10 April, 2012
Travel

A leisurely Labour Day: top four getaways for a long weekend

10 April, 2012

Easter’s barely behind us but we’re already plotting our next getaway! With Labour Day falling on a Tuesday this year, it’s oh so tempting to take the Monday off and make it a long weekend. Boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith suggest four stylish stays in China, Phuket and Penang, all just a short hop from Hong Kong.

Best for a cool culture hit: Homa Chateau, Yangshui, China

Style Artistry in residence
Setting
Karst cliff-side sculpture park

For a dash of culture and cutting-edge cool, board a plane for Guilin and head to Yungshuo boutique retreat Homa Chateau. Surrounded by towering limestone karsts, 1,000-acre sculpture park Yuzi Paradise is the whimsical setting for this arty abode. Spend the weekend scoping 200 massive modern artworks throughout the park, then hit Lotus Restaurant for Chinese fusion bites, and sip cocktails in Moon Lounge, an atmospheric forest bar reached by a vine-covered walkway. Bed down in an Executive Suite, a luxurious split-level room with mountain views, Chinese day-bed and a romance-revving Jacuzzi.

Best for poolside posing: Paresa, Phuket, Thailand

Style Coastal cool
Setting
Millionaire’s Mile

Direct flights from Hong Kong make a Phuket getaway a breeze. Named after the highest level of heaven in Sanskrit,Paresa boutique hotel is a collection of cliff-hugging villas, located in a pristine patch of greenery between Patong and Kamala bays. This haute hideaway will set your pulse racing with jaw-plummeting Andaman Sea views, sleekly styled rooms and breezy alfresco living areas. The addition of private pools makes it a must to book an Aqua Pool Suite. If you can drag yourself away from your sun lounger, there’s a cooking school, yoga sessions and free shuttles to the nearby beach. Come dinnertime, book one of the overwater dining day-beds lolling above the infinity pool, and have the waiters wade out to deliver your meal. Talk about making a splash!

Best for day spa delights: Hotel Penaga, Penang, Malaysia

Style High-fashion heritage
Setting
Curious Georgetown

It never takes much to tempt us to Malaysia, but a new hotel in Penang  has us booking our tickets tout-suite. Hotel Penaga in Georgetown is a designer den with a charming heritage heart; Corbusier and Eames pieces kick back on original Peranakan floor tiles, and rainbow-bright panels of stained glass make for an ever-changing colour palette. There’s a look-at-me lap pool adjacent to the casual Cinnamon restaurant, a cute bar with knockout cocktails and a boutique brimming with covetable homewares, but the real drawcard here is the day spa. One of Georgetown’s finest, it offers a sigh-inducing line-up of treatments, including luscious body wraps and exotic soaks.

Best for living the high life: The Opposite House, Beijing, China

Style Gleaming glass glamour
Setting
Sanlitun urban village

Sitting pretty in the glossy Sanlitun village, Beijing boutique hotel The Opposite House makes for an indulgent city break. Once you’ve checked into your apartment-style suite, there really is little reason to leave this ultra-luxe bolthole. A trio of gourmet restaurants cater to every craving, from wood-fired Mediterranean fare at Sureño to spicy pan-Asian cuisine in Bei and casual lunches in the Village Café. Two designer drinking holes, sleek Mesh lounge bar and edgy Punk nightclub, will have you partying well into the night. The next day, recuperate in your deep bath tub or slip into the day spa for a reviving treatment.

To book any of Mr & Mrs Smith’s stylish boutique hotels, visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so sign up today to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers at more than 850 hotels and holiday houses around the world.

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