WITHIN 10 HOURS FLIGHT TIME
Within 10 Hours Flight Time - Luxury Travel Magazine
Within 10 Hours Flight Time
|By: Megan Cuthbert, Michael Gebicki and Jane O’Sullivan. Issue 40 – Spring 2009|
|(Thailand, Fiji, Philippines)|
|LUXURY TRAVEL MAGAZINE SURVEYED THE REGION FOR THE NEWEST AND NEAREST HIGH-END RESORTS THAT SPORT THE LATEST ACCOUTREMENTS: PRIVATE POOLS, TECHNO TOYS AND ECO CREDENTIALS.|
|Soneva Kiri By Six Senses, Gulf Of Siam, Thailand|
The latest from Six Senses group. Soneva Kiri injects cutting edge cool, originality and sheer charisma into the beach resort. This is a castaway island if ever there was one. Koh Kood is located in the Gulf of Siam, near where Thailand ends and Cambodia begins. Guests are met at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport and taken to Soneva Kiri on a 60-minute flight by private aircraft.
Wrapped around a sea cove that is trimmed with swooning coconut palms, it’s gaspingly gorgeous, from the Observatory to the outdoor Cinema Paradiso. There’s are nine accommodation styles in Soneva Kiri’s 42 suites and villas, with a choice of cliff or beach positions and various distractions to ramp up your fun factor, such as a spa, a library, a gym, an infinity pool, a private beach, a 209 sq metre swimming pool and a tree house - just the thing for the kids. At the coalface of environmental consciousness is the Eco-villa, a zero-emission prototype retreat powered by wind and sun. Soneva Kiri is the latest mutation in what Sonu Shivdasani, Six Senses founder and CEO, calls “intelligent luxury”,
which aims to connect guests with beautiful natural environments from the vantage point of a luxurious cocoon. It favours sand underfoot rather than marble, dining pavilions open to funnelled sea breezes over airconditioning
and a “No news, no shoes” policy. It’s barefoot chic elevated to an art form, which Six Senses has made its signature style.
|Langham Place Samui At Lamai Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand|
|Pilgrims on the path to nirvana have reason to sigh at the prospect of this stylish, handsome beach resort opening in November 2009 on the Thai island of Koh Samui. The designers have opted for a village-style arrangement of 77 villas|
and suites set among perfumed gardens with water features and an ocean backdrop. This is Siam chic, with its gracefully arching roofs, wafty silk drapery and airy, open salas. Plunge Pool rooms are wrapped in gardens. Setting the luxury dial to “max”, Ocean View Pool Villas have a personal infinity pool, a pavilion with day bed and a big al fresco bath. The resort has embraced the borderless dining concept – essentially meals just for two in your own dining retreat, which are scattered around the grounds. The Portal - Surf & Play is boy heaven, a cruisey internet café where you can sip a cocktail and surf the net, with a DJ and movies for company. There’s a Chuan Spa, based on traditional Thai and Chinese medicine, and an intriguing activity list that includes jungle treks or cycling trips to surrounding villages.
|Paresa, Phuket, Thailand|
|The name means “Heaven of all Heavens” in Sanskrit, and in the case of this sumptuous retreat hoisted on a hillside above the Andaman Sea on Phuket’s west coast, they’re erring on the side of modesty. You’ll be chauffeur driven from the airport – part of the Parsea service, this is your first sign of resort’s no-holds-barred luxury approach. The most understated of the five levels of guest rooms are the Talay Suites, yet they are a whopping 140 sq metres, have joint access to an infinity pool and a private verandah with sun lounges. At the other extreme, are the six Cielo Suites. Each is 660 sq metres, with a private infinity pool, private living and dining pavilions, fulltime butler, indoor and outdoor bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. For a small-scale resort it’s surprisingly well equipped. There’s a spa, a gym, yoga sessions, cooking school and two restaurants. From the resort’s repertoire of dining experiences comes Infinity, a private table for two on a deck suspended above an infinity pool that is lit by fibre optics. Stars above and below.|
|Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, Fiji|
|Until now, finding a slice of Pacific paradise in Fiji for some might have meant additional domestic flights or boat trips to get you to the outer islands in the Fijian archipelago. Less than an hour from the international airport at Nadi, the opening of the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa in June means Australian travellers can now be checked in, unpacked and on the beach within hours of|
leaving home. Building at Natadola Bay on the south-western tip of the coral coast, the Intercontinental Fiji hugs the only stretch of white sand on Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island. This location means the resort is the first to bring “that authentic Fijian outer-island experience to the mainland” says General Manager of the new resort, Neil Houghton. Don’t expect Natadola Beach to be a poor cousin though. Last year, it was voted one of the 25 best beaches in the world by Forbes Magazine.
The decision to build outside the main resort hub of Denarau has also given the InterContinental Fiji the luxury of space. Bures are scattered throughout 35 acres of dense tropical garden and this sense of breeziness is carried through to the suites, where the cosiest is a generous 65 square metres. Each room also has its own private terrace or balcony with a Cleopatra-style tub for two. An infinity pool that melts into Natadola Bay, daybeds, love pods and torchlit nooks and crannies for evening cocktails are other touches. When it’s time to dine, there are three restaurants to choose from. When you finally make it back to your room,
you’ll find technology has not been left behind. Two flatscreen plasmas, broadband connectivity and a Bose sound system with reach a climax with Villa Likha, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom palace with its own lusciously landscaped garden and lap pool.
|Discovery Bay Misibis, Philippines|
|Mayon, the world’s most perfectly shaped conical volcano, stands sentry over the recently opened boutique resort Discovery Bay Misibis in the Philippines. The still active volcano last erupted in 2006, but thankfully the resort rests peacefully on the edge of Cagraray Island, a short 20-minute boat ride from the mainland of Albay province, the home of Mayon. |
Instead guests can enjoy the picturesque view from the safety of one of the resort’s 38 suites. Each room comes with WiFi, iPod dock and LCD television and overlooks either one of the swimming pools or the beach, meaning you’re only ever a few steps from the water. It’s clear from the extremely attentive staff that they take great pride in their island – the majority of them are employed from the local area; the décor too, is sourced locally and the resort exudes a distinct Filipino feel, which is also reflected in the cuisine. There are several day trips available for guests who are keen to explore the region. It’s a quick trip to the mainland, to perhaps conquer Mount Mayon (or at least a small portion) and take some time to visit the local historic sights. In high season from November to May, guests can take the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the whale sharks.
|Laucala Island, Fiji|
|The private island retreat of Laucala – meaning “welcome” – was originally designed for the pure pleasure of family and friends, but recently the owner of the Fijian island opened the doors to his personal playground. Austrian entrepreneur Deitrich Mateschitz, set about creating an island sanctuary that leaves guests wanting for nothing. The attention to detail is astounding: mention quietly that you don’t like a particular food and it will be accommodated on all levels, from the cooking of your food to not being included in your treatments at the day spa. The staff knows, as if by sixth sense, when you are about to enter one of the five restaurants and will greet you with a glass of freshly blended fruit juice, made from fruit picked from the grounds. Park your golf buggy at a difficult angle and while you are enjoying your meal it will be repositioned so all you have to do is drive off into the balmy night. If the lighting is too bright in your villa, choose from one of the other levels, electronically adjusting the ambience with the touch of a button. To keep you in touch with things back home a mobile phone is provided with international roaming. The resort has a private runway so you can fly directly into the resort and house your jet in one of the hangers. Or if you sail in on your yacht, you can moor it at the jetty that leads up to your over-water villa. Customs will then be brought to you for all visa and passport checks. Sustainability is an important factor in the running of this eco island. The building materials for each of the 24 villas are sourced from the land, with Vesi, the natural red wood, prominently used in the architecture and fittings.|
Plantation House serves a degustation menu daily. On offer are up to nine tasting plates of organic delicacies that have either been grown or caught on Laucala. Catch of the day can be found at Beach Bar, or experience Asian culinary delights at the Seagrass Restaurant while taking in the amazing sunset. Move on to the Rock Lounge for after dinner drinks and soak in the ambience of this deliciously designed bar, the warm glow of the tiki torches highlighting the deep red accents and natural woods. For a more casual atmosphere the Pool Bar serves modern Mediterranean cuisine, or simply order room service and eat in the privacy of your outdoor dining lounge.
|Soneva Kiri by Six Senses|
|Langham Place Samui At Lamai Beach|
|Intercontinental Fiji golf resort & spa |
|Discovery Bay Misibis|