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?
Bangkok is paradise for a food lover. You can’t cross a street without the aroma of frying garlic and chillies drawing you in, or smoke pouring from a street food grill hitting your nose. Everywhere you go, there’s a new temptation, whether it’s a spicy papaya salad, fragrant coconut milk curry or traditional roti pancakes sizzling away. You could spend weeks wandering these chaotic streets and barely scratch the culinary surface of this city, but many people only spend a few days in Bangkok. If you’re just passing through and want to make the most of your time here (i.e. eat as much as possible), there are a few things you can do to experience how diverse and delicious the food scene here is.
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.
Bali has been a popular travel destination for years, but ever since Eat, Pray, Love hit shelves and cinemas, the number of tourists flocking to this Indonesian island has skyrocketed. As a result, places like Seminyak and Ubud can be uncomfortably crowded, packed with people invariably chugging cheap cocktails or searching for some kind of spiritual fulfilment. But there are parts of Bali that have remained unscathed. Located on the south-western tip of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu has long been beloved by surfers and peace-seeking travellers, but retains a sense of peace that’s lacking in other Bali hotspots. Weaving old with new, the rugged cliffs here are home to the 11th century Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple as well as several five-star luxury resorts.
Outside of Australia the name Noosa Heads might not ring a bell, but its reputation stretches far Down Under. Billed as the Australian Hamptons, this sunny Queensland beach town is every bit as glamorous as its counterpart, and just as beautiful. Located about a two hour drive north of Brisbane, Noosa’s tropical climate, excellent shopping and upscale dining has made it a mecca for luxury-seekers across the world. Celebrity sightings are aplenty (Richard Branson, Russell Crowe and Greg Kinnear are all fans) and the cosmopolitan crowd who flock here spend around $940 million per year. But despite its parallels with the Hamptons, Noosa is entirely unique.