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Top 10 Green Hotels in Asia 2009 – Recommend by Agoda.com

In Asia Travel on December 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

Top Recommended Green HotelsAs we’re now heading to a big Christmas break at the end of the year, I would rather give you all the information that I’ve found which will give some useful suggestions for your trip to Asia. So far on the AsiaAcer blog, there have been recommendations on many travel destinations and top accommodations throughout Asia region which will be suited for every type of tourists such as top recommended Asian destination, the top beach resorts, the top adventure resorts, the top family resorts, the top spa resorts, top ecotourism hotels and so on.

There are also the updates on the top ecotourism hotels I found recently. The list was released by one of the Asian hotel reservation companies – Agoda.com. This list will ensure that the green policies at these top-rated eco-friendly hotels go beyond simply encouraging guests to reuse their linen or take shorter showers. Hotels are given extra credit for reducing their carbon footprint, empowering local communities and implementing green policies specific to their locations. And I’m sure you will be proud of yourself when using their services as your little contribution to save this world.

The top 10 Green Hotels in Asia 2009 recommended by Agoda.com are;

1) The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui, Thailand

This resort near Chaweng Beach was pioneering sustainable policies long before the global trend caught on. When the resort’s late founder, Akorn Hoontrakul, designed the property in 1985 he ensured it accentuated the bay’s natural beauty without needing to fell a single tree. Akorn’s son now runs the property and continues his father’s legacy with the resort’s Green Project, a policy that outlines several initiatives including waste management, recycling and energy conservation. The Tongsai Bay works with the local community where it has built a low-carbon school and it is collaborating with other hotels on the island to ensure Koh Samui preserves its natural beauty for future generations.

2) Alila Ubud and Alila Manggis, Bali, Indonesia

These two Alila Group eco resorts featured in Agoda’s Top 10 Eco-Friendly Asian Resorts for 2007. Alila Ubud was built in the style of an Indonesian hillside village while the Alila Manggis combines traditional Balinese architecture with contemporary design. Both resorts have policies to reduce their impact on the environment and each promotes Earth-friendly activities such as trekking, cycling and Balinese cooking lessons.

3) Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, Cambodia

The Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort is the only hotel in Cambodia to win an Asean Energy Award, which it received in 2005, 2007 and 2009. For more than five years, Accor – Sofitel’s parent company – has partnered with Agrisud International, an NGO which runs a number of poverty reduction programs in Seam Reap. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort also buys produce from local farmers, sources locally made products  and employs staff from nearby communities — many of whom are trained at the Paul Dubrule Hotel School in Seam Reap (Paul Dubrule is Accor’s co-founder).

4) El Nido Resorts, Miniloc Island, Philippines

This resort, which has won several awards for its nature conservation activities, is passionate about protecting the local wilderness. Surrounded by forests and mangroves, El Nido Miniloc Island Resort minimizes its waste through recycling, operates an energy conservation policy and requires all staff to attend a five-day training seminar called ‘Be G.R.E.E.N.’ (Guard, Respect, Educate El Nido). The property also works with local organizations to conduct coastal clean-ups and monitor the Miniloc Island’s ecosystem. A database of local plants and animals is featured on its website.

5) The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, Langkawi, Malaysia

This secluded resort is located on a 400-meter stretch of sand on Pantai Tengah Beach, southwest of Langkawi. Its various green programs are integrated to streamline and minimize the environmental impact of its daily operations. The resort helps conserve the local environment by reducing its consumption of resources, minimizing energy use, only using environmentally-friendly detergents and cleaning waste water through wetlands – a natural biological filter.

6) Banyan Tree, Bintan Island, Indonesia

The architects who designed this property took special care to avoid cutting down trees. A conservation lab was built to preserve the surrounding rainforest, where trees are aged from 50 to 100 years and include some rare species. To reduce its impact upon the fragile environment, Banyan Tree Bintan supports a local village and helps preserve indigenous traditions by employing a network of more than 40 village craftspeople and connecting them with project partners throughout the region.

7) Hotel de la Paix, Cambodia

Everything about this hotel says ‘luxury’, but in practice the Hotel de la Paix is an environmental workhorse. Its responsible tourism policy is realistic and sensitive to the local infrastructure and it sponsors many initiatives that benefit local communities, including a Sewing Training Center that provides skills training to disadvantaged Khmer women. The Hotel de la Paix’s sister hotel, Shinta Mani, runs the Shinta Mani Institute of Hospitality, an award-winning capacity building program that supports young Cambodians from high-risk areas. The hotel also offers guests the opportunity to sponsor students or donate bikes, wells and pigs to local families.

8) The Orchid Hotel, Mumbai, India

The Orchid Hotel was Asia’s first property to receive ECOTEL® certification and it has won more than 61 awards since opening 11 years ago. It boasts an environment officer who leads its ‘green teams’,  organic rubbish is disposed of in nine ‘vermiculture’ bins (worm farms) and an onsite water treatment facility recycles waste water. Guests have the option of pressing the ‘Green Button’ which increases the room’s temperature by 2C incrementally over a two-hour timeframe, reducing the air conditioning system’s power consumption. Coat hangers made from sawdust and herbal pesticides are other examples of the hotel’s sustainable policies.

9) Soneva Fushi by Six Senses, Maldives

Sustainability isn’t a buzzword for the award-winning Soneva Fushi, which is on the Agoda green list for a second time – it’s wired into the resort’s DNA. Its list of green initiatives is both long and impressive and includes tree-planting projects, campaigns to ban shark fishing and a carbon offset program to buy a wind turbine in India. Soneva Fushi also has an in-house marine biologist to educate guests and ensure dive trips do not damage the local environment. One of its guiding principles is ‘Slow Life’, an approach which emphasizes ‘slow’ pursuits such as nature walks, star-gazing and non-motorized water sports.

10) Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village, Fraser Island, Australia

Situated on the Unseco World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village is an eco-tourism veteran. Since opening in 1992, it has won several awards for its environmental practices, including the inaugural Steve Irwin Ecotourism Award. In partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast, the resort runs a research and education center that closely monitors the island’s ecology, while guided eco tours cover everything from mangrove colonies to Aboriginal culture. Waste is sent to the worm farm where it is transformed into fertilizer and then used on the resort’s herb garden.

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Top 10 Spa and Wellness Resorts in Asia : The Recommendations

In Asia Travel on March 11, 2009 at 2:56 am

 

Asian Spa Treatment
Asian Spa Treatment

Getting away from tension filled days and spending the holidays rejuvenating both the mind and body might be something that many people look for during this difficult period. As traditional Asian treatments become the preferred choice for tourists, one of the fastest growing segments of Asian travel business is “wellness travel,” a segment dedicated to fitness, spas, yoga and mediation retreats, medical tourism and other personal pampering. Whatever your selection will be, all these choices only give best result for relaxations.

When people start the journey back to healthy living it begins by being proactive and determined, discovering new ways to create a healthier and less stressful lifestyle. Wellness Travel is all about finding balance in one’s life; achieving, and maintaining maximum health and a sense of well-being. Over the past decade, Asia has become an increasingly popular destination to fulfill these purposes, with plenty of health resorts that showcase traditional Asian healing arts, spa treatments, healthy eating as well as both physical and educational programs for healthy living habits.

Many resorts in Asia have started to integrate traditional Asian medicinal practices with western philosophies, to produce a wide array of slimming, detoxification, and revitalizing therapies to enhance health, vitality, and physical beauty. With more hotels and resorts focusing on luxurious and life-enhancing spa treatments, the numbers of guests making spa and wellness treatments central to their travels is increasing. It would be best for tourists to choose some of the top ones.

Let’s start by checking out on bellowed top 10 spa and wellness resorts in Asia;

Absolute Sanctuary, Samui, Thailand
Thailand’s premier Detox & Yoga Resort, located on the beautiful island of Koh Samui, blends luxurious accommodations with a wide range of vibrant detoxification programs, yoga classes, spa treatment menus, healthy and organic food, and other dynamic therapies. Absolute Sanctuary caters to those seeking a journey back to balance, rejuvenation, and wellness. This oasis of relaxation helps guests re-fuel with good energy, nutritious cuisine, and healing therapies.

Ananda In The Himalayas Hotel Rishikesh, India
Ananda in the Himalayas offers special workshops and private sessions with various visiting Masters of Well-being. These teachers, therapists, healers, Ayurvedic doctors, and guides visit from around the world to share their talents and gifts with those who choose to explore and understand the deeper realms of holistic well-being for the body, mind, and spirit. With a unique focus on the traditional Indian sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda, Ananda Spa creates a skillful synthesis between age-old therapies and modern spa technology.

Bagus Jati, Bali, Indonesia
The Health and well-being program is totally focused on the individual guest as they learn to be fit, eat healthier, and reduce stress. For those interested in food planning or weight management, healthy cooking classes are also available. At certain scheduled times throughout the year guests can also choose from private consultations and workshops addressing lifestyle changes, with visiting international specialists who reside at the resort. Bagus Jati is more than pleased to welcome non-hotel guests to join the health and well-being programs.

Baan Thai Wellness Retreat, Bangkok, Thailand
The Baan Thai Wellness Retreat offers an extensive range of anti-aging, therapeutic, and detoxifying treatments, in addition to pampering beauty therapies delivered in the comfort and privacy of spa therapy rooms and suites. These include a range of authentic Thai treatments, Ayurvedic, Asian and Tibetan therapies. A team of holistic health practitioners provides professional consultation in Diagnostic Reflexology, Homeopathic Consultations, Acupuncture, Chi Nei Tsang, Rebirthing Sessions, and Deep Tissue Massage, while total detoxification programs are supervised by the retreat’s resident medical professionals.

Chiva Som International Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand
Chiva Som Health and Wellness center provides complimentary treatments ranging from Medical Holistic therapies to Spa, Medi-Spa, Physiotherapy and Fitness programs. Treatments are customized for individuals to improve lifestyles through the integration of naturopathic and conventional medicines. ‘Ultimate Detox Retreats’ are recommended for those who wish to experience deeper detoxification in five-star Thai surroundings.

Como Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri Hotel Bali, Indonesia
Como Shambhala Estate in Bali is a residential health retreat that offers different treatments to improve body, mind, and spirit. The Estate offers various Wellness Programs incorporating different lengths of stay with therapies aimed towards a specific purpose. They include the Bespoke Health Program that targets a particular concern, the Ayurvedic Program which uses ancient healing techniques for body and mind, and a Cleansing Program to cleanse the body of toxins accumulated through a bad diet and polluted environments. The Get Fit Program and Rejuvenation Program combine the beneficial effects of beauty and spa treatments with healthy eating and positive thinking to help recapture youth, while the Stress Management Program is designed to make positive lifestyle changes to combat the pressures of the busy modern world.

Hanafubuki, Shizuoka, Japan
Experience the Japanese art of healing with six Hot Springs, known as Onsen, located in the forest. By appreciating the nature of Japan and the hot spring’s water, guests are relaxed and healed mentally and physically by the natural healing powers. Long-term use of Onsen has natural effects that cure neuralgia, poor blood circulation, and many gynecological diseases.

Jirung Health Village, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Guests are provided with health care based on Oriental wisdom that balances mental attitudes in order to achieve happiness, fulfillment, and protection from illness. Treatments include nutrition and wellness programs as well as activities designed to rejuvenate and restore healthful bodily functions. These treatments are simple practices that can be applied to clients’ daily activities back home in order to continue the benefits, and maintain balance in everyday work and social environments. Additionally, “Personal Coaching” is provided to create effective programs and methods suited to each person’s individual needs.

Kamalaya, Samui, Thailand
Recently voted the “Best Wellness Retreat” by the Spa Asia Crystal Awards, this resort is surrounded by lush green forests, streams, and boulders while overlooking an exquisite private cove. It is renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful detox destinations. Stay in earthy yet well-appointed villas with Naturopaths, Traditional Chinese Medical and Allopathic doctors at your disposal. Their seven-day Essential Detox Retreat includes seven nights accommodation, transfers, all organic meals and juices, nutritional supplements, herbs and homeopathic remedies, one BIA analysis, six Infrared Saunas, seven spa treatments, cooking classes, educational discussions, cleansing and holistic activities.

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Dheva Spa offers a range of renewing spa programs and packages designed to indulge those looking for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Guests will be pampered and emerge totally relaxed and rejuvenated. The Dheva Spa offers treatments adapted from traditional oriental practices, which can be experienced in half a day. More comprehensive wellness programs start from three days and onward. Professional therapists are trained in anatomy and healing by in-house doctors and health specialists.

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.