The top 10 most luxurious Asian holiday destinations
We all love to travel, but for even the most gung-ho backpackers among us, one-upping feral dreadlocked losties who’ve popped one too many malaria tablets on their never-ending gap year can become a tired rite of passage. For young (and old, we guess) travellers ready to put their backpacks behind them (with a budget that sadly does not match their lived-like-a-hoon-in-hostels been there/ done that sense of entitlement) a new website has launched in Australia that is aptly able to cater for any individual’s holiday and fiscal needs. Ladies and gentleman, meet The Luxe Nomad, a members-only site that zeros in on Asia’s most indulgent hotels, resorts and villas that hosts exclusive-to-the-site sales weekly.
As the brainchild of New Zealand-born Stephanie Chai (a now-famous Asian model) The Luxe Nomad fills a gap in the travel market, offering holiday-makers decadent hotels and villa experiences at exclusive prices. Exclusive to who, I hear you ask? Well, anyone who signs up, for free, with Facebook. Quicker than you can say “I need a holiday”.
Before you start trawling the site, Ms Chai herself wrote for TheVine exclusively, and as something of a professional on the area, shared with us – and kindly detailed, too – her top ten luxury travel destinations in Asia. Travel porn below.
10. Sri Panwa, Phuket - THAILAND
Located in the south of Phuket, this luxury resort boasts some of the greatest views on the island. I've seen some of the most amazing sunsets from Baba Nest a 360 degree bar surrounded by an infinity pool. All the villas are extremely private, perfect for both families and couples. Because the resort is located on a hill, instead of using golf buggies to get around, they offer traditional Thai tuk-tuks as a mode of transport within the resort as they have a bit more power when climbing the steep hills
9. The Upper House, Hong Kong - HONG KONG
This boutique hotel is my home away from home, or so I wish. Minimal, modern decor and excellent service is what makes this one of my favourites. Cafe Grey, the hotel restaurant and bar, offers some of the most exquisite cocktails and delicious food. And you can't beat the view! From the bar, you can feast your eyes on the wonderful skyline of this amazing city.
8. Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood - THAILAND
A stunning eco-friendly hotel, the Soneva Kiri truly makes you forget about all your worries. Two things that I find very unique: You can enjoy an unusual dinner at their Treetop Dining Pod where you are hoisted six metres into the air in a bamboo pod to soak in a birds' eye view of the ancient rainforest while you enjoy your meal. And the second thing - unlimited ice cream from their ice cream parlour!
7.The Edge, Bali - INDONESIA
If I had to spend the rest of my life in one place, it might just be this stunning resort. The Edge offers some of the most spectacular views of Bali. Not to mention that each guest is greeted with their own personal butler to make sure your every whim is catered for. And each of the villas come complete with a large private swimming pool and huge terraces. Need I say more?
6. The House Hotel Nisantasi, Istanbul - TURKEY
The House Hotel Nisantasi in Istanbul is a luxury designed boutique hotel perfectly situated near all the bars, restaurants and high-end shopping. I love the idea of having a personal shopper. If you ever find yourself needing an outfit and don't have time to scour the whole city, don't worry! The hotel has its very own personal shopper who's worked for DKNY in New York and has contacts throughout the city to cater to anyone's fashion needs.
5. The Green Leaf, Niseko - JAPAN
Niseko is known for some of the best powder in the world. As an inviting ski-in ski-out base, The Green Leaf reflects everything a winter break should stand for: world-class design, breathtaking scenery, a tranquil spa and natural onsen facilities, and a fantastic variety of bar and dining options featuring amazing seafood and delicious local cuisines.
4. Constance Moofushi, Maldives - MALDIVES
I've been to the Maldives a few times, and all I can say is go. No words can describe how beautiful that place is - both what's above sea level and what's below. Located on the South Ari Atoll - known to be one of the best diving areas in the world - the Moofushi is one of the few resorts to be surrounded by a magnificent house reef. Home to nearly 1,000 different species of underwater life, you could dive all day and then come back to the comforts and luxuries of this amazing resort.
3. The Istana, Bali - INDONESIA
One of our Celebrity Nomads from Hong Kong, Jennifer Tse, stayed here last year and she now says it's one of her top 3 hotels/villas. That's all it takes. One stay and you will understand why this is one of my favourites. The Istana is a five double-suite estate that overlooks white sandy beaches and a picturesque lagoon. Just a ten minute walk from Uluwatu beach, The Istana is built with a blend of modern architecture and traditional Indonesian detailing, featuring the best of local materials and workmanship, creating a tantalizing fusion between the new and the old.
2. The Farm, San Benito - PHILIPPINES
I'm sure everyone appreciates a holiday to fully relax, rejuvenate and re-energize. The best place to do that is The Farm in the Philippines. A favourite among many celebrities, this detox retreat will transform you in more ways than one. While the food they serve at this retreat is vegan cuisine only, I promise you you will love every bite of it. If not, you can feed the leftover to the number of peacocks that roam freely around the resort.
1. Ceylon Tea Trails, Hatton - SRI LANKA
Step back in time and stay at this beautiful colonial resort in the middle of tea plantations in Sri Lanka. It's very peaceful here. During the day, you can head out on foot or take one of the mountain bikes and explore the lush tea field. And in the evening, come back, have a delicious home-cooked meal and enjoy the stillness on the porch.