Nothing beats an overseas jaunt to an exotic location and if you’re like me, accommodation is just as important as the actual holiday itself. The days of slumming it in a 20 dorm hostel and sharing a bathroom with a drunken stag do are over. Life’s too short for average holidays with average digs.
This September the world welcomes a few new slices of luxury to the world of cool hotels in some of the world’s most enviable destinations.
Capella Ubud, Bali
If you want to discover the real Bali away from the tourist traps (I’m looking at you Kuta and Seminyak) then make your way inland to the safari-style villas found at Capella Ubud. A rainforest retreat overlooking rice fields and the sacred Wos River, Capella Ubud is the definition of glamping.
World famous architect Bill Bensley’s vision for the hotel includes 22 magnificent tents inspired by the early European settlers of the 1800s. Each tent includes teak floors, handmade Balinese doors – some that took a year to craft – a personal saltwater pool and both indoor and outdoor bathrooms. There’s even a nightly campfire where you can mingle with other guest or share a romantic glass of wine with your partner before calling it a night.
~$900 per night
Alila Villas Koh Russey, Cambodia
Situated on the picturesque island of Koh Russey this five-star eco resort from the highly respected Alila hotel corporation is ideal for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Mixing traditional Khmer culture with modern ideas each villa has its own swimming pool and breathtaking views of the powder-sand beaches and crystal clear water the area is known for.
You can dine on French cuisine at the poolside Horizon restaurant or experience ancient Asian healing and beauty techniques at the nearby Spa Alila. This is the place you’ll want to stay if relaxing on the beach or taking slow walks through natural reserves is your thing.
~$1200 per night
The Maldives is an incredible place to visit and staying at one of the 73 private beach and water villas provided by the newly opened Joali makes the experience that much more enjoyable. Each residence is inspired by individual stories of the area and includes curated in-room libraries, state of the art mood and lighting systems, spa facilities and your own personal butler.
There are four restaurants providing tasty morsels from a variety of Asian and Mediterranean delicacies, a dedicated whiskey lounge and an incredible underwater museum. Guests can also indulge in all manner of water sports (scuba diving, snorkelling, wakeboarding, yacht cruises) or just sit back and take in the beautiful surroundings.
~$1600 per night
&Beyond Phinda Homestead, South Africa
If you’re looking to combine the safari life in a contemporary setting look no further than the newly rebuilt &Beyond Phinda Homestead. After a fire in December 2016 decimated the homestead studio, Fox Browne Creative were put in charge of reviving the property and turning it into a retro lodge decorated with earthy colours that pay tribute to local traditions.
The layout is simple yet refined with all rooms containing the required amenities, with a gym, massage room and library also available for guests. You can also explore the Phinda Private Game Reserve with a guide where you’ll encounter everything from elephants to lions before heading back to the homestead for a delicious meal and a couple of froths as you watch the sun slowly sunset. Pure bliss.
Price undisclosed, inquire for rates.
Solaz, Los Cabos, Mexico
Los Cabos is home to dozens of exquisite boutique hotels but few are as impressive looking as Solaz. Overlooking the Sea of Cortez and located between the vibrant city of Cabo San Lucas and the quiet historic town of San Jose del Cabo, this 128 room luxury resort is a sight to behold. Designed by renowned Mexican architectural firm Sordo Madaleno, Solaz pays homage to Baja California in both feel and design.
Each room contains Mexican Huanacaxtle wood and bamboo textured marble floors with unique furniture and original wall sculptures by César Lopez-Negrete. The hotel offers exclusive activities, such as helicopter rides, tours of ancient cave paintings and Baja cooking classes, along with four restaurants featuring both local and international cuisines.
But if you’re like me and just want to forget about the world, grab a Corona and spend your days at the beach soaking up some rays at this beachfront paradise.
Price undisclosed, inquire for rates.