AVANI+ Samui, Thailand
AVANI Hotels & Resorts launches into the Land of Smiles in January with an upscale resort at Taling Ngam Bay on the southwestern, ‘quiet’ coast of Koh Samui. Koh Samui is this year positioning itself as Thailand’s most luxurious holiday destination and is set to be a hot location for 2019.
The seaside retreat is aimed at families, with 25 guest rooms, 27 private pool villas and six beachfront pool villas tucked away in the secluded bay. The resort offers a range of activities, from beach yoga, to stand-up paddle boarding and mountain biking. The resort’s AVANISPA offers a wide menu of treatments that can be taken either at the spa or in the privacy of your villa.
“AVANI+ Samui also embraces an eco-friendly culture… such as no plastic straws, biodegradable materials and locally sourced ingredients,” added Dillip Rajakarier, chief executive officer of Minor Hotels, the owning company of AVANI Hotels & Resorts.
Waterfall trips, island hopping and snorkelling are all easily accessible activities from its location away from the island’s main tourist spots. The AVANI brand currently operates 24 hotels in 15 countries and recently debuted in Australia, New Zealand and Laos. Fifteen further openings are in the pipeline, including Dubai, Bangkok and Busan. Watch this space. avani.com
Anantara Quy Nhon Villas, Vietnam
Set to open in late January, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas is located in a secluded emerald bay in south central Vietnam.
The luxury 26 one- and two-bedroom ocean-facing villas are set amid seven hectares of landscaped tropical gardens and welcome both families and couples. Locally sourced materials and regional influences have been woven into the resort design – think sleek timber and granite sundecks, oversized bathtubs and private lap pools. Personal touches that take the resort to the highest level include customisable amenities – such as preferred room scent, an Anantara signature soap collection and an in-villa wine cellar – as well as in-room butler service and ‘Masters of Wellness’ private sessions with alternative therapists.
Dining outlets include signature restaurant Sea.Fire.Salt boasting its very own salt guru, cocktails and Cuban cigars at the ocean-facing swim-up bar, plus in-villa dining covering everything from breakfast in bed, to poolside barbecues and castaway island picnics.
Surrounding Binh Dinh province offers plenty of cultural interest; the guided Quy Nhon Explorer tour takes guests on an early morning ride through the countryside before stopping at Mr Lan’s fifth generation Non La (conical hat) makers for a hat weaving workshop and lunch. In the afternoon, tour the ruins of Champ towers, finishing up with a rice paper-making workshop before heading back to the resort.
The resort is a 40-minute drive from Quy Nhon airport with daily flights from Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. From April, the resort is launching a private Anantara train carriage for guests who would rather travel overland from Danang, taking in the stunning Vietnamese countryside as they travel. anantara.com
The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah, Maldives
Cenizaro group’s second Maldivian property is on schedule for a summer opening and is located next to its original property, The Residence Maldives at Falhumaafushi, on the stunning Gaafu Alifu atoll. The two resorts will be connected by a bridge to form one of the largest resorts in the country. Dhigurah boasts 173 beach and water villas, each with a private pool. With families in mind, Dhigurah also has 12 two-bedroom beach and water villas and on-land options for those with younger children.
The resort’s Turtle Kids Club is open daily for three to 12 year olds and includes a huge playground stretching across the island. Further children’s activities include yoga, Dhivehi language learning, arts and craft, beach games, cooking and scavenger hunts. Babysitting is also available. “We wanted to create a hotel that’s… an ideal place for families to let loose and have fun,” said Gary Xie, director for Cenizaro Hotels & Resorts. For adults, there’s a yoga deck, Clarins spa, 42-metre infinity pool, dive and watersports centre, reading room and gym.
Dining options include beachfront restaurant The Dining Room, Cantonese offering Li Bai, the sunset-facing Long Island for cocktails and light bites, Mediterranean tapas at Cafe del Sol, plus private dining and beach barbecues as well as castaway dinners on neighbouring private islands. cenizaro.com
Apurva Kempinski, Bali
This ocean-front, family resort in Nusa Dua on the southern tip of Indonesia’s most popular holiday island opens in the first quarter of this year. Reservations can now be made for bookings from February 1 onwards. The 475-room resort is 15 minutes from Bali’s international airport and top-of-the-range facilities include an ocean-facing spa and fitness centre, a 60-metre swimming pool, a children’s pool and a family club.
The five-star resort is dramatically located on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. Sixty per cent of the accommodation – comprising rooms, suites and villas – boasts a private plunge pool. And no less than seven dining venues complete the picture. “We’re very excited to finally take the first steps towards our debut,” commented general manager Vincent Guironnet.
Kempinski is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group with a portfolio of 76 five-star hotels in over 30 countries. kempinski.com