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 restaurant bali

Photo Credit: Merah Putih

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

Photo Credit: Krua Bophut

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

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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.

Website | Address: War Tan Street, Lanmadaw township, Yangon | Tel: +95 1 221 524 | Email: [email protected]

Where to Stay in Myanmar.

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Photo Credit: Muang La Resort

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 Dam Nak, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Photo Credit: Cuisine Wat Dam Nak

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.

Travel can be one of the strongest activities which bonds a couple’s love, creating lifelong memories together. It’s not surprising that travel lovers often choose to commemorate their unique love in a unique place – one that may be linked to their fondest travel experiences. If you’re looking for a truly original destination wedding venue, we’ve got some of the best across the globe which will bring to life the magic of Arabian Nights, awaken the spirit of colonial Mexico or take you from the most amazing deserted beaches, via the fields of New Zealand, all the way up to the highest peaks of the Alps.

Quinta Weddings

History Lovers – Quinta Quebrada in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Nestled in the hills of central Mexico, in one of the country’s prettiest cities, you can take a romantic trip back in time at Quinta Quebrada. This vast enchanting home, filled with curiosities, is an exceptional wedding location for history lovers, a true gem offered Pamela H. Murdock Inc.

The center of San Miguel de Allende (a 1.5 hour drive from the Leon airport) has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its well preserved colonial era graceful plazas, baroque churches and grand mansions; Quinta Quebrada being the most famous of these opulent casas. This imposing and yet charming 16th century house, hidden behind tall stone walls, has 13,864 sq. ft. of living space on three floors and beautifully landscaped grounds covering almost one acre. The house has a capacity of 200 for the reception and sleeps 22.

“The wonderful staff of 10+ (more are hired for special events) are very used to having large parties and will ensure that everything is taken care of seamlessly,” says Pamela Murdock who’s stayed at the hacienda and knows the owner’s well.

“The house has been the site of many weddings even before ‘destination weddings’ became popular. The ceremony can either take place at a nearby church or at the house itself. If it’s at a church, mojigangas (giant dancing puppet figures) can be hired to lead the wedding procession back to the house.”

Pamela can work with you to arrange exactly what you’re looking for from cocktail receptions to seated dinners or lunches and from fireworks to mariachis and globos (sky lanterns), in addition to the regular wedding necessities like flowers, hair & makeup and photographers.

To find out more about this curious, historic mansion, contact Pamela H. Murdock Inc here.

Amara ocean weddings

Culture vs. Beach – Amara Ocean Resort, Myanmar

It can be tricky to find a destination which pleases both culture and beach lovers, a task achieved beautifully at Amara Ocean resort in offbeat Myanmar.

Set on three kilometers of virgin beach on the Bay of Bengal, the resort features 26 70 sq. m. teak bungalows each with a 40 sq. m. terrace with spectacular views of the sea and the Rakhine Mountains. Its size and extremely discrete location, with no other resort or hotel within miles, makes for the perfect beach destination wedding for you and your guests to enjoy a memorable holiday with cultural twists.

The resort works closely with the local community and can arrange an array of cultural activities allowing you to have first hand insight into Myanmar’s history and culture like walks in the neighboring village, visits to traditional pagodas or to a colourful Burmese market, custom clothes made by a trusted tailor. Guests seeking to kick back and relax can lounge by the pool or be pampered with an outdoor massage at their spa.

Your wedding can be a chic yet relaxed affair with elegantly decorated, candlelit tables next to the beach with the waves gently crashing the background. The meal can feature tasty local specialties, or a mix of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, highlighting fresh fish and shellfish, as well as home-grown fruits and vegetables from their own organic garden.

Bring culture and the beach together in this perfect marriage for your wedding day by reaching out the Amara Oceanh.

imageNature Lovers – Touch of Spice Te Hihi Estate, New Zealand

New Zealand has some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and you don’t even have to go far from the city to track it down, like at the Te Hihi Estate by Touch of Spice.

Here you’ll have 92 acres of awe-inspring countryside all to yourselves on this exclusive luxury retreat, situated only a 30-minute drive from Auckland airport.

The country-chic homestead is organized with an open plan living and dining area fitted with large windows, taking in ample light. The billiard room provides a secondary location and has a billiard table, bar and media suite. For overnight guests the homestead has for four deluxe bedrooms for eight and Touch of Spice can assist with other accommodation in the area for other guests.

Spend your days before or after the wedding exploring the natural surroundings of the homestead or relaxing on site at its 15m heated swimming pool with large deck area including a Jacuzzi, bar and BBQ area; complete with open wood fire and covered dining area.

“All facilities of the vast property are immaculately designed to the highest standard,” explains Touch of Spice founder and C.E.O. Jacqui Spice. “The homestead can comfortably accommodate 120 for cocktails and canapes and 60 for a sit down meal. The private courtyard to the rear of the billiard room is also suitable for a more intimate function. Alternatively, there are a variety of stunning locations on the property which are ideal for setting up a marquee for up to 200 guests.”

Start organizing your wedding at this unique venue by reaching out to Touch of Spice at this link.

Ultimate Chalet weddings

White Wedding – Ultimate Luxury Chalets Private Enclave, French Alps

The ultimate white wedding can be exquisitely arranged by Ultimate Luxury Chalets at their private enclave in the posh French ski resort of Val d’Isere. This exceptional location offers complete intimacy for you and around 65 guests spread over five luxurious alpine chalets.

The enclave consists of four chalets which sleep 10-14 and then the larger Le Chardon which sleeps 20. These exquisite winter retreats blend mountain coziness with supreme comfort, featuring carefully selected materials from Travertino marble to 200-year-old reclaimed wood. The large size and excellent common rooms of the chalets naturally create the ideal space for multigenerational families or groups of friends coming together for the special day.

After a day on the slopes of the Espace Killy, warm up in front of a toasty fireplace or rest your sore muscles in the hot tub on your private terrace accompanied by a glass of champagne. Then make your way inside to feast on international and local specialities prepared by your private chef with a phenomenal view of the Manchet Valley.

Ultimate Chalets also has relationships with a network of wedding specialists based in the local area including a humanist celebrant who can perform the ceremony directly onsite or in a pre-selected outdoor location, a photographer, a florist, a hairstylist and an artisanal wedding cake designer.

To ski your way to the altar, contact Ultimate Luxury Chalets here.

Kensington Weddings

Enchanting Arabian Nights – Kensington Marrakech Villas, Morocco

Marrakech is the perfect definition of a sumptuous and exotic destination to set your wedding, plus, since it’s like an extravagant oasis in the middle of the desert where you can perfectly combine luxury with rustic adventure. Kensington Luxury Properties can help you conceive the perfect destination wedding hosting anywhere from your closest family and friends to 500 guests.

Marrakech is a destination which enlivens the senses. For more than a thousand years, it’s been a crossroad between Europe and Africa. The gorgeous red city has streets are lined with olive and palm trees, vibrant markets and tall walls hiding the most magnificent gardens… a place which can transform your special day into an enchanting Arabian Nights’ tale.

Inside one of Kensington’s prestigious villas surrounded by lush gardens and the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop, with sun and warmth all year long, you could not dream of more.

An excellent option for a mid-sized destination wedding is their Jnane Fiestan Villa, a gorgeous property which can accommodate up to 85 people in a closed and private location. For smaller groups, they have an excellent selection of villas of all sizes and price ranges, but all with a very high standard quality of amenities and services and for larger groups, they have several villas which are found within close proximity of each other. The decor can vary from traditional North African luxury to sleek contemporary, however, it always has some local Moroccan flare. Most villas include private pools and many have their own in-house hammams and others their own tennis courts and other facilities.

They can also provide professional assistance with event planner and can assist you in your planning thanks to their exclusive contact list to secure the best of Marrakech for your wedding.

For more information about reserving one or more of these villas, see Kensington Luxury Properties’ profileh.

Luna2 wedding

Design & Divine Beach – Luna2, Bali

Travel to one of the most stylish beaches in the world for your ultra hip design wedding at Luna2 private hotel. It was the first design hotel on Bali’s Seminyak beach and was key in putting this destination on the map.

Luna2 is the ultimate wedding destination, since the private hotel has five bedrooms, guests get the whole place to themselves. Plus, Luna2 studiotel is just a few steps away and offers 14 open-plan studios and an unparalleled playground of venues, ideal for destination weddings.

Bali is an excellent location to celebrate that special moment and the exclusivity of Luna2 where you can be surrounded by your close-knit group family and friends for an intimate, avante-garde beachfront affair.

The Luna2 creative team can work with you to come up with a unique ceremony for up to 40 guests. This could include a wedding bale with white lace & fresh flower decoration, large flower arrangements and bouquets, frangipani petals scattered at wedding altar & flower confetti, a celebrant & certificate of commitment and elegant chairs for the ceremony.

Then their award winning chefs will delight your guests with inventive local or international cuisine. This usually involves a one-hour cocktail reception, with a choice of four canapes, a four-course degustation dinner and four-hours of free-flow soft drinks, juices and imported mineral water.

The sky – and the beach – are the limit at Luna2. Design your ideal day with their team.

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.

We’re taking off to the beautiful island of Bali in Indonesia to meet Melanie Hall, founder and designer of the galactical Luna2. She reveals the fascinating story behind this one of a kind “private hotel” and how it helped bring design and style to the Balinese beach.

Melanie Hall Founder & Designer Luna2

My husband Stewart and I purchased this prime beachfront site some 14 years ago. At that time, we recognised a gap in the market for a niche market of world-travelling hot-spotters, design junkies and discerning gastronauts: celebrities, socialites, business leaders and entrepreneurs, from key cities around the globe. We believed the time was right to satisfy the ever-growing demand in hospitality for those wanting more privacy and intimacy, with all the services of an exclusive 5-star hotel.

As such, we created Luna2 private hotel back in 2007, a “Cosmic launch pad for shoot-the-mooners!” According to the UK’s Wallpaper* magazine it “Breaks new ground here on earth”, and it was named one of Hong Kong’s Asia Tatler’s “World’s Top 10 Hottest Hotels”.

With my previous experience in Creative for international fashion brands, and my passion for design and hospitality, together with my husband’s Business & Finance expertise, and our combined extensive world travel, and knowledge of Indonesia, we both found that venturing into the hotel industry in Bali was a fairly seamless transition.

Why ‘Luna2’?

Luna2 was named after the first spacecraft to successfully land on the moon in the late 50’s. I wanted a brand name that reflected the late 50’s/early 60s, yet seemed futuristic, and appeared playful. In other words, that the name ‘personified’ the Luna2 ethos, which is…

We respect the past, welcome the future and like to have fun in the process! With this in mind, we blend nostalgia (great modernism works of the past, some 60’s pop etc), with futurism (innovation, gadgets, high-tech stuff) and touches of fun…life is not to be taken too seriously after all! This ethos continues to be infused throughout every aspect of Luna2 as a company, from architectural design to interior design, from Lunafood to music, right through to the superstar service we offer. Hence, Luna2 employees are encouraged to have a sound understanding of great tradition, keep abreast of global innovation, and retain a sense of humour in the process.

Why do we call it a ‘private hotel’?

Luna2 private hotel offers superstar services of an exclusive hotel with the intimacy of a private home. This exclusive-use, five-bedroomed ‘private hotel’ sleeps approximately 10 people and is the ultimate holiday destination for groups of singles or couples, with or without children. Luna2 aims to deliver a cosmic guest experience, every time.

A complement of no less than 20 internationally-trained staff cater to the guests’ every whim. Luna2 offers an out-of-this-world Lunafood & bar service, led by Executive Chef Errol Defoe from London, complete with in-house event-planning services; there is a comprehensive range of activities and spa treatments on offer, both in- and out-of-house.

Luna2 private hotel has raised the benchmark in Bali, by way of its prime location, visionary design and stellar levels of wining & dining, lounging & sleeping. The ultra-modern, minimalist design is a vastly different approach to the ubiquitous ‘modern Bali’ style. It is located beachfront in the heart of fashionable Seminyak, the “Chelsea” of Bali to those in the know! Seminyak has more recently emerged as Bali’s hub for style, with world-renowned hotels, restaurants, bars, galleries and boutiques.

Luna2 is renowned for creating experiences which are seen as a level above the norm. The true definition of cosmic! Only those who have stayed at Luna2 private hotel really understand Luna2 point of difference, and as a result many come back for more. Guests who have been “Lunarised” have said, “Luna2 is on another planet – a great one!” “The service is on another level!” and “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

Considered the shoulder season in many destinations around the world, the month of May can be a traveler’s delight. Fewer tourists and great deals, the cusp of the rainy season or the joys of spring, it’s still not too late to enjoy our favorite places to visit in May.

Glenapp Castle Scotland

Scotland

May is an excellent time to holiday to Scotland, the days are almost at their longest, wildflowers and rhododendrons are popping out in the countryside, plus statistically you have the best chance of the whole year of getting dry weather.

“The Glenapp Castle is a great place to go in spring,” highlights Andrew Loyd, one of our UK experts of Loyd & Townsend Rose. “It’s truly ideal for garden lovers.”

The impressive 19th-century castle, built for the Earl of Inchcape, is located close to the coast in the southwest of the country. Opened to guests since 2000, its 17 rooms, sophisticated drawing room and library evoke the utmost of Victorian splendour. Outside, the elegance is carried over in its historic Italian gardens and 36 acre private grounds.

Garden aficionados should roam beyond the castle walls to several noteworthy gardens in the vicinity. Andrew recommends exploring the clifftop Culzean Castle and its gorgeous 600 acres of park and woods where you can seek out the spring blossoms along the marked paths through meadows, forests and around secluded ponds. There’s also Castle Kennedy Gardens, an important historic garden as well as the famous Logan Botanic Garden, considered the country’s most exotic garden.

Whereas over at our other UK expert, Warren de Long of Blandings, recommends going to the coast of Fife, where they have some fabulous properties to base yourself for exploring the area.

“So much of the press for Scotland is about the Highlands and the Western Isles – but I think this part of Scotland is every bit as beautiful and full of charm.

“The obvious place to start, of course, is St Andrews, it’s historic university and the world-class golf should be enough to tempt anyone, but to my mind there is so much more. There is a glorious coastal path that is best between St Monans and Crail—beautiful coastline and great villages, as well as excellent fish & chips in the villages near Anstruther. If you are a bit more adventurous, there is the Elie Chain Walk (between Elie & Leven) where there is a bracing, otter-spotting trail over the cliffs where you can do a 2-to-3 hour scramble. It’s challenging but not as scary as it sounds!

“For those who would rather sit than walk, it is worth going to the nearby coastal village of Elie where The Ship Inn not only has great food, but also hosts beach cricket (only when it is low tide!) starting in May and going on throughout the Summer. Pittenweem is another great spot on the beautiful East Neuk coastline, and in August each year they host the Pittenweem Arts Festival—which is great fun for families, and growing in popularity each year. Nature-lovers have plenty to see too, as there are regular ferries from Anstruther to the Isle of May which is known for its puffins, seals, porpoise, dolphin and even the occasional whale!”

To experience some of this yourselves and make the most of springtime in Scotland, you can reach out to these UK experts at Loyd & Townsend Rose and Blandings at this link.

House On A Dune Pamela Murdock

Bahamas 

“May is one of my favorite months to be in the Bahamas, in particular Harbour Island,” says our our Bahamas expert Pamela Murdock. “The air temperature ranges from about 70 – 85 degrees and the water is about 80 degrees. It’s simply perfect. Though it’s the beginning of the rainy season, the weather is generally beautiful. While this idyllic small island remains a wildly popular destination year round, by May the sun worshippers have been joined by those who love fishing and diving.”

We are in luck because Pamela was just on Harbour Island a week ago scouting out some new luxury properties to add to her already extensive portfolio and gave us these insider tips:

“Of course I made time to do some of my favorite things like snorkeling with Jeff of Ocean Fox and shopping for chic clothes at the Blue Rooster and just around the corner at the island’s newest store, Drake. We also had an fantastic lunch at Ocean Talley. Once a best-kept secret, this little jewel is getting more and more popular so definitely make a reservation, especially on weekends,” advises Pamela wisely. “It’s located in a lighthouse on Whale Point, Eleuthera which is about a 10-minute boat trip from Harbour Island. Definitely try their Tequila Shrimp as a first course – It’s so good you may want to have it for your main as well! It really is the perfect way to spend a Bahamian afternoon.”

We couldn’t agree more! A big thank you to Pamela for sharing this valuable local insight. You can learn more about Pamela’s offerings on beautiful Harbour Island at here.

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Costa Rica

One of our Costa Rica experts, Jane Moore of Papagayo, confirmed that May is a wonderful time to visit the country. Her luxury villas are located in the most upscale area of Costa Rica, home to the Four Seasons and an Arnold Palmer Golf Course. However, the area is still not overly developed so it feels very private.

“May is the beginning of the green season,” explains Jane. “We’re located in a tropical dry forest so when it rains, even just a little, everything becomes greener. Plus temperatures have started  cooling down from April’s extreme heat. In addition, since it’s the fringe season, just after spring break and before summer school holidays, it’s a good time to visit for couples. It’s like you have the place all to yourself.”

It’s also perfect timing because Papagayo has a fantastic last minute deal of up to 50% savings on certain villas for stays through June 01, 2016. Jane has sweetened the deal even further by running a flash sale which extends this deal for rental up to Nov 1 for bookings made by April 30, 2016.

Find out more about Papagayo and scoop up this amazing deal here. Or peruse the equally exceptional properties of our other Costa Rica expert Mead Brown at this link.

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Morocco

May is the most wonderful time of the year to travel to Morocco and Marrakech in particular,” says David Schneuwly one of our Morocco experts at Villanovo, who have some fabulous villas in Marrakech and Essaouira evoking the traditional spirit of Morocco coupled with modern luxury.

“During the day you can enjoy blossoming gardens under clear blue skies and in the evening al fresco dining in all our villas,” he tempts us further. “Golfing at its best, plus i’s also a wonderful time to trek in the Atlas mountains. We  can organize superb lunch parties in the Agafay desert located one hour from Marrakech.”

To arrange your perfect stay in Morocco, you can contact Villanovo or our other Morocco experts, Kensington Finest Properties Marrakech, here.

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Bali, Indonesia

May can be a great month to go to Bali, in part for similar reasons to Costa Rica above: it’s still relatively dry and slightly less humid then the rainy season, plus it’s just before the high season in summer making it less crowded and giving the island a more authentic, laid-back feel.

Our Bali experts at Luna2 have a fantastic May Getaway package. Named one of “the world’s top 10 hottest hotels” by Tatler Asia, Luna2 is a private hotel located in Seminyak, Bali’s ultimate beachfront holiday destination. You have exclusive-use of 5 bedrooms (4 doubles, 1 twin) for up to 10 adults. Their additional services include VIP ‘fast-track’ with complimentary airport pick-up/drop-off, daily sunset canapés, 24-hour use of 1 “Lunamobile,” with driver, complimentary kids’ coordinator/babysitting services.

Their May Getaway package is available for any bookings made from now until May 31, 2016 for stays between May 1 and August 31. They are also providing a special exclusive offer for UltraVilla readers, who will also receive a 5-course degustation dinner at the Chef’s table, for up to 10 guests, with the uninterrupted sunset and ocean views.

Learn more about Luna2 here or the exclusive properties of our other Indonesia experts, Global Nomad, who are all booked by for May, but the autumn is also a nice time to go to Indonesia.

Happy travels and we hope to see you at some of these wonderful destinations!