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Boutique Hotels Part II: Beach Getaways


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An Article by Penny V

It might be monsoon season in most parts of Asia at the moment, but that doesn’t mean a beach getaway can’t be in your agenda for the New Year. Luxury, the sun, sand and sea are just a plane ride away. In PART II of our boutique hotel series, we’re looking at some fabulous and fashionable places to reside in while enjoying clear waters and exceptional service.

BALI, INDONESIA

Bali has definitely perfected the art of relaxation with its beautiful beaches, lush tropical mountains, friendly faces and a pace so laidback that you feel blissed out no matter what you’re doing. While retaining its sense of magic and serenity, Bali is also the romping grounds for some of the most fashionable and luxury-revelling travellers. In comes one of our favourite picks, where relaxing, even with kids in tow is still the main agenda.

alila2Alila Manggis, overlooking the blue waters of the Lombok Strait with a backdrop of lush, tropical mountains and volcanoes, is set along Bali’s unspoiled east coast. Surrounded by coconut groves and enveloped in an offshore breeze, the resort’s serene nature immediately eases the tension you’ve been holding onto since you left the office. While suites at Alila Manggis may not be fabulously spacious, they are cosy and the balcony opens up to the sights of a palm-fringed beach, the beautiful pool and the inviting sun, that pours in, as warm as the smiles on the faces of the natives.

An inverted pyramid, the pool is shallow around the edges keeping the depth right in the middle, so it’s lovely for people who aren’t great swimmers (read: Myself) but still want a refreshing dip after a long Alila Manggisday out. With its own organic vegetable garden, Alila Manggis features all-natural spa products that will leave you feeling pampered and indulged with the aid of professional spa therapists. If you’re feeling re-energised and had enough of lazing about your large daybed by your balcony, you can trek around Mount Agung, take a cooking class or even go shopping. If the name of the game is tranquillity though then head out to the beach or have a snooze while enjoying the breeze.

The sea-air generally brings about a voracious appetite and it’ll be instantaneously quelled at Seasalt, Alila Manggis’s on-site restaurant offering a menu of Balinese delights and Western favourites. With the wonderful sound of the waves crashing down upon the shore as your company, you’ll be satisfied and more than appreciative of the romantic atmosphere and friendly service.

Get more information and plan your trip here.

LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA

Another favourite amongst sun devotees, Langkawi manages to retain its tranquil splendour and secretive nature that leaves it unspoiled and laid-back. Ever so popular with couples and groups of The Dataifriends looking for a good dive or snorkel, Langkawi is one of the 99 Andaman Islands located off Malaysia’s north-western shoreline. Our pick for Langkawi? The Datai – decadent and stylish, it still lets you get back to nature with its backdrop of a lush rainforest set atop a serene hillside.

Villas are a blend of contemporary design and Asian accents that make for a cosy and romantic welcome retreat. Overlooking green hills with mischievous Macaque monkeys playing about from the large terrace, villas at The Datai have a spacious bathrooms outfitted with a rain shower and bathtub that are big enough for two, along with a double vanity, so a couple can get along with their nightly routine with nary a snide remark. Couples can even tweet or facebook about what a great time they are having with the free Wi-Fi internet access, to stir envy amongst friends, while having a lovely cup of coffee from the in-room Lavazza coffee-maker. And of course you’ll never have to worry as 24-hour room service ensures that your stay is always pleasant.

Soak up the sun while lounging around the outdoor swimming pool or head out to The Datai’s stretch of private beach while the clear waters of the Andaman Sea lap at your feet. Or just surrender yourself to The DataiThe Datai’s professional spa therapists who will pamper and soothe your weary body into a state of tranquillity and relaxation. If you’re just bouncing around with energy then The Datai provides a handy guide of activities to participate in that range from tree-top walks, mountain biking and even golfing at their exclusive 18-hole golf course. We’re pretty sure that once you’re cocooned within your suite you’ll not want to leave.

But the rumbling of your stomach might – it is ultimately worth it though. Blending in with the natural surroundings of the area, buildings are linked by open air walkways and built around spotlit trees that create a beautiful canopy where you can dine alfresco with your choice of authentic Thai cuisine. The Datai features 3 other restaurants and a lobby lounge serving a variety of local and western favourites.

For reservations head on over to their website.

KERALA, INDIA

Raheem ResidencyWhen you think of beach getaway, you wouldn’t actually think of Kerala, Goa perhaps but not Kerala. You’ll be surprised though what this gem has to offer with its charming house boats, laidback atmosphere and the almost secluded safe-havens tucked away amid scenic terrains of mangroves, mountains and the Malabar Coast. And no trip to Kerala is complete without a trip down the beautiful backwaters that lurch through villages and lush vegetation.

While not a usual beach getaway, you won’t forget a trip down to Raheem Residency in Kerala, which sits across the shores of the Arabian Sea. Housed in a lovingly refurbished colonial villa and decorated in a classical Indian style with rich fabrics and locally made furnishings, Raheem Residency provides a chic and relaxing retreat that is a little more understated than our previous picks. Rooms are traditional in style and feature a large four-poster bed and en-suite bathrooms stocked with lovely Ayurvedic lotions and creams.

Rustic and intimate, Raheem Residency is not overly fussy and while not your typical bikini-clad beach retreat, the beauty of the area will more than make of it; located near a residential area, you’ll be able to bask in the local lifestyle and observe boys playing cricket or residents puttering around.

Raheem ResidencyThe on-site restaurant offers sea views and serves a variety of Indian, Keralan and Continental dishes. Room service is also available and they offer sandwiches, omelettes and French fries when the full restaurant menu isn’t available. Other facilities available at Raheem Residency include an outdoor swimming pool and a spa offering Ayurvedic beauty treatments and massages that will rejuvenate you instantaneously.

For a simple and rustic getaway, head over to Raheem Residency’s website.

KOH SAMUI, THAILAND

I could wax lyrical of the beauty and magic Koh Samui possesses, but Penny K has already done that. Hugged by the blue waters of the Gulf Anantara Koh Samuiof Thailand and its white, quiet stretches of sand, this palm-tree fringed island makes for a holiday experience that you will never forget. Koh Samui offers a palate of sophisticated and world-class accommodation, scrumptious eateries, friendly natives and a most idyllic spot to experience breathtaking sunsets and a decadent full-moon party.

Our favourite choice for accommodation on Thailand’s third largest island has to be Anantara; hands-down one of the island’s best hotels. Decked out right on Bo Phut beach next to the rather touristy Fisherman’s Village, the enclave allows you to leave the raucous crowd behind and embrace the tranquil oasis of Anantara.

The resort is set amid a lush tropical garden and features a variety of colours and traditional southern Thai architecture. Overlooking the ocean, each room features its own private balcony where you can lounge on the sofa and enjoy the sea breeze. The bathroom opens up into the bedroom via sliding glass doors and features a deep terrazzo tub, big enough for two.

Anantara Koh SamuiIf you’re looking to just sit back and relax, take a swim in the infinity-edge swimming, which offers a seamless view of the ocean. A trip to Anantara would be wasted if you didn’t pamper yourself with their signature treatments and massage therapies at their spa. The resort also offers a variety of leisure activities including mountain biking, sunset cruise down Bophut Bay and even Yoga. Avid water-sports enthusiasts will be pleased, as the resort caters to divers, snorkelers, kayakers, sailors and windsurfers.

After all that activity, you can indulge in a feast fit for a king at Anantara’s 8 food and beverage options that can take you on a sunset cocktail cruise to a delicious Italian meal at the al fresco Full Moon Restaurant, which is perched on stilts above water.

Romantic and serene, coupled with exceptional service, stunning views and facilities, grab your beach gear, because that’s all you’ll need to experience the wonders of Anantara.

Need some help packing? Check out Penny V’s articles on travel accessories.

One comment

  1. i prefer to stay in boutique hotels beacuse of their unique desing and their affordable rates of course.. i have made stay in most of the boutique hotels around the earth ..but i would say that the boutique hotels in bali are the best among all..

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