from France (Europe), THE BIG ISLAND Hawaii from U.S. (North America), SAN ANDRES & PROVIDENCIA from Colombia (South America), and SVALBARD from Norway (Europe). But the spotlights on the Asia Pacific are;

1. BAY OF FIRES, Australia (No. 1)The rookie tourist’s famous from the east coast of Tasmania has surprisingly occupied the top of the list. Bay of Fires is a place of tranquil beauty, full of clean white beaches and rocky bays. This unique place provide remarkable site for wide range of activities including camping, beach activities, boating, bird watching, fishing, swimming, surfing and walking. But a four-day guided hike would be something you shouldn’t miss as it was considered as the best way to experience scenic views of the bay which captured tourist’s most impressions.


2. KO TAO, Thailand (No. 4) – Even they are facing some political problems domestically which already gave some worries to international tourists, but this list would not be completed without Thailand. First there was Ko Samui, then Ko Pha-Ngan; now, the cult of Ko Tao has emerged along Thailand’s crystalline Gulf Coast. Ko Tao, another amazing place from Surathani Province, is simply a paradise for divers. Diving enthusiasts can enjoy cavorting all day long with sharks and rays in a playground of tangled neon coral. As, each year, millions of tourists were already got in touch with great local Thai foods, festinating accommodations, welcoming Thai people and amazing tourist spots, these comprehensive factors leave Ko Tao to a real good place to explore during your trip to Thailand – the tourist’s paradise country.

3. NAM HA, Laos (No. 6) – Nam Ha will be the best favorite especially for adventurous travelers. It’s a place where the mountains, waterfalls and lofty plateaux, are coupled with the culture of some 30 ethnic groups. The ideal landscape for eco-trekking is there to enjoy. Die-hard adventurers can tackle leeches and thigh-destroying slopes on a true jungle trek; budding anthropologists can people-watch by ambling through ethnic villages. However, please beware that the Nam Ha National Protected Area has an eco-enlightened tourism policy: organized treks can only be in small groups which must be led by local villagers who know all about the fauna and folklore of the province.

4. YUNNAN, China (No. 10) – This Beautiful Clouds in the South from China is also recalled as the “Endlessly fascinating”. Yunnan is a place of diversities and natural wonders. Its landscape ranges from a snowy mountain to tropical rainforest. The itineraries can start from the capital, Kumming, by visiting Stone Forest (Shi Lin) – one of the world’s natural wonders, the Bamboo Temple – 500 life-size luohans that were sculpted in the 1800’s and the ancient town in Xiaguan (New Dali) where tourist can unwind in one of the bars on “Foreigner’s Street”. These might be only a short list but there are a lot more to explore on the site.

For more information, please grab the LONELY PLANET’S BEST IN TRAVEL 2009” guide book, and you’ll be assured not to miss the spotlights of the next year.

Top 10 Bangkok Hotels with Amazing Views: The Recommendations

In Asia Travel, Travel on October 2, 2008 at 7:02 am
Stays Top of Bangkok

Stays Top of Bangkok

Everyone knows that Thailand has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for years, and if you don’t know…its capital city “Bangkok” recently earned the award “Best City in Asia,” for the seventh year in a row in the recent Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The city is well-known as the best place which has everything to offer to different types of visitors, from its modern infrastructure and world-renowned hospitality and service, to our rich culture and to-die-for cuisine. Moreover, three of the ten “Best Hotels in Asia” from the same institution awards are amazingly also located in Bangkok: The Oriental, The Peninsula and The Shangri-La.

Being a city so rich in sights and sounds, seemingly everywhere, Bangkok can feel overwhelming at times. Luckily Bangkok hotels have made enjoying the city’s wonderful madness a little easier, by creating outstanding viewpoints to enjoy this vast city. Today, Bangkok sprawls in every direction, extending beyond the horizon. Still a massive network of streets and sois, the city now bristles with skyscrapers, mega malls, elevated expressways and sky trains. The ubiquitous food stalls, markets, world class shopping and nightlife still attract tourists in droves, but it’s the elegance and modernity of the city that consistently surprises.

So, if Bangkok is one of your top favorites or there will be your first-time visit to this great city in the near future, here’re recommendations for the top 10 hotels showcasing Bangkok’s amazing views:

1. Lebua at State Tower, Sirocco-Located on the 63rd floor of The Dome at the Lebua at State Tower, Sirocco is the world’s highest al fresco restaurant. Also one of Bangkok’s most coveted dining choices, the experience never fails to leave one mesmerized. This award-winning restaurant offers breathtaking views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River.

2. The Banyan Tree, Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar – Located on the 61stfloor, Vertigo is one of the landmarks of fine dining in Bangkok. The top floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel offers spectacular panoramic views of Bangkok. Even without trying the decadent menu, just witnessing the sunset at Vertigo is an unforgettable experience. The slow melt of the sun into darkness, ultimately revealing the sparkling lights of the Bangkok night, leaves guests awestruck.

3. Centara Grand at CentralWorld, A gourmet dining & grill restaurant, Fifty Five is dramatically perched on the 54th and 55th floors, with amazing views of Bangkok, set to serve the very best Thailand has to offer. Red Sky a chic, urban bistro and lounge with breathtaking, al fresco vistas of Bangkok, located on the 55th floor. Both scheduled to open in September 2008.

4. The Dusit Thani, D’Sens – A graceful French restaurant, D’Sens is located on the top floor of the hotel. The large windows allow guests to gaze out onto all the early evening activity of historical Lumpini Park and the hustle and bustle of Silom, Bangkok’s city center.

5. The Landmark Hotel, RR & B Bar- A roof-top steakhouse and bar, RR & B is located on the 31 stfloor, offering breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and one of Bangkok’s best grills.

6. The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, Horizon Sky Lounge and Karaoke- Follow dinner with drinks, music and questionable karaoke at the Horizons Sky Lounge and Karaoke with its panoramic views of Bangkok’s sparkling lights.

7. The Baiyoke Sky, Thailand’s tallest hotel with 3 fantastic restaurants located at its peak. The Bangkok Sky Restaurant on the 76th and 78th floors, the Crystal Grill on the 82nd floor and the rocking Roof Top Bar & Music on the 83rd floor, Thailand’s highest entertainment venue.

8. The Oriental Hotel, The Verandah – With a massive patio extending out onto the Chao Phraya River, the elegant Verandah is the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Renovated in 2005 the Verandah serves delectable Asian and Western cuisines in subtle Thai surroundings. The majestic Oriental Hotel was just ranked number 14 in Travel and Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels.

9. The Millennium Hilton Bangkok – Three Sixty Lounge- Sitting 32 floors up and chilling out to a little jazz, the Three Sixty Lounge provides the perfect setting to take Bangkok all in. A relaxed, romantic setting with an extensive cocktail list, this jazz bar is quickly becoming a city favorite.

10. The Peninsula Hotel, Thiptara Restaurant – Thiptara literally translates to ‘heaven on water’ and the Thiptara Restaurant is just that, set on the picturesque banks of the Chao Phraya River nestled under a huge Banyan tree. The Peninsula’s new Thiptara Thai restaurant offers authentic, Thai home-style food served outdoors, in teakwood, Thai-style pavilions. Bangkok’s outstanding Peninsula Hotel was just ranked number 17 in Travel and Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels.

Asia’s Top 10 Family Resorts: The recommendations

In Asia Travel, Travel, Travel Tips on August 22, 2008 at 4:03 am

Travel with Babies is enjoyable

Travel with Babies is enjoyable

In the past, the concept of having an adult break was seen as mutually exclusive to going on holiday with the kids. Whilst family holidays provide a great opportunity to bond and build on parent-child relationships, they can also be extra taxing on an adult’s energy. Finding time to relax can be difficult when the children’s daily routine is altered and activities such as swimming at the beach or pool are added into the equation.

 

But options have changed and broadened in recent years. For a start, Southeast Asian destinations have opened up to families, providing international standards of service, accommodation and leisure activities at incomparable prices to the West. Not only can Mom and Dad arrange babysitting services, but many hotels now have kid’s clubs or daily activities to keep the brood happy and entertained. Parents can take the time to have that massage, earn that tan or enjoy a romantic meal at sunset.

 

So, here’s list of recommendations for the best child-friendly, family-focused resorts in the Southeast Asian region, which you’re welcome to bring your babies; 

 

1. Ramada Karon Beach Resort Phuket, Thailand
This family resort opened last year and literally is, as the website claims, a “wonderland for kids”. First of all, there are themed rooms for budding princesses (designed like a castle turret and draped in pink and purple) astronauts (pod-like furniture and spacey images of the galaxy create the semblance of being in a spaceship) and marine biologists (underwater rooms have built-in aquariums in the shape of portholes). Then there are the general hotel facilities which are even more child-friendly: the colorful children’s swimming pool which includes the biggest hotel waterslide in Thailand and the “kids paradise” zone which has a free and bottomless day-long ice cream machine, X box video game room and daily program of activities which includes everything from arts and crafts to cooking, sports and science. Meanwhile, Karon beach is a 5 minute walk away. The Ramada Resort Karon Beach is not only a child’s wonderland but the perfect parent fantasyland!

2. Sheraton Grande Laguna Resort , Phuket, Thailand
Located within the Laguna complex, this Sheraton Grande was one of the first hotels in Thailand to truly cater for children. Kids receive goody backpacks on arrival which include perks like refillable ‘tippy cups’ and there are a myriad of activities planned by the Very Important Kids Club (VIKC). Resident baby elephants Yum Yum and Lilly make daily appearances to interact with kids and parents. Besides the many water sports and outdoor activities available, there is also a cyber room for the techno, video-game inclined. Most impressive, however, is that the hotel has special VIKC ambassadors, whose role it is to exclusively cater to child requests. Other highlights include a children’s menu and express meal service, free unlimited ice cream and very reasonable babysitting rates. For older children (age 9-14) there is also Camp Laguna which has year-long programs including rock climbing, abseiling, beach volleyball and more.

3. Plantation Bay Resort, Cebu, Philippines
Designed in colonial-plantation style, this mammoth resort is also build around one of the largest privately-owned waterways in the world. It is a perfect resort for aquanauts of any age, but children will especially delight in the water slides, aqua rides and beach activities. Parents can take advantage of the children’s center where staff will keep the little ones enthralled with making sandcastles, feeding fish and face painting, among many other things.

4. Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort,  Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Located in Borneo and overlooking the South China Sea, the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort offers a premiere setting and possibly the largest Kids Club facility in Malaysia. The club is sectioned according to age group, with padded areas and soft toys for toddlers, creative areas for arts and crafts as well as a coffee area for parents to mingle. There are many activities planned for the kids on the beach and in the playground as well as safe children pools. Trips to the sister Shangri-La Rasa Ria resort can be organized where there is an orangutan rehabilitation reserve, giving kids the chance to communicate with one of their closest ape relatives.

5. Conrad Bali Resort & Spa, Bali, Indonesia
Secluded on almost 6.8 hectares of lush, beachfront terrain in Southern Bali – near to the Nusa Dua area – the Conrad Bali Resort & Spa provides exceptional opportunities to families. Beyond the usual provisions of crib and children’s menus, the Conrad also has special babyrobes and baby bath and potty. There are a plethora of activities for kids at the Kura Kura Club including Balinese traditional dancing, island storytelling around the lagoon pool and arts and crafts. There are indoor and outdoor play areas, a video Games Zone, a babysitting service and child care centre. Tennis enthusiasts can arrange for child tennis lessons at reasonable rates and there are plenty of water sports to choose from for the family.

6. Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi, Malaysia
This beautifully-located resort  in Langkawi is a great option for families who love to be active. There are water sports galore including boating, water skiing, diving, snorkeling and para-sailing. Catering especially for the kids, the resort also has a mini golf course and animal farm. The Kiki Club is open from 9am-9pm with free daily activities involving cultural, arts and nature-loving activities so parents can go pamper themselves in the hours between.

7. The Ritz-Carlton Bali, Indonesia
Set on its own private cove at Kuba, the luxurious Ritz Carlton in Bali also has an impressive children’s program and facilities. There is a separate children’s pool that has two water slides and a daily activities club which covers everything from kite-making to Balinese traditional arts courses to sea shell collecting. There is a special children’s dining menu and baby sitting is available (English, Bahasa and Japanese speaking).

8. Holiday Inn Phuket, Thailand
Recently revamped, the Kids Club at the Holiday Inn Phuket has video games, DVDs, internet, toys and board games all within cozy lounge settings for juniors. But the main attractions are found outdoors with the toddler and play pools which include water spouts, slides and other features to keep the kids entertained. Babysitting is available and the resort is well-located on Patong Beach, Phuket’s foremost beach town.

9. The Nusa Dua Hotel Resort & Spa,  Bali, Indonesia
This luxury resort is primly located on Nusa Dua beach and has beautifully landscaped tropical gardens and swimming areas that are suitable for children. The affordable rates make it a good choice for family holidaymakers and they have special family rooms with King-sized bed and bunk bed as well as attractive children furnishings. The Gecko Kids Club is open daily, offering supervised games and activities in the playground, pools, beach or children’s center.

10. Coco Beach Resort, Phan Thiet, Vietnam
The quaint huts of Coco Beach Resort depict a charming tropical image of relaxation and comfort. First impressions don’t disappoint. Located on one of the more beautiful beach spots of Vietnam, this resort has plenty of activities to amuse the kids with paddle boats, boogie boards and other beach activities as well as a special children’s playground, pool with waterslide and toddler wading pool.

 

 

 

Top 10 Golf Resorts in Southeast Asia: The Recommendations

In Asia Travel, Travel, Travel Tips on July 10, 2008 at 10:30 am

Asia is a Paradise for Golfers

Asia is a Paradise for Golfers

Greg Norman once said that “happiness is a long walk with a putter”, and for many a golf enthusiast that phrase drives true. Beyond the game itself, playing golf provides the opportunity for its participants to be in the great outdoors. Often set against striking natural scenery, golfers can breathe in the fresh air and embrace nature’s wonders whilst getting both exercise and sun.

 

Not surprisingly golf is the fastest growing and most popular sport in the world, a fact most evident in Asia, where the game has developed rapidly in the last decade. For golfing buffs, Asian courses are paradise, especially since many have been designed by stalwarts such as the “Shark” and Jack Nicklaus, are situated in the balmy and breathtaking tropics and are – by European and American standards – very easy on the pocket.

What is further complementary about choosing a golf holiday in Asia is the quality spa options available across the continent, especially in Southeast Asia where quality and cost are not mutually exclusive concepts. For golfers themselves, spa treatments such as massage can provide that perfect balance to sport with further relaxation. But more importantly, for wives and girlfriends who wish to holiday but don’t par–take in the fairways, spa pampering is a welcome alternative.

To cater for golf and spa holidaymakers, many courses and golfing resorts have been built across Asia. Let’s highlighted some of the best courses in the region, along with accommodation options, just to pique your interest!

Here are the suggested top 10 golfing resorts in the SEA region:

1. Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Phuket (Thailand)

Lauded already in numerous publications as one of Asia’s premier golf resort destinations, the Laguna Phuket Golf Club is set among the Laguna Resort Complex which features five luxury hotels (Sheraton, Dusit Thani, Banyan Tree, Laguna Beach Resort and Allamande). It boasts an 18–hole, par–71 course designed by Max Wexler and David Abell and caters to players of all levels of expertise. But the course certainly is challenging as 13 of the 18 holes are in close proximity to the actual lagoon. Golfers can enjoy taking the watery gamble with their shots. Afterwards, pampering is essential at the world famous Banyan Tree Spa.

2. Le Meridien Nirwana Golf & Spa Resort, Bali (Indonesia)

The five–star Le Meridien Golf & Spa Resort is a luxury resort overlooking the Indian Ocean with world–class golf and spa facilities. The Nirvana Bali Golf Club boasts an 18–hole course designed by the legendary Greg Norman, and has been featured in several publications. The course is made challenging by the elaborate network of streams, ponds and terraces plus its ocean lapping location. After playing, relax at the fusion Nirwana Spa which uses Western products while keeping the Balinese Hindu philosophy in mind.

3. Novotel Ocean Dunes and Golf Resort, Phan Thiet (Vietnam)

Located three hours from Ho Chi Minh City, the four–star Novotel Ocean Dunes and Golf Resort is located on a private beach and was the first international resort to be built in Vietnam. The Par–72 Ocean Dunes Golf Club located on–site has been designed by Nick Faldo and been identified it as one of the top 10 resort courses in Asia. The course will appeal to both experienced as well as casual golfers, and the coastal winds will bring challenge to each hole. The on–site Spa has private saunas and Jacuzzis for customers use after a round of golf. Or you can go in for a massage before you take to the course, helping to relax the muscles and improve that swing.

4. Kirimaya Golf Resort & Spa, Khao Yai (Thailand)

The three star Kirimaya Golf Resort & Spa provides 60 contemporary living options and is the perfect retreat for those looking for a golf holiday. The 18–hole golf course has been designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus and is set among the mountains and greenery of Khao Yai. Guests can indulge in a range of massages and wellness rituals at the Maya Spa or in the comfort of them own rooms after a day spent on the course or exploring the surroundings.

5. The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei Darussalam)

The five star Empire Hotel & Country Club and beach resort overlooking the South China Sea boasts of lavish accommodations, eight swimming pools and a championship golf course. Designed by the celebrated Jack Nicklaus, the golf course includes cliffs, ravines, tight fairways, large bunkers, and is floodlit for night–time games. Also not be missed is the Spa, with its therapies from around the world designed to calm the body and revitalize the skin.

6. Hornbill Golf & Jungle Club, Sarawak (Malaysia)

The five star Hornbill Golf & Jungle Club is nestled amongst the oldest and second largest rainforest in the world, 1,000 meters above sea level. As the name suggests, the main attraction of the hotel is its golf course designed by Neil Crater, while keeping in mind the features of its unique highland location. The course is the ultimate test of golfing skills, and is suited for those who love a fresh physical challenge as well as a mental one. With the number of guests kept to just 60 a day, it provides ample exclusivity and privacy to indulge at a calm pace. The Jungle Club continues to keep up the promise of relaxation and rejuvenation with its pampering sessions of spa, exotic traditional massages and a range of natural treatments.

7. Bintan Lagoon Resort, Bintan Island (Indonesia)

The four–star Bintan lagoon Resort is set among 300 hectares of beachfront gardens and offers a world of choice. This golfing resort can easily be reached by a short high–speed ferry ride from Singapore. Both the Jack Nicklaus 18–hole Sea View Golf course and Ian Baker–Finch 18–hole Woodlands Golf course at the resort are known for their spectacular design and signature holes. The stay is incomplete without a visit to the Bintan Spa, where traditional methods are used in conjunction with organic ingredients for the ultimate relaxation experience. Choose from a range of treatments, scrubs, and spa packages.

8. Springfield Village Golf & Spa, Hua Hin/Cha–am (Thailand)

The 3.5 star Springfield Village Golf & Spa provides luxurious rooms and suites, designed to blend with their surroundings and each providing an open view of the golf course. The golf course (another design by Jack Nicklaus) challenges golf enthusiasts with 27 meticulously manicured holes. The championship course has five sets of tees to play from, and offers varying levels of difficulty. For those looking to improve their game, step there is an excellent Learning Center which offers private lesson. Be sure to head over to the Springfield Spa to pamper and rejuvenate yourself with a wide variety of top notch massages and treatments on offer.

9. Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore (Singapore)

The five–star Sentosa Resort & Spa is perched atop a cliff gazing out across the South China Sea. The resort’s 21 rooms and suites are spread across 27 acres of tropical woodlands. For a round of golf, tee–off one of the 2 resort courses, including the exceptional Sentosa Golf Club, home to the Barclay’s Singapore Open and the course of choice for politicians, dignitaries and celebrities alike. The resort also boasts the Spa Botanica, housing mud pools, flotation pools, a meditation labyrinth and Turkish-styled steam baths and a wide choice of indoor treatment rooms or outdoor pavilions.

10. Sofitel Zhongshan Golf Resort, Nanjing (China)

The five–star colonial-styled, Sofitel Zhongshan Golf Resort Nanjing is located on the slopes of the famous Purple Mountain, and features 140 luxurious accommodations. This resort is the perfect choice for leisure as well as business travelers to Nanjing. It is also the first deluxe, five–star golf resort in Nanjing, and the exclusive 27–hole golf course was designed by Gary Player. Guests can also enjoy the Spa, with its various massages and treatments, guaranteed to relax and ease the muscles.

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Southeast Asia: The Recommendations

In Asia Travel, Travel Tips on May 15, 2008 at 3:31 am

Top Boutique Hotels in Asia

Top Boutique Hotels in Asia

As Southeast Asia destination has become one of the most popular vacation spots from many people around the world. The international tourist statistics among countries in the region are substaintially increasing year by year. Today, with the reflection of this increasing numbers, there are various accommodation options for tourists to choose from ranging from local hostel to international 5 stars hotel. Here is the list of recommended boutique hotel options;

1. Kemang Icon Jakarta, Indonesia

If Conde Nast’s Traveler included this hotel it in their Hot List 2007, you expect it to be hot, and Kemang Icon lives up to its reputation. This boutique hotel artfully combines contemporary modern designs with art deco in cool tones and textures. Eight Courtyard and four Edge Suites are all individually designed with personalized bathroom scents, accessories and amenities. All guest preferences are noted prior to check-in so that the fruit basket, coffee and tea, i-Pod selections, toiletry brands and even lighting settings are adjusted to your taste before you even enter the room. “The Edge” tailors every meal to suit a guest’s taste and health requirements.  Fancy playing chef for the day? Shop online from their grocery list and the fresh goods and produce will be delivered right to your door. The Kemang Icon truly is a delightful marriage of chic and warmth, giving birth to an unrivaled multi-sensory journey, where almost every single facet of quality living is personalized.

2. The Scarlet Hotel, Singapore, Singapore

Dramatic, passionate and decadent are qualities at the heart of the Scarlet Hotel. Housed in a 1924 Art Deco building and a row of 1868 early shop houses on the historic Erskine Road are five themed suites with names like Splendour and Lavish, 26 Executive and 24 Premium rooms and 15 Deluxe and 24 Standard rooms. The hotel has gone to great lengths, decorating each room with specific personalities in mind. In-room features include one-for-one evening cocktails, personal bars with gourmet selections and a pillow menu.  With a restaurant named Desire that serves ‘provocative contemporary cuisine’ and a bar called Bold, a playful sinfulness seems to come naturally to this hotel.

3. Dream Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

From the bed to the bar, the Dream Hotel is pure glitz. The interior is covered with a generous selection of colors accompanied by ethereal lighting techniques, producing an outspoken extravagance. With 100 stylishly themed and pet-friendly guestrooms, the highlight is the ‘Dream Bed’, which was carefully devised and created to truly provide guests with a good night’s sleep. This über trendy hotel offers personal shopper services and pre-loaded iPods and their Avatar Spa features a creative range of facials, massages, full body and Thalmer Thalasso SPA treatments.

4. AKA Hotel Resort & Spa – Hua Hin, Prachuabkirikhan, Thailand

Fifty-one spacious villas amply secluded from one another, spread across 10 acres of tropical landscape, with natural lakes and a hillside backdrop. Drawing from the philosophy of the AKA, a hill tribe with origins in the Tibetan Highlands and Yunnan, China, the resort flawlessly blends spirituality, tranquility and simplicity together, transposing these qualities into the architecture, the Zen spa and their dining services. With private infinity-edged pools, garden terraces, private courtyards and sala roof gardens, this luxury retreat is the perfect escape from city life and a perfect way to pamper the soul.

5. Hotel de la Paix, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Designed by the renowned Bill Bensley, a combination of art deco and traditional Khmer styles distinguishes the Hotel de la Paix, which is built around a palatial inner courtyard with stone gardens and water features. This landmark in the heart of Siem Reap offers guestrooms and suites, categorized under five unique preferences and designs and accompanied by personalized assistance. French Chef and author Joannes Riviere brings exceptional dining experiences to the table with international and seasonal Khmer dishes, while Mediterranean, Italian, organic Khmer coffee and drinks and gourmet picnic baskets for temple visits are lovingly prepared at Café de la Paix.

6. S15 Sukhumvit Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Smack dab in the heart of Bangkok’s business and shopping districts, the new S15 Sukhumvit Hotel is 72 stylish rooms decked with Italian light fixtures, marble bathrooms and sleek, contemporary furniture. The essence of this boutique hotel’s design is an understated elegance that distinctly contrasts with the city’s relentless bustle, allowing guests to gather and re-energize themselves after a day spent exploring the City of Angels. All public areas and guestrooms have Wi-Fi high-speed Internet access and the business center offer laptops and mobile phones. Another great way to unwind is to take advantage of the hotel’s in-room spa services.

7. 3 Nagas – Luang Prabang, Laos

To enter the Boutique Hotel 3 Nagas is to enter three historical buildings protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Organization. Restored to its original Laotian style, the hotel is of exotic, wooden floors, traditional torchis walls and clay tile roofing. A total of 12 rooms and 3 suites with their own unique designs make up this authentic hotel in the heart of Luang Prabang.

8. The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam

High ceilings, luxurious en-suite bathtubs, spacious bathrooms, raised platforms, split-levels coupled with unobstructed views of the South China Sea make up the 60 One-Bedroom Villas and 40 Pool Villas at The Nam Hai. Immediately, one will be taken by the sheer magnitude of space and seclusion at this exclusive, beachfront resort spa stretched across 35 hectares along Ha My beach. All villas are equipped with rain showers, iPods, 24-hour concierge and 24-hour in-room dining. Set around a lagoon close to the beach is The Spa, featuring customized regimens to suit each guest’s needs and well-being.

9. JapaMala Resort – Tioman Island, Malaysia (East coast of Malaysia)

Eco-friendly, teak Sarang Villas, Sea Cliff and Tree Top chalets nestle in the lush jungles of Tioman Island with the sights and sounds of aqua blue waters and the white sand beach appealing to your senses. Guests can even make their own catch off the jetty and the hotel will cook the fresh seafood accordingly. Another option is to head over to the Tamarind Terrace Restaurant featuring all-day, casual, alfresco dining and specializing in Thai and Indochinese cuisine. A protected marine park, dive sites and furtive jungle surround this secluded, luxury resort.

10. Trisara, Phuket, Thailand

The emphases at Trisara are privacy, simplicity, peace and space. Forty-two villas and suites have been given a clean, contemporary look with subtle traditional Thai touches where private infinity edged pools meet sweeping views of the Andaman Sea. Apart from massages, body treatments and facials, the Trisara Spa specializes in yoga and meditation and offers the Trisara Punti Purification and Revitalisation program in partnership with expert herbalists. Other features at this exclusive resort & spa include complimentary iPods in the library with a wide range of music, customized private dining and a private bay surrounded by a ring of coral reef.

So, if you have a plan to visit some favorite travel spots in Southeast Asia region such as Bangkok, Bali, Jakarta, Singapore. Let’s get experiences on your personalize boutique accommodations start from this top list and enjoy your trip.

 

Asia is a great destination for female travellers

In Asia Travel, Travel on March 20, 2008 at 10:40 am

Full moon party is one of the favorite

Full moon party is one of the favorites

It’s not only a group of men love to travel to Asia for exciting entertainment night lifes. Supporting international findings that girlfriend getaways have become an increasingly popular trend, which has noted a marked increase in the number of reservations made by Western women to Asian destinations in the past year. Many statistic data from researchers such as a recent Mastercard report ‘Women Travelers of Asia Pacific’ which suggests that around 4 in every 10 Asian trips are made by women travelers – a big jump up from the 1970s estimate of 1 in 10.

According to Australian national Maryanne Jaques, a holiday with the girls is always fun and relaxing as there is no pressure to appease the opposite sex and its safe when traveling with a group. “Going somewhere exotic with a tropical climate that’s accessible and has great hotel options at great rates makes places like Bali and Thailand favorites among my friends,” said the radio DJ.

Marion Walsh, an expat living in Thailand and Brand Manager for the boutique Anantara Resort Group, agrees with Jaques, “Without fail, Thailand is always a favorite for a relaxation holiday, whilst Hong Kong and Shanghai are high energy, high octane weekends. It goes without saying that Asia provides a well priced option in comparison to Europe or the US .Also the diverse cultures, beautiful scenery and the friendly smiles that you find here in Asia are second to none!”

In light of this trend, hotels are fast realizing the profitability of girlfriends going East. From indulgent spa treatments and shopping marathons to beach getaways and fine wining and dining options, hotels are catering, promoting and pandering to the sisters and their traveling pants.

Hotels in Thailand, such as the Banyan Tree, JW Marriott Hotel, Marriott Resort & Spa Millennium Hilton and Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok have all hosted exclusive women-only packages, often incorporating shopping and spa into itineraries with temple visits and river tours. Meanwhile, Phuket has strong female appeal with its mixture of nightlife, beaches and national parks.

In Indonesia, women traveling with women might stop for a sojourn in the bustling city of Jakarta for its shopping, followed by the beautiful beaches and hillside environs of Bali. The Alila Hotel in Jakarta has a women’s only executive level floor to afford women a safe and comfortable atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the stunning environment, friendly people and entertainment options of Bali also make it a favorite choice among female travelers. Luxury resorts are heavily promoting their spa services to women too including the exclusive Oberoi Resort, the Melia Bali Villas and Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa.

For avid shoppers looking for an Asian cultural experience where everything is clean, convenient and organized, the metropolises of Hong Kong and Singapore are a girl’s best bet. Hong Kong’s plush Fleming Hotel has a dedicated ladies floor aptly called “Her Space” which involves all sorts of female-friendly touches from a health-conscious mini-bar and yoga mat to L’Occitane toiletries and aromatherapy. Meanwhile centrally-located, shopper-friendly hotels in Singapore include the Meritus Mandarin Hotel, Pan Pacific and the charming colonial-styled hotels Fullerton and Raffles.