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Top 10: the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (December 19, 2016): Top 10 most luxurious beach hotels in Asia.

Relaxing on a sugar white beach while staying at an Asian luxury hotel tops many travel bucket lists, and for a good reason. The continent’s shorelines are fringed by some of the world’s most spectacular wild beaches and boast some of the globe’s most exclusive, ultraluxe resorts, famed for their impeccable level of service, superb cuisine, and unique design. Although Asia – especially South East Asia – also caters to low-budget travelers, the standard of luxury travel to be found in this part of the world is unsurpassed (with prices to match). Although it’s impossible to rank all beach hotels (since tastes differ from traveler to traveler), I have put together my own top 10 of truly exceptional Asian beach resorts that completely blew me away and left ever-lasting memories.

There is more information below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Asian beach hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. SIX SENSES CON DAO, VIETNAM

True to Six Senses’ philosophy of selecting remote yet accessible destinations in areas of outstanding natural beauty, Con Dao Vietnam is a breathtaking location, which has been protected for decades as a national and marine park. The resort is contemporary in design and reflects the essence of a traditional fishing village. All 50 villas rest along a mile of sandy beach, sheltered by hills behind and offering expansive vistas of the sea. They all have a spectacular infinity pool and all building materials are from natural, sustainable sources, and local where possible.

  • Hotel websiteSix Senses Con Dao
  • Other accolades: Six Senses Con Dao also features in my top 10 list of the world’s best hotels with private plunge pools.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, round-trip private airport transfers, two complimentary 30-minute spa treatments for two, early check in, and late check out).
  • Review: coming soon (May 2017)
SIX SENSES CON DAO, VIETNAM

SIX SENSES CON DAO, VIETNAM


9. ST REGIS LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA

The St Regis Langkawi is situated in an idyllic cove in the south of Langkawi island, overlooking a private white-sand beach that fringes the Andaman Sea. It features 85 suites, including 20 pool suites, and four overwater villas, each boasting a spectacular view of the Straits of Malacca. All guestroom feature the signature St. Regis Butler service with around-the-clock customised service, anticipating each guest’s every need. Resort amenities include a stunning swimming pool, gym and function space, with access to expanded meeting facilities at the ultra-modern Langkawi International Convention Centre.

ST REGIS LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA

ST REGIS LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA


8. SOORI BALI, INDONESIA

Soori Bali, located on the southwest coast of the island of Gods, might just be the very definition of paradise. Located near the island’s famed Tanah Lot Temple, this luxurious beachfront resort leads you to depths of relaxation you never knew existed. Nestled between lush rice fields and an absolutely gorgeous, glistening, volcanic black sand beach lapped by the thundering waves of the Indian Ocean, Soori Bali’s luxurious villas fully integrate the beach experience in its vibrant mix of spaces. The perfectly calibrated balance of tranquillity and vitality, that is so Bali, does a fine job of soothing and stimulating the senses.

SOORI BALI, INDONESIA

SOORI BALI, INDONESIA


7. ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH, MALDIVES

Although it’s more than 10 years old, this chic 6-star resort still offers a level of style and sophistication unsurpassed in the world. One&Only Reethi Rah is spectacularly designed in an octopus shape with an extraordinary 6 km (3,7 mi) of coastline. Set on one of the largest islands in North Male’ Atoll, adorned with endless white sand coves and turquoise bays, all 130 spacious villas are discreetly placed amidst beautiful landscaping, each occupying its own secluded piece of sandy shore or private deck over crystal clear waters of the lagoon. Service and dining are geared to guests accustomed to the highest world-class standards. One&Only Reethi Rah is a favorite among royals and A-list Hollywood celebrities.

ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH, MALDIVES

ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH, MALDIVES


6. AMANWELLA, SRI LANKA

Amanwella is situated amidst a mature coconut grove fronting a crescent-shaped beach close to the village of Tangalle in southern Sri Lanka. The resort derives its name by combining the words, aman, or “peace” in Sanskrit, and wella, the Sinhalese name for beach.  All 30 suites of this beachfront resort feature their own private swimming pool and terrace, and they are all contemporary in design yet blending local material and styles like the distinctive terracotta roof tiles and hand-hewn stone walls. There are sweeping views of the ocean and the beach, flanked by two rocky headlands. The resort is managed by Aman, the world’s most exclusive hotel brand.

  • Hotel website: Amanwella
  • Tip:  Enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. villa upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and one complimentary lunch for two).
AMANWELLA, SRI LANKA

AMANWELLA, SRI LANKA


5. SONEVA FUSHI, MALDIVES

Soneva Fushi, located in the stunning Baa Atoll island archipelago, a UNESCO World Biosphere, is the Maldives’ original desert island hideaway. While it may be older than the more flashy, newly built Maldivian resorts, it has the incredible advantage that it is entirely surrounded by one of the globe’s most beautiful, soft sand, palm fringed beaches. Massive, Robinson Crusoe-style, multi-bedroom luxury villas and private residences are hidden among dense tropical foliage. In keeping with the castaway theme, many are built to resemble tree houses. All open to their own private stretch of sugar white sands, and most boast their own private seawater swimming pools.

Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at Soneva Fushi the time of booking.


4. SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND, CAMBODIA

With 9 overwater villas in addition to 18 Garden and Beach Villas, this resorts is pure 5-star-plus luxury that you might not expect in Cambodia. Certainly not cheap, the resort operates on an all-inclusive basis for all guests, including extras like free laundry service, so it’s a better value than it might otherwise seem. The Overwater Villas here are all huge and each has a private pool out on the deck, and all the super-luxury amenities you’d want as well. Since its opening in 2011, Song Saa has earned a reputation for impeccable service and excellent cuisine.

SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND, CAMBODIA

SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND, CAMBODIA


3. AMANOI, VIETNAM

In 2013, Aman made its debut in Vietnam with a contemporary beachside resort alongside a full-service Aman Spa. Named for the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’ and noi meaning ‘place’, Amanoi is a tranquil retreat situated on a gorgeous white sand beach overlooking spectacular Vinh Hy Bay in Nui Chua National Park, northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Amanoi is a unique contemporary beachside resort that offers total privacy in beautifully designed accommodations that are located in 31 Pavilions, a number with private swimming pools, and five Aman Villas, all positioned on the hillside with impressive views.

  • Hotel website: Amanoi
  • Other accolades: Amanoi also features in my list of the hottest luxury hotel openings of 2013.
  • Tip:  Enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. villa upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and one complimentary lunch for two).
  • Review: coming soon (May 2017)
AMANOI, VIETNAM

AMANOI, VIETNAM


2. SONEVA KIRI, KOH KOOD, THAILAND

Remote yet accessible by a 1,5 hour flight from Bangkok on the resort’s private plane, Soneva Kiri sits on Thailand’s fourth largest but least populated island, Koh Kood, in the Gulf of Siam. Known as the most exclusive beach resorts in Thailand, its 24 spectacular private villas are built on hillsides blanketed with ancient rainforest. Guest are given their own buggy to get to the private and stunning, coconut palm shaded beach, where your toes will go into the powdery soft sand, and where you can stroll through the pristine waters with the ocean lapping at your calves.

Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at Soneva Kiri at the time of booking.


1. SONEVA JANI, MALDIVES

Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on Medhufaru island, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The Maldives’ most exclusive hotel is fringed by pristine beaches, blanketed with lush tropical greenery, and surrounded by a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. Each one of the 24 water villas has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze.

Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at Soneva Jani at the time of booking.

SONEVA JANI, MALDIVES

SONEVA JANI, MALDIVES


*** Follow me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for a daily moment of travel inspiration ***



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