It takes a lot to reduce me to stunned silence, but this July one Vietnamese resort managed it. Situated just off the Cambodian coast on the island of Phu Quoc is the JW Marriott Emerald Bay. Beautiful, breathtaking, innovative, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc deserves every superlative you can throw at it – it’s already picked up the title of Asia’s Leading New Resort. Designed by the famous Bill Bensley, this brand new resort cost an estimated $250 million. Bensley was given a blank cheque to design it, and the result is a resort that will stretch the very boundaries of your imagination.
The pristine Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc (pronounced foo-kwok) lies off the Cambodian coast in the Gulf of Thailand. Long one of the country’s best kept secrets, recently tourism has begun to boom here. Still quieter than most island paradises in Southeast Asia, the time to discover Phu Quoc is now. Here are four great reasons to book that flight.
As Thailand’s northern capital, Chiang Mai has long been popular with travellers and adventure seekers. A historic city surrounded by dense rainforest, Chiang Mai is an alluringly laidback alternative to frenetic Bangkok, and this ‘Rose of the North’ is the perfect place for weary travellers to recharge their batteries. Despite its old-world associations, Chiang Mai today is a thoroughly modern city, one that embraces freshness and change as much as its cultural past: this is a city where barefoot monks and young hipsters are equally at home.
The Thai island of Phuket isn’t short of luxury hotels, but word has it that one resort is head and shoulders above the rest. Located in the serene southeast corner of the island is Sri panwa. Spread across a jungle-covered peninsula, the hotel is a favorite of Thai royalty and global celebrities alike. The way I see it, if it’s good enough for Rihanna and Snoop Dogg, it’s probably good enough for me, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. What’s so special about Sri panwa?
Writers are often prone to hyperbole, but it’s no exaggeration to say that The Siam is Bangkok’s best hotel. Rated number one on TripAdvisor, The Siam sits in prime position along the Chao Praya River and provides the perfect blend of antique allure and contemporary comfort. Setting foot in this 39-room luxury retreat is like stepping back into a bygone era. The cool building offers respite from the sultry heat, and its refined, serene elegance are welcome after bustling, buzzing downtown Bangkok. Considered by many to be the best hotel in Thailand, not just Bangkok, what is it exactly about The Siam that’s so special?
There are few places as entrenched in spirituality, health and wellness as Bali. As such, few places are more suited to a yoga and meditation retreat. This beautiful Indonesian island has its fair share of luxury havens, but critics seem in agreement as to which one is best. Bali Floating Leaf is “the premiere retreat center with the best personalized service,” according to VOGUE. Condé Nast Traveller considers it one of the “world’s best yoga and wellness retreats,” and Harper’s BAZAAR brands it “the number one choice for luxury oriented, eco-conscious travellers.” So what exactly makes Floating Leaf so special?
As the world’s sixth largest country, Australia’s size means you can spend years exploring and still not scratch the surface of what it has to offer. Most visitors tend to stick to the ever-popular East Coast, which stretches from Cairns at the top to Melbourne at the bottom. Whether you’re looking for a glamorous beach retreat, a cosmopolitan city adventure or an idyllically peaceful hideaway, you’ll find it all down under. From north to south, here are five of the most unique luxury hotels on Australia’s East Coast.