In the past, luxury vaycays meant Maldives and Europe. Today, spoilt for choice, we seek experiential trips, cozy hideaways and me-time more than grand destinations and adventurous things-to-do. Here are some places that will help you disconnect to connect. These places are all tropical, so this list is mainly evergreen. Workaholics who haven’t yet had anything planned, can squeeze out some time for a last minute jaunt. Better late than never.
Owned by the ex-husband—Chris Burch—of fashion powerhouse, Tory Burch, this hotel has made it on several recommends and even on a Forbes article. Boasting magnificent views and tranquil settings, locally-sourced furniture meticulously frame the surrounds. No expenses have been spared and it’s all luxurious comfort for us, creatures of comfort. Plush beds, beachfront bath tubs and overhanging infinity pools. There’s loads to do with the kids—jewellery workshops, scavenger hunt, chocolate making. For bonding with your partner, go crazy with the options—spa safari, paddle boating, mountain biking, trekking to traditional villages. What I love about this resort though, is that they work closely with the locals (Sumbanese), and part of the profit generated goes into sustaining the villages and village schools.
Hands up to those who’ve spied pure white resorts on your friends’ stories but been to shy to hunt them down for the location. Well give it up for Montigo Resorts, the luxy vaycay 30 minutes away from our shores. This place is price, sort of upscale and great for extended family gatherings. Not sure if it’s just me, but the facade is strangely reminiscent of Santorini. Apart from the brilliant stark white, furniture and decor have all stuck closely natural hues, creating a seamless indoor to outdoor experience. Best part is that now you also have bragging rights to being “in the know”. Montigo resorts have always been stylish, modern and for the most part, kept impeccably clean, but having been a favourite tourist haunt for years, some facelifting is probably due.
Close to Tam Sui district, north of Taipei, lies a range of mountains collectively known as Yangmingshan. There’s a bunch of pristine spa hotels, where you have your own little in-room hot spring pool. It is unfortunate that Taiwan hasn’t yet come into its own as a hot spring destination, although it is known as a food paradise with a veritable night life. Yet, hot springs is indeed a thing to do there.
Hold up, if you were thinking about “love hotels”, because these hotels are not that, they are more like their Japanese contenders, with natural, minimalistic furnishing, stone tile flooring, wooden frames and smart interiors. Fun fact, most of Beitou’s major architecture are all preserved from the colonial era, reflecting Japanese influence. Most of these hotels are also very reasonably priced (from $170) so you won’t actually have to break the bank for this one. What I love most though, is the idea of a couple hotspring room replete with privacy and space to relax. If you’re one of those power couples with nary a chance to wind down usually, this may just be the place for you.