Asia Pacific’s most luxurious getaways
IF money wasn’t an object, and you had the means to whisk your special somebody anywhere in the world, where would you go? With so many luxury romantic getaways within close proximity to Australia’s main international hubs, we truly are spoilt for choice. Bonnie van Dorp handpicks three experiences and stays in the Asia-Pacific where luxury and romance go hand-in-hand.
Vietnam’s premier beach destination
Nha Trang may not be on the radar for many Aussies right now, but it should be. The 6km stretch of pristine coastline, known for its white sand beaches, fresh seafood and sprawling resorts, is in the midst of a tourism boom, particularly in the luxury category.
A jewel in its crown is The Anam, the first and only World Luxury Hotel in Vietnam. The lavish property, situated in Cam Ranh Bay and nestled between 3,000 swaying palm trees, combines colonial-era styling with traditional Vietnamese touches.
A stay in one of the signature villas is a must when visiting. There are 117 villas available on site, each offering a distinct experience. For those wanting a tranquil view of the resort’s perfectly manicured gardens, the Garden View is the spot for you. However, if you and your significant other would prefer to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of rolling tides, the Seaview villa is about as romantic as they come. For an ultra VIP stay, The Anam also offers villas with private plunge pools, which come highly recommended for couples who are on honeymoon.
The resort is fairly self-contained, providing everything you could possibly need to take a break from the world. Those that want to hide away and relax can do so poolside or by the beach. There’s also a stand-out spa which offers couples treatments that have you leaving refreshed and renewed.
For the active couple, there are plenty of recreational activities on site to keep you busy, including a fully equipped gym, tennis courts and watersports in the sea. It’s also worth noting that The Anam also has its own personal trainers for guests to utilise, which makes you feel a little bit like a celebrity.
Explore New Zealand’s wine capital
Marlborough is all about fine food and wine. It’s where New Zealand’s most celebrated sauvignon blanc stock is cultivated and refined. And it’s slowly making a name for itself as a culinary capital, where both international and domestic visitors alike come to experience some of the best produce available in the country.
Those wanting to visit some of the region’s most famous cellar doors should embark on a bike tour with Explore Marlborough Wine Tours. You can choose between a self-guided tour or one led by an experienced guide. The tour visits five of the region’s best wineries and is a peaceful ride that’s suitable for people of all fitness levels. Marlborough’s roads are (mostly) flat, safe and expansive, providing plenty of space for cyclists. For the extra loved-up couple, Explore Marlborough also offers a tandem bike option.
Unpretentious and laid back, the region could mislead you into believing that it doesn’t do luxury well. But it’s quite the opposite really. Marlborough is home to many luxury lodges, each with its own distinct feel and flavour.
One of the region’s best is the Bay of Many Coves resort, which fronts the iconic Marlborough Sounds. There are only two ways to reach this luxury lodge: by air or by sea. If your budget allows it, arrive in style by helicopter. Tasman Helicopters operates air transfers from Nelson and Marlborough. The scenery from above is other-worldly. You’ll see everything from rolling green hills to craggy peaks and you’ll also get a glimpse of the ice blue waters of the sounds as you land at the resort’s very own helipad. There is a range of accommodation types available at the resort, from one to three-bedroom cabins. The beds in each room, contain over $5,000 worth of linen on each one, making for an extremely cozy sleep.
Bay of Many Coves Resort is perfect for a more active couple, with many of the experiences taking place in the sounds and surrounding bushland.
Fall in love with Koh Samui
Warm summer nights, swaying palms and modern luxury — Koh Samui is a honeymooning couple’s dream. The heat makes every day feel like a lazy Sunday and life moves nice and slow here.
If it’s an indulgent, intimate stay that you’re after, look no further than Outrigger Koh Samui Resort. The Outrigger is a couple-friendly all-pool villa hideaway acclaimed for its Signature Experiences that reflect local Thai culture. These include fruit carving, batik making, kickboxing, leather etching and now — Thai cooking.
Guests can learn how to make mouth-watering Thai classics such as Som Tum (Thai papaya salad), Tom Yum Goong (spicy and sour prawn herb soup), Tom Kha Gai (coconut chicken soup with galangal and lemongrass) and Goong Makham (prawns in tamarind sauce). After the lesson, take a seat on the beach while the resort’s friendly staff members serve your freshly made creations to you.
When visiting, make sure you also book in at the Navasana Spa for a couple’s treatment — you won’t regret it.