It snowed ten inches in New York City last night, meaning we’re ready to plan that tropical getaway right now. Here are three more reasons Southeast Asia is one of our favorite luxury vacations. Get off the grid and head to one of these luxury tropical retreats and you’ll learn why these are some of the year’s most buzz worthy spots.
Point Yamu by COMO
As if we didn’t have enough reasons to visit Thailand, now we have one more. Just-opened Point Yamu by COMO has our full attention. This brand new property by COMO is the perfect winter getaway for luxury travelers with an appreciation for design and wellness. This luxury tropical retreat is situated on the quieter east coast of the island and overlooks the dramatic Phnang Nga Bay in Phuket—far from the busier parts of the beach.
The 106 rooms and private villas and common areas have been inspired by designer Paola Navone. Modern guest rooms and suites include sweeping views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and are in keeping with COMO’s signature clean lines and white airy contemporary décor mixed with bold colors like brilliant blue and rich orange splashed throughout the luxury resort.
As with the other COMO properties such as the COMO Shambhala Estate in Ubud, Bali, the property pays special attention to wellness, from daily yoga to green juices. The two restaurants include Nahmyaa, which offers Thai cuisine and food from the COMO Shambhala Cuisine and there is also an Italian restaurant, La Sirena, which overlooks the bay. Visitors will be in heaven with the Asian-influenced therapies and treatments in eight treatment rooms and there is also a private yoga studio, a gym and a huge 100m-long infinity pool.
Whether you choose to kick back with a book overlooking the limestone cliffs, recharge in the expansive spa, or indulge in the selection of activities ranging from temple visits to snorkeling the turquoise waters, Point Yamu will not disappoint. Get in touch with one of our luxury travel specialists if you would like to learn more about incorporating a stay a Point Yamu by COMO into your Thailand itinerary.
AMANOI (Sanskrit-derived word for “peace” and noi meaning “place”)
Bring your bikini, wide-angle lens, and appetite when you head to Amanoi, the Amanresorts debut property in Vietnam. Let the untouched coastlines, pristine islands, and lapping warm waters wash your worries away at this stunning luxury property on the coast. This serene retreat is set in Vietnam’s quiet Ninh Thuan Province and has 31 guest pavilions, multiple swimming pools, and five Aman villas, all perched on a hillside and equipped with panoramic views. This property is a perfect addition to any luxury Vietnam vacation.
Set next to the charming fishing village of Vinh Hai, visitors to Amanoi will feel very connected to where they are in Vietnam, while also having the luxury of staying in one of Vietnam’s most luxurious resorts. The superb service at Amanoi is as exceptional as the natural beauty surrounding the newly built hotel. The beauty of the property is also reflected in the modern décor and Vietnamese architecture, designed by Malaysia-based architect Jean-Michel Gathy. The structures blend traditional Asian design elements with clean modern lines, exposed beams, and lofty ceilings. The sophisticated and modern décor invites the outdoors in—connecting travelers to the ocean views and nearby fishing village.
What looks like a glass box is actually Amanoi’s restaurant, which, like the rest of the property, blends old and new. The sleek glass and concrete counters are balanced by beautiful touches like vibrant blue porcelain vases with lotus flowers–which you will see all over the property. The bar is their interpretation of a local tea house, and a dreamy place to stroll up for a cocktail or two before settling in for dinner.
Aside from luxuriating at the stunning property, relax at the Aman spa with an invigorating massage , recharge with yoga and pilates, or take out the properties kayaks, snorkels, or just head off for a swim (the ocean is wonderful for swimming). We also recommend hiking in the nearby Nui Chua National Park then cooling off in your (generous!) private pool upon your return. This brand new property opened in September 2013 and fits in perfectly with Aman’s reputation for sophisticated, luxurious and well located properties in remote destinations. With the launch of Amanoi, Amanresorts adds Vietnam to its Southeast Asian circuit, with Amanpuri in Thailand, Amantaka in Laos and Amansara in Cambodia.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap
When Absolute Travel staffer Blaine Anderson reported back from her luxury Cambodia vacation and the newly-opened Park Hyatt Siem Reap all she said was, “I’m moving to Cambodia and living at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap.” That pretty much sums up her experience! After a 14-month revamp, the Hôtel de la Paix reemerged as the Park Hyatt Siem Reap with 108 modern rooms and thirteen suites, some of which feature private plunge pools. We were hopeful it would be everything we hoped it would be, and we are happy to report it is. Bangkok-based architect and interior designer, Bill Bensley, carefully weaved in Khmer architecture, artwork, and traditional touches to ensure Siem Reap’s newest luxury hotel fulfilled sky-high expectations.
Those who were fans of the previous hotel will be happy to hear that the 100-year-old banyan tree still grounds the courtyard and is surrounded by Cambodian chef Pisith Theam’s restaurant, which serves delicious meals and ambiance. Also, the Park Hyatt Siem Reap is still involved with the Life & Hope Association, an organization that teaches local women sewing skills and helps them set up businesses and find work. So some great things have stayed the same.
A lot of thought has been put into the interior, from the wow-worthy dome-shaped ceiling (which was designed to replicate the interior towers of Angkor Wat) to the contemporary art that colors the walls, the aesthetic is Khmer-inspired with a modern edge. Color and texture permeate the property and add a luxe feel to every corner. The property’s guestrooms are large (some of the largest in Siem Reap) and the décor is a blend of ancient Khmer design and modern Art Deco touches. Less than a twenty minute remork ride from Angkor Wat, the property is a wonderful luxury retreat set in the heart of Siem Reap. Once the French governor’s home, the modernist-colonial structure overlooks the river and is equipped with beautiful terraces and a lot of atmosphere. We thought the Pool Terrace Suites were superb, which include a private terrace and an sumptuous plunge bath and garden.
The combination of sophistication, authenticity, and luxury and the property’s location nearby some of our favorite night markets, chic restaurants and just fifteen minutes from the famous temples of Angkor Wat make the Park Hyatt Siem Reap a wonderful choice for luxury travelers in Cambodia.
Please get in touch with one of our luxury travel specialists if you would like to check out one of these beautiful spots to kick of the New Year.