9 new resorts that the beach bum in us will drool over
With so many new resort openings, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to your next vacation spot. Having to pick one from such a spread can be quite a task. We take it out of your hands with this selection of the best ones.
1. Capella, Ubud
If waking up to birdsong and feeling the morning sun creeping up your bed and onto your face is your thing, check into this luxurious 23-tent camp designed by award-winning designer Bill Bensley. Tree huggers and those passionate about conservation can holiday without worrying that the rainforest Capella Ubud was set in (located in the village of Keliki) was harmed during construction. The design of the tented accommodation is influenced by tents favoured by early Dutch settlers during the colonial era. As such, the spirit of adventure and exploration is celebrated in the landscaping and curated experiences. All are designed to engage guests with the natural environment and culture of the host island. From S$1,150 a night.
As a UNESCO world heritage site, the former Laotian capital may hold cultural attractions that will interest visitors, but just 10 minutes away from the city centre is a luxurious hideaway that begs a stay. On a forest-clad hilltop is Rosewood Luang Prabang, a heavenly cluster of 23 villas and tented suites built around a waterfall and a river. Décor is slanted towards French Indochine, with six of the tented suites named after an indigenous tribe. Soft furnishings are inspired by the tribes’ colours and textile patterns. The Laotian influence also finds its way into the spa menu, with ancient remedies incorporated into some treatments. From S$1,097 a night.
Unlike its rowdier cousins Koh Pha Ngan and Phuket which host a wide variety of holiday accommodations targeting mass tourists including the cheap and cheerful, Koh Samui has always been the preserve of well-heeled holidaymakers in search of a luxurious seaside retreat. Ritz Carlton, the latest to open there, is positioned just for them. All 175 suites and standalone villas on this 58-acre former coconut plantation boast panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand. The Spa Village Koh Samui – a 3,800 sqm retreat, uses local herbs and ingredients in healing treatments. It is a draw for adults while the Swim Reef is a hit with all ages. The largest of its kind in South-east Asia and located within the resort, it is filled with as many as 50 species of marine animals. From S$776 a night.
The opening of Ayana on Waecicu Beach (just an hour flight from Bali) marks the debut of the first luxury resort in Labuan Bajo, Flores – the gateway to Komodo. It has 12 sumptuous suites, 189 premium rooms with expansive views of the islands and F&B options that include Japanese teppanyaki. All these mean that high-end tourists now have a fitting place to check in between getting from Bali to hopping on a boat to sail around the islands known for ruggedly beautiful terra firma, the famous reptilian and highly diverse marine life. From S$443 a night.
Here’s why Kudadoo is a heavenly place to escape to: It is adults-only. It has all of 15 overwater villas. It is on the secluded upper end of the Lhaviyani Atoll, home to turquoise lagoons full of diverse marine life and endless stretches of sandy beaches. All these make Kudadoo an intimate paradise for those who love their privacy. It has large infinity pools. The rooms are spacious — the smallest villa starts at 303 sqm. Need we say more? From S$4,528 a night.
Fans of the leading wellness resort brand will love its first outpost in the Southern hemisphere. Those new to the brand will be won over by its tasteful aesthetics. The distinctive Six Senses look of pale wood and a simple colour palette is given a local touch with woven indigenous palm leaves used to make the ceiling and old black and white photos of Fijian tribes displayed on the walls. Its location on Malolo in Mamanuca group of islands, which are nearest to Nadi mainland where the international airport is, also means guests can reach within 35 minutes on a speedboat. The Six Senses Spa Fiji laid out like a traditional Fijian village is especially quaint. It offers a whole suite of wellness programmes which can be customised, as well as ones with local influences. From S$1,285 a night.
Set on a private peninsula on what’s known as the Turkish Riveria, this property offers spectacular views of the Aegean coast. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in the Turkish sun rays which bounce off the palette of whites and ocean blues to create a light and airy ambience. But what sets Lux apart is its quirky little touches such as a red British-inspired telephone box from which guests can make free calls home and a “Tree of Wishes”. Every year, the resort will pick one of the ribbons guests have personalised and tied to a designated tree, for a free stay giveaway. From S$313 a night (in low season).
8. Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Islands
Situated on an island just 6km long and 1km wide in the secluded Outer Islands, this Four Seasons outpost offers more than beautiful design in its 71 suites, villas and residences set in serene surroundings. Explore the idyllic private island on your complimentary bike or laze in a hammock strung between palm trees. There’s also an animal sanctuary that champions the protection of native giant tortoises. Parents who want to check out the spectacular dive sights or bliss out in the spa can chuck…. we mean, check the children into the kids club or Teen Centre. From S$1,077 a night.
9. Zuri Zanzibar, Kendwar (a semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania)
Set in the lush forests of Zanzibar’s Spice Island, Zuri (which means beautiful in Swahili) mixes ethnic chic with eco-friendly consciousness. It uses a special system to keep the property cool with 75% less energy required compared to conventional AC. A member of Design Hotels, the architecture is a mix of East African craftsmanship and materials furnished with a modern eye and a minimalist touch. The result is clean and stylish. The in-house spa makes good use of local spices and herbs in treatments for guests who want to be pampered while the rich coral reefs and private lagoon lure the water babies and sun-seekers. From S$548 a night.