Colourful local culture, awe-inspiring temples, lush mountains and secluded beaches are what draw many to magical Myanmar. But, more than anything, it’s the incredibly genuine, warm and welcoming people that make visiting the country such a special, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our experts at Amara Group offer visitors an intimate connection with the Burmese via their resorts, cruises and charitable foundation. We caught up with Zenaida des Aubris of Amara to discover their unique travel options and humanitarian efforts.
Unique Holidays & Making a Difference in Myanmar with Amara
Many take a holiday to unplug from the world, their busy schedules and accumulating work stress. If you’re seeking a real getaway, travel to one of these ultimate escapes around Asia and Australasia where you can challenge your mind and body in the most phenomenal ways and places. Leave your worries at home and be prepared to be transformed.
Amara Mountain Resort – Kalaw, Myanmar
Having recently opened to international tourism, Myanmar is an excellent Asian destination for those seeking a cultural retreat, especially by venturing up into the country’s majestic mountains to the Amara Mountain Resort. Located near Kalaw at an altitude of 1250 meters, you can’t help but switch off at this former British guest house.
The best way to begin your retreat would be by arriving via a two-day hike from Lake Inle, however, you can also reach the resort by bus, car or train or plane into Heho airport, a 45-minute drive away. Once there, you’ll be engulfed by the enchanting mountain mist and the charm of the historic property.
Originally built in 1909, it has been carefully converted into an exclusive hotel with a refined colonial ambiance. It has just ten rooms, each with its own open fireplace. The lounges and the separate dining room feature lovely turn-of-the-century antiques.
Your worries will evaporate with morning fog as you relax in the resort’s manicured English gardens, decompress in the sauna or simply gaze over Kalaw and the Shan Mountains from the terrace, absorbing this exceptional peace, privacy and tranquility.
There are a variety of other activities available to the guests such as golf at the nearby 9-hole golf course, trekking to the Kalaw National Park, excursions to the vibrant market of Kalaw or to the villages of the Palaung, Danu and Pao people, where you can discover the local customs and cultures.
Meals at the resort are healthy, traditional Myanmar and Western dishes and include organic fruit and vegetables from the onsite garden.
Learn more about this cultural escape for the mind and body at Amara Mountain Resort.
Samujana – Koh Samui, Thailand
With magnificent architecture, stunning views and fantastic fitness facilities, the spectacular Samujana resort on the gorgeous Thai island of Koh Samui offers guests the perfect place to reconnect with a healthier and more balanced mind, body and soul. Samujana has suggested this proposed itinerary to help guests plan their healthy, healing days at their private luxury villa.
“The perfect way to start one’s day at Samujana is with an early morning private yoga class. Whether at the edge of an expansive infinity pool or on a quiet secluded beach, yoga sessions at Samujana push the boundaries of luxury and privacy.
“A healthy breakfast prepared in-villa with the freshest ingredients by personal chefs gives guests an extra kick-start to their mornings. Alternatively, visitors looking to detox can enjoy the Easy Detox Deluxe programme – designed exclusively for Samujana by leading spa experts, Amrita.
“Guests can enjoy workouts from personal training sessions to high intensity Tabata interval training, crossfit coaching classes, personalised strength training sessions and – for the truly dedicated –boot camp sessions. Alternatively, train in the art of Muay Thai, Thailand’s national sport, with AJ – a passionate and talented personal trainer. The in-villa gyms and expansive swimming pools offer the ideal place to enjoy exercise at one’s own pace too.
“Enjoy a post-workout afternoon refreshment from Juice Queen; an expert in holistic practices who combines the freshest organic products to create cold-pressed daily juices, which in turn promote beauty, wellness, and longevity.
“As the sun sets on Koh Samui guests can treat themselves to an indulgent massage and nourishing beauty treatment from the island’s top therapists. From stimulating foot scrubs to traditional Thai massages and exfoliating facial treatments, guests will wind-down to dinner feeling refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated!
“Top Thai chefs will prepare a healthy feast using the freshest, local ingredients including green papaya salad, Andaman tiger prawns and local fish baked in banana leaf. The dinner setting can be a Thai pop-up restaurant, pool-side BBQ or candlelit beach dining. After just one day at Samujana guests will be well on their way to a more relaxed, rejuvenated and healthier self.”
Begin planning your healthy holiday in Thailand by contacting Samujana.
Aro Hā – Southern Alps, New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the best countries to get away from it all, however, not all retreats were created equal. Our experts at MajorDomo take us high up into the ethereal Southern Alps to the multi-award winning Aro Hā. This unique retreat fuses advanced eco-accommodation, permaculture based self-sufficiency, and world-class results-oriented programming.
Located just a 40-minute drive from Queenstown Airport, Aro Hā is a next-level wellness experience offering life shifting, body morphing, spirit lifting retreats and condensing optimal living practices into signature ‘Wellness Adventures.’
“The sensational scenery itself is enough to give you the first mind shift, however, you will soon realize that this is not your normal spa retreat, says Lisa Hayden, co-founder of MajorDomo. “Aro Hā is the first wellness centre of its kind.
“Their ‘Wellness Adventures’ are based on a template for optimal wellness and have been refined to provide guests with a life-altering glow. The programme is comprised of yoga, sub-alpine hiking, dynamic strength training, therapeutic massage and vegetarian cuisine.”
The retreats are all inclusive so there is no need for credit cards after arrival and no decisions to make. Guests arrive, unplug and are seamlessly guided toward health. Retreats are personalised and intimate, you will be challenged during your stay and rewarded with a sense of achievement and glow by the end of the retreat. Most abilities are catered for and all activities can be taken at your own pace.
“The food is incredible – when on retreat you really look forward to what the talented chefs have prepared for your snacks and meals,” Lisa tempts us further. “The guiding and instructing team are caring, funny and experts in their fields. Hiking in the hills and mountains around Queenstown and Glenorchy is the best spirit lifting exercise. You leave the retreat but it doesn’t leave you. I want to book my next one straight away!
“A friend, Jenny described the Aro Hā experience perfectly: “It is the best thing I have ever done for me in my whole life.”
Take the first step in changing your life at the incredible Aro Hā by contacting MajorDomo here.
Vatuvara Private Islands, Fiji
You can have the ultimate escape from the world on the distant Fijian paradise of Vatuvara Private Islands. With only three one-bedroom villas, you will virtually have this gorgeous island to yourself. Remote and secluded from the rest of the world, it is the perfect place to press the reset button.
“We work carefully with all guests in advance to design the perfect wellness itinerary,” explains Krystel Gough of Vatuvara Private Islands. “We provide yoga on request and each villa has a yoga deck or courtyard which lends to a relaxing practise.
“In addition, our menus blend fresh organic produce with a priority on wellness and attention to individual requirements. We are also equipped to host preferred wellness & fitness experts. Their spa treatments will allow you to surrender the senses and rejuvenate the spirit with Fiji’s pure coconut oil and fragrant flower extracts to nurture the body – all in the privacy of the dedicated villa spa bure.
“Nature walks, hikes to ancient village sites, paddle boarding in crystal clear lagoons, surfing and numerous other activities are available for those looking for strenuous activity.
“Holidaying at Vatuvara Private Islands you’ll be hidden away from the rest of the world, and privy to one of the richest cultures, the ideal place to soothe the soul with authentic, enriching cultural experiences.”
Start designing your wellness vacation at Vatuvara Private Islands at this link.
Kauri Bay – Bay of Islands, New Zealand
If you’re after some rest and relaxation with the family combined with some active pursuits or water sports, then dock at this gorgeous eight-bedroom beach house by Touch of Spice, located on a privately island in Kauri Bay in New Zealand’s famous subtropical microclimate the Bay of Islands.
“This stunning beachside house, designed by famous New Zealand architect Pete Bossley, has been skilfully built to take advantage of the soothing water and island views as well as to fit into its native surroundings of the idyllic Moturua Island,” details Jacqui Spice, founder of Touch of Spice.
“Access to the island is restricted to boat or helicopter so your holiday will be a real private getaway. You can choose to keep the helicopter and pilot onsite with you throughout your stay with the help of the property’s heli-pad and hanger.
“The property’s underground boat shed is home to a wide range of ‘big boy toys’, including a collection of jet skis, fishing gear, sea kayaks and up to the minute diving gear. There is also an ocean trampoline perfect for cooling off with the kids on hot summer days. On request, a Skipper can be arranged to oversee the operation all of the equipment available, including the recreational boats moored at the island’s private wharf.
“Spend your days hiking the island exceptional walking tracks with views and native bush that you thought only existed in Lord of the Rings movies, or venture off the island for a helicopter trip to Kauri Cliffs, where you can play on their world-class golf course and use their day spa. In addition, there are awe-inspiring island cruises for the leisure seekers and deep sea fishing for the adrenaline seekers.
“You will also find a chef on-site to create fine dining meals using the freshest local produce (perhaps even one of the fish you caught from the day) and a maid on hand to keep the house neat and tidy during your stay.”
Organize your perfect family retreat to New Zealand with Touch of Spice at this link.
There’s nothing like the feeling of walking barefoot on powdering white sand, the sight of an endless horizon of aquamarine waters and the sound of crashing waves to make you feel like you’re truly on holiday. You can have these sensations all to yourself, or almost, at these sublime secret beach destinations across of Asia and Australasia.
Vatuvara Private Islands, Fiji
Many of hundreds of islands that make up the Fijian archipelago are rimmed with beautiful beaches, however, it’s hard to beat those found on unique Vatuvara Island, situated in the Lau group. According to our Fiji expert Krystel Gough of Vatuvara Private Islands, the island offers more than “legends of gold” hidden amongst the razor sharp outcrops of the intriguing hat shaped island.
“It has one of the most stunning beaches in Fiji having been uninhabited since the early 1900’s,” explains Krystel. “Currently maintained by Vatuvara Private Islands as a Marine and Nature reserve, the island is home to several rare and endemic species of sea and shore birds. It has a pristine, well-preserved reef system, where dive enthusiasts can view a thriving aquatic environment.”
With only three one-bedroom villas, Vatuvara Private Islands provides ultimate privacy. Each spacious villa is outfitted with luxurious appointments and has its own private infinity pool. Guests are able to reach the island’s secret beach on a well-timed wave over the reef, easier during a high tide, as there is no open passage in the fringing reef.
Walk the gorgeous sands of Vatuvara by contacting Krystel at this link.
Tahapuke – Bay of Islands, New Zealand
For some of the best secret beaches in New Zealand we travel to the beautiful Bay of Islands in Northland. Our first stop is to the three-bedroom Tahapuke villa by Touch of Spice, a hidden treasure located in the heart of the township of Russell. Guests benefit from a private bay and beach, as well as their very own private island with a complimentary dingy to get there.
“Decorated with contemporary decor and furnishings, with doors opening onto picture perfect sea views,” explains Jacqui Spice, founder of Touch of Spice. “This property allows you to relax in complete privacy promoting a balance between luxury and nature.”
“A five-acre backdrop of native bush cascades down to the beach and two tracks lead upwards from the lodge arriving at two peaceful Maori Pa sites elevated at each end of this property. Boasting total privacy with no neighbours in sight, it’s just a gentle five-minute walk from the lodge to Russell’s wharf, waterfront, restaurants and services. There are also fishing and sailing charters are also available nearby.”
Wake up to the stunning and serene views of the Bay of Islands by staying with Touch of Spice here.
Oke Bay Beach House – Bay of Islands, New Zealand
We continue our tour of the best beaches of New Zealand’s Bay of Islands with the Oke Bay Beach House, by MajorDomo. Boasting two private beaches and spectacular views of Hauai bay and Oke Bay, it’s the perfect secret beach holiday retreat.
“The two fabulous beaches below the house are on sheltered bays which are perfect for kayaking, sunbathing, swimming, fishing and rock-hopping,” says Lisa Hayden, co-founder of MajorDomo. “There are moorings for your charter fishing or sightseeing launch to pick you up and drop you home from.
“The house is spread over two levels. The top level has four oversized bedrooms, all with beautiful en-suite bathrooms and spacious wardrobes. The lower level has its own living area and large deck plus two generous bunk rooms, each with one double and five single beds. There is a full bathroom with shower, bath, heated towel rails and toilet, plus an additional powder room.
“The house offers expansive indoor and outdoor living with fireplaces and a fabulous kitchen for cooking that freshly caught fish! If you can bear to leave the villa for a great coffee fix or provisions, the township of Russell is only a 25-minute scenic drive away.
“This is a fabulous place to base yourself to enjoy all that the Bay of Islands has to offer such as scuba diving, fishing, hiking, visiting important New Zealand historical sites and experiencing fabulous Maori cultural activities.
“Guest Mary and her family recently stayed at Oke Bay Beach House and we at MajorDomo asked what she thought of her stay:
“I think this is a 6-star villa with the real feeling of being in the back and beyond yet an easy 30-minute drive to town if you wish. We drove from Auckland in a convertible car which was a great start to our adventure! It you don’t want to see anyone you don’t have to. The fabulous private beaches are great for swimming, collecting shells and long evening walks.”
Spend your holiday in breath-taking Oke Bay with MajorDomo by reaching out to their team here.
Otaha Beachfront Lodge -Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Enjoy your own private piece of the Bay of Islands with undisturbed views across the ocean at Touch of Spice’s Otaha Beachfront Lodge. Perched in the centre of New Zealand’s most historically rich environment, it combines exceptionally well curated and presented contemporary New Zealand design with the calming views of the ocean.
“Built from the timber of local trees, Otaha Beachfront Lodge is a piece of New Zealand history both physically and geographically,” reveals Jacqui Spice. “The indoor feel of Otaha Beachfront is clean, spacious and encourages refined relaxation. With internal furnishings from Simon James and other internationally renowned designers, the villa’s design has been considered from the front door to the back.
“Five bedrooms, five ensuites and an additional room for a nanny or caregiver ensures you have optimal space for a family or group of travelling friends. From the inside of the house with its floor to ceiling windows, there is no mistaking that you are in the middle of the Bay of Islands. The main living space has an internal facing outdoor decking area perfect for curling up and reading a book or for those summer evenings where you are looking to entertain outside. There is also an external beach facing deck for those mornings and evenings of contemplation with a coffee or glass of wine.
“The house is only a two-minute walk to the beach where you can enjoy surfing, floundering, walking tracks and a private area for friends and family. Enjoy total privacy and immersion into your natural surroundings whilst still only being 15 minutes from the heart of Keri Keri.”
Learn more about this private beach paradise through Touch of Spice at this link.
Amara Ocean Resort – Ngapali, Myanmar
You’ll practically have the whole beach to yourself at Amara Ocean Resort, situated on three-kilometers of pristine beach near Ngapali, Myanmar. Since tourism is still rather new to the country, you can truly achieve a secluded beach experience without the crowds found on some of its Southeast Asian neighbors.
The small resort has 26 comfortable and elegant teak bungalows, surrounded by palm trees and facing the beach. The friendliness of the staff, the tasty local cuisine and the country’s rich cultural heritage all complement your stay in this unique part of the world.
They have also recently opened an outdoor spa with several stations where massages and other beauty treatments are offered. The generously spaced open bungalows are slightly hidden behind some mangrove trees, have an unobstructed view and direct access to the beach. Therefore your beachtime can be extended by a heavenly massage followed by a refreshing freshly pressed fruit drink – it doesn’t get more relaxing than that!
Reserve your beautiful beachside bungalow at Amara Ocean Resort.
Amilla Fushi – Baa Atoll, The Maldives
The Maldives are famous the world over for their phenomenal beaches and there’s no better place to enjoy the country’s pristine sands and crystal waters than at Amilla Fushi. The luxurious resort is set on its own private island in Baa Atoll, one of the 26 natural atolls in the Indian Ocean and a UNESCO declared World Biosphere Reserve.
Accessible by a short 30-minute seaplane ride from Malé International Airport, the resort features eight sleek and spacious Beach Residences of four, six or eight bedrooms. Located directly on the beach, they each have individual pools, fully equipped kitchens, expansive living spaces and a private sanctuary that either hovers over shimmering waters, cling to the treetops, or hug the island’s shores. The resort also features 59 one and two bedroom houses along the lagoon, beach or ocean reef.
In addition to its contemporary accommodation designed to make the most of the awe-inspiring natural environment, Amilla Fushi has several original “destination dining” options which can be held on the beach. Choose from their carefully crafted set menus or tailor a special experience with the help of a private chef. Imagine a picnic lunch for two on a secluded sandbank or a gastronomic sunset dinner feasting on a selection of the resort’s chef Luke Mangan’s signature dishes. A delicious and divine way of savoring their secret beaches.
Design the menu of your heavenly beach holiday with Amilla Fushi.
Ranawara – Sri Lanka
Admire the amazing turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean while strolling along the virtually uninhabited stretch of coastline in front of the gorgeous Ranawara villa in southern Sri Lanka. The relaxed yet sophisticated villa is nestled within 23 acres of tropical gardens next to a small coastal fishing village, 15 kilometres south of Tangalle and only two hours from Galle.
There are five elegant suites within the main villa, which comprises a total of 46,000 sq.ft. of open plan living, and a further two single-suite chalets located on the estate grounds. Each of the air-conditioned bedrooms feature four-poster king size beds, Indonesian rugs and have spacious ensuite bathrooms. The property also features a library, TV room, bar area, open plan kitchen & dining room, al-fresco dining pavilion, a spa as well as a 100 ft long swimming pool. There is a dedicated resident team of staff who cater to guests needs during their stay.
Besides taking incredible walks or lounging on the beach, you can spend hours meandering through the grounds dotted with hundreds of coconut trees as well as an abundance of tropical fruit trees including dragon fruit, green oranges, papaya, bananas, mango and wood apple.
Leaving the villa, various excursions can be arranged to visit nearby villages, observe turtles laying their eggs in Rekawa, take whale and dolphin watching boat trips or to tour the historic Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site built in 1588.
Add some cultural explorations and sightseeing to your beach holiday at Ranawara. More information here.
Whitsunday Estate – Australia
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef features some of the region’s most stunning beaches and our global expert Sylvia Delvaille Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad has the perfect place to stay to make the most of this fabulous coastline.
“This “Thatched Palace” boasts six South-Sea style thatched luxury cottages in full view of the aqua marine Pacific Ocean and a necklace of white sandy beaches and reefs to explore – exclusively yours,” details Sylvia. “Each of the six cottages or a total of seven suites, has its own style and feel and include artwork from around the world; an antique Russian chest, tiles from palaces in India, cool limestone floors, uniquely handcrafted African, Balinese and Mexican art including wall hangings/lighting and carvings.
“The main Pavilion with its gabled roof, is the focal point of this magical place where guests can gather, especially in the evenings to recap the day’s events. It boasts broad verandahs with day beds and lounges, a living room with special lighting effects, a siesta bedroom, the chef’s kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining areas and entertainment facilities.
“The main house takes in the impressive views of the lake, the sea, the pool and gardens. Enjoy activities like water skiing, fishing or bathing in your own private lake or just laze around your own oversized pool, pamper yourself with a massage on the wooden candle lit deck overlooking the purple lily pond, or practise some yoga with a private instructor in the meditation tower. Explore on your mountain bikes or quad bikes through the miles and miles of bushland trails.
“Escape on a river safari or discover a rock pool where you could spread your picnic lunch of cold “catch of the day” seafood salad and some crisp Aussie wine. Take a bushwalk deep into the rainforest to discover a hidden waterfall and a remote beach. Or arrange for a day of Game fishing, a seaplane launch reef trip, jet skiing, paragliding and scuba diving, tandem parachuting and windsurfing.
“For a special evening, enjoy some live entertainment at a beachside barbecue. If you are traveling with children, arrange for the circus to “come to town” to entertain them. But for sure, the friendly kanga will make her house-call each morning to say G’day.”
Enjoy all the delights of this spectacular private beach estate by contacting Sylvia at Villas and Apartments Abroad here.
Southeast Asian food varies widely from country to country and even from village to village. A curry in Thailand and a curry in Indonesia are not the same and discovering the difference first hand is part of the fun of any trip to this tasty corner of the world. Today some the region’s passionate chefs are helping keep culinary customs alive while also adding in some contemporary international flare. Sample their delicious wares while on holiday in the following locations.
Merah Putih – Seminyak, Bali
Both your palate and your eyes will be wowed by an evening at this stunning, contemporary Indonesian restaurant situated nearby glamorous Seminyak Beach in Bali. The dimly-lit dining room with its soaring cathedral ceiling offers a magical setting for a memorable meal of sophisticated fusion dishes which remain true to their origins. The menu showcases traditional dishes and modern small plates designed to be shared following Balinese culinary customs as well as larger main course dishes. These may include Manadonese yellowfin tuna and pearl scallop with shallots and lemongrass, roast pumpkin ‘Betutu’ Asparagus with long bean, smoked coconut and basa gede and Medan roast pork loin served with cabbage and andaliman.
Website | Address: Jl. Petitenget No. 100x | Tel: +62 361 8465950
Krua Bophut – Koh Samui, Thailand
Sample some of the best Southern Thai food dining at this beautiful, classical house located on Bophut Beach, Koh Samui. Guests can either take in the ambiance of their classy dining room or dine under the stars and to the sound of the gently crashing waves on their romantic terrace. Their varied menu features beautifully presented dishes that will please all members of your party. Since the island is abundant with amazing coconuts, try their Tom Kha Gai chicken soup with coconut milk and fresh Thai herbs before moving on to the stir-fried white snapper with 3 spices, straight from the sea right in front of the restaurant.
Website | Address: 16/16 MOO 1, Tambol Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320 | Tel: +(66) 0 7743 0030
Shan Yoe Yar – Yangon, Myanmar
A beautifully restored wooden mansion houses one of Yangon’s best restaurants. The refined yet relaxed atmosphere is a lovely setting for savoring their spectacular specialties from the Shan State in the northeast of Myanmar. In the morning get your day started on the right foot with their breakfast Kyaing Tong style noodles or come for lunch or dinner to feast on zesty leek root salad, Taunggyi Style fried dumplings or herb-stuffed catfish steamed in banana leaves. Save some room for their complimentary dessert of steamed pumpkin in rose-water infused and sweetened milk.
Where to Stay in Myanmar.
Muang La Resort – Northern Laos
For a truly authentic and exceptional dining experience in Laos, travel to the lush rainforest of the northern part of the country. Nestled on the banks of a river and on the edge of a small traditional village, the Muang La Resort’s Transient restaurant offers an intimate introduction to the culinary traditions and customs of the region’s diverse ethnic tribes. The ever-changing and inventive menu features Laotian specialities with a contemporary twist. These sophisticated multi-course meals can be enjoyed in the privacy of an enchanting wooden pavilion overlooking the river, found on a small island accessed by a torch-lit path and foot bridge. For a complete culinary immersion, they can also arrange more rustic meals in the homes of local villages as well as cooking classes at the lodge.
Learn more about this unique culinary retreat in Laos through Carpe Diem Luxury Travel here.
Cuisine Wat Damnak – Siem Reap, Cambodia
A trip to Southeast Asia isn’t complete without a visit to the incredible temples of Angkor Wat and a trip to Siem Reap isn’t complete without a meal at the delightful Cuisine Wat Damnak. Since opening in 2011 chef Joannès Rivière has been consisting winning international accolades for his fusion cuisine melding French and Cambodian gastronomy. He follows a farm to fork approach, using fresh ingredients sourced or foraged from the Siem Reap province in his bi-monthly changing tasting menu. In their modern dining room or on their outdoor terrace, you’ll feel far removed from the boisterous city as you dine on coconut tree heart salad with pan fried snakehead fish, barbecued duck sour soup with lime, shiny cresson and elephant ear taro stem or quail and Cambodian green giant eggplant in game style, wild mangoosteen sour leaves and mushrooms.
Website | Address: Wat Damnak Market Street, Between Psa Dey Hoy market and Angkor High School, Siem Reap | Tel: +855 (0)77 347 762
Where to stay in the region.
A honeymoon is your trip of a lifetime, however, with so many exceptional destinations around the world, deciding where to take this epic vacation is far from easy. Your selection can be facilitated by focusing in on a specific part of the world, like the Asia-Pacific. With its immense cultural diversity, fascinating historic sites, mouth-watering cuisine and phenomenally romantic settings, the region has something for all tastes and interests. Here are some of our favorites across the area to help you plan an exotic and heavenly honeymoon.
Koh Samui – Thailand
From north to south, Thailand’s cultural richness and natural beauty make it a marvelous and multifaceted honeymoon destination. No day of your trip will be the same as you wander through colorful temples, treasure hunt at vibrant markets, swim with schools of exotic fish, sample authentic Thai cuisine and lounge under seaside palm trees. All these pleasures can be experienced to their fullest on one of Thailand’s breathtaking islands such as Koh Samui, off the country’s eastern coast in the Gulf of Thailand.
The best couple’s resort on Koh Samui is Samujana, Thailand’s most luxurious boutique villa estate. The expansive property offers guests uncompromised privacy and service while boasting a prestigious hilltop location just a few minutes’ drive from Samui International Airport. Each of the unique, individually designed villas has spectacular panoramic sea views and private beach access. Enjoy over-sized infinity pools, fully equipped kitchens, landscaped garden areas, private in-villa dining options as well as private activities from yoga to Muay Thai boxing.
With exclusive access to Koh Samui’s finest services, couples can indulge in romantic activities like a sunset dinner prepared by the head chef of the island’s most illustrious restaurant, a private champagne catamaran excursion or a luxurious spa afternoon catered to by an expert therapist. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the beautiful estate, you can take in the island’s temples, markets, elephant experiences and a variety of sports from fishing to zip-lining and from hiking to ATV safaris.
Baa Atoll – The Maldives
Over one thousand coral islands, miles of untouched sandy beaches and endless aquamarine waters, The Maldives are a honeymooner’s paradise. It’s hard to find a more romantic setting for couples wanting to escape the crowds often found at coastal destinations. Here you’ll be able to spend your days relaxing on its deserted beaches, boating around nearby islands, snorkeling above the reefs and pampering yourselves with private spa treatments.
One of the archipelago’s most luxurious resorts is Amilla Fushi. Located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, it’s only a 30-minute seaplane ride from Malé International Airport. It has spacious, designer private homes featuring private sanctuaries that either hover over crystal waters or are nestled among the treetops which add a unique dimension to your romantic break. You can dine privately at your villa or in one of the resort’s five restaurants. Explore the area on by taking a private excursion to sandbanks or to see dolphins, or spend a day (or more) relaxing at their renowned Javvu Spa, where its range of treatments include several specific designed for couples.
Honeymooners can take advantage of their “Time for Two” package. It includes daily breakfasts, one unforgettable private dinner by the beach, a romantic sunset champagne cruise and a special “romantic turn down” in your room. In addition, if you stay a minimum of three nights in an Ocean Lagoon, Ocean Reef or One Bedroom Beach House you will receive a 20% discount on your room rate.
Irrawaddy River – Myanmar
Since its recent political openness, Myanmar has become the ideal destination for adventurous couples. Even if tourism is gradually picking up, it is still largely uncharted territory where you can admire ancient pagodas without throngs of camera-wielding tourists, boat past typical fishing villages on spectacular Lake Inle, experience authentic interactions with local tribes and end your trip on the deserted beaches of the south coast.
A unique and intimate way to discover Myanmar is by taking a cruise on one of Amara River’s private teak river boats. Normally for up to 10 or 14 passengers, you can charter the boat just for two and have the exclusive attention of their professional and friendly staff. The traditional wooden boats were custom built and outfitted with modern luxury amenities. The front cabin is set up as a “honeymoon suite” and couples can view the riverbank sites from the upper deck which has a canopied dining area, a bar and a sun deck with colonial style deck chairs.
The boat can take several routes, though the best for a honeymoon is a six-day trip starting in the north in Mandalay and traveling south to Bamaw. A honeymoon cruise will likely include some romantic surprises. You might find your dinner table decorated with flowers and candles, be brought breakfast in bed or relax over a couple’s massage on the deck. Off the boat, couples can do special activities like having an exchange of vows ceremony in a temple at sunset or a breathtaking hot air balloon ride over Bagan.
Bali – Indonesia
The magical Indonesian island of Bali is a sublime setting for an enchanting honeymoon. You’ll be seduced by the tranquility of its Hindu temples, the flashing colors of its intricate dancers and the rhythms of the waves crashing against its stunning shorelines. Release your stress over yoga on an outdoor patio, bike through graceful rice fields, hike to the top of lush volcanoes and swim in warm blue waters before closing the day on the beach with a feast of delicious local specialties accompanied by a traditional music performance.
Enjoy the cultural and natural splendors of Bali in the comfort of your private hotel at Luna2. The first true design hotel on the island, this beachfront boutique in sophisticated Seminyak has been deemed one of the “World’s Top 10 Hottest Hotels” by Tatler Magazine Hong Kong. Opened in 2007, and named after the first spacecraft to successfully land on the moon in the late-1950s, its unique design and philosophy unites the past, present and future. You will find this inside with beautiful contemporary furnishings and artwork, and outside with a sleek private pool area and direct beach access.
As a private hotel, you are treated to the impeccable services of an exclusive hotel with the intimate setting of your own “home.” Its dedicated 20-person staff ensures you have the ultimate out-of-this-world stay. Dine on the top international cuisine of its specially designed menu of “Lunafood” and make the most of the range of in and out-of-house activities and spa treatments.
Vatuvara Private Islands – Fiji
If you want to be get away from it all and spend quality time alone with your new bride or groom, there’s no better place than Fiji. Perfectly positioned for total privacy between Tahiti and Australia, this volcanic archipelago features over 300 awe-inspiring islands, around a third of which are uninhabited. Discover lush mountains, peaceful valleys, and unspoiled sandy coves. Its year-round tropical climate, with reliably long sunny days and warm evenings, means you can vacation here any time of year. If offers more than lounging around on the beach – not that there is anything wrong with that especially on honeymoon – active travelers can partake in a variety of sports like snorkeling, diving, surfing, deep-sea fishing and mountain trekking.
Experience your own Robinson Crusoe lost paradise on Vatuvara Private Islands. Hidden in Fiji’s pristine northern Lau waters on Kaibu Island, it is only accessible by the resort’s private airplane. With only three private villas you have the utmost luxurious privacy, you can also opt for an exclusive island buyout to have the whole island to yourselves.
The villas combine Fijian style and contemporary comfort. The one-bedroom villas each feature a large en-suite, fully equipped kitchen, indoor dining and living room area, dedicated villa spa, tropical courtyard and bionized heated pools, as well as indoor and outdoor showers. Each stay is custom-designed to your travel preferences and can include a day of pampering bliss with massages and treatments, exploring abandoned villages, boating the shimmering aquamarine lagoons, or topping your trip off with a champagne evening picnic under the stars.
Contact Vatuvara about this exclusive experience at this link.